Internship Wilderness Conservation Corps – Backcountry Trails
About the Siskiyou Mountain Club
As a grassroots organization the Siskiyou Mountain Club has served the recreation community of southwest Oregon and northern California for 10 years. In coordination with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, our crews of volunteers and seasonal professionals work tirelessly to restore, maintain and promote primitive wilderness trails across six federally designated wilderness areas that make up the Siskiyou Backcountry. Since our incorporation in 2010 we have adopted more than 350 miles of primitive trails into our permanent stewardship portfolio. The Siskiyou Mountain Club provides year round volunteer adventures, discloses information pertinent to the public, and offers seasonal employment opportunities.
Wilderness Conservation Corps (WCC) Internship Description
This is not a 9-to-5 internship. Corps members complete challenging projects across rugged, and remote backcountry trails.
The WCC is a field-based program that includes extensive boots on the ground project work. Interns utilize traditional tools to complete trail restoration and maintenance projects in support of recreation in the heart of southwest Oregon and northwest California’s great wilderness areas.
The WCC provides interns a powerful entry into a competitive work environment and career tracks in the outdoors. Working alongside seasoned recreation professionals, interns gain valuable job skills and have the opportunity to network with professionals associated with recreation, natural resources, and wilderness management.
Compensation and Benefits
- Interns receive a $3,000/field season stipend. Stipend is distributed in four installments of $750 throughout July and August.
- Corps members are eligible for up to $1,000 in academic awards for tuition assistance, or student debt reimbursement to their college or university of admittance.
- Shared bunk-housing is provided to WCC crew members between hitches.
- First Aid and CPR
- Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics (LNT)
- USFS Crosscut Saw Certification
- Trails Work Skills
- Backcountry Safety and Wilderness Survival Skills
Required Dates and Duration
- Remote enrichment and orientation: May 1 – June 18 (6 weeks).
- Field Season: June 18 – August 26 (10 weeks).
- 8 day field training: June 18 – June 25
- 4 x 10-day field projects June 29 – August 26
- Hitch 1: June 29 – July 8
- Hitch 2: July 13 – July 22
- Hitch 3: August 3 – August 12
- Hitch 4: August 17 – August 26
- Mid-season breakout July 23 – August 2. Experience a taste of southern Oregon without tools. Complete a rugged backpacking trip that includes night hikes, river and creek travel, and off-trail avenues in the most remote Wilderness Areas on the Pacific Coast. Build the foundation for the end of the year project. Take a few days off and refresh.
Education and Curricular Requirements
- Participation in all educational exercises, activities and assignments is required.
- During remote enrichment period…
- Develop personal goals and learning objectives for the summer.
- Become acquainted with the conception of, and the legal implications of the Wilderness Act of 1964.
- Earn a Certificate of Awareness for Leave No Trace skills and ethics.
- ***Commitment to required activities and assignments varies, but typically totals 2 hours/week.***
- During field season…
- Compose thoughtfully crafted daily journal entries during backcountry hitches.
- Produce a video, photojournalistic, or other report that encapsulates summer accomplishments and learning experiences. Final products are presented to the public at the conclusion of the season.
Responsibilities and Qualifications
- Must be 18 or older by June 18, 2020.
- Attendance and participation in all trainings and projects.
- Participation in all educational exercises, activities and assignments.
- Physical and mental stamina to live and work in the backcountry for 10 consecutive days on multiple hitches.
- Corps members must be able to complete strenuous physical tasks day in, day out, including traveling by foot over rough terrain for up to 10 miles per day carrying 50 pounds or more.
- Be independent. Corps members backpack in their own food and supplies, and are completely self-sufficient under the guidance of experienced staff.
- Basic lightweight backpacking gear including sturdy boots, durable apparel, and a lightweight sleeping bag, tent, stove, utensils and backpack.
- The ability to live in remote, primitive settings with no access to communication technology for 10 consecutive days.
- Ability to work as a member of a team.
- Must possess flexibility, and adaptability through adverse conditions.
- The ability to communicate issues and to resolve team conflict.
- Motivation to work long hours in remote settings. Under variable, adverse, and potentially hazardous conditions.
- A willingness to go above and beyond duties.
- Ability to work in and manage poison oak.
- The use of tobacco, vape, or marijuana products, smokeless or otherwise, is prohibited on the trail.
- Electronic devices including (but not limited to) cell phones, tablets, ipods, mp3 players, are prohibited on the trail.
Gear, Meals, and Housing
- Rustic housing is provided to WCC crew members between hitches.
- Meals are provided for the field-based core competency training June 18 – June 25.
- Personal backpacking gear is required for this position. Basic lightweight backpacking gear including sturdy boots, durable apparel, and a lightweight sleeping bag, tent, stove, utensils and backpack. Exhaustive gearlists are provided to crew members and assistance in securing appropriate gear is available.
- Corps members are expected to cover their own food expenses on hitches and personal days.
- Secure storage of personal vehicles, and other belongings, is provided while crews are in the field.