USFS Fall Crew

Southeast Conservation Corps

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details $600/Weekly

Crew Structure:  8 Crew members, 2 Crew Leaders

Location: Crews are based in Chattanooga, TN. All hitches will end and begin at our Chattanooga office and will then travel to USFS Region 8 project sites, where they will camp and work for nine days at a time in various locations across the USFS region 8 district.

Season Dates: August 19th - November 22nd, 2024  

Status: Full-time, seasonal 450-hour AmeriCorps National Term of Service position.

Compensation: A $600/week living stipend, paid bi-weekly, including a $1,824.07 Segal Education Award upon program completion. 

Hitch Schedule: 9 days on (Tuesday – Wednesday) followed by five days off (Thursday – Monday).  While in the field, crew members work 8-10 hours daily. The day starts with a stretch circle and safety meeting, which includes two fifteen-minute breaks and a half-hour break for lunch each day.

Benefits: Public Land Corps Hiring Authority Certificate (upon successful completion of hours), Chainsaw Certifications S2-12, Wilderness First Aid, Food & transportation provided while in the field overnight, uniform shirts, personal protective equipment, developmental opportunities as available, possible student loan forbearance, Member Assistance Program – (3 free sessions of support with a counseling or work-life balance specialist) on-the-job training, depending upon the academic institution and program, crew member positions may fulfill internship requirements and exposure to natural resource career paths. 

Onboarding: Once Crew Members are selected and before their start date, they must complete an online enrollment process, including completing e-forms, uploading IDs, enrolling with AmeriCorps, and beginning their background check process. Accommodations may be available for those with limited access to online platforms, and these can be discussed during the interview process. 

Orientation Week, August 19th – 30th: Crew members will learn general trail maintenance, saw certifications, and WFA, best practices for tools, and general conservation techniques.

First Hitch: September 3rd

Southeast Conservation Corps: Engaging future leaders who protect, restore, and enhance our nation’s lands through community-based service.  

Southeast Conservation Corps (SECC), a program of Conservation Legacy, is a non-profit, AmeriCorps-affiliated organization. SECC selects young adults, ages 18-30, to complete conservation work projects on public lands throughout the Southeast. SECC programs encourage environmental stewardship, foster community partnerships, and emphasize experiential learning. SECC serves a diverse population representative of the Southeast, including youth, graduates, veterans, and a cross-section of ethnicities and income levels. SECC is also an active member of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team (A-DRT), and as such, selected crews may be deployed on Disaster response projects for up to 30 days.  SECC works with various land management agencies in Tennessee and the Southeast region, such as the United States Forest Service, National Park Service, State Parks, and conservation-based non-profits. Projects vary but include trail construction and maintenance, ecosystem restoration, habitat restoration, fire fuel reduction, public land fencing, invasive weed removal, herbicide applications, and many others. The project work is manual labor based, and most projects require a hike into and out of the project site daily carrying tools and a day pack.     Crews work in front-country and back-country locations in all types of weather conditions. Schedules may vary, but generally are 9 days on and 5 days off for camping crews. Workdays are 10-hour shifts with scheduled breaks throughout the day. Depending on project work and location, other schedule variations may be implemented. While the staff at SECC works to provide consistency throughout the season, personal flexibility is expected. It should be prepared for when entering the term, as schedules, times, and work locations are subject to change per project needs.      

SECC is an independent, non-residential program. Members are responsible for finding and attaining their housing when outside the field. On-hitch crews prepare all their meals and work together to complete all necessary chores. Community/camp chores will be completed every evening, with many evenings including group discussions, conservation, and corps-related topics. The members must supply their outdoor gear and equipment, such as a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, day pack, multi-day pack, work pants, hiking/work boots, etc. SECC will provide group camp equipment, tools, protective gear, and transportation between SECC's office and project sites.    

Position Summary:   

Southeast Conservation Corps and the Southern Region of the U.S. Forest Service will partner to host a roving chainsaw crew in support of fire management operations covering: the Cherokee National Forest, the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Francis Marion and Sumter National Forest, National Forest in Alabama, and other region 8 locations.

Work will vary based on the priorities and direction of the Forest Service and SECC but will focus on:

  • Brushing and logging out trails for upcoming prescribed burns.
  • Working to restore wilderness areas impacted by wildfires.
  • Performing general trail maintenance as needed.

Crew Life: Conservation crew members with SECC serve on a crew with 4-8 other crew members and 2 crew leaders who provide project expertise, mentorship, training, and support for the success of all participants. Food is provided while in the field. Crews work together to plan meals and complete all necessary chores (cooking, washing dishes, etc.). Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated if known ahead of time. Many evenings include group discussions on conservation topics.  

SECC supports a culture of feedback and growth. Crew members set goals at the beginning of the season and review their performance through self-evaluation and a review with their crew leader in the middle and end of the season. Evaluations will cover professionalism, responsibility and leadership, communication, engagement, productivity, safety, and equipment use. Crew members will also be asked to evaluate their crew leaders’ performance, the overall program, and their experience at the end of their term.  

Expectations: SECC is an independent, non-residential program. Crew members are responsible for their housing, food, and transportation when outside the field unless otherwise specified.  Some equipment is available to borrow throughout the season, but Crew Members are asked to supply as much of their gear as possible. A gear list is provided upon acceptance into the program; in addition to providing food while in the field, SECC will provide group camp equipment, tools, protective gear, and transportation between Chattanooga and project sites. 
Crew Members are asked to work hard, stay positive, and be flexible with changing schedules, weather conditions, and project needs. This is a seasonal position; Crew Members are asked to commit to the experience, expectations, and timeline fully. 

