Getting Paid for Living Good

A job as a caretaker for a government, corporate or privately owned country property lets you get paid for living on the land.

| May/June 1972

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    Land caretaker jobs let you enjoy the wilderness while getting paid.
    ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

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Have you ever dreamed of living the Good Life out in the country far from the city's noise and pollution? Do you want to spend your life hiking, swimming, hunting, fishing, camping and observing wildlife in its natural habitat? Would you like to raise your own produce and livestock . . . and raise it free of pesticides and chemicals? And most of all, would you like to get paid for doing all this while you protect natural areas from the dangers of "civilization"?

I know. . . it sounds impossible, but a number of lucky folks are living their lives just this way right now. I'm one of them, and the key to our dream-lives is the job we all share . . . a job that has many names: Caretaker, Ranger, Forester, etc,

There are, you see, large areas of uninhabited and occasionally remote land owned by governments, corporations and even individuals. Some of these tracts are productive and are leased to farmers and others at a reasonable figure. Much of the land I refer to, however, is non-productive and the individuals and corporations that own such acreage are happy to pay a trustworthy resident (or, at very least, give him rent-free quarters) for protecting and maintaining the preserves, estates or whatever. The caretakers for government-owned parks, forests and recreational areas are usually furnished both living accommodations and a salary.

I work as a combination Park Ranger & Caretaker at a city-owned reservoir several miles from a small town. I've visited similar parcels of land around the country and found that, in most cases where non-owners are paid to live on and protect a tract, a rent-free residence is supplied with the job. Nearly all such caretakers—even those in state parks—are provided room for at least a small garden and sometimes a good-sized piece of acreage is made available for the employee to farm. Such fringe benefits, I feel, more than compensate for the—in most cases—low salary.



Now I'll admit that the outdoor jobs I'm describing (actually, they're more "lifestyles" than employment) are few and far between. They're so perfect for nature lovers, though, that they're worth going after. . . or creating!

Yep. If you can't find the kind of setup you're looking for, you can often create it. Just locate the owner of a large piece of country property and point out the dangers of forest fires, vandalism, trespassers and poachers. If you can work with your hands, offer to improve the grounds (by constructing fences, outbuildings, roads, drainage ditches, ponds, etc.) during your stay. Make a straightforward business deal, in other words, to live on the property, maintain and protect it.

Ljbean0528
6/5/2020 9:50:10 AM

Team of two who has many references and experience traveling around and doing different sorts of things. We do have a young teen in tow but they are far more mature and quiet than most teens. We believe in the old ways of bartering and earning your keep. We are very laid back, keep to our selves but also enjoy telling stories around a fire. We have worked as maintanance, trading rent for work and I have helped on an equestrian ranch and also grew up next door to an ape rescue so I grew up taking care of the babies. We all love animals and are hard workers. If interested please contact me; lillioness0528@gmail.com


Bowtie
12/25/2019 3:26:49 PM

me an my wife are both retired ,her on disability an would love some thing like this , we own a motorhome an would only need a place to park an hook it up...I have a back ground in electrical, an plumbing ,can run a tractor an zero turn mower. not scared of hard work Randall


SunShineJen
3/29/2019 8:57:41 AM

My husband and I have dreamt of this! would love to know more info







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