2021 Roving Forest Management Corps

Expected Dates
February 1, 2021 to May 23, 2021
National Forests in North Carolina
Position ID
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) seeks qualified applicants to engage in the Forest Management Corps, a roving team that will work with the SCA and the US Forest Service on the National Forests in North Carolina (NC), Tennessee (TN), and Kentucky (KY). The crew will assist national forests in achieving their land management objectives which include restoring native plant communities and diversity, improving and maintaining forest health, and eradicating and managing invasive species.  Members will work and live with a crew of four members (18+) who will conduct a variety of forest management activities and treatments.

PLEASE NOTE: This team will be applying chemical herbicides. Chemical treatments may include treatment of saplings, sprouts, vines, mature trees, and non-native plants with pesticides using methods such as basal bark, thinline, cut stump, hack and squirt, foliar spray, and soil injection/drench.  Mechanical treatments will require falling saplings and/or mature trees with a chainsaw and may include crop touch release, pre-commercial thinning, improvement cutting, and mid-story removal.  The crew may also have the opportunity to assist with non-native plant reconnaissance, tree plantings, preparation of silvicultural treatment areas (e.g., flagging and GPS’ ing boundaries) and other conservation tasks under the supervision of a project partner. Bucking of downed trees blocking roads may be necessary to access some locations after inclement weather.

Strong member candidates should have a background in southeastern tree (dormant and growing seasons) and non-native plant identification and at least an associate degree in forestry, biology, environmental science, or similar natural resource field. In addition to having strong conservation work skills, we are looking for hardworking members who are responsible, excel in a team environment and emotionally mature.

The crew will be based in NC, TN, and KY with frequent travel between locations over the four-month period. The crew members and leader will receive training before starting work, which includes SCA member training and a technical skills refresher. Applicants will be accepted on a rolling basis, but those submitted by December 14th, 2020 will be given priority, as interviews will start the following week. 

Program Dates: Feb 1 – May 23, 2021
Training Dates: Feb 1, for approximately 2 weeks

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, backpack, sprayer, and other hand tools.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills, and Experience

  • Valid driver’s license and motor vehicle record (MVR) that meets SCA standards required;
  • Experience working in an outdoor setting and working with natural resource agencies or partners;
  • Coursework in dendrology or botany preferred;
  • Experience using pesticides in forestry applications is beneficial but not required.
  • Associate degree in forestry, biology, environmental science, or similar natural resource field is preferred.
  • Experience operating various types of forestry equipment in a safe and efficient manner (chainsaws and other power tools, backpack sprayers, two-way radio, etc.);
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation, land management and natural resource preservation;
  • Ability to complete tasks independently with respect to timeline(s);
  • Ability to identify southeastern trees in the dormant and growing season and non-native plants. 
  • Positive communication skills and ability to work with a team.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years of age;
  • Must have ability to legally work in the US;
  • Ability to meet SCA’s criminal background check standards;
  • Ability to safely perform manual, physical labor for up to 8-10 hours per day, exposed to the elements and most occasionally lift and/or move 40 pounds or more.

Team Member Benefits: 

  • $300/week salary
  • One-time travel allowance ($650)
  • Housing and field-based meals
  • Wilderness Medical Essentials training
  • SCA and USFS training in chainsaw use, species identificaiton, and pesticide application
  • Eligible for AmeriCorps Education Award
  • Once the position is completed, team members will earn the Public Land Corps Hiring Authority giving them eligibility to apply to merit vacancy announcements with the United States Forest Service for two years.

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

The COVID-19 pandemic has required SCA to implement several safety protocols and policies to help our teams manage the risks associated with the pandemic.  Please review the documents below for SCA’s updated organizational management plan and participant agreement form to learn more how our teams will be operating in the field. 

SCA COVID-19 Managment Plan (updated 11/23/2020)
SCA COVID-19 Participant Agreement Form (updated 11/23/2020)

  • chainsaw use, species identification, and pesticide application
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
competent without supervision
competent without supervision
Chain Saw Skills
competent with supervision
Field Research
competent without supervision
Hand Tools
competent without supervision
Plant Identification
competent without supervision