Assistant Field Crew Leader - Wilderness Field Crew

About the Job

Position Title: Assistant Field Crew Leader

Position Duration: Week of April 11, 2022 to October 2022

Season Schedule: Training is variable. Projects run on an 8 days on and 6 days off schedule until daylight savings.

Status: Temporary/Seasonal

Compensation: Assistant Leader, $16.00/hr paid every two weeks; time and grade increases for returning staff.

Position Supervisor: Field Operations Coordinator

Location: Asheville, NC with significant time spent at project sites

Position Summary

Under leadership of the Field Crew Leader, the Assistant Leader will help lead a crew of six, comprised of the Field Crew Leader, an Assistant Field Crew Leader, and four Field Crew Members. The field crew leadership team will go through 8 weeks of pre-season training (described below) followed by a 10-week summer season and an 11-week fall season working on multiday, remote field projects. A typical pay period includes meeting at the designated location, driving several hours to a trailhead, backpacking into the project site, staying in the field for 8 days at a time, hiking out, traveling back to the designated location, and cleaning gear, tools, vehicles, completing reporting requirements, and preparing for the next project.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Complete field crew leader training

  • Adjust plans and decisions as the season, work week or day unfolds

  • Under direction of the Crew Leader, lead, supervise and inspire crew members to effectively complete critical backcountry stewardship projects

  • Communicate directions, project specifications and constructive criticism throughout the season

  • Teach leadership skills and facilitate leadership opportunities for crew members

  • Maintain tools and equipment

  • Assist SAWS staff in developing and maintaining strong, positive relationships with US Forest Service personnel, partner organization staff and volunteers

  • Track project progress daily and accurately report completed work at the end of each project

  • Craft and curate media (blogs, photography, video, etc.) to share for reporting and documentation

  • Follow and implement SAWS organizational policies in the field

  • Maintain high standards for project completion

  • Maintain an inclusive, safe, positive, and fun working environment


  • Crosscut saw certification

  • Wilderness First Responder and CPR certification

  • Food stipend is provided ($9/day)

  • May qualify for Public Land Service Corps (PLC) hiring authority

  • Opportunities for professional network growth

  • Opportunities for pro-rated gear deals


  • In addition to enthusiasm for the SAWS mission, applicants should have the following:

  • Ability to travel on foot over rough terrain for up to 10 miles per day while carrying 60 pounds or more

  • Ability and desire to create a safe and inclusive work environment

  • Knowledge about group dynamics and conflict resolution

  • Ability to live and work in a remote and primitive setting with diverse groups of people

  • Desire to be a member of a hard-working team and transformative non-profit organization

  • Six to nine months of trail work experience, backcountry trail work experience a plus.

  • At least three months of experience in a field-based position.


  • Personal protective gear

  • Tools and equipment

  • SAWS uniforms

  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion library

  • Public Lands Corps (PLC) noncompetitive hiring authority for Forest Service positions (eligibility requirements exist)

  • Some camping gear available for season

About Us

Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) is a conservation non-profit dedicated to providing stewardship to protected public lands in the Southern Appalachian region, including in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Kentucky. Founded in 2010, SAWS partners with federal agencies, including the Forest Service, to supplement existing stewardship efforts and provide additional support for training, skill-building, and community engagement. SAWS works to support safe, equitable access to public lands, preserve natural resources, and develop the next generation of conservation stewards. SAWS is headquartered in Asheville, NC with an office in Roanoke, VA.

SAWS is an equal opportunity employer and provides a drug-free workplace. SAWS values a safe, inclusive work environment, free from discrimination of any kind. We are committed to working towards equity in the outdoors and in conservation, including by celebrating diversity, fostering inclusivity, and recognizing and working to address past injustices and barriers to equitable access.

To Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume in the form below. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds to apply.

Questions regarding the application may be submitted via email to Rebekah Morrisson, Field Operations Coordinator at

Applications will be accepted until positions are filled.

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