2023 Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps WILDlands Technical Crew - Corps Member Application

2023 Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps WILDlands Technical Crew - Corps Member Application

Discover the Range of your Potential!

Thank you for your interest in working with the Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps (ESCC).  ESCC is a leadership development program committed to building a more inclusive community. We provide opportunities for young adults to experience and better understand the outdoors through transformational and immersive experiences and employment. We prioritize serving members who are currently underrepresented in these spaces. Through our targeted programs, our members break boundaries, learn about themselves and others, and form a deep appreciation of ancestral lands.

ESCC partners with various National Park Service, US Forest Service, and CA State Park locations for multiple backpacking trips, trail crews, and leadership positions. All programs have a community focus and all members and staff help to facilitate the development of a safe, inclusive, hard-working, and well-functioning crew or group environment.  

This application is for corps members applying to one of our WILDlands Technical Crews. The WILDlands (Wilderness Immersion Leadership Development) Technical Crews are composed of conservation corps alumni that have successfully completed a season of conservation corps work. Members work on expressly technical trail projects focusing on trail construction and maintenance. Corps alumni who are interested in leadership positions within the land management and outdoor industry are encouraged to apply as this program is designed as hands-on leadership and development experience and training to promote within this field.  Each member should have an explicit goal of youth development leadership in their future career track. ESCC may have multiple WILDlands Crews in 2023 potentially including affinity-space crews.  

Crew locations this season may include the Klamath National Forest (NF), Shasta-Trinity NF, Inyo NF, El Dorado NF, Los Padres NF, Devils Postpile National Monument, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park and more.  Exact work locations and season dates are TBD.  The season will start in May and end in September or October.  

Job Description:
Ideal candidates have a minimum of 12 weeks of previous conservation corps experience including trail building and maintenance work AND have the desire to promote within the field to conservation corps crew leaders and/or crew leaders for the National Park Service, US Forest Service, or other state and federal agencies.  Previous trail work experience IS required.  If you do not have any experience in trails, please apply for our ESCC Range Crew Program.

Preferred Qualifications:
- High level of work ethic and initiative.  
- Certifications including chainsaw and crosscut operation or any other relevant trails related certifications.  
- Experience with dry stone masonry.  
- Previous backcountry living and camping experience.
- Desire to teach outdoor and/or environmental education.  
- First Aid/CPR or higher certifications such as those with a Wilderness focus.  
- High level of maturity and professionalism.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills.
- Strong time-management skills and ability to work independently as well as with others.
- Ability and willingness to work a flexible and varying schedule.
- Must be able to pass a criminal history background check.
- Must be between the ages of 21 and 30 years old and a US citizen, national or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States.

Crews will camp for the duration of the season, sometimes in remote wilderness locations. Your ‘housing’ will consist of a personal backpacking tent. You will perform physically demanding manual labor in a variety of intense conditions. This is a fully immersive program, you will spend the entire season together with your crew even during ‘off’ time.  No vacation time is provided during this program except for family emergencies.

WILDlands Technical Crews operate with a “Leader of the Week” model. Corps members are not only required to engage in crew community development and personal development but throughout the season you will develop your own crew development road maps under the guidance of an experienced crew supervisor.  You will actively participate in the development of a safe, inclusive, and well-functioning crew community and practice how you would facilitate this development in the future as you look to lead a crew of your own with direct and constructive feedback from your crewmates.  

Members will rotate in leading peers both in on-the-grade projects and in camp.  Every member will develop food menus and practice ordering within a limited budget, participate in curriculum design and planning, work with experienced supervisors and project partners on project planning including safety meetings and logistics, conduct self-evaluations and development plans, prepare resume and career prep classes, and much more. The focus of this crew will be to turn your trail knowledge and soft skills into teachable action.

In addition to outdoor resource and trail work, corps members will participate in regular camp chores, position-related training, physical training, daily curriculum and education, environmental awareness, cooperative living skills, and exploration of surrounding wilderness areas through planned weekend backpacking trips. Additional training and volunteer time may occur over the weekends.  

Compensation and Benefits:
Members will receive a taxable weekly stipend of approximately $720.00. The living stipend is a fixed amount, not an hourly wage or a salary and direct deposits will be made every two weeks. $85 per week will be deducted for food which is provided for the duration of the season including weekends.  

Members are also compensated by building their field work experience, professional development and practical training and certifications. In addition, members will be provided with most of the necessary backpacking gear required for the season including a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, hiking boots, and rain gear. A personal equipment list of required items will be provided upon acceptance into the program. You may use your own personal equipment as well.  

Program Conditions:
Members will live and work in remote, isolated backcountry settings far from immediate medical services and where emergency communications can be limited and delayed.  Personal communication with friends, family, spouses/partners can be extremely limited and infrequent.  Mail is received and delivered on an irregular basis.

