Job Opportunity: Montana Conservation Corps Regional Supervisor

Regional Supervisor, Bozeman, MT

The Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) seeks qualified applicants for the position of Regional Supervisor located in Bozeman, Montana. This is a full time, year round position.

MCC is a crew based program whose mission is to inspire young people through hands-on conservation service to be leaders, stewards of the land, and engaged citizens who improve their communities.   MCC has an annual $5 million budget and receives funding from AmeriCorps, project sponsors, grants and private donations.  Statewide each year, the MCC has over 200 AmeriCorps young adult members and 100 youth corps members who perform natural resource work across the region with a variety of land use agencies and non-profit partners.

The Regional Supervisor (RS) is responsible for the overall operation and management of the MCC field operations. Primary duties include project solicitation & coordination, community partnership cultivation, hiring & supervision of regional staff, leaders & members hiring, stewardship of local stakeholders, and assurance of high quality program implementation.  They are the primary liaison between the State Office and the region.

Primary duties include:

  • Provide overall leadership and tone setting for the region; set appropriate standards; ensure high quality adult & youth program delivery; provide fair & appropriate discipline
  • Develop relationships with project sponsors, provide & manage full schedule of high quality project work for leaders & members, negotiate service agreements
  • Help develop funding strategies– ie: write grants, steward community partnerships
  • Create meaningful, high quality volunteer and service day events
  • Establish and maintain the MCC as a community resource by networking with non-profit, governmental and private entities.
  • Perform administrative duties; timely submittal of required project, program, grant & member paperwork

Qualifications: B.S./B.A. Strong interpersonal and administrative skills. Three years of supervisory experience.  Experience with corps, youth development or educational programs.  Project development & oversight experience.  Technical skills such as trail building, fencing, and carpentry are desirable. Starting salary of $40,000 DOE. MCC also provides health and dental benefits, a generous vacation package, and 401k after a year of employment.

MCC is accepting applications now. Target start date is January 7, 2013. To apply, submit resume, cover letter and listing of three references via email to, fax: 406-587-2606 or mail to:

MCC Search Committee
206 North Grand St.
Bozeman, MT 59715


Issue Update: Jumbo Glacier Resort Proposal

Our Summer Semester course visits the Jumbo Creek area of British Columbia’s Kootenay Range that would be impacted by a gigantic ski resort proposal.  It is a highly contentious issue involving numerous ecological, cultural, economic, and policy variables – a great forum for learning about all these subjects. We encourage students and alumni to stay or become involved in the issues around the Jumbo Valley.

Here is a link to a video about the Ktunaxa Nation: 

From Wildsight:

Jumbo Resort Municipality a Wilderness Land Grab

Submitted by Robyn Duncan on November 20, 2012 – 10:21


Today, the Jumbo Resort Municipality was created by the BC government.
Encompassing the wilderness area of the Jumbo Valley, this new municipality has a population of zero and an appointed council of 3. This decision flies in the face of democratic land-use decisions, overwhelming public opposition, grizzly bear science, First Nations spiritual claims and opposition from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM).

“This is a public land grab. For 20 years, the people have said no to the Jumbo Resort, grizzly bear scientists have said no to the Jumbo Resort and the Ktunaxa Nation has said no to the Jumbo Resort. In September, the Union of BC Municipalities said no. This decision changes the face in democracy in BC,” stated Robyn Duncan, Program Manager with Wildsight.

Continue reading

Issue Update: Colleges and Universities De-Funding Fossil Fuel Industries

This encouraging word comes from the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. AASHE is a great organization to keep tabs on for study, work, and issue advocacy opportunities. (You can sign up for email updates on their website.)

Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaigns on the Rise

Fossil fuel divestment campaigns are active at about 50 U.S. campuses , and many more are expected to launch in coming weeks. Earlier this month, the Board of Trustees at Unity College voted to divest their endowment from fossil fuel industries. And last year Hampshire College (MA) passed a sustainable investment policy that effectively divested endowment funds from fossil fuels. More recently, the Harvard College Undergraduate Council announced 72 percent of voting students want Harvard University to divest its $30.7 billion endowment from fossil fuels. The divestment movement has increasingly received national exposure due in part to Bill McKibben’s 21-city Do the Math tour. A recent Boston Globe op-ed by McKibben and Mark Orlowski, executive director of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, calls on colleges to make no new investments in fossil fuels, “wind down” current investments in five years, and invest in increasing their own energy efficiency for a greater return.

See alsoStudents Call for Divestment from the Fossil Fuel Industry
See alsoColleges Divest from Fossil Fuels
See alsoDo the Math: Invest While We Divest

Issue Update: Senator Tester and the Hunters

Interesting natural resource politics in one of the crucial senate races in the West. Check out the comments below for a very lively interaction between the author and several activist readers.

Sportsmen sealed reelection for Sen. Jon Tester

Other notes: Sen. Tester is an organic farmer from Big Sandy, and was a speaker on our Montana Afoot and Afloat course for several years (he’s a bit too busy these days). Author Ben Long has spoken to our Cycle the Rockies course. Comment-er Matt Koehler is with Missoula’s WildWest Institute, Kieran Suckling is Director if the Center for Biological Diversity, a very litigious (and effective) conservation group from Arizona.


Job Opportunity: Position available with MCC

MCC is a wonderful organization working with youth (and veterans) on conservation projects in the Big Sky. This will be a great job for someone! – Dave

Veterans Program Coordinator

The Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) seeks qualified applicants for the full-time position of Veterans Program Coordinator.   MCC’s mission is to “inspire young people through hands on conservation service to be leaders, stewards of the land and engaged citizens who improve their communities.”

MCC has an annual $5 million budget and receives funding from AmeriCorps, project sponsors, grants and private donations.  The Veterans Green Corps (VGC) program is designed as a career training experience for recently discharged veterans looking to transition from the military into a career in the natural resources field.

Under the direction of the Program Manager, the Program Coordinator is responsible for creating an outreach plan, recruiting, screening and hiring appropriate veterans, and helping oversee the implementation of the VGC program.    The Program Coordinator must develop and maintain a good working relationship with, state office and regional staff, Veterans services staff and recruits.   Primary duties include:

  • Develop recruitment strategy to target qualified applicants
  • Identify and implement recruitment and outreach activities
  • Track, interview and hire qualified veterans  in coordination with regional staff
  • Help develop and deliver communications resources (press releases, recruitment materials)
  • Help staff design, organize and implement orientations, trainings and graduation events
  • Instill ‘culture of professionalism’ and cultivate safety awareness within VGC crews
  • Promote and support compliance with MCC policies and recognized safety standards
  • Assist Program Manager with development of education and curriculum in line with MCC program objectives and mission; Insure high quality implementation of MCC education
  • Perform office administrative duties such as paperwork, phone, mail, filing

Qualifications: B.S./B.A. or equivalent work experience.  Strong communication, administrative, and organizational skills.  Experience with military personnel or veterans.  A valid driver’s license is required as well as a willingness to travel extensively in and out of state.   Previous corps experience desirable.

Benefits: Position pays $1,098.40/biweekly. MCC also provides health and dental benefits, and a paid vacation package. This position is a one-year appointment initially.

For a detailed job description visit our website at or call 406.587.4475.  MCC is accepting applications through November 30, 2012. Target starting date is January 7, 2013.  To apply submit resume and cover letter to or mail to:

