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Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

  • 10 Hungry Horse Drive, Hungry Horse, MT

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Wilderness Trail Crew Leader


min experience

salary range

$150 - $159 / day

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

Crew Leader Position Summary

Crew Leaders are responsible for implementing backcountry Wilderness service projects with crews of volunteers that clear and maintain trails, mitigate user impacts, and remove invasive weeds. Work is primarily in the field with some limited office/computer tasks. Because the work is in designated Wilderness, it is accomplished using primitive hand-powered tools.

About the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex

Considered by many to be the “crown jewel” of the wilderness preservation system, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex in Northwest Montana is the third largest Wilderness area in the lower 48. ‘The Bob’, as it’s known locally, straddles the Continental Divide and comprises towering limestone reefs (including the famous Chinese Wall), range after range of majestic mountains, lush forests, broad basins and valleys, and two Wild and Scenic Rivers.

The area is named for forester and conservationist Bob Marshall, an early advocate for protecting roadless areas, organizer and benefactor of the Wilderness Society, and legendary hiker who sometimes hiked 30 to 50 miles in a day. Today the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation (BMWF) continues to promote Bob’s legacy by providing stewardship for the Bob.

About the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation

The Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation (BMWF) has been serving the wilderness recreation community for twenty five years. The foundation works in coordination with the US Forest Service to organize over 40 trail projects annually with 300 to 400 volunteers, ages 12 to 80, that clear trails, restore damaged areas and remove noxious weeds. Since its incorporation in 1996, the Bob Marshall Wilderness Foundation and its volunteers have cleared over 5,000 miles of trail and donated millions of dollars of labor to improve public lands.

BMWF is committed to providing a more inclusive Wilderness opportunity for all people. We are working to remove barriers for those that have not traditionally seen themselves as part of the American public lands story, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color and LGBTQ+ communities. Read more about our commitment to this work at www.bmwf.org/jedi

About the Crew Leader Position

Crew Leaders coordinate, train and manage groups of up to 8 adults and/or youth volunteers on 8-10 backcountry field projects per season. Trip lengths are anywhere between two to ten days in length. In most cases, you will be the sole Crew Leader in the group. Occasionally, a partner group may provide additional leadership. Crew leaders organize project logistics ahead of each project, including Forest Service coordination, meal planning and food shopping.

An important aspect of the work includes training volunteers, many of whom have little to no wilderness experience. Volunteers are trained on the use of primitive tools, safety practices, backcountry living and camping, Leave No Trace and the natural, geographical, and cultural history of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.

This position requires camping and working at primitive backcountry and front-country sites, extensive hiking over varied terrain and working in a variety of weather conditions. There may be opportunities to work with pack stock, but stock may not be provided for every project.

Office work includes working closely with the BMWF Program Director and Stewardship Coordinator, US Forest Service managers and volunteer groups to coordinate project logistics and paperwork prior to and after completion of each project trip. 

Additional duties include maintaining hand tools, the tool cache, and safety gear. Extra time will be scheduled for training, project planning, menu planning and shopping, volunteer recognition and supplemental office work.

Trails and Weeds Crew Leaders have the opportunity to meet numerous professionals in the wilderness management field and make connections for future opportunities in wilderness and recreation management.


On the job training takes place during the first three weeks of employment. This includes two weeks in the Hungry Horse area with BMWF and the following week in the field. BMWF training covers: 

BMWF/F.S. Partnership; Volunteer leadership skills; Wilderness Orientation; Leave No Trace;  Backcountry Living Skills; Bear Awareness/Safety; USFS Trail Maintenance Standards; Stock Use/Safety; Backcountry Safety; Backcountry menu and meal planning; Crosscut Saw B-Bucker Certification; Natural History Education; Noxious Weeds ID and management.

Special Benefits

Salary and Benefits

First year Crew Leaders will receive:

  • Daily rate of $152/day
  • $200/season health insurance reimbursement for ACA qualified health plans
  • Monthly cell phone stipend
  • USFS Saw Certification
  • Wilderness First Aid Certification or WFR refresher certification
  • Meals while on the job
  • Mileage reimbursement when driving a personal vehicle to and from project sites
  • Returning Crew Leaders are eligible for an increased daily rate and may attend guard school

Minimum Requirements

Required Skills & Background:

  • Maintain a positive attitude with a rigorous schedule throughout the field season
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and ability to function at a high level under pressure. Project plans and logistics may change on a weekly basis; flexibility is a MUST!
  • Backcountry camping and travel experience
  • Leadership experience; ability to successfully organize and direct the work of diverse groups of people while juggling daily duties and responding to occasional crises
  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work with limited supervision in a field and office environment
  • Ability to keep neat and accurate records and reports
  • Motivation and willingness to work non-traditional hours, including nights and weekends
  • Basic computer proficiency including email communication, knowledge of Google Docs and Drive, digital photography, ability and willingness to learn other software as needed


Additional Preferred Skills & Background:

  • Experience in trail maintenance and/or Noxious Weed management
  • Knowledge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex
  • Experience working with youth and/or youth-at-risk
  • Experience working with volunteers or groups with varied backgrounds and ability levels
  • Ability to facilitate conflict resolution and mediation
  • Experience with government agencies, outdoor programs, or non-profit organizations
  • Academic experience or equivalent experience in wilderness management, recreation, environmental studies, outdoor education, or a related field
  • Crosscut saw and chainsaw experience; respective USFS certification
  • Proficiency with GPS and mapping software
  • For the Weeds Crew Leader, a Government Applicator License or experience with Ecology or Noxious Weed Management is desirable

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