American Conservation Experience - Staff
  • ACE CREW: Eastern Region
  • Asheville, NC, USA

American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a dynamic non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding environmental service opportunities that harness the idealism and energy of a volunteer labor force to help restore America's public lands. ACE has a national reputation for providing exceptional training and support to enable crews to safely and economically implement technically complex and physically demanding conservation projects for the US Forest Service, BLM, National Park Service, USFWS and numerous state and local land management partners.

Job Title: Conservation Crew Leader

Location: Fletcher, North Carolina (Asheville Area)

Department/Division: CREW, Eastern Region

Status: Regular Full-Time (Exempt)

Schedule/Hours: Full-time. Flexible Schedule with varying shifts; 40 hours/week with additional hours as needed. Subject to furlough.

Reports To: Project Manager

Travel: Yes, extensive regional travel required. Crew leaders are typically in Asheville no more than 1-2 weekends a month.

Start Date: Mid - February, 2023

Position Summary:

Develop your field leadership and conservation skills leading a group of motivated young adults on a wide range of natural resource management projects on public lands. Based in the Asheville region of North Carolina, ACE's Eastern Region program operates year-round completing trail, ecological restoration, historic preservation and conservation field projects throughout the Eastern Region of the U.S., from the ancient forests of the Appalachian Mountains to the barrier islands on Atlantic Coast and all other inspiring landscapes of the Eastern United States!

As the primary front-line staff of the ACE Eastern Field Operations Team, Crew Leaders lead diverse teams of young adults in completion of environmental conservation and restoration projects. As a Crew Leader, you will train and lead crew members in conservation work skills, basic environmental education, and outdoor living skills, and engage their crews in environmental work projects that address critical environmental needs. Work is almost exclusively outdoors, involves strenuous physical labor in all weather conditions and climates, and typically involves "spike" camping for several days at a time in remote wilderness locations. The position requires extensive travel to public lands across the Eastern region of the U.S. and may involve working for other ACE offices/locations for temporary periods.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:

  • Lead, manage, and hold corpsmembers accountable while serving on conservation projects.
    • Lead, train, and supervise a conservation corps team during conservation work projects, which may include: constructing and maintaining trails, constructing and maintaining fences and outdoor facilities, restoring wildlife habitat, maintaining public parks, campgrounds, and recreation areas, planting trees, conducting native plant revegetation, eradicating exotic/invasive plant species, surveying, conducting ecological testing and monitoring, mapping and monitoring using GPS technology, wildfire restoration, and restoring forest health and reducing wildfire risk through tree thinning using powered equipment.
    • Arrange environmental education activities and opportunities and help inspire the next generation of conservation and public lands stewards.
    • Support, coach, mentor and supervise members in both technical and interpersonal professional development.
    • Hike, backpack, camp and cook outdoors while at front country and wilderness spike camps.
  • Collect, record, and submit accurate, detailed project data.
  • Accurately complete project field paperwork including weekly reports, safety sheets, incident reports, end-of-week checklists, feedback forms and others as necessary.
  • Ensure personal and corpsmembers safety while in the field, especially as it relates to running chainsaws and other dangerous power tools.
  • Arrange details of transportation, tools, equipment, camp/field living arrangements, field communication, and work project completion. Responsible for leading rig-up and de-rig before and after a project. Serves as primary transport for crew to worksites and camp during projects.
  • Maintain and repair hand and power tools and other equipment as necessary.
  • Responsible for enforcing the use of appropriate safety procedures in all tasks.
  • Manage and replace items as needed in the cook set, first aid kit, and personal protective equipment (PPE) set.
  • Safely transport crew and equipment in ACE vehicles with trailers.
  • Responsible for producing high quality work and guaranteeing successful project outcomes.
  • Collaborate and communicate with ACE Project Managers and project partners to ensure that ACE crews safely complete the highest quality of work and achieve established project outcomes.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Experience and Qualifications:

