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Wilderness and Trails Steward


Individual Placement/Internships

Job Location

Paonia, Colorado

Tracking Code


Position Type



Term of positions is 14 weeks; full-time 40 hrs/wk


Paonia, CO

Living Allowance:


AmeriCorps Award:

Position is eligible for an AmeriCorps education award upon successful completion of the program. Value of education award is $1,718.25 (pre-tax).

Start Date:


Application Due Date:

Preference given to applicants that submit application by 2/1/2023

Title of Position:

Wilderness and Trails Stewards



Position Details:

Stewards Individual Placement Program (SIPP) provides individuals with service and career opportunities to strengthen communities and preserve our natural resources. Participants work with federal agencies, tribal governments, and nonprofits building institutional capacity, developing community relationships, and supporting ecosystem health. SIPP in partnership with the partnership with the United States Forest Service, is seeking Wilderness & Trails Stewards who will help clear and maintain trails within the Paonia Ranger District, as well as support larger projects.

Wilderness & Trail Stewards will support trail maintenance and reconstruction, trail sign replacement, volunteer project management, and visitor education during their service with the Paonia Ranger District of the Gunnison National Forest.  The Stewards will be expected to work as an independent team, sometimes with the support of the program lead. Stewards may be expected to lead high school aged youth crew members. Stewards will also assist in developed and dispersed recreation facility management, as well as other duties as assigned. They will be expected to hike 1-15 miles per day in mountainous terrain while performing trail maintenance duties and carrying a loaded backpack. The Stewards will also be expected to be proficient in backcountry travel and low impact camping techniques. They will assist in the use of pack and saddle stock and will be trained in ATV operation, pack and saddle stock use, crosscut saw use, S-212 chainsaw use, and large vehicle/trailer operation. They will get to live in the small and lively town of Paonia and work in the surrounding National Forest including the West Elk and Raggeds Mountains.

Lastly, Stewards will have exposure to many facets of USFS management and the opportunity to work with other resources such as timber, range, and wildlife. Previous members have used this experience as a gateway into a career with the USFS and other agencies. It will be a rigorous yet very rewarding experience.


Position Responsibilities will include:

  • Perform trail corridor maintenance in wilderness and non-wilderness settings.
  • Provide volunteer and youth leadership and management.
  • Inventory and management of dispersed recreation sites
  • Assist the timber, range, and fire resources when needed.


Minimum Requirements:

  • Valid Driver’s License for at least three years and clean driving record
  • Ability to hike up to 10 miles/day with 60lb pack
  • Ability to camp up to 8 days in backcountry settings
  • Ability to work with little to no direct supervision


 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree or in pursuit of Bachelor's Degree
  • Experience with backcountry travel and camping for extended periods
  • Horse experience/ exposure
  • ATV/ Off Road Vehicle Experience
  • Trail work experience
  • Manual labor experience



  • Position is eligible for an AmeriCorps education award upon successful completion of the program. Value of education award is $1,718.25 (pre-tax).
  • Living Allowance: $600/week (pre-tax)
  • Housing Provided
  • Training Opportunities:
    • S-212 Chainsaw certification
    • Crosscut saw training and certification
    • First aid and CPR
    • ATV certification through ATV Safety Institute
    • Defensive driving and 4x4 vehicle operation
    • Horse and mule (stock) training and certification
    • Job Hazard Analysis review
    • Tailgate safety sessions
    • Use of power tools and hand tools
    • Forest Service sign protocols
    • GPS and electronic data collection devices
    • Leave-No-Trace and "Authority of the Resource"


How to Apply
Apply on-line at:  In addition to your resume, please submit a one page cover letter highlighting why you are interested in this position and how your background and experience will help you succeed in this position.


Application Questions

Please contact Alex Whittow, with any questions.


Application Deadline

Please submit your application by February 1, 2023 to ensure full consideration.


Stewards Individual Placements Program does not and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.

This position is located in Paonia, CO. View the Google Map in full screen.