I worked on a trails crew in Cibola national forest; expect substantial hiking and manual work including digging trail, tree and brush clearing, working with a crew of 4-5. You will probably need to hike carrying a day pack and tools. My posting did not have any overnight projects, and crew was able to work a 4/5/9 schedule (off every other Friday) but some locations in larger districts do have longer deployment where you could be camping for a few days at a time.
Great if you like plenty of outdoor work and are ok with getting dirty, and plenty of opportunities for on the job training including cpr/wilderness first aid, defensive driving for government vehicles, tree felling... My crewmates, supervisors and other staff at the ranger station were a pleasure to work with. I plan to return to either this or another location for next season.
Former Forestry Technician (Timber Sale Prep) at USDA Forest Service
over 1 year ago
My crew was very small and in turn we got to do a lot of different things on the forest. Some places might just hire you to mark timber or cruise trees, but my job allowed me to do everything! Here is a list of things you may end up doing
Cruising timber- 3P, fixed plot, variable plot
Marking timber (you would be surprised how many blisters you get from this, have good gloves and wear clothing you don't mind ruining, and don't wear good glasses!)
Outlining sale boundaries
Mitigating watersheds and arch sites (like building a silt fence or avoiding a section)
Sawing- most of my trees were small diameters, but a few were big!
Helping other crews- fuels and timber worked closely on my forest so we helped them occasionally
You may be able to also go on a fire or two if that interests you
Training- if this is your first FS job there will be A LOT of in-classroom training
Seeing lots of pretty country and spending your day in the woods! (the best part)