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Adult Conservation Crews

Frequently Asked Questions

[Image description: Four MCC members holding their chainsaws (with the safety guard on) over their shoulders. In the background, one can see a smoky pink sky.]

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Where is the application and how does the process work?

    All openings are posted on the website. The application can be completed online. Click any “Apply Now” button.

    All positions are also listed here: Current Open Opportunities

    Once we receive the application, it will be reviewed by hiring staff.  Staff will then respond within a few weeks regarding next steps.

  • Do you have a preferred submission method for my application?

    Yes. To reduce our paper consumption, we prefer applications that are completed online. Please email if you require accommodations.

  • When are applications due and what is the hiring timeline?

    All of our positions are open until filled and the hiring process is competitive.

    The Open Opportunities page will list when applications are open. The timeline from when you apply to when you’re offered a position will vary. For most positions you should hear from regional staff within a few weeks- either if you’ve been invited to interview for a position or if you are no longer being considered. If you’re offered a position, it’s extremely important for you to remain in contact to complete the AmeriCorps enrollment process. 

  • How do I know if my application meets the minimum criteria?

    AmeriCorps members must be:

    • A U.S. Citizen, National, or Lawful Permanent Resident
    • Age requirements are 17 - 30, and up to 35 for military veterans
    • Have obtained (or be willing to obtain), a high school diploma or GED 

    Please fully take into account the dates for the term of service. If you cannot commit to the full duration of the program dates, please look at another one of our programs.

    Those seeking a position with Big Sky Watershed Corps must also have a college degree or equivalent, preferably in watershed, environment, or an education related field.

  • I’m a student. Can I still apply?

    Of course! Many of our members are college students. Please check that your availability coincides with our program dates. Some students find it necessary to take off the fall school semester to complete our program. 

  • What is MCC's Drug and Alcohol Policy?

    While MCC doesn't drug screen prior to hiring new members, we do reserve the right to test if there is valid reason. MCC is a drug and alcohol free workplace. Drugs and alcohol are not permitted on MCC time while serving.

  • Will I be considered for other positions if I don’t receive an offer for the one I applied to?

    After we’ve received your application, we will ask you if you would like to be considered for other positions. In the event that you aren’t offered a position, we may contact you about reapplying to a different position.

  • How do I apply to a specific region?

    After you’ve submitted an application and answered our questions about regional placement, your application is routed based on two factors: your personal selections and current hiring needs of the region. We will always try to place applicants into their preferred region but this doesn’t always happen. If you want to obtain a position with MCC, being flexible to serve in any region will increase the likelihood of being offered a position.

  • Can I start my term of service 1-2 weeks late?

    No. Our programs are highly contingent on you attending leadership development and technical skills trainings. These occur at the beginning of your term of service and are nearly impossible to miss.

  • Is preference given to applicants who have served with MCC before?

    We value the experience that all applicants bring to the organization—whether that’s with MCC or not. While serving with MCC or another AmeriCorps program strengthens your application, it is not the deciding factor to obtaining a position.

  • Do you have any summer-only or fall-only positions?

    Yes! We have many positions that have shorter terms, including our Youth Leaders and Wildland Restoration Team members.  We also have Summer only & Fall only Field Crew Member Positions each season. In our Individual Placement Program, we have Conservation Intern positions that also only run over the summer.


  • Are your programs exclusively for Montana residents?
    • AmeriCorps positions  are open to all US Citizens, Nationals, or Lawful Permanent Residents
    • Youth Service Expeditions are for Montana teenagers only.


  • What training & certifications will I receive?

    Members stand to gain a wide variety of training based on their position and length of term:

    Certifications (Depending on Position and Crew Type):

    • First Aid & CPR
    • Defensive Driving 
    • Chainsaw Certification
    • Crosscut Certification
    • Applicator License 

    Training and Opportunities (Depending on Position and Crew Type):

    • Training on Resume Building, Interviewing, and Federal Hiring
    • Hand & Power Tool Use (including chainsaw and crosscut saw)
    • Backcountry Travel & Navigation
    • Trail Maintenance & Construction
    • Wildlife friendly fencing 
    • Mesic Restoration (Beaver Dam Analogs & Low Tech Process Based Restoration)
    • Forestry Practices & Principles
    • Wildland Firefighter Training 
    • Leave No Trace
    • Habitat Management & Improvement
    • Learn about natural resource management
    • Leadership, communication, and teamwork competencies
    • Develop life skills, work skills, and a strong service ethic
    • Connect with project partners: federal, state, and non-profits for career opportunities
    • Join our network of alumni in natural resource careers all over the country
    • Work in beautiful, wild, and protected places.
    • Make lasting changes to the environment, climate, and our communities.
  • Is food paid for?

    While on projects, you’ll receive a meal allowance in addition to your living stipend.  MCC provides $10 per person/per day per diem, which equates to $540 for a crew of 6 for 9 days (the typical length of projects).  During your days off, you are responsible for your own meals. Your living stipend is meant to cover this expense. Many of our participants qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) while serving with MCC although it isn't guaranteed, and/or they utilize community resources like food banks.

  • Is the AmeriCorps stipend enough to live on?

