The chainsaw crew member position is an entry-level role on a beginner chainsaw crew. Crew members are supported on a variety of levels, by their crew leaders, program staff, project partners, and Conservation Legacy staff. This crew will be trained in and expected to safely use chainsaws, crosscut saws, and other trail tools to complete a variety of conservation projects in partnership with local public land managers. The chainsaw crew provides a supportive learning environment where members work with, learn from, and grow with one another while gaining skills and certifications to propel them into a career in environmental stewardship. While prior experience with the outdoors or outdoor work can be helpful, it is not a necessity for this position. We ask that crew members embrace learning opportunities, face challenges, and build community with their crew.
Projects take place across the Appalachian Region, including work with the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, and other land managers. During their time in the field, crew members camp overnight and work outdoors in all types of weather conditions, performing heavy manual labor related to environmental conservation and restoration projects. These hands-on projects include visitor access improvements, trail construction and maintenance, habitat restoration, invasive species treatments, historic restoration, disaster relief, and much more. Most projects require hiking out to remote work sites for the day with tools, equipment, and day pack.
Typically, crew members will meet at the ACC Office in Harrisonburg, travel in a crew vehicle to their project site and remain in the field for 9 days at a time, followed by 5 days off. While in the field, crew members work 8-10 hours a day. The day starts with a stretch circle and safety meeting and includes two fifteen-minute breaks and a half hour break for lunch.
Prior to their start date, selected crew members must begin their background check process and complete an online enrollment process which includes completing e-forms, uploading IDs, and enrolling with AmeriCorps. For those with limited access to online platforms, accommodations may be available and can be discussed during the interview process.
Crew members with ACC serve on a crew with 4-6 other crew members and 2 crew leaders who provide project expertise, mentorship, training, and support for the success of all participants. Food is provided while in the field. Crews work together to plan meals and complete all necessary chores (cooking, washing dishes, etc.). Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated if known ahead of time. Many evenings include group discussions on conservation topics.
ACC 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 areas such as professionalism, responsibility and leadership, communication, engagement, productivity, safety, and equipment use. Crew members will also be asked to evaluate their crew leaders’ performance, the overall program, and their experience at the end of their term.
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