  • 6 months - 1 year of experience working in field conservation positions, preferably within a Conservation Corps and with a record of advancement to assistant leadership or leadership positions.
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED certificate. BA/BS degree from an accredited college/university preferred.
  • Experience in field work performing environmental restoration, trail construction and maintenance, and other conservation tasks.
  • Experience leading, training, and supervising teams of diverse individuals.
  • Ability to drive vehicles/trucks and trailers in a variety of road conditions.
  • Knowledge of environmental conservation skills, basic environmental education, and outdoor living/camping skills.
  • Experience performing a wide variety of heavy manual labor for extended periods of time, often under adverse conditions and in various climates.
  • Ability to lead, train and supervise a team.
  • Ability to camp on a project for two to four weeks at a time.
  • Working knowledge of young adult development, team-building and motivational techniques.
  • Experience serving as a positive role model and mentor for team members.
  • Ability to perform a wide variety of heavy manual labor for extended periods of time, and often under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Ability to adapt to the surrounding work environment and conditions that can change frequently.
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with Corps members, partner agency staff, and the general public.
  • Ability to understand and carry out oral and written instructions.
  • Ability to understand and follow ACE systems and processes including supervisor key responsibilities.
  • Must secure First aid/CPR certification within 14 days of employment and maintain certification.
  • Must maintain a positive, constructive work environment conducive to team dynamics including timely, effective communication with project partners, supervisors, and crew members.

Other Requirements:

  • Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Valid driver's license and an insurable driving record
  • Proficient in English
  • Ability to pass a federal criminal background check
  • Willing to abide by ACE Policy and Federal Drug Free workplace policies and laws. ACE reserves the right to drug test at any time
  • All ACE members and staff must verify that they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the time they start their term/position or request a medical or religious exemption.

Individuals who identify with groups typically under-represented in the conservation industry, including women, non-binary individuals, LGBTQ individuals, and people of color are particularly encouraged to apply.

Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

  • Physical Demands: Requires frequent sitting, standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel, reaching with hands and arms, talks and hears. Manual dexterity required for use of hand and power tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment. Required to stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain, and camp overnight under field conditions.
  • Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus.
  • Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 50 lbs., ability to lift up to 60 pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate noise.
  • Travel: This position requires domestic travel.

Compensation: Starting annualized salary range of $35,568.00 (40 hours/week for 52-weeks), paid bi-weekly ($1,368.00).

Medical/Health Benefits: ACE offers competitive medical and ancillary plans (health, mental health, dental, vision and other supplemental benefits). ACE Staff members are also eligible to participate in ACE's 403b retirement plan.

Holidays, Vacation, and Sick Time: As an ACE staff member, you will be eligible to accrue up to 80 hours of paid vacation time annually during your first two years of continuous employment, then it increases to 120 hours annually. Additionally, ACE observes 11 paid annual holidays and provides 10 days (or 80 hours) of paid sick time annually.

Additional Benefits:

Outdoor Perks - As an ACE staff member, you will be eligible to receive pro deals which include deep discounts on outdoor gear providing 30 - 50% off retail prices on 100s of established outdoor gear brands.

Meals Provided-You will receive three meals (plus snacks)/day while on project at no cost to you.

Trainings and Certifications - Crew Leaders receive industry recognized certifications provided by ACE including:

  • Wilderness First Aid (WFA) - equivalent cost of $280 and is a two-year certificate with recertification options.
  • Depending on projects, you may receive a 32-hour Chainsaw Training based on the NWCG S-212 training with the possibility of receiving an official Forest Service Saw Certification.

To Apply: Please submit a resume, one-page cover letter and contacts for three professional/academic references in PDF format to the application link. Qualified applicants will be contacted by email to arrange an interview. Applicants must follow all application instructions in order to be considered for this opportunity. This position may close at any time.


American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.


Learn More About American Conservation Experience (ACE)!





American Conservation Experience - Staff
  • Apply Now

  • * Fields Are Required

    What is your full name?

    How can we contact you?

  • Sign Up For Job Alerts!

  • Share This Page
.