 Minimum Qualifications:      

  • Must be between ages 18 and 30 and up to 35 if a military veteran. 
  • Must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident and provide primary documentation to support this.  
  • Must be cleared through an acceptable check of the National Sex Offender Public Registry, as well as state and federal Criminal History Checks  
  • You must have a high school diploma or GED or agree to work toward attaining either during the term of service (this is essential to obtaining and using the AmeriCorps Education Award).  

Preferred Qualifications:   

  • A general comfort and previous knowledge of working/living in an outdoor setting.  
  • Must have a high school diploma, GED, or agree to work toward attaining either during the term of service (this is essential to obtaining and using the AmeriCorps Education Award)  

General Qualifications:      

  • Professionalism: Members must be willing to follow and enforce all SECC policies, maintain professional boundaries, communicate effectively with partners, crew leaders, members, peers, and SECC staff, and appropriately represent Southeast Conservation Corps and AmeriCorps. (This includes creating a substance-free work environment and refraining from the use of tobacco products, alcohol, and drugs while on "hitch") 
  • Adaptability:Projects are uncertain and will include variable living conditions and last-minute changes. Members must be adaptive, patient, and able to maintain a positive perspective throughout changes.  
  • Community Building: A strong desire to help others grow as individuals while building cohesiveness in a group setting. Members must be willing to work hard, listen and respect others' viewpoints, embrace diversity, be committed to equity, and be inclusive of differing backgrounds. 
  • Environmental Stewardship:Members must genuinely enjoy and desire to care for the land while living and working outdoors in various   
  • Fitness: SECC projects are physically demanding! 8 to 10-hour long workdays consist of hiking, backpacking, heavy lifting, and repetitive motions using tools. Projects often occur in variable weather conditions: hot, cold, rain, snow, etc.  
  • Conservation: Experience or a desire to learn the technical skills needed to maintain public lands effectively and meaningfully.   
  • Citizenship: Members must provide primary documentation of status as a U.S. citizen or National OR primary documentation of status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Essential Functions:    

  • Enforce all SECC policies. SECC is a substance-free work environment. Participants must refrain from using tobacco products, vaping, alcohol, and drugs while in the program. 

Participant Essential Eligibility Requirements: Essential eligibility requirements for the program must be met. Suppose you are unable to meet specific requirements. In that case, we may be able to assist you with some modification unless it alters the fundamental nature of the program, compromises the health and safety of participants or staff, or places an undue financial or administrative burden on the organization. These requirements are the same for all positions and may not apply directly to your particular position.   

Participation and Expedition Behavior:   

  • Work effectively as a team member despite potentially stressful and challenging conditions. This may require problem-solving on an interpersonal or group level and a willingness to accept differences.  
  • Contribute to a safe learning environment; no harassment of others will be tolerated for any reason. 
  • Willingness and ability to complete all aspects of the program, including conservation projects, education, training, and national service.  Members must commit to participating in all crew/team activities, including service days in local communities where applicable.  
  • Effectively communicate ideas and concerns as they arise directly to supervisors, colleagues, and organization staff.  
  • Ability to learn necessary skills and apply them effectively to carry out the service work requirements.  
  • Appropriately always represent SECC and AmeriCorps to the public and project partners.  

Safety and Judgment :  

  • Effectively communicate danger to others in the form of either a warning of danger others may be encountering or a notification of personal distress, injury, or need for assistance. You must be able to do so at a distance of up to 50 meters and in conditions with limited visibility or loud background noise, such as darkness or high winds.  
  • Effectively perceive, understand, and follow directions from others so that you can successfully execute appropriate and perhaps unfamiliar techniques to manage hazards. These directions may be given before the hazard is encountered or must be given during exposure to the risk.  
  • Stay alert and focused for several hours while traveling and working in varied weather conditions.  
  • Perceive and comprehend significant and apparent hazards, including those previously identified by others.  
  • Respond appropriately to stress or crises.  
  • If taking prescription medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self-medicating without assistance from others.

Environmental Ethics and Outdoor Skills:

  • Learn and practice ‘Leave No Trace’ techniques.   
  • Learn and safely perform fundamental outdoor living/travel and work skills appropriate to the project.  
  • Stay hydrated, fed, and appropriately dressed to remain healthy and safe and avoid environmental injuries.    
  • Live in a physically demanding, possibly remote environment for an uninterrupted period of up to several weeks. Conditions of this environment may vary significantly and may include severe weather. Some remote locations may require a minimum of one hour, but perhaps more than 12 hours, to reach the nearest advanced medical care.    

Substance Free:  In accordance with a drug-free workplace, alcohol and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and while on organization property. 

Equal Employment Opportunity:  This program is available to all, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity or expression, political affiliation, marital or parental status, genetic information, and military service. Where a significant portion of the population eligible to be served needs services or information in a language other than English, the recipient shall take reasonable steps to provide written material of the type ordinarily available to the public in appropriate languages. 

Questions? Contact Ray Wilson at rwilson@conservationlegacy.org  

**To be considered, you must upload a resume in addition to your application**  


Please apply via our website: https://southeastconservationcorps.org/open-positions

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category General / Stewardship, Outdoor Recreation
Tags Conservation Corps, Trail Maintenance