American Conservation Experience - Member
  • National Park Service
  • Paicines, CA, USA
  • Internship
  • EPIC

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Pinnacles National Park is seeking ONE Trail Maintenance Intern interested in dedicating 16 weeks in support of the National Park Service. The Trail Maintenance Intern will support Pinnacles in improving trail conditions.

This opportunity is ideal for enthusiastic young professionals with a deep interest in advancing their career goals in habitat restoration and natural resource management through tenacity and commitment to the National Park Services' rich and unique natural and cultural resources.


Start date:  Mid-February 2018 (some flexibility for the right candidate)

End Date:   16 weeks from start date

* A 16-week commitment is required *


Location:   Pinnacles National Park, CA

Pinnacles National Park is located in California's Central Coast region of the Gabilan Mountain Range east of the Salinas Valley. The surrounding landscape is largely chaparral with areas of oak savannah and grasslands. The position is located at the eastside park headquarters in Paicines, CA. Nearest communities for shopping, doctors, hospitals, and other amenities are Hollister (40 miles, population 34,400), King City (40 miles, population 11,000), Gilroy (65 miles, population 41,400), Salinas (70 miles, population 151,000), and Monterey (90 miles, population 30,000).

Pinnacles National Park is fairly remote. Applicants must have a personal vehicle, as the nearest services are a one-hour drive in any direction. Additionally, there is no cell-phone service in the park.

Compensation: The ACE Intern will serve 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $365/week for food and incidentals. Housing is not provided so local applicants are strongly encouraged to apply.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 450-hour ($1,538.36) AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of internship service hours. Additional enrollment is required.

Position Description: The ACE Intern will directly serve within the Division of Research and Resource Management at Pinnacles National Park.

Projects will include:

  • Hauling new posts and signs to each location, replacement of each, digging new post holes, and hauling of old materials back to the maintenance area.
  • General maintenance tasks on several trails within and outside of PINN's recommended wilderness.
  • The transport; distribution and compaction of tread materials onto areas of eroded trail surface.
  • Installation and cleaning of water bars and grade dips/swales using hand tools (mattock, hoe, shovel, cross cut saw, ax, etc.).
  • Removal of encroaching vegetation and if necessary trail blockages like boulders or downed trees using hand tools.
  • Building retaining walls.
  • Hike sections of 35 miles of feral pig fence in remote, rugged areas of Pinnacles NP to assess structural effectiveness, collect data, correct minor issues and promptly report major ones. 
  • May perform data entry as needed.
  • Other equipment used (outside the recommended wilderness) may include UTVs, weed trimmers, back pack leaf blowers, and cordless drills. 

Qualifications:  Applicants for the position must hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and/or experience in natural resource management, botany, environmental science, ecology, environmental science, biological sciences, park management, forestry, or a related discipline. A combination of relevant education and appropriate experience is also acceptable.


  • US Citizens and Permanent Residents only.
  • Intern must be 18-35 years of age.
  • A valid driver's license and a clean driving record are required (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • A personal vehicle is required for the duration of the internship.
  • Must be willing and able to perform the above field projects, including backcountry camping.
  • Must be able and comfortable with navigating off trail by maps and GPS units.
  • Must be physically fit and able to backpack to off-trail backcountry campsites up to a mile away from a maintained trail. 
  • Intern will be required to hike up to 12 miles per day while carrying up to 40 pounds of gear on uneven and steep terrain, on and off trail, in a variety of weather conditions.
  • Must be able to serve in small a group setting, performing difficult duties, while keeping a positive attitude.
  • Interns must be comfortable serving in recommended wilderness using only primitive tools (including shovel, mattock, hoe, cross cut saw, ax, etc.).
  • Projects outside the recommended wilderness may require use of UTVs, weed trimmers, back pack leaf blowers and cordless drills.


  • Ability to communicate clearly with peer professionals and volunteers.
  • Ability to serve independently in remote areas.
  • Strong desire to enter the public service field as a Natural Resources professional.

The intern must be willing to represent ACE and the USFWS in a professional, positive and enthusiastic manner.  Drug users should not consider applying, as ACE and the USFWS reserves the right to require drug testing.

To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right hand corner of the position listing on our website here:

NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received.  If you have additional questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact the ACE EPIC NPS Recruitment Specialist, Zoe Moskwa at

American Conservation Experience - Member
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