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Field Crew Member

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Now hiring Crew Members to start August 13th for the fall season.

Position Title: Field Crew Member

Position Duration: August 12-end of October

Status: Temporary/Seasonal

Compensation: $16.00/hr paid every two weeks

Training Schedule: August 12-17

Hitch Schedule: 8 days working, 6 days off (8 * 10-hour days) with potential for an extention to the season to require 10 * 8-hr days.

Location: Crews are based out of Asheville, North Carolina but will be camping and working within various National Forests across the southeast region.

Supervisor: Crew Leader

Crew Structure: One Crew Leader, one Assistant Crew Leader, 4 Crew Members

Hiring Timeline: All positions will be hired on a rolling basis and ideally by end of July.

Four Field Crew Members will work under supervision of a Field Crew Leader and an Assistant Field Crew Leader while camping and working on remote projects with limited to no cell service. Crews are expected to backpack and live in physically demanding, remote environments for at least 8 (and sometimes 10) days at a time. Conditions of this environment may vary significantly including freezing temperatures, high humidity, persistent rain, and high elevation. The remote nature of our work may mean delayed access to medical care. Crew Members should have good communication skills and judgment, an ability to be trained in the field, professionalism, initiative, willingness to learn, ability to express needs and concerns, emotional maturity and resilience, resourcefulness, and comfort in the outdoors with minimal contact to others while on hitch.

A typical work hitch includes meeting at the SAWS office, 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 office, cleaning gear, tools, vehicles, and preparing for the next hitch.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Duties are done under supervision of the Crew Leader and Assistant Crew Leader

  • Complete field crew member training

  • Work with crew leaders to effectively complete critical backcountry stewardship projects while maintaining high standards for project completion

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

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

  • Backpack, camp, and work in physically demanding, remote environments for at least 8 (and sometimes 10) days at a time in adverse weather

  • Help to maintain a crew cache of tools and equipment

  • Learn and practice ‘Leave no Trace’ techniques

  • Follow SAWS organizational policies in the field

  • Contribute to an inclusive, safe, positive, and fun working environment

  • Use a variety of hand tools and understand complex rigging systems

Field Crew Members hired for an August start date will complete 1 week of orientation/training, 1 week of an all-staff get together, followed by a 10-week fall season.

Pre-season training consists of:

  • Trail building and maintenance instruction

  • Introduction to a workday on the trail

  • Backcountry camp and hygiene procedures

  • Organizational policies and procedures

  • Potential for crosscut saw and first aid training

Once the season starts, all field crews may address projects including, but not limited to:

  • Trail relocations

  • Erosion control (installation of water bars, grade dips, log or stone steps, etc.)

  • Reestablishing trail surface

  • Brushing trail corridors and removing downed trees

  • Rockwork

  • Drain maintenance

Training and Work


  • Food stipend is provided ($10/day) during hitches

  • May qualify for Public Land Service Corp (PLC) Hiring Authority certificate

  • Opportunities for professional network growth

  • Sick time accrual

  • Opportunities for pro-rated gear deals

  • Potential for Crosscut saw certification (level depends on proficiency)

  • Potential for First Aid and CPR certification


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

  • Commitment to SAWS’ Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion values and dismantling racist systems and barriers to access to public lands.

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

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

  • Knowledge about group dynamics and conflict resolution

  • Ability to live and work in a remote and primitive setting with a diverse group of people without an ability to communicate with folks outside the crew

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

  • Ability to regularly lift and/or move up to 60 pounds

  • Must be able to speak, understand, read, and write English

  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions

  • Ability to pass a background check

  • Must be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident

  • Trail work and/or backpacking experience preferred

About Us

Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) sets standards of excellence that inspire, connect, and equip people to steward wild landscapes. We provide stewardship to protected public lands in the Southern Appalachian region, including 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 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 at the bottom of this page. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds to apply. Applications will be accepted until positions are filled.

Questions regarding the application may be submitted to Blake Garrison, Field Crew Coordinator at

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.

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