Southwest Conservation Corps

Get paid to work outside and explore amazing places!

We are Southwest Conservation Corps! Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) operates conservation service programs across Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico that empower individuals to positively impact their lives, their communities and the environment. SCC has offices in Durango and Salida in Colorado, and Acoma and Gallup in New Mexico.

From 14,000 foot, snow covered mountains, to deep canyons carved by rivers millions of years ago, you will experience the unique and beautiful Southwest from many perspectives with SCC. Travel places few people have been, places covered in history, beauty and true wild areas.

About Southwest Conservation Corps

Projects may include, trail construction & maintenance, fencing, habitat improvement, hazardous fuels reduction and re-vegetation. Each crew consists of 6 members and 2 leaders. Crews work and camp for 9 days at a time in frontcountry and backcountry locations in all types of weather conditions. Schedule may vary depending on location and program. SCC crews work in a variety of national parks, national forests and other areas throughout the Southwest.

Programs start in March, June, and September and range from 10-30 weeks. Corps Members are eligible for an AmeriCorps Education Award in addition to their weekly stipend.

Southwest Conservation Corps is a learning experience. We are looking for motivated individuals who can commit to completing the program and who have the desire to learn new skills. No previous work experience is required. However, individuals with experience may choose to apply for our Crew Leader Development Program (CLDP) or as a Crew Leader.

The Employee Experience

Have you ever wanted to work outside? What about work outside, gain technical skills in trail and chainsaw work, meet some awesome people, and spend your summer exploring a beautiful part of the country? If you said yes, SCC is for you! Become immersed in an intense and wonderful community. The hands on work is just a part of our program, as we focus on community living, group dynamics and communications, education and personal development in addition to the technical skills you will gain. Whether you want to go on to work for federal agencies, non-profits, or even the corporate world, SCC will provide an experience that you can take with you wherever you end up!

Ideal Candidate

If you are 18-25 and looking to gain hands on experience in the conservation field, The Southwest Conservation Corps is for you! Get ready to get dirty, work hard, and have an amazing experience living and working in a beautiful part of the country.  Follow the links below to learn more about our positions and openings!

Room and Board

Crews typically work for 9 days at a time in front country and back country locations, followed by 5 days off.  When on hitch, Southwest Conservation Corps covers the cost of food and camping, and Corps members are responsible for finding own housing on 5 days off.  However, there are many free campgrounds around Durango, CO and Salida, CO that Corps members utilize on days off.

Employee Perks

  • Weekly living stipend 
  • Potential to earn an AmeriCorps award
  • Food provided while on Hitch
  • Conservation skills training,
  • Be part of a community, and opportunity to work outside in some of the best places in the Southwest

Getting Here and Getting Around

Durango: Durango has a small airport just outside of town. The closest large airport is Albuquerque. However, getting around town without a car is harder. Carpooling is more versatile than Public transportation is. So while we do not require cars, having one would allow you to get around more easily. 

Salida: Denver Airport is not far from Salida, but it is up to you to get from A-B. Again, cars not required, but will make your life more flexible. 

New Mexico Offices: Albuquerque  is central to many of our Ancestral Lands offices, and the largest airport in the area. Getting to each of our offices requires a car from Albuquerque.  

For Fun

The Southwest Conservation Corps has offices in some of the most beautiful parts of the country. From each of our bases, you have access to everything from World Class mountain biking, skiing, climbing, fishing, rafting, backpacking and some of the best scenery around! 

Our Jobs


  • Leadership positions are currently posted! All positions will start April 2nd, 2018 and run through late November 2018. 
    • ​Adult Crew Leaders
    • Youth Crew Leaders
    • Veterans Fire Corps Crew Leaders
    • Crew Leaders in Development (Youth and Young Adult)
    • Strike Team Crew Leaders

*Positions available in both Durango and Salida, CO!

See below for more info, and follow the links for complete position descriptions and applications!

Youth and Young Adult Programs

2018 Crew Leader Development Program (CLDP)

Four Corners Office - Durango, CO and Los Valles Office - Salida

Spend your year completing conservation work in Colorado, while growing your leadership skills! Members will start the program in an 8 week intensive leader training, covering both hard technical skills such as trails training and S-212, and soft group skills including communication, leadership, and risk management. Upon completion of the training season, members will be paired with a Crew Leader mentor, and as a co-leading pair, you will lead a crew of 6-8 members during the summer and fall. 

  • Start Date: April 2nd, 2018
  • End Date: Late November, 2018 
  • Wages: Living stipend of $375 a week with a $2,907 AmeriCorps Education Award upon successful completion of the program 
  • Benefits: 5 days PTO and 5 days’ discretionary time. Food provided while in the field, uniforms, protective equipment. Wilderness First Responder and CPR/AED training, U.S. Forest Service recognized S-212 Chainsaw training. (Certificate awarded upon completion of program.) 
  • WFR: CLDP members will be provided with Wilderness First Responder/CPR/AED training. There will be a WFR course available in Durango from March 23rd - 30th, through Desert Mountain Medicine. Other acceptable WFR Courses or Recertification Courses can be reimbursed, but must be taken prior to the start of the season. 
  • We are hiring CLDP's for both our Youth and Young Adult Crews. Applicants interested in youth programming will have the opportunity to lead high school and middle school crews in the summer, and transition to Adult Crews in the Fall. Those who would like to work with Young Adults (18-25), will have adult crews for both seasons. 

