Field Crew Member

About the Job

Position Duration 

  • Summer Season: mid May - late August 

  • Full Season: mid May - mid December 

Status: Temporary/Seasonal

Compensation: $13.50/hr

Position Supervisor:  Field Operations Coordinator

Location: Asheville, NC

Application Closes: Application will remain open until positions are filled.

Summary: Field Crew Members will work on a crew of 3, comprised of a Field Crew Leader, an Assistant Field Crew Leader, and 1 Field Crew Member. Field Crew Members will complete 2 weeks of virtual orientation and National Wilderness Skills Institute and one week of in-person, hands-on training. After training, they will then begin their field season, consisting of 6-13 “hitches”—remote, multiday field projects. After training, the work schedule is 9 days on (hitches) and 5 days off. Field crews may address projects such as, but not limited to: 


  • Trail relocations 

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

  • Mitigating campsite impacts 

  • Reestablishing trail tread 

  • Brushing trail corridors and removing downed trees 

  • Non-native and invasive plant species removal

  • Public education (Leave No Trace, bear safety and awareness, Wilderness education, etc.) 

Essential Duties and Responsibilites

  • Complete field crew member training, including trail construction, trail maintenance, backcountry camp set up and procedures, Leave No Trace ethics, and backpacking skills

  • Work with crew leaders to effectively complete critical remote stewardship projects

  • 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 communications

  • Follow and practice SAWS organizational policies in the field

  • Maintain a safe, positive, inclusive and fun working environment where everyone feels welcome and their contributions valued.

  • Maintain high standard levels for project completion


No experience is necessary, but the candidate must have:

  • Enthusiasm for the SAWS mission.

  • A shared commitment to our values.

  • Desire to camp and work with a small team in remote areas for multiple consecutive days.

  • Desire to learn about federally designated wilderness and trailbuilding.

  • Effective interpersonal communication skills.

  • Ability to travel on foot over rough terrain carrying heavy packs (up to 60 lbs).

  • Ability to work in a remote and primitive setting for up to 9 consecutive days.

  • Ability to camp overnight for up to 8 consecutive nights.

  • Ability to work long hours, doing manual labor. 

  • Commitment to physical and emotional safety of your teammates and the visiting public.


Field Crew Members will receive the following additional benefits:

  • Daily meal stipend (begins after training)

  • Leave No Trace Basics

  • Wilderness First Aid and CPR Certification

  • Crosscut Saw Certification

  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion training

  • Wilderness 101 course

  • Virtual field skills training including hand tools, trail maintenance basics, backpacking and backcountry nutrition

  • Opportunities for professional networking

  • Sick time accrual

  • Opportunities for pro-rated gear deals

Job Resources

  • Personal protective equipment

  • Tools and equipment lending (including tent, sleeping bag, stove, fuel, backpack, sleeping pad)

  • SAWS uniforms

  • Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion library

  • Public Lands Corps (PLC) noncompetitive hiring authority (eligibility requirements exist)

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.

Learn more about SAWS:

To Apply

Please fill out the application form below and submit a cover letter and resume using the upload buttons. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds to apply. Questions regarding the application may be submitted via email to Eric Giebelstein, Regional Director at Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

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. 

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