American Conservation Experience - EPIC
  • US Forest Service
  • Camino, CA, USA
  • Individual Placement
  • EPIC

ACE EPIC USFS (CA): Eldorado National Forest, California Spotted Owl Wildlife Crew Lead

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the Eldorado National Forest, is seeking one Lead Wildlife Crew Leader. This opportunity is intended for a candidate with a deep interest in advancing their career goals in natural resource management and conservation.

Wildlife Crew Leader will conduct field work primarily for the California spotted owl and the northern goshawk. In 2021, the Eldorado National Forest experienced the Caldor Fire, a 221,000-acre fire. These positions will be part of a team to help determine owl occupancy and owl habitat use post Caldor Fire. Data collected will be used to help inform management decisions in conserving and restoring owl habitat. Potential opportunities may exist to do field work for other species as time allows.

Applicants should have an enthusiasm for working outdoors, as the position is primarily field based with long hours (10hr work days). Experience conducting California spotted owl field work is desired. Applicants should have experience in standardized field survey and data entry protocol experience. Knowledge or experience working in post-fire landscapes is a plus.

Start Date: April 26, 2022 (flexibility for the right candidates)

End Date: Sept 3, 2022

Location: Camino, CA Eldorado National Forest, Placerville Ranger District

The Eldorado National Forest is located in the central Sierra Nevada region within California and encompasses a total of 798,279 acres, which includes 193,027 acres of private ownership.

The Eldorado National Forest is bordered on the north by the Tahoe National Forest, on the east by the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and the Humboldt-Toiyabe, and to the south by the Stanislaus National Forest. The Eldorado is within 3 - 4 hours of the San Francisco Bay Area and about 1 - 1 1/2 hours from Sacramento. It ranges in elevation from 1,000 feet in the foothills to more than 10,000 feet above sea level along the Sierra crest. The mountainous topography is broken by the steep canyons of the Mokelumne, Cosumnes, American, and Rubicon rivers. Plateaus of generally moderate relief are located between these steep canyons.

The forest is also home to 297 lakes and reservoirs (including both public and private acreage), which total 11,994 surface acres. 11 large reservoirs account for 9,000 acres. The rest are mostly small, high mountain lakes. Both the rivers and lakes provide excellent fishing opportunities. The Eldorado National Forest provides diverse recreational opportunities to the public. The Forest offers every visitor the chance to enjoy nature and be outdoors. In addition to two popular wilderness areas (Desolation Wilderness and Mokelumne Wilderness), the forest offers more than 70-day use and overnight developed recreation facilities across the forest for the individual, families and groups.

Project Partner Websites:

For more information on the Eldorado National Forest, please click here.

For more information on the ACE EPIC Program, please click here.

Living Allowance: The member should anticipate serving 40 hrs/wk, with potential to work holidays and weekends. The Member will receive a living allowance of $780/wk for food and incidentals, dispersed bi-weekly.

Housing: USFS housing may be provided at a daily rate based on availability. Local candidates are encouraged to apply.

Project Tasks:

  • Complete surveys to protocol and providing accurate and timely documentation
  • Conduct field surveys for California spotted owl and northern goshawk
  • GIS and data entry associated with field survey work
  • Navigating steep, uneven terrain to approach remote field sites
  • Support other projects and responsibilities as needed by the Ranger District

Qualifications: Applicants for this position should be holding (or be pursuing) a bachelor's degree in a natural resource field and have field experience. Experience surveying for amphibians is preferred, but not required. This is a highly demanding outdoor position that requires substantial physical fitness and mobility, and a tolerance for extreme weather and demanding conditions, snow, sun, heat, mosquitoes, poison okay and long-hours (typically 10 hour days).

Training Provided: The Forest Service will strive to provide members the opportunity to shadow conservation professionals to learn about biology and related disciplines, but a foundational knowledge of biology and/or management is required for these positions.

Preferred Skills:

  • Ability to work independently at day or night including hiking, driving, following survey protocol
  • Experience driving 4x4 and/or all-wheel drive vehicles safely in off-road conditions
  • Experience hiking over remote, steep, and rocky terrain in adverse weather conditions (cold/hot temps, light rain, etc.)
  • Ability to navigate in remote areas using GPS, mobile devices, and paper maps
  • Flexibility in switching between day and night survey work (maintaining appropriate work/rest ratio)
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Excel, ArcMap and GIS
  • Competency with data entry, summarizing and compiling data


  • Experience leading a team; giving daily directions, monitoring progress, and ensuring accuracy
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation
  • Proficient in English
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request)
  • Ability to pass a basic written test and road test to obtain a US Government Motor Vehicle Operators Card
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.
  • ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 or have requested and been granted a medical or religious exemption to vaccination by the time they start their term.

The member must be willing and able to represent ACE and the Forest Service in a professional, positive and enthusiastic manner.

To Apply: Please submit a resume, cover letter, and 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located in 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 ACE USFS Member Manager, Amanda McGarry at

EEO: 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.

American Conservation Experience - EPIC
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