Please see our website for a complete position description and how to apply! 

Adult Crews, Youth Crews, Veteran Fire Corps Crews

2018 Crew Leader Positions

Four Corners Office - Durango, CO and Los Valles Office - Salida

SCC Durango is hiring for the 2018 field season. 

Start/end date:  April 2nd 2018 – Late November 2018

Wages: $460-600 weekly DOE/DOQ in season, tiered Training wage during 8 week training season.

Health Benefits: Health Benefit Eligible, 5 days PTO (structured in August) and 5 days’ discretionary time

Other Benefits: Food provided while in the field, uniforms, protective equipment, U.S. Forest Service recognized S-212 Chainsaw training. (Certificate awarded upon completion of program.) as well as other development opportunities. 

Southwest Conservation Corps’ Crew Leaders perform many roles and are the key to our program’s success. The position is multi-faceted and demanding, but with opportunity for enormous rewards. Successful candidates will demonstrate resourcefulness, effective communication skills, excellent judgement, maturity, initiative, professionalism, and the desire to devote themselves to a crew experience where the needs of others are placed above oneself. The Crew Leader position requires, mentorship, patience, technical aptitude, focus on efficiency, and a high level of comfort in the outdoors. Crew Leaders are ultimately responsible for successes and short-comings of the crew.

Veteran Fire Corps Program

Veteran Fire Corps Program Coordinator

Four Corners Office - Durango, CO

Veteran Fire Corps Program:

The Southwest Conservation Corps' Veterans Fire Corps program provides training and on-the-job experience for post 9-11 era veterans interested in entering into careers and gaining experience in natural resource management.

The program engages participants in a cohort environment in which a team of recent era veterans works together to train and complete natural resource management projects, specifically related to fire fuels management and fuels reduction. Additionally, the program aims to provide background knowledge and introductory training in Wildland firefighting. The program assists veterans in their transition to civilian careers by providing contact with potential future employers and trainings in applying for federal land management jobs


Recruiting, Interviewing and Selection of Corps Members

  • Develop and implement a Veteran Corps Member recruiting strategy and veteran specific partnerships.
  • Establish and maintain a database of all recruiting contacts.
  • Coordinate recruiting visits to job fairs, community partners, etc.
  • Coordinate and complete interviewing, selection, & placement of 24 Corps Members annually.
  • Facilitate and manage the submission of all corps member hiring, program and AmeriCorps paperwork.
  • Assist Program Director in recruiting VFC Crew Leaders.


Program Oversight & Field Support

  • Field staff and member mentorship – provide technical expertise, guidance and emotional support to crews in the field. Identify positive working solutions to crew management issues for crew leaders.
  • Insure project quality and quantity by providing technical assistance to and accountability of crew leaders in the field.
  • Model risk management procedures in the field to create a safe working environment.
  • Assist with weekly check-ins with crew leaders.
  • Enforce all SCC Policies and Procedures.
  • Comfortability & flexibility with an ever-shifting work schedule.
  • Respond to crew emergency situations.
  • Participate in an on-call system for crews in the field.
  • Working with partners to implement specific VFC program goals.


Development & Training

  • Assist the program staff to develop and implement trainings including S-212 chainsaw, s-130/190, and wilderness medical trainings as well as other pertinent topics.
  • Work with program staff and outside partners to coordinate VFC specific trainings as well as be involved with other program trainings as needed.
  • Being a role model and mentor - providing encouragement, guidelines, and supervision to crew leaders and members throughout a 3 week training period and the field season.
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with community and agency partners.


General Administration

  • Management of different databases for new hire and AmeriCorps information.
  • Manage and maintain accurate reporting of all necessary information and complete program reports.
  • Work within an established program budget and report purchases.
  • Work with Conservation Legacy staff at several levels to maintain VFC programming and support.


Start Date: Late January 2018

Salary: Starting $32,000-38,000 annually D.O.E.

Status: 1 year long Full Time Exempt position. Position may extend indefinitely pending funding.

Benefits: Full benefits as per Conservation Legacy personnel policies (Health, vision, dental, etc., 32 days starting PTO, as well as others) Additional certifications and personal development opportunities.


To Apply:  Email cover letter and resume to Ryan Brink at


How to Apply

Check out our website to learn more and apply! We accept applications for programs starting in January for our summer programming, and May for our Fall programs.  Please look on our website for specific details on each of our crews and how to apply. Questions about our programs can be directed to the following at each office:

Four Corners Office (Durango):
Teresa DiTore (Adult and High School Crews) 
Ryan Brink (Adult and Veteran Fire Corps Crews)

Los Valles Office (Salida):
Anna Hendricks

Internship Programs (All SCC Offices)
Clara Moulton

Ancestral Lands, Navajo Nation:

Ancestral Lands, Acoma Pueblo:
Aaron Lowden

Ancestral Lands, Zuni Office:
Ryan Aguilar

Contact Info