Wilderness Corps Intern

Siskiyou Mountain Club

Ashland, Oregon

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $1500/month
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Wilderness Conservation Corps Internship Description
Trails are the places people connect with national forests. When they are lost, the next generation loses more than a path through the backwoods. It is thus our mission to save those trails fading from the remote mountains of soutwhest Oregon and northwest California. 

Our Wilderness Corps trail crews do the hard work it takes to achieve that mission. They backpack into project sites and spend their days removing downed logs, cutting thick brush, and rebuilding trails lost in the most remote pockets of this region acclaimed for its biodiversity and complex natural history.

Interns make a commitment for the duration of their term, working a series of eight-day-long hitches and one two-week-long hitch in July. They are led by field staff with multiple years of experience in backcountry trail work and build strong bonds with their crew who realizes landscape-scale achievements. 

Crew members get mixed-and-matched to fit projects, but off-trail days are spent as one big group. Required off-trail activities include things such as:

  • Whitewater rafting trips
  • Visit to Crater Lake National Park with their staff
  • Experience the South Slough Estuarine Reserve
  • Visits at California’s Redwood National and State Park
  • Program by Forest Service archaeologist
  • Classroom training activities to gain nationally-recognized qualifications

It is a rigorous and immersive experience. Interns participate in a remote onboarding process leading up to their term, then track personal and professional goals with support from our staff. Interns participate in regular reviews and receive feedback that inspires progress and growth. Project locations are predetermined but can change depending on conditions. Each intern must complete our approximately 15-hour online curriculum before their term starts.

Terms, Pay & Housing
In 2024, we have two start dates, and multiple end-dates. The pay is a $1,500 monthly educational stipend that is paid biweekly, as well as an educational award upon completing your term. Partial months are pro-rated.

On off-trail days, interns stay at a blend of campgrounds and hostels in Ashland, OR. Campgrounds include shower, laundry, and we accommodate transportation into town with shops, restaurants, library, Club offices, and other amenities. Aside from required activities scheduled for off-trail days, interns are free to to manage that time as they see fit. 

Required Skills and Experience

  • Must be 18 or over by start date
  • All arrivals complete a physical test before backpacking into the field
  • Ability to perform strenuous activity, including the ability to carry 60 pounds for 10 miles across rough terrain.
  • Must be able to work long hours with heavy tools on uneven terrain. Requires lifting, moving, and scooting large materials such as logs and rocks
  • Strong verbal communication
  • Punctuality and endurance
  • Ability to follow multi-step directions
  • Effective at working independently and as a strong team member
  • Motivated and self-disciplined
  • Must acquire basic lightweight backpacking gear
  • The use of tobacco, cigarettes, vape, smokeless or otherwise, is prohibited
  • Electronic devices including cell phones, tablets, iPods, smart watches and mp3 players are prohibited for on-trail days

Academic Credit
SMC provides documentation, evaluation, and other items needed for interns to gain academic credit from the college they are enrolled in.

Projects occur throughout Southwest Oregon and Northwest California. Our home base for off-trail days is Ashland, OR. 

Educational activities, curricular requirements and off-trail days.
Complete (approximately) 15-hour online curriculum that includes Core Competency of the Wilderness Act, Leave No Trace, and background on trail work. Maintain daily journal and photo entries during backcountry hitches and participate in group activities on days off.  We schedule required off-trail activities for the 2nd and 3rd days so interns have time to rest on the 1st day off and prepare on the last day. 

We provide comprehensive curricular and field training with an emphasis on the individual’s personal growth and professional development. 

  • Basic backcountry trails skills. Interns will be able to brush, tread, and remove trees from a trail prism to meet universal specifications
  • Interpersonal communication skills in small group settings.
  • Backpacking and wilderness survival. Interns will grow the skills to be self-reliant in the backcountry, as well as plan trips and work and live in remote wilderness settings
  • Credentials: Interns earn certificates issues by the University of Montana’s Arthur Carhart Wilderness Institute, the Center for Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, U.S. Forest Service, and Siskiyou Mountain Club
  • First Aid and CPR, Leave No Trace, and USFS crosscut saw certification, pending eligibility
  • Certificate of public service recognized by the National Corps Network, Federal Employers, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. 

About Siskiyou Mountain Club
We are a small nonprofit organization with a big mission, to restore and maintain trails fading from our national forests. Our trail crews have saved hundreds of trail miles from being lost, and we have adopted approximately 400 miles of trails in the most remote reaches in this region known for its vast expanse of public lands.

We are an equal opportunity employer and place high value on diversity throughout our organization. Please read more about our policies on civil rights and social justice here. 


We take applications through a screening process with two interviews. Read the full description with complete application instructions on our website: https://siskiyoumountainclub.org/wcc2024/

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

Category General / Stewardship, Outdoor Recreation
Tags Trail Maintenance, Nature Center