2017 Wilderness Ranger Internship



The goals of the SBFC Wilderness Ranger Intern (WRI) program are to train, educate, mentor and provide employment development opportunities for the next generations of wilderness professionals and provide skilled support to the Forest Service for accomplishing priority wilderness work.

This is a 14-week internship for military veterans and college students doing under-graduate or graduate work in conservation, resource management, wilderness, recreation or related fields.  The internship offers 2 full weeks of wilderness skills training—crosscut saw use and certification, hand tool use, stock handling and packing, Leave No Trace and Wilderness First Responder training, followed by 12 weeks working in the Selway-Bitterroot and Frank Church Wilderness areas, with trained wilderness professionals, US Forest Service managers and volunteers. 

The WRI will also learn about the Wilderness Act and how it established an overarching framework for wilderness stewardship, what wilderness character is and how to conduct wilderness character monitoring.

In 2017, WRIs will receive an AmeriCorps award.



2017 Wilderness Ranger Interns


Avery King

Avery was born and raised in Minnesota where she was introduced to the back-country in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and became passionate about conservation and wilderness. This led her to study ecology & conservation biology at the University of Idaho, where she is currently a sophomore. Avery recently completed the University of Idaho's "Semester in the Wild" where she spent 11 weeks living and learning in the Frank Church Wilderness.

Steven Mantani

Steven is currently studying for a Master of forestry at Michigan Tech. Originally from New Jersey, he studied Economics as an undergraduate at Rutgers University and worked in banking and finance for several years. Following a life changing trip to Yosemite National Park, he quit his job and landed an internship with the Student Conservation Association in Yosemite which led to further experiences including volunteering with the Peace Corps.

Matthew Hutchins

Matthew is an environmental biology major studying at Christopher Newport University in Virginia. He loves to hike, film, edit and learn about plants.  He cares deeply for wild lands and is looking forward to taking in all of the smells, noises and views of the north west.

Riley Hunter

Riley is getting ready to graduate with a degree in outdoor recreation management at Utah Valley University. She was born and raised hiking in the mountains and red rocks of southern Utah. Being out in the wilderness is where she has always felt the most at home.

Gabe Duff

Gabe is a recreation management major, leadership studies minor at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. He started his outdoor career as a Boy Scout, and developed a passion for providing recreational opportunities for everyone. Gabe hopes to gain experience working with people in a wilderness setting to make a positive impact on their views towards the value of wilderness.

Heather Morris

Heather is currently enrolled at SUNY-ESF as a conservation biology major with a minor in marine science. Most of her free time is spent competing in underhand chopping on the school's woodsmen team.  She loves an early morning canoe in search of bullfrogs.


Sam Freestone

Sam is a junior at Iowa State University studying Environmental Science. Sam was a part of the 2013 IDAWA group. IDAWA is a group of high school students that partners with SBFC each year, organized by the Dallas County Conservation Department in Iowa. During the school year he leads student monitoring groups of campus waterways. Sam hopes to use this experience to broaden his understanding of Wilderness and improve his ability to help others discover their own need for wildness.

Ethan Spoerry

Ethan is a senior at Luther College in northeast Iowa, majoring in both Environmental Education and Scandinavian Studies. He was born and raised in central Iowa. Ethan loves the outdoors and being in nature. Ethan's goal is to connect with nature more and work to preserve and share the beauty of the wilderness with others.

Silas Phillips

Silas is a Maine native happily transplanted in Missoula. He is a junior at the University of Montana and will be graduating next spring with a degree in environmental studies and anthropology. Whether it be biking, hiking, fishing, or photography, his hobbies let him explore and connect with the rocky mountain west. Silas is ready to immerse himself in some sublime country!

Kate Barrett

Kate is a graduate of the University of Montana's MFA Program in creative writing and an aspiring outdoor educator. She grew up in Denver and has been making a beeline for the outdoors since she was a kid. Kate interned with National Outdoor Leadership School- Rocky Mountain. She worked in the nonprofit sector for a few years before returning to school for her masters. Kate is pretty into knitting and Bob's Burgers right now.





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