Trail Crew Interns (PO-00734298)

Trail Crew Interns work predominantly in the outdoors on various trail-related projects. Assigned tasks may include a variety of activities, such as trail construction and maintenance, re-routing, replacing signs, building / repairing bridges, installing rock steps, enhancing trailheads with updated publications, mapping trails, and serving as points of contact for various volunteer trail groups. Additional duties may include trail patrol, recording data (trail counters), and engaging the public and user groups with trail etiquette conversations and informal education. Trail Crew Interns are also expected to know and understand Leave No Trace Principles and share these actions with others as opportunities present themselves.

Daily work may include the use of various small hand tools, chainsaws, and power tools. Interested candidates with some trail experiences are preferred; however, training and informal instruction will be provided by the Forest prior to the interns working in the field. Safety procedures are required in all field work, and selected interns are expected to follow instructions and guidance of Forest staff, wear appropriate personal protection equipment, and conduct themselves in a safe manner at all times. 

Trail Crew Interns will be supervised by the Recreation and Lands Staff Officer within the Hell Canyon Ranger District. Additional support will also be available from the Recreation and Lands Staff Officer in the Mystic Ranger District.  The administrative activities for the internships will be managed by the Recreation Program Manager in the Supervisor's Office.  Forest staff work closely on projects and will be providing selected interns with guidance for the 16-week time period. Although the interns will be working together and independently, routine communication will occur between the interns and related Forest employees.

The interns are planned for five eight-hour workdays, with two days off each week; weekly shifts will typically account for 40 hours. However, depending on the assigned tasks, shifts may be altered to accommodate travel time, backcountry situations, and other sporadic opportunities that occur throughout the summer season. Most noted, the intern positions will be responsible for working most weekends, including holidays. 

NOTE: For additional trail information, please visit the Black Hills National Forest online for backpacking and day hiking guidance. For specific trail information, feel free to download trail brochures related to each District Ranger Office.

$300/week* Living Allowance
$1,100* To/From Travel Allowance, paid once with first paycheck
– USFS bunkhouse Housing provided on-site
– Eligible for AmeriCorps Education Award of $1,718.25, received upon successful completion of position
– Eligible for the Public Land Corps (PLC) hiring authority upon successful completion of position (640hrs minimum of service)

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

*For SCA's COVID-19 guidance, please refer to  

A worn hiking path that shows a wooden sign announcing the entrance to the Black Elk Wilderness Area.

Position ID: PO-00734298

Expected Dates: May 15, 2023 - September 3, 2023

1019 North 3rd Street
Custer, SD 57730

Training Provided: Training activities include CPR/First Aid, trail construction, customer service, educational programming, and mentoring opportunities. The Forest also plans to work with each intern on Individual Development Plans that complement personal career goals.

Educational/Recreational Opportunities: Multiple museums, art galleries, and several public land agencies are found throughout the Black Hills. The local communities offer an array of organizations and clubs, sports and fitness complexes, libraries, and special events.

Handicap Accessible?: Yes

Main Area of Focus: Backcountry/Trail work

Further Details

AmeriCorps Eligible: Eligible

Driving Logistics: Recommended

Although amenities are available within reasonable distance from the housing location, past interns have indicated that a personal vehicle is preferred due to travel opportunities on days off, etc.

Housing or Stipend Provided?
A. Partner will provide suitable housing for the member

The Black Hills National Forest offers a bunkhouse within walking distance of the Supervisor's Office in Custer, South Dakota. The two-floor, four-bedroom housing unit is based on shared quarters, with a furnished kitchen, two bathrooms, and one shared living space. Kitchen utensils and pots and pans are available for use. The bedrooms are furnished with two twin beds, normally with two individuals in each bedroom. Staffing sizes vary from year to year, with one or up to eight individuals using the bunkhouse.

Indoor/Outdoor: Outside

US Citizenship: No

Student Conservation Association