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Make an Environmental Difference in a Forestry Service Job

A forestry service job offers numerous financial, personal, aesthetic and environmental beliefs, including learning from the forestry experts and finding and bidding for forestry jobs.

| July/August 1982

A forestry service job offers numerous benefits beyond finances, including building character and helping with the environment. 

Imagine the smell of crisp autumn air and the feel of the wind cooling your sweaty brow as you pause in your labor to watch a hawk soaring off toward a jagged mountain range. Now imagine getting paid to work in that sort of environment! Does it sound too good to be true? Well, such tough but health-building jobs are available . . . to folks who contract to work for the U.S. Forestry Service.

Although it's true that most national forests have their own crews—and generally hire professional contractors to take care of major projects—the Forestry Service does employ private citizens for forestry service jobs that involve the maintenance and general upkeep of trails and such. As a matter of fact, a friend and I spent a rigorous (but wonderful) month last fall, high in the scenic mountains of southern Oregon, laboring away on one of those "secondary" jobs. We earned a few extra calluses, developed some new muscles, and enjoyed ourselves in the woods while making over $3,000 . . . and there's no reason why you can't do the same (or better).

FORESTRY SERVICE JOBS . . . WHAT AND WHERE?

There are national forests in nearly every state, and although each of them is unique, most do have networks of footpaths that need annual attention. Your task might consist of rerouting directional signs . . . clearing streams of debris . . . or even collecting pine cones for tree propagation. In short, any number of housekeeping chores are all but crying out to be taken care of in most government-protected woods.



So how do you find out just what these jobs are? Well, you might want to do as my friend and I did: We simply paid a visit to our local Forestry Service office and filled out an application to have our names put on the "Bidder's Mailing List". By doing so, we were assured of being notified by the Forestry Service whenever a project of interest to us was put up for bids.

The form listed 64 categories of jobs that are sometimes available in the national forests . . . tasks that vary from fence construction to aerial tree spraying. An applicant is allowed to sign up for as many different kinds of work as he or she chooses, but since we were interested only in trail maintenance, that was the sole area we indicated on our applications. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Most Forestry Service offices don't require you to make a personal visit to get on the Bidder's Mailing List . . . a phone call will usually suffice.]  






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