Internships and Seasonal Opportunities at the Forest Society

Did you know that the Forest Society owns and operates a Christmas tree farm in Bethlehem NH?  It is a beautiful reservation that not only grows and sells Christmas trees but also has a Maple program, walking trails and building remnants that brings to life the history of the property.  Due to the nature of the farm, seasonal employment opportunities present themselves annually.  Interested in learning more?  Follow this link; http://www.therocks.org/ for more information on opportunities now available.

The warmer months of the year are generally the busiest here at the Forest Society, with Forest Reservations and conservation easements to monitor, volunteer workdays, trails and infrastructure to maintain, and hikes and events scheduled for members and the public.  As a result, the Forest Society offers numerous summer jobs and seasonal volunteer positions on an annual basis, to assist permanent staff in getting everything done.  These seasonal positions are engaging and dynamic work for those who are interested in learning about how a non-profit conservation organization like the Forest Society operates, and positions are filled each year with individuals of many backgrounds, ages and interests.  If you are interested in reading short profiles of last year's seasonal staff and volunteers, click here.

Forestry Technician Brian Renfro climbs a big pine
The Forest Society's Reservation Stewardship Department typically offers one or more Forestry/Stewardship Technician positions each summer.  Click here for more information about the position and how to apply. These individuals must be fairly woods savvy and able to navigate off-trail confidently, as one of their primary duties includes maintaining boundary lines on our Forest Reservations.  This involves a lot of bushwhacking through the forest, navigating via survey and compass to confirm boundary evidence, and carrying a hand axe and paint can to refresh boundary blazes.  It's messy work - you can always find our forestry technicians in a line-up of seasonal staff because their boots and field clothes are speckled in red boundary paint!

But it's rewarding work, and forestry technicians also spend significant time maintaining gates, signs and trails and assisting with volunteer workdays.  As one of our technicians, Luke Bevins, puts it, "The job itself has exceeded even my lofty expectations. I spend every day exploring parts of New Hampshire that very few people ever see. My passion for New Hampshire’s woodlands was the driving factor in my decision to pursue forestry as a career from the very beginning. Not only does this position allow me to spend all day in the woods, it gives me a great deal of autonomy. Ten-hour days walking through swamps and up mountains with an axe may not be everyone’s idea of a dream job, but I could not be happier. "

We also station seasonal staff at some of our very busiest Forest Reservations to help with improving the visitor experience and engaging the public at these spots.  These "ranger" positions work on-site at the Merrimack River Outdoor Education & Conservation Area (MROECA), adjacent to the Forest Society's main office in Concord, and also at Grafton Pond in Grafton.  

The MROECA "floodplain rangers" typically work sunny afternoons and early evenings in the late spring and summer, providing a welcoming presence on our 104-acre property along the Merrimack River.  It's a busy place in the warmer months, with people coming to picnic, swim, run, and walk their dogs, so there is much to do interacting with guests and maintaining trail systems.  Despite signage, many visitors aren't aware that the Forest Society, a private non-profit, owns the MROECA and has protected it for its significant natural communities as well as for the enjoyment of all New Hampshire residents and visitors.

Forestry Tech Luke Bevins gets a workout at Monadnock Trails Week

 At Grafton Pond, ranger duties also involve visitor outreach, but the messages are a bit different since most visitors come to this property to kayak, canoe or fish.  Grafton Pond rangers check incoming boats for hitchhiking aquatic invasive weeds (a problem we don't have at Grafton Pond and are working hard to keep it that way), encourage people to pack out all their trash, and talk to visitors about how they can help protect state-threatened common loons and other wildlife.  Grafton Pond typically has 2-3 breeding pairs of loons, one of the highest breeding densities of any waterbody in the state, and chick survival here has been impressively high.  However, visitor behavior can threaten this success when fishermen/women use lead tackle that can poison loons, or paddlers approach nests or young loon families too closely, disrupting their normal behavior and leaving chicks or eggs vulnerable to predators and the elements.  Rangers talk to visitors about these issues, and help them understand why protecting this pristine and wild pond is advantageous for everyone.  

There are also a few seasonal positions that involve at least some time in the office.  The Forest Society's Communications Department typically provides 1-2 volunteer positions in the warmer months for individuals interested in learning about outreach, education and communications in a non-profit land trust environment.  Duties might include drafting press releases, attending public events (hikes, lectures, workdays, volunteer events, etc.) and taking photographs and videos that can later be written up as blog posts on our website, visiting conserved properties to write stories for digital and print media, or organizing photo and media files.   There never seems to be a dull moment in the Forest Society's Communications Department, so these positions are anything but boring.  

If you are interested in a seasonal position at the Forest Society, watch our website for openings beginning in the early spring.  You can send a resume and cover letter at any time to Carrie Deegan (cdeegan@forestsociety.org) if you are interested in learning about volunteer or seasonal positions, although it's often best to apply directly for the job you're most interested in.  Whether you are a university student, college graduate, retiree, or just someone with a flexible summer schedule - we may have a seasonal position of interest to you, and we are excited to meet you and learn about your passion for conservation and New Hampshire's forests!