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Indigenous Conservation Corps Crew Leader


Crew Leader Positions (21+ years old)

Job Location

Cherokee, North Carolina

Tracking Code


Position Type


Title: Indigenous Conservation Corps Crew Leader

Start Date: May 2022

End Date: August 5, 2022

Reports to: Program Coordinator 

Starting Salary: $750.00/ Week, Paid Bi-Weekly 

Location: Cherokee, NC or Murphy, NC 

Status: Full Time Seasonal / Exempt


Conservation Corps North Carolina:   

The mission of Conservation Corps North Carolina (CCNC) is to empower young adults through meaningful outdoor work that benefits North Carolina’s land and water and creates healthy communities.    

CCNC is a program of Conservation Legacy that partners with public land managers in North Carolina to engage motivated young adults (ages 18-30, or 35 if a veteran) to complete challenging and impactful conservation service projects throughout the region. Projects may include trail construction & maintenance, habitat improvement, hazard fuel reduction, and ecological restoration.  Crews may also complete technical and/or specialized projects depending on project partner needs, including disaster relief if the opportunity arises.  

Position Summary:  

Conservation Corps North Carolina's Crew Leaders perform many roles and are the key to our program’s success. The position is multi-faceted and demanding, but with opportunity for enormous rewards. Successful candidates will demonstrate resourcefulness, situational flexibility, effective communication skills, excellent judgement, maturity, initiative, professionalism, and the desire to devote themselves to a crew experience where the needs of others are placed above oneself. The Crew Leader position requires mentorship, patience, technical aptitude, focus on efficiency, and a high level of comfort in the outdoors. Crew Leaders are ultimately responsible for successes and shortcomings of the crew.

Project Work:

Projects take place across southwest North Carolina, including work with the USDA Forest Service and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Tribe. The first seven weeks of the eight week program are a day schedule, meaning the crew returns home at end of work hours. The eighth week of this program will be an overnight/camping week, equipment such as tents and sleeping bags will be provided as needed. During their time in the field, Crew Members work outdoors in all types of weather conditions, performing manual labor related to environmental conservation and restoration projects. These hands-on projects include public access improvements, trail construction and maintenance, forest management, habitat restoration, invasive species treatments, heritage work related to ancestral lands, disaster relief, fire & fuels reduction, and much more. The focus of this program is to equip crew members with job skills related to conservation. Crew members will also receive cultural enrichment through learning Tribal management practices and history related to natural resources. Most projects require hiking out to remote work sites for the day with tools, equipment, and day pack. 

Schedule & Crew Life:

The Indigenous Conservation Corp crews consist of 3-5 EBCI crew members and 1 EBCI crew leader who provide project expertise, mentorship, training, and support for the success of all participants. Participants must be members of the EBCI Tribe. The crew will typically meet in Murphy, NC. Transportation from Cherokee, NC will be considered on a case by case basis. Crews will work on a daily schedule, working ten hour days with three days off per week. The day starts with a stretch circle and safety meeting and includes two fifteen-minute breaks and a half hour break for lunch. The final week will be a camping/overnight project.

Food is provided while in the field. When on overnight projects, crews work together to plan meals and complete all necessary chores (cooking, washing dishes, etc). We are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions. Camp chores will be completed every evening, with many evenings including group discussions on conservation topics. 

CCNC supports a culture of feedback and growth. Crew Members will set goals at the beginning of the season and review their performance through both self-evaluation and a review with their Crew Leader in the middle and at the end of their season. Evaluations will cover topic areas including Professionalism, Responsibility/Leadership/Communication, Community Engagement, Project Work, Safety & Organization, and Equipment. Crew Members will also be asked to evaluate their Crew Leaders’ performance, the overall program, and their experience at the end of their term. 

Essential Responsibilities and Functions: 

Leadership & Mentorship   

  • Manage, supervise, and lead the day-to-day details of project work.   
  • Implement skills training on worksite and facilitate intentional discussions via informal lessons to contribute to the crew’s personal growth and group dynamics.   
  • Promote individual corps member development and a healthy, supportive community.  
  • Must be willing to follow and enforce all CCNC policies, maintain professional boundaries, and appropriately represent Conservation Corps North Carolina. This includes creating a substance free work environment, refraining from the use of alcohol and drugs while involved in the program.   

Project Management 

  • Train and motivate a crew of six to eight young adults (18-30) to complete conservation projects efficiently on public lands.   
  • Visit and plan project work ahead of hitches.  
  • Delegate project work & investment among ACL and crew.   
  • Manage on-the-ground quality and quantity of project work.   
  • Think critically to resolve issues and solve problems.   
  • Communicate effectively & coordinate logistics with project partners, members, and CCNC staff.   

Training Supervision 

  • Work with Program Coordinator and Field Supervisor's to plan seasonal trainings. 
  • Facilitate and supervise training hitches for both Crew Leader Training and Crew Member Trainings.  


  • Support recruitment staff with interviews and reference checks as it relates to Crew Member Hiring.   

Other Duties 

  • Successfully engages, leads and supports an inclusive work environment for those of underrepresented populations within the organization and the communities we serve.  
  • Leads and/or participates in organizational-wide teams, projects and initiatives that support the work of the Strategic Plan goals.   

Physical Requirements:  

Periodic overnight travel and non-traditional work hours, inclusive of weekend and evening hours. To successfully perform essential functions this position is required to sit, stand, walk, speak and hear. This position may be required to climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl on an infrequent basis. They must be able to operate office equipment, telephone, and computer. The ability to drive an organizational vehicle is also required. Reasonable accommodations may be made for qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.   

Minimum Qualifications:  

  • Exhibits the ability to effectively work on diverse teams or with a variety of populations, including those underrepresented at our organization and those of BIPOC communities.  
  • Experience with tools and equipment used for landscaping and forestry work
  • Must have a clean driving record (insurable by CCNC) and a current driver’s license.   
  • Experience with influencing diverse groups of employees to achieve common goals.  
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and capacity to work in a fluid, changing work environment. 
  • The ability to carry out assigned work independently or with minimal supervision. 
  • The ability to communicate effectively, manage complexity cultivate innovation, drive and influence results of oneself and others. 
  • Ability to work well with others and to seek assistance when needed to carry out assignments. 
  • Ability to keep others, in remote locations, accountable to expectations. 
  • Must be able to pass the organization’s criminal history background check requirements. 
  • Full vaccination against COVID-19 by the first day of employment and ability to provide proof of vaccination before starting. 

Preferred Qualifications:  

  • Experience working with and supporting Indigenous Communities
  • Experience with chainsaw use
  • Experience with trail design and layout.

Conservation Legacy is an equal opportunity employer.  We are committed to hiring a breadth of diverse professionals and encourage members of diverse groups to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. 

This position is located in Cherokee, NC. View the Google Map in full screen.