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21 Apr 2022

Temporary Youth Crew Support Member and Refuge Fellow – Colorado Front Range National Wildlife Complex

American Conservation Experience – Posted by agarcia Commerce City, Colorado, United States

Job Description

Youth Crew Support Member and Refuge Fellow – Colorado Front Range National Wildlife Complex

ACE EPIC placements provide young adults with focused, hands-on opportunities to work alongside and under the guidance of agency mentors as they apply their knowledge of resource management on their path to becoming the next generation of resource and land managers.

Funding for ACE positions is provided by a federal program designed specifically for the employment of youth and young adults.

For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.

Summary: American Conservation Experience (ACE), a non-profit conservation corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is seeking ONE (1) Youth Crew Support Member and Refuge Fellow to contribute to leading youth corps in implementing various management techniques for public land and habitat restoration alongside Colorado Front Range National Wildlife Complex Staff. During this term, the ACE members will work on meaningful conservation projects such as establishing new habitat improvement programs, assisting with biological surveys, and engaging the public.

Start Date: April/May 2022

End Date: 9/23/2022


Location: Colorado Front Range National Wildlife Refuge Complex

The Colorado Front Range National Wildlife Refuge Complex 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.

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.

Two Ponds National Wildlife Refuge is located in Arvada, Colorado and is the smallest urban refuge in the country. At 72 acres, the Refuge’s habitat hosts over 120 species of birds and a variety of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge is located just northeast of Denver and is a 15,000-acre expanse of prairie, wetland and woodland habitat. The land has a unique story – it has survived the test of time and transitioned from farmland, to war-time manufacturing site, to wildlife sanctuary. It may be one of the finest conservation success stories in history and a place where wildlife thrives.

For more information, please visit: ​​https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Rocky_Flatts/About_the_Complex.html


Work 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.


Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $600/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.


Housing: Housing is the responsibility of the member and not provided by ACE or the Colorado Front Range National Wildlife Refuge Complex. While on FWS lands, strict adherence to site specific policies and/or regulations is required.


Public Land Corps (PLC) Non-competitive Hiring Authority: Members serving on this project may be eligible to receive a Department of the Interior (DOI) PLC non-competitive hiring authority certificate upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours (16 weeks at 40 hours/week) and utilize their certificate when applying for qualifying federal positions within 2 years of receipt. More information can be provided upon request.


Position Description:

This individual placement is meant to facilitate personal growth and professional development and promotes exposure to land management agency professionals. This could include gaining experience in a variety of conservation fields and/or shadowing different work groups.

Half of the fellowship will focus on leading youth corps, specifically Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC) in implementing various management techniques. In this leadership support role, the fellows will gain valuable experience interfacing between MHYC and refuge staff to identify specific projects, ensure safe implementation, and organize environmental education programs for youth corps members. Conservation stewardship will increase the awareness and appreciation for the natural spaces they are helping to conserve. This portion of the fellowship will be approximately 50% of the fellow’s job responsibilities.

During the other half of the fellowship, the fellows will gain training and experience in the wide array of habitat and public lands management. With this position, we strive to expose the fellows to as many different aspects of refuge management as possible (see below). This allows the fellows to work, learn and network with all staff members and even travel to other FWS facilities to learn from them. Past fellows have consistently commented 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.

Fellows will also gain valuable skills through training on a variety of topics including: flora and fauna of Colorado Front Range National Wildlife Refuges, interpretation and environmental education techniques, habitat restoration, maintenance and operations, administration, as well as program planning and evaluation.

Primary Duties include:

  • Daily leadership and interfacing between refuge management and public land corps youth crews.
  • Working with refuge staff to identify specific habitat improvement projects that are achievable by the youth corps crews.
  • Communicate with youth corps crews and their managers to confirm their developmental goals are met.
  • Ensure the required equipment and supplies are prepared ahead of time.
  • Coordinate the weekly environmental education programs and trainings for the youth corps. This could be tours of the National Wildlife Property and Eagle Repository, career discussions by refuge staff, or detailed biological presentations.
  • Collect accurate and detailed documentation of work performed.
  • Assist with biological surveys for species such as the endangered black-footed ferret, Preble’s meadow jumping mice, bison, black-tailed prairie dogs and others.
  • 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 metalworking.
  • 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 park ranger.
  • Travel to Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge and assist them with their fall elk hunts.
  • Travel to Saratoga National Fish Hatchery and assist them with fall spawning efforts.


Physical Requirements: This position requires physical exertion such as walking long distances over wet and rough surfaces while carrying up to 50 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.


Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The fellows may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, swamp or wetland conditions, biting insects, sun exposure, 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.




  • 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.
  • U.S. 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.


  • 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.
  • Preference for experience in invasive species management (plants) and/or habitat restoration.
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How to Apply

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: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/.   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, Andrew Garcia, agarcia@usaconservation.org, 928-419-7035. Vaccination Requirement: 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. 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.

Job Categories: Equal Opportunities. Job Types: Temporary. Job Tags: Biology, conservation, Habitat, Refuge, wildlife, and youth. Salaries: Less than 20,000.

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