Prairie Pothole Fuels Reduction Team (SD) (PO-00735402)

The South Dakota (Prairie Pothole) Fuels Reduction Team is a 1 leader, 3 member crew that will engage in hazardous fuels reduction through tree removal projects. This team will partner with the Fish and Wildlife Service and operate out of Madison, South Dakota.

"Prairie Pothole" is a region covering 313,000 square miles and is filled with wetlands, lakes, and rolling hills. There are also a large concentration of Waterfowl Production Areas. In fact, nearly half of all ducks that hatch in the US come from the Prairie Pothole Region.

The systematic removal of invasive woody vegetation from service lands such as Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA's) is critical to the improvement of habitat for grassland-dependent birds and decreasing the wildfire risk to neighboring communities. Through the use of chainsaws and hand tools, this crew will mechanically remove invasive woody vegetation (red cedar, Siberian Elm, Russian Olive Trees and Saplings) from WPA’s in South Dakota identified as high or very high fire risk for surrounding communities. 

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Engage as a crew member to promote healthy group dynamics, and promote effective and productive teamwork;
  • Work variable hours (long days and/or weekend), at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, in varying weather conditions, and under physically demanding circumstances;
  • Use technical equipment including a chainsaw, and hand tools.

Strong candidates will have the following knowledge, skills, experience:

  • Experience working in an outdoor setting;
  • Coursework or degree in environmental science, or similar natural resource field;
  • Experience operating various types of forestry equipment in a safe and efficient manner (chainsaws, two-way radio, etc.);
  • Ability to complete tasks independently with respect to timeline(s);
  • Positive communication skills and ability to work with a team.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Valid driver’s license and motor vehicle record (MVR) that meets SCA standards required;
  • Interest in serving alongside and supporting others on a team;
  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age;
  • Have ability to legally work in the US;
  • Meet SCA’s criminal background check standards;
  • Ability to lift 40 pounds and independently travel 2 miles over varied terrain while carrying a 40-pound pack without assistance;
  • Ability to perform manual, physical labor in a variety of outdoor conditions for up to 8-10 hours per day;
  • Willingness to complete some project paperwork including project reports, output logs, and inventories;
  • With training, ability to use hand tools and power tools to complete assigned work projects.

Team Member Benefits: 

  • $375/week living allowance (paid bi-weekly)
  • One-time travel allowance ($650)
  • Housing (FWS bunkhouse or othe rented housing to be determind) 
  • Field-based meals (breakfast/lunch/dinner on work days)
  • SCA member orientation, wilderness medicine and chainsaw trainings
  • Eligible for AmeriCorps Education Award 

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

For SCA’s COVID guidance, please refer to


Position ID: PO-00735402

Expected Dates: July 31, 2023 - October 20, 2023

23520 SD Hwy 19
Madison, SD 57042

Training Provided: Chainsaw certification, wilderness medicine

Main Area of Focus: Natural Resources Mgmt

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Student Conservation Association