Wilderness Ranger: Linville Gorge Wilderness

Join our team: Do you have a strong work ethic and a desire to work in protected public lands? Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) is hiring for the following positions.

Position Title: Wilderness Ranger

Positions Open: 1

Position Duration:  30 weeks – Starting early to mid April

Status: Temporary/Seasonal

Compensation: $15/hour

Typical Schedule: Thursday – Monday

Position Supervisor: Regional Program Manager

Location: Linville Gorge Wilderness

About Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS)

We are a passionate and inclusive team of employees, volunteers, and supporters, dedicated to a mission of educating, cultivating, and empowering an engaged public for the stewardship of protected public lands. We pride ourselves on being a transformative conservation non-profit: for the resource, the individuals who work with us, federal land management agencies, and our local partners. SAWS was founded in 2010 to respond to a regional need for stewardship focused on federally designated wilderness. We work with the national forests in the mountain regions of Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Arkansas to provide stewardship through our four program areas: trail crews, wilderness rangers and specialists, volunteers, and education.

Position Summary

Under the supervision of the Program Manager, a Wilderness Ranger’s work may include, but is not limited to:

  • Conduct solitude monitoring using established data collection protocol
  • Regularly patrol trails to make public contacts, report trail conditions, remove trash, and perform minor trail maintenance
  • Contact and educate visitors on Leave No Trace, bear safety and awareness, search and rescue prevention, wilderness ethics, etc.
  • Engage with partner organizations on field work days and education events
  • Assist in the management and operation of the Linville Gorge Information Cabin. This may include:
    • Regular interaction with the public
    • Operating point of sale system
    • Handling cash and making deposits
    • Scheduling of Cabin Host shifts
    • Tracking and reporting inventory
    • Developing interpretive materials

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Collect, manage, and report field work output
  • Coordinate with US Forest Service staff and partners on project work
  • Assist SAWS staff in developing and maintaining strong, positive relationships with US Forest Service personnel, partner organization staff, and partner organization volunteers
  • Craft and curate media (blogs, photography, video, etc.) to share for reporting and documentation
  • Model and practice Leave No Trace principals in the field
  • Follow and practice SAWS organizational policies in the field
  • Maintain an inclusive, safe, fun, and positive working environment
  • Maintain high standard levels for project completion


In addition to enthusiasm for the SAWS mission, you will have the following:

  • Strong understanding of federally designated wilderness, wilderness character, and natural resource management
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Ability to travel on foot over rough terrain for up to 10 miles per day while carrying 50 lbs or more
  • Knowledge of Leave No Trace ethics, including backcountry camp and travel practices
  • Ability to work alone in a remote and primitive setting
  • Experience with ESRI Collector app and ArcGIS software desired
  • Desire to be a vibrant member of an enthusiastic working team and transformative non-profit organization

To Apply

Please complete the form below and upload a cover letter and resume. Questions regarding the application may be submitted via email to David Cohen, Program Manager, at davidcohen@wildernessstewards.org.

SAWS is an equal opportunity employer and provides a drug-free workplace.

2020 Wilderness Ranger Employment Application

    If applying for multiple locations, please submit an application for each location.
  • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, jpg, docx.
  • Accepted file types: pdf, doc, jpg, docx.
    Completion of this section is voluntary. No hiring decisions are made based on this information. There will be no impact on your application if you choose not to answer any of these questions.