Sierra Institute for Community Environment

Wilderness Trail Crew Leader

Posted: April 27, 2021
Location: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Time Commitment: Mid-May thru Sept/Oct 2021

Sierra Institute for Community and Environment (Sierra Institute) in collaboration with Lassen National Forest (LNF) is providing a unique opportunity to contribute to forest restoration and improvement of backcountry recreation infrastructure within designated national forest and wilderness areas of the LNF.

Qualified individuals with an interest in wilderness management, trail work, and active management of ecosystem services are encouraged to apply. The Wilderness Trail Crew, consisting of a Crew Leader, four Crew Members, and a Crew Member Apprentice, will spend approximately 5 months performing a variety of trail maintenance projects. Work will include benching of trails, maintenance of water bars, brush clearing, and clearing of downed logs and hazard trees. Work will primarily be completed using hand tools and nonmechanized equipment such as crosscut saws. Other tasks and duties may be assigned as appropriate to further crew objectives.

Job Responsibilites


The Wilderness Trail Crew Leader will serve as the field supervisor of the Crew performing trail restoration activities within the Almanor Ranger District of the LNF. The position will lead a crew working cooperatively to learn how to safely perform trail maintenance, hand thinning, limbing, low-stumping, and bucking of dead and small diameter trees. The position will be responsible for leading the crew in re-establishing and maintaining access to designated trails in order to increase accessibility to public lands within the LNF including diverse wilderness landscapes.

Additional crew tasks may also include rearranging fuels in preparation for prescribed fire or managed wildfire, including piling and lopping and scattering. The Crew Leader will be expected to facilitate positive engagement between the Crew and youth as the Crew may periodically work alongside local youth corps to accomplish project objectives.

As some work will be conducted in designated wilderness areas, the Crew Leader is expected to lead by example and ensure all crew members uphold the ethics of wilderness land management, working to minimize the visual and ecological impacts of human intervention and practicing Leave No Trace principles. Training will be provided to inform decision making in wilderness in line with the 1964 Wilderness Act and for adherence to minimum visual retention standards in the USFS Scenery Management System.

Operations and Safety

The work required of the crew involves objective hazards. The Crew Leader is expected to serve as a role model and lead the crew in practicing situational awareness, directly addressing and/or raising safety concerns as they arise. Training will be provided to ensure ability to safely execute job functions.

The Crew Leader will receive training on crosscut saw use and will assist in and delegate tasks for equipment management, including tool repair and maintenance. The Crew Leader will also provide training in the aforementioned skills to the crew.

Required Qualifications

  • Minimum of 2-years combined field experience in forest or other natural resource management, this may include but is not limited to corps work, wildland fire, research and survey work within the environmental field, land conservation, etc.
  • Minimum 6 months leading a field crew in carrying out trail maintenance and other forest restoration tasks.
  • Knowledge and technical skills needed to conduct trail maintenance activities.
  • Ability to educate and train crew members in skills needed to safely and successfully complete trail maintenance projects.
  • Ability to hike 4-8 miles a day with a weighted field pack, ample water, and tools.
  • Ability to perform physically taxing work in all weather conditions in rugged mountainous environments.
  • Experience with crosscut saws.
  • Experience working in backcountry remote settings.
  • Interest in, or familiarity with, principles of wilderness land management.
  • Ability to provide a clean driving record.
  • Ability to pass a federal background check.
  • A valid driver’s license and access to reliable transportation.
  • Ability to safely drive a vehicle while towing a utility trailer on dirt and gravel roads.
  • Current wilderness medical training certification (e.g., WFR, WEMT); CPR.

Desired Qualifications

  • Certification in S-212 (Federal Wildland Chainsaws)
  • Leave No Trace or other backcountry ethics training
  • Interest in, or familiarity with, forested ecosystems of the Northern Sierra
  • Experience with forest restoration and/or fuels management using mechanized or non-mechanized equipment

Please note these qualifications are what we believe is necessary to ensure the selected applicant is
successful in this position, however we encourage all who are interested to apply and highlight how
their experience and background will make them successful.

Salary and Benefits

Compensation is $17.50 per hour for approximately 4 months weather and fire permitting. Health benefits through Sierra Institute are not available for this position, but may be obtained through Covered California ( Field staff will be provided monthly sick time, paid holidays, and paid climate leave. Paid climate leave is intended to mitigate work days impacted by extreme weather conditions. Necessary training will be provided, including crosscut saw safety and use (limbing, and bucking), as well as defensive driving in order to operate federal vehicles. While working, the crew will be provided an opportunity to camp for multiple nights within various locations on the Lassen National Forest including the diverse wilderness areas of the Ishi Wilderness and Caribou Wilderness. Housing is not provided on off days.

Application Process

Please send your resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references as one pdf to [email protected] with “Wilderness Trail Crew - Crew Leader” in the subject line.

Review of applications and interviews will begin April 21, 2021 and will be conducted on a rolling basis. Positions are open until filled. Please direct questions to Danielle Berry, Stewardship Project Manager via email at [email protected].

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