Members will be exposed to the following adverse environmental conditions while living and working: exposure, rain, snow, extreme heat and cold, dry weather, lightning, high amounts of dust, camp and forest fire smoke, and high elevations, Work is extremely physically demanding and requires members to hike 3-20 miles daily over rugged, steep, uneven terrain while carrying tools plus 40 pounds in your backpack.  (And you should love it!)

You may live and work around stock animals (horses and mules) and can be exposed to environmental hazards such as wildfires, smoke, avalanches, falling trees, etc. and wildlife hazards such as deer, poisonous insects and snakes, bears, mountain lions, etc.  All hazards will be addressed during safety meetings and trainings.  

You should be prepared for physically demanding manual labor including all aspects of trail maintenance, design, and construction while maintaining a high work ethic for yourself.  We are looking for candidates who hold themselves to a high level of integrity in their work and their interactions with their crew. The majority of the work will be trail building and trail maintenance focused but could include a variety of outdoor resource work including habitat restoration, tree work, fence repair, and invasive species removal among other types of project work.  

There are no modern conveniences or luxuries and use of personal electronics will be limited if allowed at all.  Daily bathing, likely in a creek, and adhering to other personal hygiene standards are required.

Members will rotate cooking meals for the crew and will be required to cook for themselves on the weekend. As part of the WILDlands training. Each member will be responsible for planning meals and completing food orders for the crew taking into account the weekly budget and dietary restrictions.  

Members will be expected to follow regimented and structured conditions to maintain the health and safety of all members of the crew.  Rules and policies will regulate personal conduct and work performance. Members will have limited personal or alone time and be expected to abide by a strict no drug/alcohol policy.
Daily work hours will generally be 8 hours per day, 5 days a week and members will be required to perform tasks and chores outside of their normal project work hours as well as participate in curriculum, crew activities, and events after and before project work hours.

Members must follow all rules, policies and guidelines set forth by Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps. Members found in violation of the Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps rules and regulations are subject to a system of disciplinary action that can lead up to and include termination from the program.

To successfully perform essential functions of this position you are required to sit, stand, walk, speak and hear. You may be required to climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl on an infrequent basis. You must be able to operate office equipment, telephones, and computers. The ability to drive an organizational vehicle is also preferred. Reasonable accommodations may be made for qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Please be prepared to submit detailed employment history, trail work experience, and information for two supervisor references, along with a few essay questions.  Do not begin your application unless you are ready with this information and have set aside some time to get through the application.  The entire application is below and you may ‘copy’ the questions into a separate document and then paste once you are ready.  Applications accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.   It may be a number of weeks until you hear about next steps, if any, from us. 

If you have any other questions, please email us at info@easternsierracc.org.  We are happy to discuss our opportunities with you.  

Thank you for your interest in working for ESCC!

Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, creed, disability status, marital status, genetic information, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

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Dates available to start and end work.   *
Season dates are TBD but could be as early as May 1st and season end dates around September/October.  Please give your availability for during this time frame.  Discuss any challenges and/or time commitments you may have.  
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Please describe in detail your previous and current work history.   *
Please include dates, job title, and tasks performed.  This is in lieu of submitting a resume.  
Please describe in detail your education including any degrees, certifications, trainings, etc.   *
What about talents or skills you have that might not be relevant to the program? *
Please describe your experience with outdoor recreation.  In addition, list any experiences that would prepare you for living and working in a wilderness setting within a crew context. *
What are your goals in this field?  What do you hope to learn or gain from this experience? *
What makes you a good fit for ESCC and specifically for our leadership and development program? *
As a completely immersive program, this opportunity is emotionally challenging and physically demanding. Explain your desire and commitment to complete the entire program term.  Discuss any challenges you might have in commitment to the season.   *
Members will be serving the community through environmental projects within National Parks and Forests.  Please describe what serving your community means to you and provide an example. *
ESCC has a dedicated commitment to serving and recruiting from populations that are underserved and underrepresented in conservation work. What experiences prepare you to live and work with a diverse crew of participants?   *
Would you be interested in participating in an affinity-based crew (e.g., all BIPOC, all women, all LGBTQ+, etc.)?  Please specify why or why not and what type of crew you would be interested in.   *
What type of leader are you? *
Anything additional you would like us to know?
Please provide two references, submit at least one supervisory reference that has supervised your work in a job or volunteer position.  We will be emailing them a Google Form to fill out.  If possible do not list friends or family members.
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Do you feel as though you fully understand the mission of ESCC and can commit to uphold the standards of the program and follow all policies? (www.easternsierracc.org) *
A COVID-19 vaccine (including boosters) or approved Reasonable Accommodation is required, do you agree? *
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