Steward - Independence River Wild Forest

Expected Dates
May 19, 2019 to September 7, 2019
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Position ID
In this position,you will access the Independence River Wild Forest ( by vehicle, foot, or canoe/kayak.  Duties include: 1) Performing minor trail work (such as removing trail blowdown, installing or replacing trail markers and signs, installing water bars), 2) Educating the public on the proper use of public lands, providing information on trail conditions and Rules and Regulations, 3) Notifying Department staff of issues such as hazardous trail conditions, public use levels, and emergencies, and 4) Administering horse camping facilities.
The candidate will work alone for a large portion of the time, sometimes in remote areas. 

Applicants should be comfortable and self-reliant in a forest setting.
The job will more specifically consist of:

1. Otter Creek Horse Trails (~65%) -
This area is in the Independence River Wild Forest. The area spans from Francis Lake south to Big Otter Lake west to Brantingham north to Crystal Lake and then east to the Number Four-Francis Lake area, including State Forests Lewis 34, 35, and Lewis 20.
a. Patrol Assembly Area and trails by vehicle or foot: Answer visitor questions, inform them about registration process, and state land regulations.  Report blowdown to NYSDEC staff.
b. Collect self-registrations from Assemble Area. (No handling of money is required)
c. Conduct minor trail projects in coordination with NYSDEC staff.

2. Stillwater Reservoir (~25%) -
This area consists of the Stillwater Reservoir, associated campsites and the Stillwater Fire Tower.  The candidate may stay overnight in the field on occasion.
a. Work in coordination with the Stillwater Assistant Forest Ranger.  When accompanying Ranger, travel by motor boat.
b. Communicate and educate users of Stillwater Reservoir and surrounding lands.
c. Patrol Stillwater Mountain Fire Tower Trail.  Answer visitor questions.
d. Conduct maintenance work on designated campsites and area trails.
e. Patrol trails and facilities in Stillwater and surrounding areas. Report problems to the Lowville Office/Forest Ranger.

3. Other Duties as Assigned: May include trail work, facility inventory and monitoring, or other special projects (~10%)
Personal Skills needed:
It is important that the intern be comfortable working independently, spending significant time hiking and canoeing/kayaking alone.  Applicants should also be comfortable and self-reliant in a backcountry setting.  Experience, education, or training related to recreation management, environmental education/interpretation, ecology and natural resource management is desirable.  Familiarity with using a GPS, map & compass, basic first aid & CPR, canoe or kayaking ability are also helpful.
Gear List:
Personal vehicle
Outdoor clothing: hiking boots, pants, sunglasses…
Bug Repellant
Personal canoe/kayak (recommended but not required) – may be used at Stillwater Reservoir, and for personal recreation.
A small cabin is available to the intern at the Lowville NY office.  The cabin does not have electricity or running water, but these are available to the steward in a nearby building.
  • The NYSDEC Office which administers the lands covered under this position is located in Lowville, NY. The intern will check-in with supervising staff at this office, have access to a computer, and be provided equipment needed for job duties. Lowville is a rural community with a Walmart, another chain supermarket, several restaurants and other businesses. Larger nearby cities include Watertown (~35 mins), Utica (1hr), and Syracuse (~1.5 hrs). Primitive housing is available to the Backcountry Steward at the Lowville Office.
    The intern will need personal transportation to areas included in the position description. The horse trail assembly area is ~10miles from Lowville and Stillwater is ~27 miles away.
  • A 5 day long training session will be conducted by the Department. The training will cover all basic knowledge that is needed for the position.
  • A 5 day long training session will include basic first aid, trail maintenance, leave no trace, and other basic training.

    Outdoor recreation opportunities are abundant in the area including hiking, paddling, cycling etc.

  • No
Main Area of Focus
Backcountry/Trail work
Education, Training & Skills Expected
competent without supervision
Customer Service
some experience
Trail Maintenance
competent with supervision