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Backcountry Trails Program Corpsmember

Thank you for your interest in the 2021 Backcountry Trails Program!
The Backcountry Trails Program was established in 1979, as a special program of the California Conservation Corps. The Backcountry Trails Program is also part of AmeriCorps, making our members part of a national service movement that focuses on environmental conservation.
We are looking for 84 diverse young adults ages 18-25 who are willing to leave behind the conveniences of modern life and venture into the mountains to spend five months doing some of the most challenging and ultimately rewarding work of their lives.
It is NOT a prerequisite that you know how to do trail work or that you are exceptionally strong. It IS essential that you are willing to work very hard, safely, with minimal supervision, and produce quality work.
Selected participants will be assigned to one of 6 crews working in a variety of locations across California. Locations can vary, but usually include Yosemite, King's Canyon, Stanislaus, Inyo, and Klamath.  
Life in the backcountry is physically and mentally demanding. Crews live for five and half continuous months in remote wilderness camps and hike up to 20 miles per day at elevations up to 13,000 feet. Crews spend their days performing trail work that includes clearing logs, brushing and rebuilding trails; clearing and digging drains; rerouting trails around fragile areas; repairing damaged meadows; building and repairing bridges; and building waterbars, steps, rip rap, retaining walls and causeways out of rock or wood materials.
Backcountry camps are located up to 30 miles from the nearest road, store, phone, or electrical outlet. Camps are extremely primitive. The food is provided and delivered by pack mules once a week, along with mail and other supplies. Corpsmembers learn how to build a healthy, inclusive community where everyone treats each other with respect and consideration, and has an open mind to the ideas and feelings of others.
In addition to the daily work requirements, members participate in training and educational courses on topics like native fauna and flora identification, natural history, wilderness survival, wilderness first aid, career development, community building, and health and safety. Eligible members receive a monthly stipend, health benefits, and an AmeriCorps education award upon completion of the program.
If you think this job sounds really hard, you're right! Here are a few reasons why our alumni say the Backcountry Trails Program is worth the work:
Personal growth: Backcountry alumni consistently rate themselves higher in self-confidence, work skills, community-building, and physical fitness after completing the program. 
Career advancement: Most of our alumni go on to be hired for one or more seasons with other outdoor or conservation organizations, including the NPS and USFS. 
Rare opportunities: You get to spend five months living in and exploring some of the most beautiful places in California, where many people only get to visit for a few days in their lives if they’re lucky. 
New friends: You get to meet people from all across the country and bond over a unique experience that very few people have shared. 
Trainings and scholarships: All members receive free Wilderness First Aid certification and a $3097 AmeriCorps Segal Education Award, in addition to on-the-job training like wilderness navigation, pack animal safety, and trail construction techniques.
  • Be a U.S. Citizen, Permanent Resident, U.S. National, or have a green card.
  • Applicants do NOT need to be California residents.
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 25 years old by the start of the program.
  • Not be on formal probation or parole at the start of the program.
  • Clear all components of the Criminal History Background Check prior to start of program which include: FBI National Check, CA DOJ Check, State or Residence if other than CA check, and National Sex Offender Public Website Check.
  • Pass a pre-employment drug test (urine test) upon arrival at orientation.
  • Pass a pre-employment physical demonstrating applicants are physically and mentally able to perform the essential duties of the position.
  • Be able start and finish on the established program dates and have no reason to leave the program barring personal and family emergencies, personal resignation, or disciplinary termination.
  • Have a working e-mail address.
  • Pay is $1900/month, plus a $3097 AmeriCorps Segal Education Award upon completion
  • $400 per month is taken from each paycheck for food. Health insurance, housing (camping), and Wilderness First Aid certification are provided for free.
  • The 2021 season starts on April 26th and ends on September 30th.  These dates are non-negotiable.
  • This is a special program, not a regular trail job! Participants are required to adhere to certain policies, like the buddy system, sobriety, and non-fraternization, as well as participate in after-work crew activities.
For more information: 
Phone: 707-725-5106 ext. 237
Facebook: @BackcountryTrails
Instagram: @BackcountryTrailsProgram