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Conservation Field Crew Leader

Job Location

Ridgecrest, CA


Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Mar 7, 2022

About the job

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American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a dynamic non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding environmental service opportunities that harness the idealism and energy of a volunteer labor force to help restore America's public lands. ACE has a national reputation for providing exceptional training and support to enable crews to safely and economically implement technically complex and physically demanding conservation projects for the US Forest Service, BLM, National Park Service, USFWS and numerous state and local land management partners.

Job Title: Crew Leader

Location: Sacramento, CA and Ridgecrest, CA

Department/Division: CREW, Pacific West

Status: Regular Full-Time (Non-Exempt)

Schedule/Hours: Full-time. Permanent or Temporary. Flexible Schedule with varying shifts; 40 hours/week with additional hours as needed

Reports To: Project Manager

Travel: Yes, extensive regional travel required

Compensation: Full-time, DOE within a flexible schedule. Hourly pay at competitive rate starting at $16/hour.

Additional Benefits: Competitive benefits package that includes health, dental, vision and supplemental insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, designated holidays, and 401k retirement for qualified employees.

Shared dormitory-style housing option available. Food and provisions are provided during field projects.

Start Date: Flexible, with dates starting as early as March.

Position Summary: Develop your crew leadership and conservation skills leading a group of motivated young adults on a wide range of natural resource management projects throughout public lands in the state of CA. Projects range in location from California's coastal ranges to the Mojave Desert to the Sierra Nevada and include fuels reduction and thinning, invasive species treatment, trail construction and maintenance, and more.

As the primary front-line staff of the ACE PW Operations Team, Crew Leaders (CLs) lead diverse teams of young adults in completion of conservation and restoration projects. CLs train and lead crew members in conservation work skills, basic environmental education, and outdoor living skills, and engage their crews in environmental work projects that address critical land management and conservation needs. Work is almost exclusively outdoors, involves strenuous physical labor in all weather conditions and climates, and typically involves "spike" camping for several days at a time, often in remote wilderness locations. The position requires extensive travel to public lands across the Pacific West and may involve working for other ACE offices/locations for temporary periods. All Crew Leaders receive a minimum of one week of intensive training, with additional on-site supervision and training from skilled ACE and agency partner staff throughout their tenure. Inquire about additional training in chainsaw skills, trail construction, griphoist and rigging, first aid, restoration, and more.

ACE's Non-Discrimination Statement is as follows: The Organization is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment in which all employees can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation.

Individuals who identify with groups typically under-represented in the conservation industry, including women, non-binary individuals, LGBTQ individuals, and people of color are particularly encouraged to apply.

All ACE Members and staff must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 by the time they start their term/position or request a medical or religious exemption.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Lead, manage, and hold Corpsmembers accountable while serving on conservation projects.Lead, train, and supervise a conservation corps team during conservation work projects, which may include: constructing and maintaining trails, constructing and maintaining fences and outdoor facilities, restoring wildlife habitat, maintaining national/state parks, campgrounds, and recreation areas, planting trees, conducting native plant revegetation, eradicating exotic/invasive plant species, surveying, conducting ecological testing and monitoring, mapping and monitoring using GPS technology, wildfire restoration, and restoring forest health and reducing wildfire risk through tree thinning using powered equipment
    Arrange environmental education activities and opportunities and help inspire the the next generation of conservation and public lands stewards.
    Support, coach, mentor, and supervise members in both technical and interpersonal professional development.
    Hike, backpack, camp, and cook outdoors while at front country and wilderness spike camps.
  • Collect, record, and submit accurate, detailed project data.Accurately complete project field paperwork including weekly reports, safety sheets, incident reports, end-of-week checklists, feedback forms and others as necessary.
  • Ensure personal and Corpsmembers safety while in the field.Arrange details of transportation, tools, equipment, camp/field living arrangements, field communication, and work project completion. Responsible for leading rig-up and de-rig before and after a project. Serves as primary transport for crew to worksites and camp during projects.
    Maintain and repair hand and power tools and other equipment as necessary.
    Responsible for enforcing the use of appropriate safety procedures in all tasks.
    Manage and replace items as needed in the cook set, first aid kit, and personal protective equipment (PPE) sets.
    Safely transport crew and equipment in ACE vehicles with trailers.
  • Responsible for producing high quality work and successful project outcomes.Collaborate and communicate with ACE Project Managers and project partners to ensure that ACE crews safety complete the highest quality of work and achieve established project outcomes.
    Other duties as assigned.

Required Experience and Qualifications:

  • 1-2 years of experience working in field conservation positions, preferably within a Conservation Corps or similar organization and with a record of advancement to assistant leadership or leadership positions.
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. BA/BS degree from an accredited college/university preferred but not required.
  • Experience in field work performing environmental restoration, trail construction and maintenance, and other conservation tasks.
  • Experience leading, training, and supervising teams of diverse individuals.
  • Ability to drive vehicles/trucks and trailers in a variety of road conditions.
  • Knowledge of environmental conservation skills, basic environmental education, and outdoor living/camping skills.
  • Experience performing a wide variety of heavy manual labor for extended periods of time, often under adverse conditions and in various climates.
  • Ability to lead, train, and supervise a team.
  • Ability to camp on a project for two to four weeks at a time.
  • Working knowledge of young adult development, team-building and motivational techniques.
  • Experience serving as a positive role model and mentor for team members.
  • Ability to adapt to the surrounding work environment and conditions that can change frequently.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with Corpsmembers, partner agency staff, and the general public.
  • Ability to understand and carry out oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to understand and follow ACE systems and processes including supervisor key responsibilities.
  • Must secure First aid/CPR certification within 14 days of employment and maintain certification.
  • Must maintain a positive, constructive work environment conducive to team dynamics including timely, effective communication with project partners, supervisors, and crew members.

Other Requirements:

  • Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Valid driver's license and an insurable driving record
  • Proficient in English
  • Ability to pass a federal criminal background check
  • Willing to abide by ACE Policy and Federal Drug Free workplace policies and laws. ACE reserves the right to drug test at any time.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions

  • Physical Demands: Requires frequent sitting, standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talks and hears. Manual dexterity required for use of hand and power tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain, and camp overnight under field conditions.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus.
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently lifts up to 40 lbs., ability to move items up to 60 pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate noise.
  • Travel: This position requires domestic travel.

To Apply: Navigate to the ACE website: to fill out an application. You must include a resume, one-page cover letter and three professional references. Qualified applicants will be contacted by email to arrange an interview. Applicants must follow all application instructions in order to be considered for this opportunity.

American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.

Learn More About American Conservation Experience (ACE)!

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