Natural Resource Steward - Wilcox Lake Wild Forest

Expected Dates
May 22, 2022 to September 10, 2022
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Position ID
Come help protect the scenic Wilcox Lake Wild Forest while gaining valuable natural resource management skills by becoming a Natural Resource Steward.  This position seeks to place an intern for 16 weeks within the Wilcox Lake Wild Forest. Beginning in late May, the intern will work alongside officials from  the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) on projects that help preserve and protect this unique natural resource.

 Natural Resource Stewards receive weekly stipend of $160 and a monthly $570 housing allowance. Interns will be eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education award at the completion of their service.

Duties for this position include, but is not limited to:
- 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
- Take inventory measurements, both quantitative and qualitative, of specific trail and camping area conditions, and patterns of use, to assist the Department in its resource management programs
- Collect information on user group size, use of specific trails, types of recreation (biking, boating, hiking, etc.) and use of camping areas
- 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 a handwritten daily journal, and document work on a map over the course of the season
- Other conservation-related duties as assigned 

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 trailess), 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. Blackflies and mosquitoes are prevalent, especially in the spring.

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

Minimum Qualifications
- Must be 18 years of age or older;
- Must be certified in Red Cross First Aid, CPR and Wilderness or Backcountry Advanced First Aid.
- Must have Associates Degree or 60 college credit hours in ecology, environmental science, environmental education, natural resources management, biology, or a related field preferred or 6 months experience in environmental conservation work in a park or recreation setting;
- Must have a valid driver’s license;
- Must be physically capable of performing field work common to the assigned work area over rough terrain and during inclement weather; and

Preferred Qualifications
- Have taken an outdoor education course or have outdoor education experience;
- Have experience or training in trail maintenance and construction techniques;

 Conviction of a felony may bar appointment or result in removal after appointment.

The SCA is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age, or veteran status.

Conditions of Employment

Candidates will be required to demonstrate full vaccination status for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized or FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine;
Receive from SCA a reasonable accommodation granting an exemption from vaccine requirements based on a medical disability or because of a sincerely held religious belief. Additional information and instructions regarding how to request a reasonable accommodation will be provided at the time of selection.
  • Wilcox Lake Wild Forest is in the Adirondack Forest Preserve in the Northeastern U.S. with typical northeastern weather patterns. Water is abundant in the region and vegetation is lush compared to other parts of the country. As a result there will be biting insects particularly in the spring. The unit is large and remote but near enough to urban centers that supplies and entertainment on days off are easily reached.
  • Leave No Trace Awareness, trail building and maintenance, team building
  • 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.
Main Area of Focus
Backcountry/Trail work
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Recreation Management
some coursework or experience
competent without supervision
some experience
Hand Tools
some experience
Trail Maintenance
some experience