Natural Resource Steward – Wilcox Lake Wild Forest (PO-00734911)

* This position requires that you become enrolled in AmeriCorps.  If you are selected for this program please be sure to accept AmeriCorps during the SCA offer process.  No travel allowance will be offered for this position even if it is stated on your confirmation of acceptance.*

Calling all Hikers!  Come help protect the scenic Adirondack mountains and gain valuable career development and experience. 

Natural Resource Stewards gain a comprehensive understanding of the areas to which they are assigned. Their time is spent out in the Adirondack Forest acquiring essential outdoor skills as well as valuable knowledge of the ecosystems, natural resources, and recreational opportunities characteristic of the area.

This position is primarily assigned to Wilcox Lake Wild Forest, one of the larger units in the forest preserve at 125,000 acres. The primary authors of both the state level wilderness protection (first of its kind) and later the national Wilderness Act, had wilderness camps that are sandwiched by this unit and the adjacent Siamese Ponds Wilderness. The inspiration provided by these wild areas resulted in a globally unparalleled, legal recognition of the value of wilderness.

The Wilcox Lake steward would also have the opportunity to work in other areas in the Adirondack Forest Preserve as part of a team of stewards. All stewards will be trained by NY Department of Environmental Conservation staff at the beginning of their internship and will then be supervised by the area Manager or his/her designee. There are also a variety of different training opportunities offered by the Adirondack Forest Rangers that may arise over the course of the internship.  

Wilcox Lake Wild Forest is not impacted by high use like other areas of the Adirondacks. This unit is characterized by long trails, lakes and ponds, large streams, firetowers, rocky summits (many without trails), waterfalls and a remote interior. Some of the very first parcels to become Adirondack Forest Preserve are contained within this unit, making the forests very old. This position requires the willingness and ability to travel by foot and work in remote, rugged terrain and inclement weather conditions.

The steward will be required to work weekends and to spend some periods of time camping (up to five days in a week) in the backcountry.

Blackflies and mosquitoes are prevalent, especially in the spring. The ability to use a map, compass and GPS unit and strong backpacking skills are essential.  Wilcox Lake Wild Forest is managed out of the Warrensburg, NY DEC office and this position will be report to this office at least once each week.  Some weeks the steward will work alone while others the steward will be paired up with other stewards to complete larger projects in Wilcox or in nearby management units.  

Specific duties and responsibilities include the following:

  • Inspect trails and other facilities to determine condition and maintenance requirements
  • Trail clearing and brush removal using hand tools (saws, loppers, etc.)
  • Trail tread, rock work and drainage improvements
  • Building new trail, campsites or other infrastructure
  • Installing trail signs and markers
  • Campsite remediation and debris removal
  • Bridge and other infrastructure maintenance
  • Provide information and education to the public relating to the proper use and protection of the natural resource
  • Promote Leave-No-Trace practices
  • Provide assistance and advice to public regarding trails and other facilities
  • Record data on trail and camping area conditions, using specific indicators developed to assess impacts of use on the natural resources, to assist the Department in its visitor use monitoring programs
  • Collect information on user group size, use of specific trails and camping sites, types of recreation (biking, boating, hiking, etc.), and user experience, to assist the Department in its visitor use monitoring programs
  • Record GPS tracks and points, as well as photos
  • Assist in backcountry emergencies including search and rescue, injuries and evacuation
  • Maintain radio communication with DEC dispatch for safety and also emergency situations
  • Maintain records including documenting work on a map over the course of the season
  • Other conservation-related duties as assigned    

Requirements to Serve:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must have a personal vehicle
  • Must be a Citizen, National or Lawful Permanent Residing Alien of the US
  • Must have ankle high hiking boots with lug sole and own camping gear – backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cook stove, water filter, rain gear, orienteering-style compass, etc
  • Must be physically capable of performing field work common to the assigned work area over rough terrain and during inclement weather

Preferred Qualifications

  • Have taken an outdoor education course or have outdoor education experience
  • Have experience or training in trail maintenance and construction techniques


$160/week living allowance
$570/month housing allowance if housing is not provided
$80 reimbursement for work pants
$1,718 AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of your term of service

Eligibility for Federal Student Loan forbearance and interest payment deferment through AmeriCorps for qualifying student loans.

*All Allowances are subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes.

If you have any questions or would like more information about opportunities with the Natural Resource Stewards, do not hesitate to contact Victoria Yargeau at [email protected] or call 571-895-1742 between the hours of 9 AM – 5 PM (EST). ​

For SCA’s COVID guidance, please refer to

Position ID: PO-00734911

Expected Dates: May 22, 2023 - September 10, 2023

232 Golf Course Rd
Warrensburg, NY 12885

Training Provided: • 4-Day SCA orientation • Trail tool safety • DEC / Radio Rules and Regulations • First Aid • Anti-Harassment Training • Driver Safety Training

Educational/Recreational Opportunities: Training necessary to perform work required will be provided. Two Pass days each week (typically Tuesday-Wednesday) will allow the Steward time to relax and enjoy the Adirondacks and greater northeastern U.S. as they wish.

Professional Development Opportunities: A professional development series is hosted by the New York State SCA Program Coordinators over one month.  Dates TBD but topics include:

  • Resume Workshop
  • Job Board Navigation
  • How to Interview
  • Intro to GIS/GPS
Depending on your site and workload, you may not be able to attend the live events, but recordings and opportunities for discussion will be made available to you.

Main Area of Focus: Backcountry/Trail work

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Required

Steward will travel from DEC building to and from the work sites on roads that can be, at times difficult due to their back-country nature.

Housing or Stipend Provided?
B. Partner will pay The SCA to provide housing for the member

A house will be shared by multiple natural resource stewards on Lake 
Clear, along with the Lake George Stewards. Housing if being coordinated at a Girls Scouts Campground at 6883 NY-30, Saranac Lake, NY 12983.  Phone: (518) 563-1560 at site. 

Indoor/Outdoor: Outside

US Citizenship: No

Student Conservation Association