Washington is home to extraordinary hiking destinations, including desert dunes, wild beaches, tranquil mountain tops and raging rivers. Washington is also home to a community of people who are passionate about exploring and protecting these places. This constituency—our members and supporters—is key to the future of trails in Washington.
Washington Trails Association (WTA) is the nation’s largest hiking and trail maintenance nonprofit. We have a 50-year legacy of engaging the hiking community to ensure Washington's trails stand the test of time. With more than 27,000 members and an online community of over 300,000 and growing, we are connecting people to the outdoors — from everyday adventures to backcountry explorations. Each year 4,500 WTA volunteers perform over 160,000 hours of trail maintenance across the state. We mobilize hikers as public lands advocates, trail stewards, and on-the-ground experts sharing knowledge with fellow hikers. WTA's strength is our community and our vision depends on fostering an inclusive organization where everyone feels welcome and represented. Together we can ensure there are trails for everyone, forever.
WTA is seeking a Lost Trails Found Crew Member who loves working with people and shares our commitment to trail stewardship. The Crew Member works outdoors helping the Lost Trails Found Coordinator and the Lost Trails Found Crew Members in building and maintaining trails on public lands. ****
The Lost Trails Found (LTF) crew will work in backcountry locations on National Forests throughout Washington State. This crew will focus on a broad variety of backcountry projects restoring lost trails while primarily working an eight day hitch schedule. The LTF Crew will be predominantly self supported, and each member is required to carry their tools, food and camp supplies into remote settings.
The ideal candidates will love working outdoors with others in all weather, have prior experience camping and doing trail work, and share our belief that everyone should feel safe and included in the outdoors community. The Crew Members will complete work specified by local land agencies and defined by the Lost Trails Found Coordinator while in the field. Crew Members will positively contribute to a backcountry crew community and are an integral part of completing these trail projects. ****
Over the course of the season, the six person Lost Trails Found Crew, (two leaders, and 4 Crew Members) will complete backcountry trail maintenance projects in remote settings. The ideal candidates will be self motivated and have experience in multi-day backcountry projects in the field. The Crew Member is a temporary, field-based position that reports to the Lost Trails Found Coordinator. ****
Supporting trail work projects
Contribute to a positive and affirming work environment for other crew members while in backcountry settings
Complete projects as defined by the LTF Coordinator that may include annual maintenance, new trail construction, logout, installing drainage structures, and construction of steps, turnpike, puncheon and retaining walls
Help LTF Coordinator and Assistant Leader effectively manage emergency situations following WTA’s emergency response protocols
Positively represent WTA mission, programs, and membership in all interactions with volunteers, trail users, and others
Follow safety protocols as defined by LTF Leaders during remote work hitches
Report all incidents affecting the safety, health, and well-being of crew to LTF Coordinator
Supporting camp and crew members
Help foster and support a culture of feedback and provide regular and effective feedback to peers
Create and contribute to an inclusive and safe space for all crew members while on trail and at camp
Practice Leave No Trace principles and WTA camp risk management procedures
Competitive candidates will highlight the following in their application, or express willingness to learn:
Two or more seasons of experience with trail crews or conservation corps
One or more seasons with experience building or maintaining hiking trails, building rock retaining walls, and other projects related to annual trail maintenance
Demonstrated ability to create a group/community space where every member (people of diverse races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, abilities and economic backgrounds) feels included and valued
Ability to work in an outdoor environment in a variety of weather conditions and follow minimum impact guidelines; some projects may include hiking up to 10 miles daily in a variety of terrain including river crossings and climbing over downed trees
Demonstrated commitment to WTA’s mission and values on diversity, equity and inclusion
Experience camping in backcountry settings and spending extended periods in the backcountry
Demonstrated ability to accept and integrate feedback graciously, and give effective feedback to peers
Ability to learn WTA’s emergency response protocols and effectively manage emergency situations
Ability to work 10-hour days in remote settings
Chainsaw or Crosscut saw experience (crosscut bucking preferred)
Valid driver’s license required
Availability through October 2023
The Lost Trails Found Crew - Member is a temporary position starting May 8th, 2023. The expected schedule is four days on/three days off, at the beginning of the season, with a transition to an eight days on/six days off hitch schedule in mid June. Schedule will include predominantly remote backcountry locations with the crew hiking into their designated project site for the duration of the hitch. Projected schedule is 10-hour days throughout the duration of the season. A typical work week is 40 hours, but may vary depending on the work. There is an unpaid summer break July 24-30. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination requirements are in place for WTA staff and volunteers.
Compensation for this position is $20.00/hour. This position will earn a trip rate for every trip, with four-day hitches at $800 and eight-day hitches at $1,600. Position is eligible for paid holidays, sick leave, health stipend and an employer match retirement plan. WTA provides safety hard hat, work gloves, safety glasses and a $200 gear reimbursement. A supplementary per diem rate of $50/day will be provided for multi-day backcountry trips.
Crew Members are responsible for their own transportation to the worksite. Carpooling options are available and dependent on individuals needs and comfort. If you need transportation or have questions or concerns about transportation, WTA can talk about additional options during the interview process. For Crew Members who have a personal vehicle, mileage reimbursement will be provided for up to 250 miles traveled total each hitch.
WTA is committed to advancing equity and continually working to become a more inclusive organization. We believe WTA, and Washington’s hiking community, is made better by people with varied backgrounds, identities, abilities and lived experience. People of color and others with identities that are underrepresented in the outdoor industry (including but not limited to: gender identity, class, socioeconomic status, conviction history, sexual orientation, age, ability, and background) are strongly encouraged to apply.
In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at WTA will be based on merit, qualifications and abilities. WTA does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of age, caste, color, creed, gender identity, marital status, honorably discharged veteran or military status, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, the use of a trained service animal by a person with a disability, or any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.
North Bend, WA, USA