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Trails Development Member - Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge

Trails Development Member - Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience, a nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking 1 Member to work alongside FWS Staff to build and maintain new public trails and support public land management, ensure safe implementation, and serve as the face of FWS to visitors to the Refuge. 

For more information about ACE, please visit:

Start Date: April 2024
Estimated End Date: October 2024
*a 26-week minimum commitment is required*

Location Details/Description: Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge - Golden, CO

Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge is a 5,237-acre refuge in Golden, Colorado, and has striking vistas of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and rolling prairie grasslands, woodlands and wetlands. It is home to 239 migratory and resident wildlife species, including prairie falcons, deer, elk, coyotes, songbirds, and the federally threatened Preble's meadow jumping mouse.


Rocky Flats NWR is part of the Colorado Front Range National Wildlife Refuge Complex which consists of Rocky Flats NWR, Two Ponds NWR, and Rocky Mountain Arsenal NWR. A National Wildlife Refuge Complex is an administrative grouping of two or more refuges, wildlife management areas or other refuge conservation areas that are primarily managed from a central office location. Refuges are grouped into a complex structure because they occur in a similar ecological region, such as a watershed or specific habitat type, and have a related purpose and management needs. 


For more information, please visit:

Position Overview: The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. This position will help FWS realize that mission at Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge. 

Members will gain experience in the wide array of habitat and public lands management by working, learning, and networking with various staff members. Past Members have shared that being able to work alongside staff like this has helped them refine and narrow their future careers and understand how FWS serves the American public in a variety of different ways. 

Supportive duties include:

  • Use herbicide to control invasive plants along freshly developed trails.
  • Use hand tools and heavy equipment to dig trail lines, install geotextile materials, and spread crusher fine trail substrate. 
  • Follow endangered species best practices and protocols.
  • Conduct habitat improvement projects such as native grass seeding, invasive species management, irrigation, mowing and haying.
  • Receive training on the safe operation of heavy equipment, off-road vehicles and other equipment used for habitat management and refuge operations.
  • Help managers with construction of refuge infrastructure like wayfinding kiosks, trail signs, bison fence, etc.
  • Learn and use a variety of building and maintenance skills such as basic fleet and equipment maintenance, hand and power tool use, facility maintenance such as electrical, plumbing, painting, and wood and metal working.
  • Learn basic administrative tasks such as tracking fuel and fleet usage and properly making acquisition requests and purchases.
  • Interact with, and help the public during public events, programs, volunteer events, or as a park ranger.
  • Potentially travel to Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge and assist them with their fall elk hunts.
  • Potentially travel to Saratoga National Fish Hatchery and assist them with fall spawning efforts.
  • Collaborate with the Department of Energy for habitat management and restoration efforts.

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.

Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday-Friday.  Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours.  A flexible work schedule may be required, which could involve work performed outside of normal work hours including on weekends and/or holidays.  Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the FWS for approval.

Position Benefits

Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute ~40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $770/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.

Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility, or view general information online:

Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and not provided by ACE or FWS.

Gear Reimbursement: ACE members will have up to $200 to spend on eligible gear purchases. Eligible gear for this position includes boots, hats, etc and must be approved by ACE staff prior to purchase. 

Travel Reimbursement: ACE members will have up to $500 reimbursed for any travel required for the position. 

Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support. Specific training for habitat management and refuge operations will include safe operation of heavy equipment, off-road vehicles, and other equipment used.



  • Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by U.S. government contracts
  • 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.
  • A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
  • Willing to undergo and must pass the required two-part criminal history check.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning of term feedback forms, end of term evaluations and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation. 
  • Member may not participate in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement.
  • To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website:


  • Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a minimum of an associate's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject.
  • Basic knowledge of hand and power tools, as well as agricultural, mechanical, or heavy equipment experience.
  • Experience in trail development/maintenance or land management.


Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:

  • Physical Demands: Requires frequent standing, walking, hiking, carrying, using hands to handle or feel. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools. Required to stoop, kneel, and/or crouch. Ability to hike over rough terrain.
  • 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 25 lbs., ability to move up to 50 pounds.
  • Environmental: Outdoor work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates.
  • Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such as gas-powered chainsaws and other hand and power tools.
  • Travel: This position may require domestic travel.


Environmental Conditions/Hazards:  The ACE member(s) may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, and potentially dangerous wildlife. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources. 


Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: If a vehicle is required for the accomplishment of the duties, one will be provided by the FWS or ACE.  Any tools required for the accomplishment of the duties will be provided by the FWS. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE), typically provided by the FWS, will be mandatory for any activity that requires it.  Strict adherence to FWS and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.  

To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: Early consideration will be given as resumes are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC FWS Member Manager, Mac Utter, at

EEO: Employment with ACE is based upon ability, qualifications, attitude, and job-related factors. Every qualified employee or applicant has the same opportunity for recruitment, hire, training, transfer, promotion, compensation, demotion, termination, benefits, employee activities, and general treatment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender, national origin, pregnancy, ancestry, citizenship status, genetic information (including of a family member), veteran or military status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, medical condition, marital or parental status, political affiliation, ethnicity, hair texture or style, arrest record, caste, hereditary status, endogamy, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal law.