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ACE: Facilities Maintenance and YCC Crew Lead – Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, WV – AmeriCorps Eligible

Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, is seeking ONE Facilities Maintenance and YCC Crew Lead to help with a variety of maintenance and resource management projects at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia.
During this 26-week term, the ACE member will work on a variety of maintenance, habitat restoration, biological surveys, and trail projects to improve access, maintain building function, and ensure a positive and safe experience for visitors. Additionally, this position will assist with the mentorship and leadership of the ACE youth summer program engaging local high school teens in conservation field projects within the Refuge.

This is a rare opportunity to challenge and enhance both your communication skills and conservation training by gaining practical experience in a variety of program areas on a national wildlife refuge. This opportunity is intended for enthusiastic young professionals with an interest in advancing their career goals in conservation and land stewardship. Working as a member of the refuge team, the member will help with projects ranging from facilities and trail maintenance to endangered species management to youth outdoor leadership. The position involves both group and independent work, including leading a local high school group on stewardship projects for several weeks on site, help with interpretation signs, plant inventories, maintenance work, and biological surveys. This will allow for an all-around view of the work the US Fish and Wildlife Service does for wildlife and people.

Start Date: April 26, 2021
End Date: October 23, 2021
**26-week commitment required**

Location: Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, West Virginia
Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge preserves the unique wetlands and uplands of a high elevation, moist valley. The refuge is home to 580 species of plants and 288 different animals, many of which are near their southern geographic limits.

Project Website: For more information about Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, please visit:
For more information regarding ACE, please visit

Housing: Selected member will be responsible for securing nearby housing.

Compensation: The ACE Member will complete 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $400/week, distributed biweekly.

AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 900-hour AmeriCorps Education Award ($3,097.50) upon successful completion of service hours. Additional enrollment is required.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: This position is authorized by the Public Land Corps (PLC) Act of 1993 and expanded by the Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2013. Members who meet basic requirements during their term of service may be eligible to receive their Noncompetitive Hiring Eligibility Certificate to be used when applying to future federal jobs. Requirements are: (1) Member must be between the ages of 18 to 30 and (2) Member must complete at least 640 hours on a federally approved PLC Project. More information can be provided upon request.

Position Description:

The selected individual will work alongside refuge staff on a number of projects during the summer.

Maintenance of Trails, Roads, Equipment, and Facilities:

  • Operates hand tools and small two cycle engines, such as chain saws, weed eaters, and lawn mowers;
  • Operates a variety of gasoline or diesel powered engineering and construction equipment with wheeled or crawler type traction and attachments;
  • Maintains station grounds by mowing lawns, mulching, and weed eating. Utilizes hand tools, weed eaters, mowers, tractors and skid steer type loaders to perform various duties;
  • Maintains walking trails, boardwalks, and observation points by keeping them clean from derbies, trimming encroaching shrubs and by making repairs such as replacing broken boards. Assist with trail restorations by digging ditches, installing water control features, and culverts. Utilizes excavator, skid steer, UTVs and ATVs to perform various duties related to trail work;
  • Maintains gravel roadways. Utilizes a variety of diesel powered construction equipment with wheeled and crawler type traction and attachments;
  • Drives one or more types of trucks with rated weight capacities up to and including one ton in hauling equipment, cargo, or passengers;
  • Washes and fuels vehicles, performs such services as checking, changing oil and water; checking fluid levels in crankcases, power steering, transmissions, batteries, radiators, braking systems, etc;
  • Assist in the maintenance and repair of small two cycle engines, heavy equipment, and vehicles;
  • Uses and maintains power and hand tools such as hammers, hand saws, drills, planers, routers, power nailers, etc;
  • Assures that necessary safety equipment is on hand and adequate supplies are available in accessible locations for field work;
  • Cleaning, stocking and supplying designated facility areas (dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, mopping, cleaning ceiling vents, restroom cleaning etc). Performing and documenting routine inspection and maintenance activities;
  • Assists the Safety Officer to perform safety related duties such as the inspection of buildings, vehicles, and equipment, inspecting and checking fire extinguishers, properly storing chemicals, and assisting Safety Officers to meet refuge safety requirements.


