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So you want a job in the backcountry? What are you doing in computers? Don't expect to find anything in misc.jobs.offered. GO visit a job placement office. 4. There are many senses of the word "wealth," not all of them material. I'm not talking about trying to make a deep philosophical point here about which is the true kind. I'm writing about one specific rather technical sense of the word "wealth." What people will give you money for. This is an interesting sort of wealth to study, because it is the kind of that prevents you from starving. And what people will give you money for depends on them, not you. When you are in a business, it's easy to slide into thinking that customers want what you do. During the Internet Bubble I talked to a woman who, because she liked the outdoors, was starting an "outdoor portal." You know what kind of business you should start if you like the outdoors? One to recover data from crashed hard disks. What's the connection? None at all. Which is precisely my point. If you want to create wealth (in the narrow sense of not starving) then you should basically be skeptical about any plan that centers on things you like doing. That is where you idea of what's valuable is least to coincide with other people's. Hackers & Painters Chapter 6 How to Make Wealth Paul Graham This is a common "romantic" idea. At this stage, the probability of mixing computers and the outdoors is very remote. Like the idea of being a fire lookout or ranger or someting else? Just telling you the odds (1000:1 is common). It helps to have a background in some outdoor field: geology, forestry, botany, biology, surveying, aerial photo interpretation, driving trucks, law enforcement, etc. The work is at times "back breaking," hot, hard, and sweaty. Sound discouraging? Intentionally. I want to dissuade you from marginal ideas. Why? Because these organizations need real hard working people. It's scary work in cases. Consider this because I've had friends recently lose homes in Santa Barbara, that's a very real thing, and they need people who realize this on fire lines. You can't hesistate in that environment. Next, if you are seeking a summer job with someone like the US Forest Service, if you are reading this anytime after Feb. 1, you are most likely out of luck. You need a Standard Form 171 from the US Government. These jobs come in the 1s and 2s odds tend to be in the 1:1000. Pay is low. Jobs like these do not involve sitting around. You must have excellent eye sight, also remember that most fire towers are lightning rods. Maybe smoke jumping? CA Department of Forestry? Hints: depending in region, if you are on quarter system, take Spring Qtr. off. The earlier they can get you the better. Law enforcement skills for many of these jobs help. There are sometimes the odd cases of someone not showing. There is summer camp conuseling and guiding requires some very good skills, a wide-range of experience, etc. for firms like NOLS, OB, YMS, etc. If you are young, you have some disadvantages. Working for a guide service, such services select their staff the year before. Apprenticeship is typically in order first. Guiding in National Parks and Forest requires a concessionare's permit. It's illegal to "simply" guide on public lands. Other examples of high tech work: snow hydrology (much harder than backpacking, competition for jobs, extreme avalanche danger [most resignations]), glaciology (naw, no future), field biologist, field geologist (petroleum and mineral exploration, compromise environmental values?), etc. From: John Cooley <johnc@csupwb.ColoState.EDU> A backcountry job Actually, one job is commonly available on a very part-time basis, mostly in the western US. You can become a wildland firefighter. An example of how to get started: The Larimer County Sheriff's Department (Northern Colorado) gives an annual one-week training for people wishing to acquire a "Red Card", which means they are supposedly qualified wildland firefighters. The training given in Larimer County is 32 hours (1991), and basically qualifies you to operate a shovel or a pulaski under the direction of someone else, and, with luck, stay out of trouble. Written and physical tests are given. The physical requires that you be able to run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes. They don't like their firefighters dying because of heart attacks. After you do all this, you can be placed on call to fight wildland fires. If there are no fires, you don't work. If you can't be reached, you don't work. If you are doing something else, you don't work. If all goes well, ("well" being a relative term here) you get to go to a fire, get hot and filthy, and risk your life for the princely sum of $8.33/hour. It's fairly easy to get started in the wildland firefighting business. Contact your local Emergency Services agency (Sheriff's Department, Forest Service, etc.) and find out about training. They like to have people up to speed by the beginning of June, so find out what's going on by the