Skip to main content
Skip to main menu


Student Trainee – Natural Resources Management

Job Field:
Job Type:
Seasonal, Temporary, Internship
New Mexico
Location Detail:
Ruidoso, NM
Job Description:

The Lincoln National Forest is currently seeking a Rangeland Management student intern to work at Smokey Bear Ranger District in Ruidoso, NM. This position is open to current undergraduate and graduate students and is seasonal full-time. Interested candidates should apply on USAJOBS (USAJOBS - Job Announcement number 23-NPT-SUM-NR-345-NTE) by January 27, 2023. More information about the specific position and location at the Lincoln National Forest is below. If you have questions about the position, please reach out to the Range Program Manager, George Douds, at or Range Specialist Jordan Johnston at or 575-491-9035. The purpose of this Outreach Notice is to provide additional details about the work and duty location for the Student Trainee (Rangeland Management) position at the Lincoln National Forest’s Smokey Bear Ranger District.

All applications must go through USAJOBS. The announcement closes on January 27, 2023.


ABOUT THE POSITION: This student intern will work primarily in the Range Department on the Smokey Bear Ranger District, although incidental work may be performed in other program areas such as Wildlife, Recreation or Timber Management. The student will work for the Range Specialist on the district and examples of work performed include the following:

• Assists specialists in development of plans and programs for range management by collecting data for grazing allotments. Checks range allotments to assess appropriate time to graze, compliance with management plans and operating instructions, number of livestock, herding procedures, salting, range improvement, maintenance, and the need for additional range improvements such as fences or water development.

• Inspects structural range improvements and notifies supervisor of needed maintenance. Recommends the construction or abandonment of range improvements such as fences, water developments, etc. May lead small crews in construction and/or maintenance of range improvements.

• Checks allotments before and after grazing season for trespass stock. If trespass stock is found, gathers necessary brands, numbers, dates, locations, etc.

• Performs a variety of computations and assessment of standard rangeland management data and deposits data in the appropriate data base. Prepares charts, graphs, and/or reports using well-established specified procedures. Refer to USAJOBS announcement for specific qualification and eligibility details.


ABOUT THE FOREST: The Lincoln National Forest is headquartered in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The Lincoln covers approximately 1.1 million acres and consists of three Ranger Districts - Smokey Bear (D1 – Ruidoso, NM), Sacramento (D2 – Cloudcroft, NM), and Guadalupe (D3 – Carlsbad, NM). There are three major mountain ranges that cover 1,103,441 acres in southeastern New Mexico - Sacramento, Guadalupe, and Capitan. Elevations of 4,000 to 11,500 feet pass through five different life zones from Chihuauhan desert to subalpine forest. Vegetation ranges from rare cacti in the lower elevations to Englemann spruce in the higher elevations.

The Lincoln National Forest is known as the birthplace of the world-famous Smokey Bear, the symbol of the campaign to prevent forest fires. The original Smokey Bear is buried in Capitan, New Mexico.

About Smokey Bear Ranger District – D1 The district manages approximately 375,000 acres of widely diverse vegetation and habitat types. The topography varies from gentle terrain to very steep ruggedness with ranges in elevation from 5,400 to 11,580 feet. Higher elevations offer mountain meadows, mixtures of pine, fir, aspen, oak, and other vibrant greens which are broken by the brilliance of wildflowers, blossoming plants, and trees that change with the season. Wildlife is abundant on the District. Deer, elk, turkey, quail, bear, and many types of birds (including the Mexican Spotted Owl of ESA fame) and small animals live on the Forest.

The Mescalero Apache Tribal Lands border the district to the south. The district contains critical watersheds for the Rio Ruidoso and Bonito Rivers. There are two wilderness areas (White Mountain and Capitan) totaling approximately 83,000 acres. One of the major attractions located on the district is the Ski Apache Resort, one of the largest downhill ski areas in the Southwest. The Mescalero Apache Tribe owns and operates it through a special use permit. The villages of Ruidoso and nearby communities rely heavily on tourism to support the economy.


Weather: Weather is directly tied to elevation with an average yearly rainfall of 23 inches. Springtime is usually dry and windy while July and August are a balmy 82 degrees with frequent afternoon showers or thunderstorms. A combination of high elevation and abundant moisture produces a beautiful array of color from a variety of flowering plants during the summer months. Winter provides an average 42 degrees in January with accumulating average yearly snowfalls of 47 inches. Perhaps the most beautiful time of year is in the fall, when oaks, maples, and aspens wrap the mountain slopes in breathtaking colors.

Housing: The median house price in Ruidoso is $380,000. Apartment rentals average $800-$1,500. House rentals (2 bedroom) average $1500 and up. Temporary government housing may be available.

Medical: Complete emergency medical service unit with advanced life support ambulances and comprehensive emergency, diagnostic, and surgical care. Home and alternative health care providers also available.

Shopping/Dining/Social: Many independently owned shops, franchises, and restaurants. Great restaurants offer Chinese, Italian, Mexican, steak and seafood and excellent cuisine. Ruidoso, Lincoln County, and other local communities have social events spanning the entire year. Infrastructure includes a civic center, senior center, parks, and a library. Popular attractions include Ski Apache Resort, Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino, Ruidoso Downs Horse Track and Billy the Kid Casino.

Recreation and Culture: Outdoor recreation opportunities include hunting opportunities for both small and large game such as deer, trophy elk, turkey, and squirrel. Other recreation activities include hiking, camping, picnicking, mountain biking, wildlife watching, ATV riding, and downhill skiing. Major attractions include the Lincoln National Forest, Smokey Bear Museum, Smokey Bear State Park, White Sands National Monument, Oliver Lee Sate Park, and Valley of Fire State Park.

Transportation: Albuquerque International Airport is located about 200 miles north of Ruidoso. Sierra Blanca Regional Airport is located about 18 miles northeast of the village. El Paso International Airport is located about 140 miles south of Ruidoso.

Nearby Cities:

- Alamogordo, NM, 50 miles (population 30,000)

- Las Cruces, NM, 120 miles (population 98,000)

- El Paso, TX, 140 miles (population 649,000)

- Albuquerque, NM, 208 miles (population 546,000)

How to Apply:

All applications must go through USAJOBS. The announcement closes on January 27, 2023.

Support Warnell

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.