American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
  • Southeast Region
  • Asheville, NC, USA
  • Corps Member

Living Allowance, Free Lodging, and Food while on projects

Summary:  American Conservation Experience (ACE) is a nationwide non-profit Conservation Corps in Asheville (NC).

ACE is seeking 4 Crew Members and 1 Assistant Crew Leader dedicated to serving 7 weeks on this conservation project, including habitat restoration, invasive plant species management, and vegetation management. This opportunity is intended for young adults with a deep interest in contributing to conservation efforts.

Corps Members volunteer their energy and enthusiasm, working long hours in adverse weather conditions, to do work that is not always glamorous. This opportunity is intended for environmental stewards who are eager to give back to our public lands.

*This is a non-AmeriCorps position*

Start Date: September 10th, 2019

Estimated End Date: November 1st, 2019

Location: Virginia & Asheville, NC

Crew members will arrive in Asheville, NC on September 10th (Tuesday). Orientation and training will be held September 11th through September 13th. The first portion of the invasive species removal project will take place in rural Northern Virginia; The Plains, VA. After the first frost (expected to be at the three or four week mark), the crew will go on various vegetation management projects throughout the Southeast (North Carolina, West Virginia, etc.) until November 1st, 2019.

Schedule: Expect the project schedule to be a 7 week hitch. The first portion will be (5) 8 hour days, Monday through Friday. Expect to spend several weeks in Virginia. The first day on project is September 16th - You will travel as a crew from Asheville up to the site on Sunday, September 15th. The second portion will likely be (4) 10 hour days Monday through Thursday at one to two different project sites. You will again travel as a crew from project site to project site.

Benefits:  Crew Members will receive a Living Allowance of $180/week, paid bi-weekly. Assistant Crew Leader will receive a Living Allowance of $290/week, paid bi-weekly. Herbicide Handlers Safety Training will be provided.

ACE provides Crew Members with food on project days; Corps Members are responsible for providing their own food on off-days.

ACE provides Crew Members their campsites and tents during their time working with ACE. The member will provide his or her own blankets/pillow/sleeping bag/towels.

The crew will be front country camping in either a state park or state forest, within driving distance of the work site.

Gear: ACE provides each member their own tent and personal protective equipment. The member will provide his or her own sleeping bag, sleeping pad, rain gear, hiking boots. Upon acceptance to the program, Corps Members will receive a more extensive packing list. Weather during this time of year can be highly variable so plan on bringing layers of warm clothing and adequate rain gear.

Travel: ACE provides transportation to and from worksites; personal vehicles are not necessary throughout the member's term of service. ACE does not provide relocation assistance.


Position Description:

This is unlike our other positions in the Corps. This posting is strictly for this 7 week, non-AmeriCorps position.

Crew members will be apart of a professionally supervised team as they work on a large scale riparian and wetland restoration invasive species removal project. They will learn practical field skills, and develop confidence as emerging leaders in the field of conservation. Members are afforded opportunities to learn and train under the guidance of professional mentors within ACE and ACE EPIC, while gaining invaluable career perspectives working alongside staff from Trout Headwaters Incorporated and other project partners. This will be a large scale professional invasive species removal project. The Virginia portion will be on a high profile farmland that expects professional grade work.

It is a wet time of year in Virginia (and the Southeast) - work will be in a wetland and riparian environment.

The plant species that are the focus of the project are;

  • Multi-flora Rose
  • Privet Hedge
  • Japanese Honeysuckle
  • Autumn Olive
  • Japanese Barberry
  • Japanese Stilt Grass

In Virginia, the crew will be restoring 365 acres of riparian and wetland habitat to its natural state. Project partners will have predetermined the work sites in which the invasive work is to be completed. Depending on the life stage of the plant - will determine what removal method is used. The three main types of removal that will be used are Hand-pulling, Cut stump, and Foliar spraying. This is also true of the Southeast projects the crew will be going on after Northern Virginia's first frost. Locations for those project(s) may include:

  • City of Raleigh
  • Congaree National Park
  • New River Gorge
  • Smoky Mountain National Park
  • Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Site
  • Cumberland Island

Equipment Use, Training, and Protocol: 

Work will be performed in wetland and riparian environments during humid as well as, cold weather conditions.  Expect wet and muddy conditions at times, as well as summer thunderstorms.  Wetland and Riparian environments are prone to being mucky. 

Field work and other duties might include but are not limited to:

  • Invasive species removal
  • Wetland and Riparian habitat restoration
  • Invasive plant identification
  • Native plant identification
  • Working knowledge of plant and habitat type
  • Interfacing with project partners


Habitat types: Riparian and wetland area. It will be in 3 zones. The Riparian buffer consists of the Stream, Stream side, middle and outer areas.

Qualifications:  Applicants must be capable of performing physically demanding labor on environmental and conservation projects for 8-10 hours a day. Applicants should expect to hike extended distances on wet mucky terrain carrying 40 lbs, and be prepared to spend 8 consecutive weeks in the field, on this project. Corps Members will work in a variety of weather conditions such as temperatures ranging from below freezing to upper 60's, high winds, intense sunshine, rain, and possibly snow. ACE is searching for those with fine tuned quality control, and know how to pace themselves with the understanding that it will be tough working conditions.


  • U.S. Citizen or permanent resident
  • Must be between the ages of 18 and 35
  • Able and willing to work in a group
  • Able and willing to work outdoors in varying weather conditions and capable of hiking moderate distances in somewhat rough terrain during inclement weather conditions
  • Ability and willingness to undergo a Federal criminal background check


  • Experience in Ecological Restoration and outdoor work
  • Experience navigating with a map
  • Strong desire to enter the conservation field as a natural resource professional
  • Experience or interest in volunteering in local communities


The member must be willing to represent ACE in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. ACE has a zero tolerance policy for illegal drugs (including recreational pot-smoking) and underage drinking. ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)  To file a complaint of discrimination: write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

To Apply: Please submit a 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. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact Hannah Anderson ( or Kelly Waldron (, the North Carolina Outreach Coordinators.

American Conservation Experience - EPIC & CORPS
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