Located at the head of the Upper Missouri National Wild & Scenic River, Fort Benton (population 1,496) is a small agricultural and retirement town 40 miles northeast of Great Falls (population 56,000). All services are available.
Originally an American Fur Company trading post (1846), Fort Benton was the head of navigation on the Missouri River, and as such is known as the “Worlds’ Innermost Port” as well as the “Birthplace of Montana”. Between 1860 and 1890, hundreds of steamboats labored up the Missouri, depositing their freight in Fort Benton. This freight was then delivered via freight wagons as far north as the Great Slave Lake in Canada, and as far west as Fort Walla Walla in Washington. In 1877 the Nez Perce Indians crossed the Missouri River at Cow Island in their effort to escape from the U.S. Army and confinement to a reservation.
The incumbent is typically a recent graduate from an accredited college in the field of natural resources which involves the supervision, management and/or performance of work in conservation and use of Federal public land resources. This position provides natural, historical, and cultural resource information and assists with the development and operation of interpretive and recreational programs for the benefit of the visiting public. Concurrent duties will include continued coordination with the Fort Benton community to continue establishing a local recycling program. Duties will be quite varied with this position, depending on the seasonal needs of the interpretive center and the recycling effort. The position will include assignments such as: dissemination of information to visitors regarding general, cultural or natural history, or river information; assist with visitor use of facilities such as opening, closing the interpretive center and cash register operation; informing visitors about applicable laws and regulations and maintenance activities related to the interpretive center site or (occasionally) assisting with other recreation sites within the national monument. The recycling effort will require extensive communication as well as logistics planning for meetings and coordinating local efforts.Specific duties include assisting with and providing interpretive and educational programs for a wide range of visitors. Incumbent will greet visitors and provide accurate information about interpretive themes at the center or local sites in the community, collect and remit fees, conduct gift store sales as needed. An approximate schedule of work will include: Early Spring:Program development at interp center. Contact presenters, set presentation schedule, preliminary planning, etc. Orientation will take place locally and within the Monument (weather permitting). Spring/SummerPublic interp program outreach – Amtrack. Coordinated thru Bear Paw Battlefield. Training date pending at Bear Paw/Chinook. Travel dates to be determined. This program may be temporarily discontinued through the Park Service. More details will be available in later spring. Spring/Late SummerAssist with educational programs, on site or with school groups while on the river. Work under general direction of Educational Assistant for set-up or other needs before programs, present programs depending on comfort level, assist with clean-up, etc. SummerOversee the public interpretive programs, including room and travel needs of presenter, Public Service Announcements (PSA’s), local announcements, set-up, coordination, program announcements and attendance, take down and follow up for payments if needed for each program. SummerAssist public with general information needs at the front desk. Provide river info in person and over the phone, promote boating requirements and safety suggestions. Throughout the 6 month internship:– Continue coordination of recycling plan for interp center and Fort Benton area. Coordinate with chamber of commerce, Fort Benton Schools (for participation and education efforts), local citizens groups, etc. – Continue research other communities of remote locations (Choteau) for their recycling programs, successes, failures, goals, etc.– Continue to gather information from waste systems that collect trash in area for potential recycling opportunities– New efforts may consider outreach and development into outlying communities such as Geraldine, Highwood, Big Sandy, possibly Carter and Loma. – Coordinate with BLM “greening of the bureau” program folks. Pursue possible funds or grants available for continued recycling efforts.