Starting in January, our AmeriCorps leaders begin their Wilderness First Responder (WFR) medical training in Laramie. Soon after the WFR course, they become students again alongside the University of Wyoming’s spring semester for our ENR 4950-Leadership in Natural Resource Management class taught and paid for by WCC staff. The class serves as a focal point during the crew leaders’ leadership training which happens in the classroom and in the field throughout the semester. In the class, the leaders work through leadership training, scenarios, and pedagogy while learning about the complexities of natural resource management in Wyoming and the nation. Lessons span from chainsaw safety to public land history to critically analyzing environmental movements and their activators.
Student leaders also work on community projects through the semester of their choice including but not limited to: volunteering for the local conservation district, glass recycling, and wildlife surveys. Leaders also receive USFS S-212 chainsaw certifications, Leave No Trace training, and the above mentioned WFR certification.
In the summer, leaders use their training to lead crews of 6 members on six conservation projects across the state.
If you are interested in learning more about the Crew Leader position with the Wyoming Conservation Corps – jump to our Crew Leader page.
Starting in mid-May, AmeriCorps members start their orientation to the program by participating in a Wilderness First Aid course in Laramie. Thereafter, they head to a large group camping site on the public land around Wyoming to get oriented with fencing, chainsawing, and trail work. Members also receive Leave No Trace training with the crew leaders during Orientation.
After Orientation, members head out for six conservation projects for the summer. During the summer, the members have an opportunity to receive one upper-division course credit from the University of Wyoming by enrolling in our ENR-3700 Wyoming Conservation Corps Practicum paid for by the program.
If you are interested in learning more about the Crew Member position with the Wyoming Conservation Corps – jump to our Crew Member page.
Starting for a week in April, eight crew leaders and members begin their time with the Wyoming Veterans Trail Crew (WyVTC) by attending an all paid for US Forest Service certification for their S-212 chainsaw training. Starting in mid-May, these eight veterans begin their orientation to the WyVTC program and the WCC at large with 10 days of technical training in the field. Leaders, selected from the interview pool, will have two additional work day week nights (Monday-Friday) of interpersonal, risk management, and paperwork training prior to the mid-May orientation.
The summer and early fall will be filled with trail project after trail project traveling and working on the impressive 10,472 miles of recreational trails in Wyoming. The schedule of time out in the field will vary with the projects timelines. Veterans will be eligible to receive 1-3 upper-division course credits through the University of Wyoming from the Haub School of the Environment and Natural Resources payed for by the WCC.
If you are interested in learning more about the Wyoming Veterans Trail Crew position with the Wyoming Conservation Corps – jump to our Military Veterans Trail Crew page.
Nature of the Work with WCC
The Wyoming Conservation Corps experience is extremely demanding both physically and mentally. Each year new members consistently underestimate the physical and mental requirement. In addition to the physical demands of the projects, you should know that you will be sleeping and living outdoors much of the time in all weather conditions.
Strenuous physical activity may include:
- Long (10 hour) days of shoveling, digging and swinging heavy tools repetitively
- Long (10 hour) days of chainsaw work
- Heavy lifting, bending
- Hiking and carrying up to 60 pound backpacks at altitudes up to 12,000 ft.
- Working, eating, and living in the outdoors in all weather conditions
- Walking / working on steep or uneven terrain
- Working in extremes of heat or cold
- Herbicide application