Wilderness Steward Intern

Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness Foundation

Red Lodge, Gardiner, or Livingston, Montana

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details Living Stipend and Housing
Deadline Dec 20, 2023
Required Experience 0 - 1 years
Ridgeline rambles, a breath of fresh air and major views. Rewards for Wilderness work that counts.

Love working outdoors and connecting with others?
Passionate about wild lands?

Come Join our team! The ABWF is seeking three Wilderness Steward Interns for the summer, May 15th through September 15th, 2024.

Our interns work closely with the USFS Trails and Wilderness Ranger professionals to develop skills in all manor of backcountry field work. They can expect positive mentors in both ABWF staff and their trail crews, and to grow as individuals and as working conservation professionals. Many of our interns have gone on to work for the Forest Service or other organizations they encounter during their time with us.

These positions are excellent for folks looking for entry level backcountry summer work or  students looking to get their feet wet- both literally and figuratively- in public land management. They will see through both our nonprofit and public agency lenses. They'll grow stronger and create lifelong memories while accomplishing incredible work that helps to keep Wilderness open to all. 

We can't wait to meet them!

Job Responsibilities
Each Wilderness Steward Intern will work with U.S. Forest Service crews and ABWF staff and volunteers in the Custer Gallatin National Forest’s Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.
Two Trails positions will be stationed with the Gardiner Ranger District in Gardiner, Montana or with the Yellowstone Ranger District at the historic Boulder Ranger Station an hour from Livingston, MT. One Wilderness Ranger position will be stationed with the Beartooth Ranger District in Red Lodge, Montana. Each position will include backcountry hitches as long as 9 days at a time, requiring hikes with heavy packs and hand tools as many as 12+ miles a day.

Work Duties
Your summer will entail:

  • Manual labor on a variety of wilderness stewardship projects including trail maintenance, site restoration, and weed eradication.
  • Visitor contact and outreach work including education on wilderness ethics and regulations, and collecting visitor use monitoring data.
  • Logistical support of and participation in ABWF educational events and volunteer trail projects.
  • Positively representing the USFS and ABWF to a wide variety of wilderness visitors, volunteers, and community partners.

Qualified candidates will have:

(a) The ability to do rigorous manual labor effectively and cheerfully outdoors in a high elevation, mountain environment, in weather conditions ranging from cold wet snow to hot dry sun. Backcountry hitches will require up to 9 days living and working in remote backcountry conditions with no modern facilities or conveniences. This is physically demanding work.
(b) The ability to live, work, and communicate as a team member with USFS crews (5-6 trail crew professionals) and ABWF crews (5-7 volunteers plus ABWF staff). The Stewards must also work cooperatively with other ABWF and USFS staff including wilderness rangers, district rangers, trail crew supervisors, and forest managers; and in some cases may need to work independently by themselves.
(c) Wilderness experience – applicants MUST have previous experience backpacking in remote environments, including experience planning, packing, and cooking for themselves on multi day overnight backcountry trips; navigating on and off trail; and hiking as much as 12+ miles a day in high elevation mountain terrain. They should also have much of their own backpacking equipment (hiking boots, sleeping bag, tent, etc. – equipment like trail work tools and bear spray will be provided)
(d) The ability to work with a variety of trail maintenance hand tools, including crosscut saws, pick/adze, Pulaski, rock bar, shovel, and rake. Experience in construction, cleaning stalls, farming, sports, etc. are a plus!
(e) Desire to develop as a professional conservationist. Desire to gain skills and experience in conservation work through both the public sector (i.e. USFS) and private sector (i.e. nonprofit groups like the ABWF).
(f) A passion and appreciation for Wilderness and its many values (recreational, cultural, ecological, economic, etc.) that they are excited to share with other wilderness visitors.

Preferred candidates will have:
(a) Previous trail crew experience or experience in manual labor, backcountry data collection, or playing team sports
(b) CPR, 1st Aid, and/or Wilderness First Responder Certifications
(c) Ability to commit to the entire 16-week season that ends in mid September


Send a cover letter, resume, and three references in PDF form to our Program Manager, Lauren, at lswett@abwilderness.org 

Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled.

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

Category Outdoor Recreation, Restoration
Tags Trail Maintenance