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Invasive Species Removal and Habitat Restoration Members - Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge

American Conservation Experience
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Seasonal, Temporary, Internship
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Job Description:

Invasive Species Removal and Habitat Restoration Members - Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge




American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking two Invasive Species Removal and Habitat Restoration Members to help with a large invasive plant removal and habitat restoration project alongside Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge staff.


For more information about ACE, please visit:


Start Date: Flexible


Estimated End Date: no later than 12/15/23


**10-week commitment required


Location Details/Description: Bitter Creek Wildlife Refuge, Maricopa, CA


As a hub of condor activity and research opportunities, Bitter Creek NWR is a unique keystone at the nexus of two mountain ranges encompassing much of the historical California condor range and serving as an important wildlife corridor.


The refuge protects habitat within an important east/west running mountain range and provides movement corridors for populations of native ungulates, raptors, and other wildlife.


Condor and other wildlife movements extend beyond refuge boundaries and exemplify the Service's contribution to a much larger conservation initiative as we partner with public and private landowners. Alongside these charismatic animals, so, too, can lesser known and rare wildlife and plant species thrive within this intact and functioning ecosystem. Also protected on the refuge are Native American cultural resources and remnants of 19th century homesteads.


The 14,186-acre refuge encompasses a sizable portion of Bitter Creek Canyon, and many of its tributary canyons. The canyon has historically been infested with non-native tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima) which has serious adverse consequences on the structure and stability of native plant communities. Regionally, riparian ecosystems make up less than 1% of the total land area of California and have been identified as the most critical habitat for the conservation of many wildlife species. This project focuses on restoring critical riparian and grassland habitats for the preservation and enhancement of San Joaquin Valley special status plant and animal species through the eradication and removal of tamarisk within Bitter Creek canyon.


For more information about Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, please visit:


Position Overview:


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. This position will help FWS realize that mission at Bitter Creek NWR by supporting and working towards specific goals and objectives identified in the Bitter Creek NWR Comprehensive Conservation Plan.


GOAL 2: Protect and enhance Bitter Creek NWR grasslands to promote ecologically sound conditions to support a diversity of migratory birds and special status plant and animal species.


Objective 2.4: Prevent the infestation of new invasive plant species and reduce the range and coverage of existing invasive species by 25%, including yellow star thistle (Centaurea solstitialis L.), and invasive non-native mustards (Brassicaceae spp.).

GOAL 4: Restore and maintain riparian and wetland communities to support native plants and wildlife. and other special status species.


Objective 4.5: Within 5 years, eliminate salt cedar (Tamarix sp.) on the refuge and prevent the infestation of other non-native invasive species.

The members will conduct invasive species removal using various mechanical and chemical methods as well as conduct biological mapping within the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Members will receive direction and guidance from USFWS staff but will also be required to operate independently at times.


This individual placement is meant to facilitate professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with professionals. This could include gaining experience in different conservation fields and shadowing different work groups.


The member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the accomplishment of:


Physical removal of invasive plants including hand pulling or with tools (including chainsaws, loppers, and hand saw).

Spot application of General Use Pesticides (with oversight by refuge staff)

Data collection using handheld GPS units and/or other mapping equipment.

Assist with other biological work (e.g. Condor Biology), and other Refuge work (e.g. maintenance) as opportunities and interest allows.

Operation of Refuge vehicles, ATV, UTV, and other small equipment.


Schedule: Duties will typically be carried out between 7am and 4:30pm Pacific, Monday - Friday. Work hours may vary due to extreme heat. 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.


Physical Demands, Work Environment and Working Conditions:


Physical Demands: This position requires physical exertion such as hiking long distances over hot, wet and rough terrain while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching, talking and hearing. Manual dexterity required for use of various tools, computer keyboard/mouse and other office equipment and may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements.

Vision Requirements: Requires close, distance, peripheral and depth perception vision as well as the ability to focus.

Weight Lifted or Force Exerted: Frequently moves up to 40 lbs., ability to move up to 40 lbs.

Environmental: Outdoor and indoor conditions. Work environment conditions can change frequently; working under adverse weather conditions and in various climates. When indoor, office environment conditions; indoor air quality is good and temperature is controlled.

Noise Environment: Moderate to high noise such as hand and power tools. Moderate noise such as in a business office with equipment and light traffic.

Travel: This position may require domestic travel.


Environmental Conditions/Hazards: The ACE member may encounter environmental conditions/hazards including extreme heat or cold, rocky terrain, biting insects, high humidity, 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. Duties are performed primarily outdoors. Temperature and weather extremes can be encountered in the performance of outdoor duties. Average high temperatures in the area hover around 98°F in June and July, and days with heat in excess of 100°F are common through September.


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.




Members must be a U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident, as required by U.S. government contracts

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.

If driving is required: A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).

Willing to undergo and must pass the required three-part criminal history check.

Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

ACE Members will need to complete bi-weekly timesheets, beginning of term feedback forms, end of term evaluations and for longer terms, a mid-term evaluation.

Strong writing, communication and organizational skills;

Ability to follow biological protocols and procedures

Ability to multitask and shift schedule and priorities to meet changing conditions.

Commitment to completing tasks thoroughly and on time.

Ability to complete tasks independently and work well in a team

Skills and abilities to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in a field or office setting.

Experience hiking or backpacking in backcountry

Members may not participate in any prohibited activities as listed in the Member Service Agreement or as defined by AmeriCorps.

To learn more about eligibility requirements, please visit our website here




Competitive applicants for this position can hold an associate's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject.

Prior experience and certification in herbicide application;

Experience using hand tools for physical removal of invasive species;

Experience and certification with: UTV/ATVs;

Experience and certification using chainsaws;

Workplace experience following protocols in support of biological surveys


Position Benefits


Living Allowance: The ACE Members are expected to contribute approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $625/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.


Public Land Corps Hiring Authority: Members serving under this agreement may be eligible for a federal hiring authority upon completion of their term of service. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility, or view general information online here.


Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided agency housing at no cost for the duration of the term.


Provided Training/Orientation: ACE members will receive position specific training and an orientation outlining ACE policies and procedures, clear guidance on prohibited activities, and networks for support. Specific training may include ATV/UTV sprayer training.

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: Early consideration will be given as resumes 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 Member Manager, Nich Jackosky, at or (628) 888-9336.


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.

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