Forest Service cleared to hire seasonal workers in Aspen, throughout Rocky Mountain Region | PostIndependent.com

Forest Service cleared to hire seasonal workers in Aspen, throughout Rocky Mountain Region

Staff report

The White River National Forest will be able to proceed with hiring seasonal workers, including summer help needed in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness and Maroon Bells outside of Aspen.

The Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service announced Wednesday it had received permission to hire more than 900 seasonal, temporary employees. The positions are available in national forests and grasslands in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

The seasonal hiring was temporarily on hold because of President Trump's hiring freeze. The Forest Service applied to the Office of Management and Budget for exemptions to the freeze.

White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said about 100 total seasonal workers are needed in the Aspen-Sopris, Rio Blanco, Rifle, Dillon and Holy Cross ranger districts.

The White River also aims to make 19 "fire hires" or seasonal workers dedicated to firefighting efforts, Fitzwilliams said. Those positions are filled in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management, which aims to hire another 15 seasonal firefighters.

In the Aspen area, the Forest Service's biggest need for seasonal workers is to help staff the immensely popular Maroon Bells Scenic Area. For all intents and purposes, it operates like a National Park. Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon also depends on summer seasonal workers to deal with the hordes.

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In the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, there is a high need for recreation technicians or "rec techs." Duties include wilderness rangers who patrol the Four Pass Loop, Conundrum Hot Springs and other heavily used areas to make sure visitors are complying with regulations ranging from use of bear-proof food canisters to camping far enough away from streams and lakes.

Other rec techs use handsaws to clear downed trees from trails within designated wilderness and chainsaws on trails outside of wilderness. Those trails are the lifeblood of the forest, attracting hikers, mountain bikers and dirt bikers.

Job seekers can search for seasonal, temporary jobs at http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/r2/jobs.

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