Pacific Crest Trail Crew 2018 - ACE/AmeriCorps Member

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Deadline to Apply:

Monday, February 19, 2018, 5:30pm


Santa Cruz, CA, CA
United States

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American Conservation Experience – Pacific West
Pacific Crest Trail Crew 2018 - AmeriCorps Member

Summary:  American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a Non-Profit Conservation Corps currently seeking energetic, ambitious young adults to participate as AmeriCorps members in a 27-week outdoor skills training program. Our mission is to introduce and prepare corps members for careers in public land and resource management with ACE, with other conservation corps, or with public agencies such as the Pacific Crest Trail Association, and adjacent land management agencies to this famous trail including the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management, among others.

ACE is currently seeking trail crew members for an AmeriCorps term in 2018:

Start Date:          March 19th, 2018*

End Date:            September  22nd, 2018

*A 900-hour, 27-week commitment is required. An early arrival of 3/17 or 3/18 would be expected for out-of-state members to initiate CA state criminal history checks. Two weeks of unpaid time off will be built into the 27 week schedule, dates TBD.  There may be opportunities available to continue with ACE after the 27-week period for the best performing crew members. Extensions to service are also dependent on available projects in the field and seasonal constraints.

Position Description:  AmeriCorps Members in the ACE Conservation Corps program will spend approximately 6 months learning techniques of beginner, intermediate, and advanced trail building and maintenance, implementing many of the Universal Principles of Trailbuilding. Members can expect to be working alongside the Pacific Crest Trail Association staff and under the guidance of ACE’s most highly skilled staff members.   The goal of the position is to accomplish meaningful trail improvement and fortification of the Pacific Crest Trail and to benefit the public that will interact with this legendary trail for years to come. We intend to train the future trail builders and land mangers of this country via this unique opportunity. Concepts such as Leave No Trace Principles, Backcountry camping and hygiene, and technical rockwork/masonry will be expected. 

AmeriCorps Members of ACE will also gain leadership skills while representing AmeriCorps on project days and days-off. A core value will be to implement field safety principles in a team environment, interact with various other Corps members currently serving or who join later in the season, and the general public. Leadership, responsibility, and professionalism are encouraged and expected on off-days and at ACE housing and at public camp grounds.  Each member is required to participate in one environmental volunteer event (Volunteer Service Project – VSP), completing an additional 6 hours within the community nearest one’s service. The goal is to represent AmeriCorps, inspire service, and complete environmental volunteer service alongside local residents for the common good. 

All ACE field work along the PCT will be physically demanding, often requiring stints in the backcountry and/or extended stays in the field.   This position requires hiking, backpacking, camping and cooking outdoors while at front country and wilderness spike camps.              

Location:  Field projects will potentially take place at various locations throughout California, Oregon, and Washington State during the 2018 season. Based on logistically efficiencies of our growing program one may experience days off in ACE housing locations of South Lake Tahoe, Santa Cruz, or Dulzura, CA based on the section of trail in focus. Some days-off will be spent ‘on-site’ in the field whenever most efficient. All participants must be flexible and willing to be assigned to a variety of locations at the direction of the PCTA and ACE, wherever community need is the highest, and section of trail needs our input.  One can expect potentially more backcountry scenarios, high elevations, and/or remote locations in the summer months as the climate becomes more favorable to camp and work in these locations. Crew members’ project schedule is comprised of multiple short-term ‘hitches’ on average 8-11 days long, up to 4+ weeks in the backcountry. Flexibility is necessary in this role for personal time-off requests and related expectations . ACE provides a schedule to active members clearly detailing your service days, days off, location, and more.

Qualifications:  AmeriCorps members serving with ACE should have an established interest in conservation issues and should take joy in tackling challenging situations with a positive mindset.  Interest in trailwork is highly recommended for this role, and if one has an expressed career path in the land management or conservation industry. Applicants must be willing to undertake arduous physical work in all types of weather and terrain, and to participate as a team member dedicated to ACE’s mission.   ACE’s Conservation Corps program is meant as a stepping stone to environmental careers and as a gateway to potential advancement within ACE. Drug users, including users of marijuana, should not consider applying as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing and absolutely abhors the presence of drug users in our program. AmeriCorps members must follow all local, state, and federal laws at all time, no exceptions. ACE intends to be a positive influence and intends to create safe and healthy environments for our members. The culture of alcohol and tobacco use is also restricted from ACE property and not supported by our mission of professionalism and personal development.

Other Requirements: 

  • Program is available to US Citizens and Green Card holders only. 
  • Members must have personal medical insurance for the duration of their participation with ACE.
  • To prove eligibility and citizenship, members must be able to provide ORIGINALS of the following documents:  1) Social Security card, 2) Passport –OR- Birth certificate, 3) Photo ID (passport, driver’s license, military license, or student ID)
  • ACE will provide tents to all Members (upon request) but all other camping items such as sturdy leather boots, sleeping bags, personal water containers, backpacks, and raingear must be provided by the applicant. A detailed gear list will be provided in advance.
  • Due to fire hazard conditions in ACE (specifically in California), smoking will not be permitted at any work site. Additionally smoking will not be permitted when spiked at undeveloped campgrounds or when serving backcountry. Smoking may permitted at ACE housing but will be restricted to designated areas.
  • This position is a “covered position” that may entail episodic (temporary) access to vulnerable populations such as youth and the elderly.  Selection for the position is contingent upon a review of all Criminal History results.
  • Age: AmeriCorps guidelines require 18-25 of age, however ACE as the host organization has the discretion to set age guidelines, and we do not have an upper age limit.

Training:  Beyond an intensive orientation week, trainings may include a variety of technical project and outdoor skills and trail building techniques such as retaining wall construction, rock step construction, rock drilling, splitting and shaping, setting up rigging systems, tread and switchback construction, installing water bars, check dams and other erosion control devices. Certification-style training such as CPR/First Aid, Wilderness First Aid(WFA), and Leave No Trace(LNT) Training will be included, dependent on project scheduling, available classes, and training staff. Saw (Chainsaw/X-cut) work will not be expected as part of our PCT trail crew’s focus.  Practical work and environmental training abound, we encourage the growth of our corps members to continue and develop to eventually be present for future opportunities that become available with further service.

Positions open until filled, but are in high demand.  Apply now!

Also, consider checking out our Facebook page and social media for more details about ACE!

How to Apply:


To Apply: Fill in your basic information and click "APPLY FOR THIS POSITION"  located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing above or find on our website here:  

 Upload all requested documents including your motivation statement, resume, and 3 professional references. Rather than a traditional cover letter, please include a motivation statement which sincerely describes your interests, skills, professional goals, and any other relevant information in regards to this opportunity. This is your opportunity to stand out and express why you are a great fit for our program, in your own words.

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close at any time, and is open until filled. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact the California Outreach Coordinator, Marcel Coppolino at 928-814-3191 or

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)  To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Job Compensation:



Compensation Information:

Financial Benefits:

A living stipend will be allotted in the amount of $110 per week. This is a gross amount before taxes, and the standard amount of state and federal income taxes/withholdings may be applied by law.

Upon successful completion of the program, members receive a Segal Education Award of $2,960.00 (HT 900 HOURS) to be used to pay future tuition or existing federal student loans. More information regarding amount and eligibility, see the AmeriCorps website.   Food is provided on project days, and housing (volunteer houses, tents, limited facilities) is included both on and off projects.