beginning of March, at the latest. If you stay with it, you can actually make a career out of it, and you'll have some amazing and unusual experiences. http://info.er.usgs.gov/doi/avads/index.html The Department of the Interior Automated Vacancy Announcement System (AVADS) provides electronic access to notices of job opportunities in the Department. TABLE OF CONTENTS of this chain: 25/ A romantic notion of high-tech employment <* THIS PANEL *> 26/ Other news groups of related interest, networking 27/ Films/cinema references 28/ References (written) 1/ DISCLAIMER 2/ Ethics 3/ Learning I 4/ learning II (lists, "Ten Essentials," Chouinard comments) 5/ Summary of past topics 6/ Non-wisdom: fire-arms topic circular discussion 7/ Phone / address lists 8/ Fletcher's Law of Inverse Appreciation / Rachel Carson / Foreman and Hayduke 9/ Water Filter wisdom 10/ Volunteer Work 11/ Snake bite 12/ Netiquette 13/ Questions on conditions and travel 14/ Dedication to Aldo Leopold 15/ Leopold's lot. 16/ Morbid backcountry/memorial 17/ Information about bears 18/ Poison ivy, frequently ask, under question 19/ Lyme disease, frequently ask, under question 20/ "Telling questions" backcountry Turing test (under construction) 21/ AMS 22/ Babies and Kids 23/ A bit of song (like camp songs) 24/ What is natural? The following section will likely get thrown out with Jerry's new volunteering panel (10). Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1993 20:55:38 -0500 (EST) From: "Jerry M. Wright" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Backcountry jobs A couple of comments on backcountry jobs from someone who used to be in wildlife management. I moved on to neurobiology and biophysics. The pay is better, more jobs are available and the work is much easier. Are you independently wealthy? For many professional jobs you are in competition with people who are and are well qualified to boot. There is something nobel about dedicating one's life to reestablishing an endangered species, restoring habitat, establishing a park, etc. that attracts this group. Do you have a skill that you can use to support yourself in between jobs? Will your family support you during periods of unemployment? Will your family support you after you get the job? The entry pay scale is low. I know of several rangers collecting food stamps. Realize that many permanent jobs in the backcountry require lots of experience. That means lots of years working seasonal jobs such as waterfowl banding to get the experience. One resouce ranger I know in Hawaii worked nine years as a seasonal employee before a permanent position opened. He was a commercial fisherman in the off seasons. The same holds for most wildlife/resource management positions. A good park/forest manager will sometimes manage to open a job at just the right times for someone they know is skilled and works well with the other people already employed. However, this requires the manager knows you exist and can perform which takes us back to several years ofseasonal employment. Also, realize that your purpose is not to live in the backcountry and dust the scenery but to deal with humans who impact the resource. Not all people are cooperative about this either. Poachers by definition are usually carrying guns and object to being stopped. You can be mauled by a mining company with a mad dog lawyer - court room battles can be just as deadly as a duel except the dying takes longer. Certification by the National Wildlife Federation as a wildlife professional requires college level courses in law enforcement and public speaking in addition to fundamental course work in biology/ecology. I strongly recommend that folks interested in backcountry work do some volunteer trail building/maintainance work first to check out what is really involved physically. You get to talk first hand with the rangers and managers who just might remember your name on a seasonal application or even be willing to give you a reference. This can also give you some real insight on the job market. The American Hiking Society has quite a few 10 day trips you can sign up for. Cost is $40 plus transportation to the site. They require good physical condition and extensive backpacking experience. If you can't meet these qualifications, why are you look for a job in the backcountry? The Adirondack Mountain Club also has trail maintainance trips from 1 day to 5 days and sometimes 10 days. Again nominal cost. I guarantee that 5 days in the Adirondacks wrestling with basalt rocks in cold rain, knee deep mud, and black flies will temper noble ideas. ************************************************************ email@example.com Sometimes it is necessary to grab the bull by the tail and face the situation. ************************************************************ Department of Interior WWW Automated Vacancy Announcement System http://info.er.usgs.gov/doi/avads/announcements/index.html -- Looking for an H-912 (container). vads/announcements/index.html -- Looking for an H-912 (container).
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