Forest Health Internship

Please share the below announcement with anyone who may be interested in interning with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte as a Forest Health Intern.
Click here to see the announcement document in PDF format.


Forest Health Internship with the Coalition for the Upper South Platte

Thank you for your interest in working with CUSP as an intern!  We value your unique perspective and skills and appreciate your personal interest in natural resource management.  We strive to make internship experiences valuable learning opportunities and we are genuinely interested in helping you reach your goals.  The following provides a general outline of the Forest Health Internship, but individual experiences can be modified based on an intern’s skills, interests, and schedule.

Job Title: Forest Health Intern

Job Description: The Forest Health Intern will assist with forest health projects throughout the watershed.  The intern will work with the field crew on wildfire restoration and fuels mitigation projects.  These projects are critically important to mitigate life-threatening post-fire flooding and reduce the risk of devastating wildfires in communities.  Fieldwork will include learning to fell trees with a chainsaw, chipping fuels, hillslope re-vegetation, erosion control projects, collecting GPS data, collecting photo data, contractor oversight, and working with volunteers.  The Forest Health Intern will also spend time with our on-staff Forester and Operations Director to assist with forest project planning, preparing for wildfire on a community-wide level, and implementing forest health projects on private and public lands.  In addition to learning about forest health, the intern will also have a chance to explore other aspects of natural resources management of interest and gain insight into the general operations of a highly collaborative watershed nonprofit.

Learning Goals

  • Interns will understand the challenges of natural resource management and how stakeholders can work together to promote watershed health
  • Interns will gain a deeper understanding of how forest health work is carried out in practice
  • Interns will gain on-the-ground experience doing forest health/wildfire mitigation projects and wildfire restoration projects

Certifications and Trainings

  • Chainsaw operation and safety training
  • Firefighting training and certification
  • Other trainings may also be available during the course of the internship

Expected Work Week: 20-40 hours per week, with some weekends required

Expected Duration: June 2 – August 8 (10 weeks)

Compensation: $12 per hour

Location:  Most work will be based out of our office in Lake George, CO and fieldwork will occur throughout the Upper South Platte Watershed and connecting watersheds.

Supervisor: Jonathan Bruno, Operations Director

Preferred Skills and Qualifications: 

  • Desire to learn more about natural resource management and environmental sciences
  • Coursework and/or experience in natural resource management, forestry, environmental science, or related discipline
  • Ability to work in a physically demanding environment, including hiking up steep slopes, handling a chainsaw, and working in exposed, mountainous areas
  • Organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to adapt to changing situations and evolving project needs
  • Ability to work effectively and professionally as part of a team
  • Access to personal transportation to get to and from CUSP’s office in Lake George

Description of the Coalition for the Upper South Platte (CUSP):  The Coalition for the Upper South Platte is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the water quality and ecological health of the Upper South Platte Watershed, through the cooperative efforts of watershed stakeholders, with emphasis placed on community values and economic sustainability.  CUSP collaborates with partners and stakeholders to promote the health of the watershed through projects focused on river and stream restoration, forest health, water quality, habitat and recreation, environmental education, volunteerism, energy, monitoring and assessment, and wildfire restoration and protection.


To Apply: Please send a cover letter and resume by email to Amy Jacobi, Communications and Education Coordinator, at by May 1, 2014

CO health officials may allow more controlled burns in forests

GOLDEN — Trying to prevent catastrophic wildfires, federal crews torched more than 40,000 piles of dead wood this past year in snow-laden Colorado forests.

And state health authorities may allow more controlled burns over broad areas. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has agreed to expand an experiment that relaxes smoke permitting so that burn crews can operate more freely.

While controlled fires that mimic natural cycles can protect communities and revive dying forests, they also produce smoke at potentially unhealthy levels, state air quality officials warned in a meeting last week.

Read the rest of the article in the Denver Post.

Data Tools Webinar Series

The Nature Conservancy’s LANDFIRE Project and the Joint Fire Science Program are teaming up to host a series of webinars focused on how to use data resources to assist with decision-making for landscape projects.  These tools are designed to be usable in both fire and non-fire actives.  Check out the flyer to learn more.

March 20: Assessing Needs

April 23: Customizing Data 


Udall urges that aircrafts be quickly refitted to fight wildfires

Mark Udall’s office recently published this press release:

Mark Udall, who has fought to strengthen Colorado’s ability to combat wildfires, urged the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Forest Service in letters today to swiftly repurpose military aircraft to help fight future wildfires in Colorado and across the West. Udall, who serves on both the U.S. Armed Services Committee and the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said these aircraft will help protect Colorado’s communities, water supplies and special way of life.

The excess military aircraft — seven U.S. Coast Guard-operated C-130Hs — were transferred to the Forest Service through provisions in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act.

“We are in an era of modern mega-fires and my state has repeatedly broken records in recent years for the largest and most devastating fires in Colorado’s history. Projections for future fire seasons and the volume of hazardous fuels on the landscape make me extremely concerned,” Udall wrote in his letter to the Forest Service. “Air tankers cannot fight fire alone, but they are critical firefighting resources that can give firefighters time and prevent small blazes from becoming catastrophic wildfires. … I am requesting a report that describes the expected timeline for the completion of those transfers and an estimated date on which each C-130H will be employable as a firefighting asset, as well as their expected lifecycle and an analysis of what could possibly delay this timeline.”

To read Udall’s letter to the U.S. Air Force, click HERE.

To read Udall’s letter to the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture, click HERE.

Udall has been the leading voice in Congress to update and strengthen the federal air tanker fleet, including through the transfer of excess military aircraft. He recently pressed the U.S. Forest Service to quickly adopt the Government Accountability Office’s recommendations on how to upgrade its air tanker fleet.

Udall has championed common-sense programs and strategies to prevent western wildfires. He recentlyintroduced bipartisan legislation to allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to proactively work with states and localities on wildfire mitigation projects.

Mile High Youth Corps is Hiring


Mile High Youth Corps is hiring for their Land Conservation Program.  This is a great opportunity for youth ages 18-24 interested in getting hands-on experience doing environmental conservation work.  Find more information about Mile High Youth Corps at and apply for jobs here.

Saw Camping & Day Corpsmember – Colorado Springs
Rampart Camping Trail Corpsmember – Colorado Springs
Rampart Saw Camping Corpsmember – Colorado Springs
Pueblo Day and Camping Corpsmember – Pueblo
Day and Camping Trail Corpsmember – Colorado Springs
Crew Mentor – Colorado Springs
Saw Camping & Day Corpsmember – Canon City
Saw Crew Leader – Colorado Springs
Saw Day Crew Corpsmember – Colorado Springs
Senior Crew Supervisor
Trail Crew Leader – Colorado Springs