  • Support habitat management activities such as by mowing fields, restoring shrublands, and enhancing early successional habitat;
  • Assist the biological program with Invasive species management such as Stilt Grass, Autumn Olive, Multiflora Rose, and Garlic Mustard;
  • Assist the biological program with various surveys including Brook Trout, Cheat Mountain Salamander, Vernal Pool Species, bats, beavers, and American Woodcock;
  • Assist the biological program with planting of Aspen, Canaan fir, Balsam fir, and Red Spruce.

Youth Conservation Corps:

  • Leads four to five members of the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) for eight weeks in a variety of land resource improvement projects, stream and water improvements, fish and wildlife habitat improvement projects, etc;
  • Helps provide guidance and direction in all phases of work projects to ascertain proper performance, to satisfactorily answer enrollees' questions about projects, and to provide a learning experience to enrollees;
  • Demonstrates the proper use of equipment; properly manage resources (time, supplies, vehicles, equipment, and personnel);
  • Provide safety training to help insure the safety of the group;
  • Develop environmental and conservation education opportunities for the group.

This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups.

Physical Requirements: This position requires physical exertion such as walking long distances over wet and rough surfaces while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching. Hand and finger dexterity and physical coordination may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements.

Work Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday-Friday, but may include some Saturday and holiday work during the summer. This member may have projects that begin very early and/or go late into the day and may have weekend duties as well. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours. Time off will be granted on an as-needed basis.

Equipment Use: ACE and the Refuge will provide a vehicle and the tools required to accomplish the tasks the member is asked to do. Training will be provided for all equipment that the member is asked to work with. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. A valid state driver's license is required.

Position Environment: Duties are performed both indoors and outdoors. Temperature and weather extremes can be encountered in the performance of outdoor duties. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources. Field work is in wetland and forest communities, typically in hot, humid conditions with biting insects.



  • Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
  • Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
  • Must be 21+ to apply for an ACE position that requires or anticipates operation of agency or ACE vehicles for duties.
  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.


  • Completion of a HS diploma or GED
  • Ability to use computer technology to maintain and retrieve information from automated data systems, develop spreadsheets, and use word processing and statistical software programs in order to develop reports.
  • Familiarity with geographic information system (GIS), aerial photography and survey techniques, and global positioning systems (GPS).
  • Ability to communicate in writing in order to assist in the preparation of wildlife management survey summaries
  • Ability to operate small watercraft, cars, trucks and trailers.
  • Ability to use various specialized tools and equipment required to conduct wildlife studies surveys.
  • Ability to capture, handle, and tag or collar various wildlife.
  • Ability to work doing strenuous activity for significant periods of time, often walking over rough terrain and in muddy conditions; on rough or uneven surfaces; wading through vegetation choked marshes, lifting and carrying heavy objects, and in many instances during difficult weather conditions.
  • Collection survey data requires good vision and fieldwork results in exposure to such things as: poison ivy insects, sun, wind, temperature variation and many varieties of pollen.
  • Seasonal field studies involve considerable physical demands, such as frequent, extensive travel on foot; bending; crouching; and climbing; exertion from lifting and carrying equipment; and energy drain from cold, wet and windy weather.
  • Must be in good physical condition and anticipate the demands of each field trip. Occasionally lifts containers weighing up to 35 pounds.

Please note: Marijuana and other controlled substances are not allowed at any time during the performance of duties or while on federal property, regardless of State law or qualified medical marijuana card status.

To Apply: Please submit your resume, unofficial academic transcripts, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position, found through the external link on Handshake.

***Academic transcripts are required for verification of related coursework and professional development purposes, as opposed to evaluating prior academic performance.

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 EPIC USFWS Division Support Specialist, Cody Dems, 435.315.7067, or

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.