MCC Search Committee, 206 North Grand, Bozeman, MT 59715

Catie DeMets: This is my Classroom

I stood in the waning, golden sunlight of Montana, looking out at the fields that stretched towards Custer National Forest on the horizon. Out there, on the border of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, I felt a sense of peace, a sweeping openness, that has attracted hunters and ranchers to this place for hundreds of years and explains why this has been a culturally significant area for the Northern Cheyenne tribe for even longer. I imagined all the people, alive and long gone, whose lives are deeply entangled with this place. And it occurred to me, as I listened to a native Northern Cheyenne elder, Steve Brady, tell us the history of his people and the land here, that my life had become part of this place, too. Steve explained that we stood on 1.3 billion tons of coal, a natural aquifer that held water essential to the landscape and its people. This coal, however, along with the landscape above it, is the apple of the eyes of coal companies and railroads, which plan to mine it and ship it around the United States and to Asia. This would mean the ruination of the aquifer, the landscape, and the cultural sacredness of this place. With troubled thoughts, my eyes traveled out again, passing over the glorious but imperiled landscape; I will never forget this place or dismiss its problems as “just a pit somewhere out west.”

This was my classroom.

This autumn, I spent a semester away from traditional school, foregoing the comforts of Lawrence University for the wilder country of Montana. With a non-profit organization called the Wild Rockies Field Institute (WRFI), accredited through the University of Montana-Missoula, I traveled around Montana with six other students, an intern, and two instructors, learning about its environmental, social, and economic atmosphere and problems.

We backpacked and kayaked through wilderness and met with speakers representing an incredibly wide array of perspectives, lifestyles, and occupations. The knowledge, understanding, and feeling of connection I gained from these experiences and meetings will stay with me forever, because I lived them and met people who truly embody the perspectives they stand for. Because of my WRFI experience, I feel well equipped to go into the world,converse with all types of people to tackle environmental—among other—issues, and be an active citizen of the beautiful thing we ultimately call home: the earth.

Each of us college students is encouraged to approach issues from multiple angles. From the analytic and academic perspective, we’ve nailed that. We’re awesome at taking the stance of “devil’s advocate” in the classroom and when we’re having intellectual conversations with friends on our way to lunch at the campus center…but do you ever have that nagging feeling that you’re not speaking from experience, from a deep understanding of the other side? I know I did, which is why, as an environmental studies and geology junkie, I decided to head west to learn about and experience environmental issues firsthand for two months. If only we could all have this kind of experience, we’d rekindle that deep connection to nature that we’re seeking but so often missing. We’d literally walk on the problems—the coal mines, the hydrofracking well sites, the oil refineries—that have forced us to grow up with the black rain cloud of climate change lingering overhead. But we’d also look out over the solutions to those problems: the wind farms, the sustainable ranches, a restored native prairie reserve, the green buildings, and perhaps most importantly, the wilderness. Late at night, we’d stare into the piney embers of our campfire in the wilderness of the mountains while reading and discussing an Aldo Leopold passage on understanding and appreciating the wood we burn.

Maybe that sounds like a fantasy education, a way to dodge rigorous academics. I thought so, too, just a few months ago. But now I’m convinced that the very moment we decide that we don’t have time in our academic career to leap out into the wilderness and find our environmental imaginations again is the moment that we need it most. The second the thought that “I’m a fill-in-the-blank major, so what could an experiential environmental course offer to me?” pops into our mind, we should recognize that the most fulfilling and meaningful experiences are the ones that we live. So find a way to get out into the environment and learn about it through the people who live there and the wisdom of the land. It is our responsibility—and indeed, our most precious opportunity—to read, to listen earnestly, to grapple, to understand, to imagine, to experience the rhythms of the land and its people. What better way could there be to learn about our place in the world and the earth—our ultimate subject—than to experience it intimately?

Go run in the woods.

Poetry of Place: Alaska Rainforest 2012 Group Poem


Going home but never forgetting,

I rose in a rainforest every morning.

Thinking back to the crescendo of ecology, the harmony of nature, the syncopation of landscape, the rhythm of wilderness.

It’s beauty will forever call to me for I find I cannot live without thee.

Dig your spirit in the sand and consider that the tern can fly from here to the end of the Earth, what can’t the living do?


By Will, Max, Sabrina, Helena, Ian, Patrick and Liz