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U.S. Forest Service Needs Workers in Oregon, Washington

Fisheries biologists are just some of the positions to be filled by the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon and Washington. Courtesy: USFS Pacific Northwest Region
Fisheries biologists are just some of the positions to be filled by the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon and Washington. Courtesy: USFS Pacific Northwest Region
November 25, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. - You'll have to get organized in the next few days if you want to be considered for a job working in one of the 16 national forests in the Northwest next spring or summer.

The U.S. Forest Service is hiring more than 1,000 seasonal workers, but the time to apply is short - only one week, from Nov. 30 through Dec. 7. The jobs include building trails and staffing visitor service centers, improving fish and wildlife habitat, and more.

Applicants shouldn't necessarily think of the work as temporary, said Stephen Baker, a spokesman for the Pacific Northwest Region office, adding that many of today's top Forest Service officials started out in these seasonal jobs.

"For a lot of people, it is a foot in the door," he said. "For some people, it's just a great job for the summer or for a short period of time - and (for) a lot of people, it's a way to begin their career with the Forest Service, or in the field of natural resources."

By going to the government job website USAJobs.gov now and creating a profile, Baker said, you'll be ready when applications are considered starting Monday.

He said hiring is done early because much of the maintenance and habitat work is best accomplished in what the Forest Service calls the "field season," or spring and summer months.

The job postings will include a number of wildland firefighting positions. But Baker said people don't have to be a smokejumper or have experience on a hotshot crew in order to be part of the team.

"There are also fire positions in the support role - in the dispatch centers, helping with logistics, helping with support and materials," he said. "It's a big operation and we're looking for a lot of people, so there's definitely something for everybody."

People who make the cut for all the seasonal positions will be notified by the Forest Service between Feb. 15 and March 4.

Information about working for the Forest Service, including a link to Oregon and Washington jobs, is online at fs.usda.gov.

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR