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Wilderness Field Skills

Wilderness Specialists - KSAs needed to accomplish specific field tasks in a variety of wilderness settings.

Entry Level

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • the wilderness resource
  • "Leave No Trace" principles and ethics
  • wilderness search and rescue procedures
  • agency fire management policy and operations, and minimum impact strategies and tactics (MIST)
  • wilderness rules, regulations and policies specific to the unit
  • the minimum requirement principle 
  • revegetation or other practices and techniques  needed to address impacts of use
  • law enforcement techniques if appropriate to agency

Ability to:

  • effectively communicate with wilderness users, inholders and adjacent land owners
  • act decisively and calmly under conditions of emotional and physical duress
  • collect evidence and prepare case reports on violations if appropriate to agency
  • safely navigate in a wilderness setting using the mode of travel appropriate for the setting, i.e., hiking, backpacking, packstock, canoe, skiing, snowshoe
  • implement revegetation or other techniques needed to address impacts of use
  • serve in the role of Resource Advisor on wilderness fires
  • provide input on minimum requirements evaluation
  • identify project needs and lead projects
  • implement law enforcement procedures depending on agency guidelines
  • work with volunteers and partners on project work

Skilled in:

  • the safe use of primitive/traditional/non-motorized tools
  • wilderness information and education techniques
  • constructing and maintaining trails, campsites, and facilities
  • safe wilderness navigation, travel, and camping including “Leave No Trace” techniques
  • impact and resource monitoring techniques

Full Performance Level

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • same as Entry Level
  • impact and resource monitoring protocols

Ability to:

  • same as Entry Level
  • ensure staff safety and competency in wilderness settings
  • collaboratively complete minimum requirements analysis and provide recommendations
  • incorporate wilderness law, regulation, and policy, and principles in the management of fires, search and rescue, or other emergencies
  • develop and direct project work plans
  • resolve user conflicts

Skilled in:

  • same as Entry Level
  • training and supervision of field skills
  • identifying opportunities and developing volunteer programs and partnerships
  • providing support for developing and administering contracts and agreements

Expert Level

Knowledge and understanding of:

  • the wilderness resource
  • "Leave No Trace" principles and ethics
  • wilderness emergency procedures, including agency fire management policy and its implementation, minimum impact strategies and tactics (MIST)
  • wilderness rules, regulations and policies specific to field operations
  • the minimum requirement principle and authority for approving prohibited uses
  • skills necessary to ensure staff safety and competency in wilderness settings

Ability to:

  • work within fire program organizations to facilitate appropriate agency response to fire in wilderness, to obtain necessary skills and resources, and to participate in oversight of fire management operations in wilderness
  • advise agency administrators regarding emergency operations in wilderness and to participate in oversight of such operations
  • provide advice and oversight to coordinate skills, knowledge, and resources necessary for field operations in wilderness

Skilled in:

  • determining the minimum requirement
  • working across program areas related to field operations such as with engineering programs; procurement, contract, and agreements specialists; natural resource programs; etc.
  • addressing regulatory requirements that affect field projects and in coordinating with regulatory agencies to facilitate field project work



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