For a certain breed of outdoor enthusiast there are few job opportunities more appealing than to spend a summer working to preserve and protect one of the landscapes that they love. That precise opportunity was recently announced by administrators of the Helena – Lewis and Clark National Forest during next year’s spring and summer seasons.
“The Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest will be accepting applications for over 150 seasonal spring and summer jobs across the Forest starting on September 29,” a recent news release states. “Positions are available in multiple fields, including fire, recreation, natural resources, range, timber, visitor services, and archaeology. “Whether you want to work outside next summer or help visitors plan their trips, working for the Forest Service is an excellent way to build lifelong skills and connections. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a challenging adventure while contributing to an important mission.”
The borders of the scenic Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest encompass 2.8-million acres across central and north-central Montana. The Forest is comprised of island mountain ranges bisected by the Continental Divide and Missouri River and includes portions of 17 Montana counties extending from the border of Glacier National Park to the southern tip of the Crazy Mountains, and east across the Big Snowy Mountains south of Lewistown .
“This forest provides timber for people, forage for cattle and wildlife, habitat for fish, plants, and animals, and some of the best recreation opportunities in the country,” the news release asserts.
One of the best things about the temporary Forest Service jobs is that they are open to any US citizen or national, and some non-US citizens as well.
“Anyone, including current federal employees, can apply to these jobs,” the news release states. “But, if you’re a current federal employee and you apply to an opening to the public job, you’ll have to compete against the general public. Your status as a federal employee does not guarantee you’ll get the job.”
Some more senior US citizens may wonder if they are physically capable of meeting the physical demands of working in the forest. Forest Service Public Affairs Officer Chiara Cipriano assured that the Forest Service is searching for people of all ages and physical abilities, and that prior experience is not necessarily the primary consideration in making hiring decisions.
“There’s definitely a diversity of options,” Cipriano said. “Some of them you’ll be sitting in an office, welcoming visitors or helping people plan their trips. Other jobs include direct support for firefighting; digging fire lines. There’s basically positions for all ages, all abilities as long as you have an interest in helping protect the forest and keeping it going for generations to come. There’s something for everyone. You can find your fit.”
Applications must be submitted on usajobs.gov between September 29-October 6, 2022. Interested applicants are encouraged to create a profile on USAJOBS in advance to save time once the hiring process begins. fs.usda.gov/main/hlcnf/about-forest/jobs to explore a list of local positions on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest and find contact information for hiring managers.
“You’ll find a PDF of specifically what positions there are, where the duty locations are, and who the hiring manager is,” Cipriano said of the local job information website. “We encourage folks to reach out directly to the hiring manager to express their interest, and to make sure that their resume captures all their accomplishments.
Forest Service hiring To-Do list:
1: Create an account at www.USAJOBS.gov ahead of time.
2: Research jobs and locations you might be interested in. You can apply for multiple jobs in different places during the application window.
3: Upload your resume and attach required documents in USAJOBS.gov.
4: Submit your application between Sept. 29 and October 6.
5: Interviews & hiring take place in January for the 2023 season.