top of page

Wilderness Specialist (West Virginia)

Job Location

Seneca Rocks, West Virginia


Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Apr 21, 2021

About the job

Apply Now

Position Title: Wilderness Specialist

Positions Open: 1

Position Duration: 20 weeks – Starting early May

Status: Temporary/Seasonal

Compensation: $15/hour

Position Supervisor: Program Manager

Location: Big Draft, Cranberry, Dolly Sods, Laurel Fork North, Laurel Fork South, Otter Creek, Roaring Plains West, and Spice Run Wildernesses on the Monongahela National Forest. Forest Service housing available in Seneca Rocks, WV. FS housing available in Seneca Rocks, WV.

Application Deadline: Application will remain open until position is filled.


Position Summary

This 2021 SAWS Wilderness Specialist (Specialist) will work with eight different federally designated wildernesses (listed above) across the Monongahela National Forest. The Specialist will help the forest continue education efforts as well as analyze existing recreation site data. The Specialist will learn and become familiar with the wilderness character of each wilderness and coordinate with U.S. Forest Service staff and partners to draft a wilderness education plan for each wilderness. The Specialist will regularly engage with visitors in the field which may include wilderness ethics and Leave No Trace education, landscape orientation, safety awareness, and/or provide information about the natural environment. Lastly, the Specialist will analyze all recreation site data which will include digitizing all existing data across the forest as well as analyzing recreation site impacts to each wilderness.  Throughout the season, the Specialist will continue to develop and maintain a strong, positive relationship with the U.S. Forest Service and nearby partner organizations on behalf of SAWS.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Complete Wilderness Stewardship Performance deliverables (described above).
  • Coordinate with U.S. Forest Service staff and partners on project work.
  • Craft and curate media (blogs, photography, video, etc.) to share with SAWS for reporting and documentation.
  • Model and practice Leave No Trace principles in the field.
  • Follow SAWS policies and procedures in the field including about COVID-19.
  • Maintain an inclusive, safe, fun, and positive working environment.
  • Maintain high standards for project completion.


  • Enthusiasm for the SAWS mission.
  • A shared commitment to our values.
  • Strong desire to learn about federally designated wilderness, wilderness character, and natural resource management.
  • Ability to learn quickly.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Strong written communication skills.
  • Motivated and self-starter.
  • Ability to complete deliverables with minimal supervision.
  • Proficient with Word and Excel.
  • Ability to travel on foot over rough terrain.
  • Ability to work in a remote and primitive setting.
  • Personable and comfortable talking to the public.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills.
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation

Additional Helpful Qualifications

  • Knowledge of Leave No Trace principles including backcountry camp and travel practices.
  • Experience with the ESRI Collector and ArcGIS software.
  • Degree or professional experience in environmental studies, natural resources, geospatial information systems, or a related field.
  • Knowledge of natural resources of the region.
  • Knowledge or experience with wilderness character monitoring.


  • Leave No Trace Trainer Course
  • First Aid and CPR Certification
  • Crosscut Saw Certification
  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training
  • Wilderness 101 course
  • Wilderness Stewardship Performance training
  • Wilderness Character Monitoring training
  • Opportunities for professional networking
  • Sick time accrual
  • Opportunities for pro-rated gear deals
  • Mileage reimbursement for work-related travel

Job Resources Include:

  • Personal protective gear
  • Tools and equipment
  • Camping gear
  • SAWS uniforms
  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion library
  • Wilderness guidebooks and site-specific resources
  • Public Lands Corps (PLC) noncompetitive hiring authority (eligibility requirements exist)

About Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards

Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) is a conservation non-profit dedicated to providing stewardship to protected public lands in the Southern Appalachian region, including in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Founded in 2010, SAWS partners with federal agencies, including the Forest Service, to supplement existing stewardship efforts and provide additional support for training, skill-building, and community engagement. SAWS works to support safe, equitable access to public lands, preserve natural resources, and develop the next generation of conservation stewards. SAWS is headquartered in Asheville, NC with an office in Roanoke, VA.

Learn more about SAWS:


To Apply

Please fill out the application form below and submit a cover letter and resume using the upload buttons. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds to apply. Questions regarding the application may be submitted via email to Kaitlin de Varona, Program Manager at Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

SAWS is an equal opportunity employer and provides a drug-free workplace. SAWS values a safe, inclusive work environment, free from discrimination of any kind. We are committed to working towards equity in the outdoors and in conservation, including by celebrating diversity, fostering inclusivity, and recognizing and working to address past injustices and barriers to equitable access.

bottom of page