    The stipend is adequate to meet your basic needs for housing, food, and routine needs. You may find it difficult to meet other financial obligations such as a car payment or credit card payment, so please consider your needs and determine whether you would be able to budget appropriately.

    The living allowance amount is posted for each specific position- check the position details for amounts

    Things to consider that may be helpful:

    • You may be able to defer your student loan payments during your term of service. Talk to your lender for more information.
    • MCC provides per diem for meals while on projects ($10 per person/per day).
    • Many participants qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) or "food stamps" to help with purchasing food while not on projects
    • Many participants utilize resources in their community, like food banks
    • MCC provides uniform work shirts, hooded sweatshirts, transportation to work sites, tools, safety equipment (hard hat, work gloves, ear protection, and safety glasses), and group camping gear. (We encourage all members to provide their own personal equipment like a backpack, tent, and sleeping bag.  We have limited equipment available to loan out for applicants in need)
    • Crews are loaned an MCC vehicle for their hitches, which can be used for pick up/drop off from a hitch and grocery shopping for the hitch. This can help alleviate the burden of not having a personal vehicle.
  • For members serving longer than 4 months

  • Public Lands Corps Hiring Authority

    Public Lands Corps Hiring Authority allows qualified AmeriCorps alumni with adequate hours served on public lands to apply for federal jobs (Forest Service, Park Service, Bureau of Land Management) as a "merit candidate." This means that these eligible members can apply for federal positions in the same applicant pool as other federal employees and may not have to compete with the general public. It greatly increases the chances of being hired.

  • Community Spaces

    We currently offer two community spaces, Corps Members of Color and LGBTQIA2+ Corps Members, to build community, connection, and support during the season. The groups come together for an annual campout and are open to all participants who identify within the respective community.

  • Native Corpsmember Award

    All American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native members serving in one of our AmeriCorps programs are eligible to receive this award. For those eligible, you can opt into the funding during your onboarding process. The award comes as taxable income and is dispersed in one of your first two paychecks once the program starts.

  • Temporary Financial Assistance

    MCC’s programs offer limited gear and housing assistance and we manage a temporary relief fund should members encounter unforeseen circumstances throughout their term.


  • What is the schedule like?

    Flexibility is an essential part of a successful term of service. Your schedule will fluctuate to meet the needs of project partners. We often work well over 40 hours a week and on Saturdays and Sundays. Hitches may be nine or more days long, sometimes 12 weeks or more in remote locations. After each hitch, you will have 2-5 days off in town. For most of the season, you’ll be camping at frontcountry or backcountry locations, but you may also have weeks in town.

  • What is the nature of the work?

    MCC crews work long days and the physical demands of the job are real.  We work in remote locations in all weather conditions, often hiking up to 15 miles per day over rough terrain with backpacks weighing up to 60 lbs.  In addition, we carry heavy tools, various group gear, and do arduous physical labor for 10 hours per day, 8-9 days in a row.  Types of projects vary on position, but could include:

    • Trail Maintenance & Construction
    • Backcountry/Frontcountry Clearing
    • Forest Thinning (Fuels)
    • Mesic Restoration
    • Beaver Dam-Analog Construction
    • Streambank Restoration
    • Fencing
    • Planting
    • Facilities Maintenance
    • Invasive Plant Management (herbicide application)
    • Disaster Response
    • Historic Preservation
    • Burn Area Rehab (Fire Restoration)
    • Habitat Restoration
    • Community Projects

    Learn more about Adult Conservation Crews and what your day will look like!

  • Who does MCC work with?

    MCC crews work with over 150 project partner agencies, including these and many more!

    • The National Park Service
    • US Forest Service
    • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
    • Bureau of Reclamation
    • US Fish & Wildlife Service
    • Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
    • Montana State Parks
    • Montana Watershed Coordination Council
    • Soil & Water Conservation Districts of Montana
    • Many local & national conservation non-profits
  • How do I physically prepare for my season?

    Working a season with MCC can be physically and mentally challenging.  We suggest that you begin to build your fitness before you arrive for your season.  Coming into the season already working on fitness can help you be more prepared, more comfortable with the work, and also limit injuries that can be caused by over-exertion. Click below to download a stretch and fitness plan. This plan is entirely optional but has helped some incoming participants better prepare for a season with MCC.

  • This plan is entirely optional but has helped some incoming participants better prepare for a season with MCC.



  • Do you offer college credit for your program?

    Many of our positions can count as an internship!  This is up to you to discuss with your academic advisor or professor(s).  MCC will help look over work plans and assist in signing off on any hours that could be counted toward an internship.

  • What opportunities are available after MCC?

    Much of this depends on your interests. Many members return the next year as MCC Crew Leaders or find work with the Forest Service, Park Service, or other natural resource agencies and organizations. Some of our MCC alumni come back to work for us in our regional or state offices as staff members. 

    Our Conservation Interns, Fellows, and Big Sky Watershed Corps members have even written grants to fund a staff position and stay on with their host site. 

    The lifelong skills you build with MCC are transferrable to countless other careers as well!

    Take a look at our alumni resource page for tons of post-MCC career resources, job boards, and other opportunities.