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2024 Wilderness Ranger Fellowship

The SBFC Wilderness Ranger Fellowship (WRF) program provides an immersive
experience in Wilderness Trails conservation and management through hands-on
stewardship. This 14 week position runs from 5/13/2024-8/16/2024. Fellows are paid volunteers who will receive a living stipend of $5950 spread across the 14 week term of service.

Upon arrival on May 13th, WRF’s will receive three weeks of training led by SBFC staff
and professional Forest Service Wilderness & Trails managers. Training topics may
include all of the following (with WFA and crosscut certification being mandatory):
● Wilderness First Aid/CPR certification
● USFS Crosscut Bucking certification
● Fundamentals of trail maintenance to various specifications
● Wilderness Act of 1964 history and significance
● Conducting Campsite Inventory and Solitude, Primitive and Unconfined
Recreation (SPUR) Monitoring
● Leave No Trace principles and ethics
● Backcountry packing/nutrition/travel/navigation/communication
● Introduction to horsemanship and stock packing
● Leadership development, crew dynamics and interpersonal communication

Following training, for five hitches, from early June until mid-August, WRF’s will typically operate on the hitch schedule of 80+ hours. This means you will work 8 consecutive days, living and working in the backcountry, followed by 6 days off. Hitches primarily consist of
performing a variety of different trail maintenance needs, and at times, backcountry
campsite inventories and SPUR monitoring. Crews will vary in size from 4-12+ people
depending on the needs of the project. Crews will be led by an SBFC Wilderness Trails
Crew Leader and/or a United States Forest Service Wilderness Trails Technician. Being
predominantly in Wilderness, trail maintenance will be performed using traditional tools
such as hand saws, loppers, ax’s, pulaskis and crosscut saws. The physical requirements of
living and volunteering in such large Wilderness complexes are arduous. Many days will
require backpacking with tools (60+ lb packs at the start of some hitches) 10+ miles,
and performing physically strenuous activities all day such as pulling saws, swinging
axes at trees or pulaskis at dirt, and moving large boulders, trees and dirt from the trail. 


Applicants may be currently enrolled in a college or university or have graduated between spring 2023 and spring 2024. Military veterans must be within two years of being discharged. Applicants not enrolled in or graduated from college will also be considered. 

Must be at least 18 years of age at the start of the season.

Ability to commit and be present for the entire term of service: May 13, 2024 - August 16, 2024.

Coursework/experience in conservation, land management, sciences, and related is encouraged, but other disciplines and backgrounds are welcome.

Effective communication skills and ability to be open to new experiences.

Willingness to live in a backcountry setting out of a tent without Wi-Fi and cell service for 8 or more days at a time. Opportunities for “mini immersions” could lead up to 19 consecutive days in a backcountry setting.


Ability to hike 10+ miles a day for several days at a time, in difficult terrain with a 60+ pound backpack including hand tools.

Ability to lift up to 35 pounds repeatedly and use hand tools. 

Willingness to work long, physically demanding hours in all weather conditions.

To find out more regarding the position, minimum qualifications, and common questions, please go to: