Wilderness Inventory Interns

Expected Dates
October 1, 2014 to September 29, 2015
BLM California
Position ID
The BLM is a multiple-use natural resource management agency. One important resource for the BLM to manage is wilderness characteristics. The Federal Lands Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) require that the BLM update the inventory of public lands with wilderness characteristics periodically. An updated inventory is now necessary because the BLM has received new information from a non-governmental agency about wilderness characteristics in the California Desert District and in the Bishop Field Office that differs from existing inventory data. Also, the BLM has a need to determine the status of wilderness characteristics for newly acquired public lands.
BLM Manual 6310 Conducting Wilderness Characteristics Inventory on BLM Lands furnishes the guidance for the process of inventorying BLM public lands for wilderness characteristics.
The National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) Wilderness Inventory Teams will assist BLM managers with the inventory of lands with wilderness characteristics on public lands in the California Desert District and other BLM field offices in NorCal and CenCal. A total of four interns will be placed under this statement of work. 
The Wilderness Inventory Teams will require living and working in remote backcountry locations, as well as being exposed to all types of weather conditions. The teams will be highly mobile and frequent travel will be required to remote backcountry work locations. The Teams must be self-contained and skilled in traditional tool use. Camping in wilderness or other backcountry locations with minimal facilities or other amenities will be the norm. Camps will be in rustic settings where electricity, potable water from a tap, or other amenities may not be available.
A typical tour of duty or hitch for the Wilderness Inventory Teams is usually 10 days on and four days off. The schedule may be revised or changed due to weather or by the needs of the BLM Project Leader. However, the BLM-Program Officer will work closely with the youth organization to ensure they can comply with schedule changes and will not cause undue hardship on the teams.
The Wilderness Inventory Teams may be funded in two phases. Phase I will authorize two teams for a six months period beginning on/around August 1, 2014 and end on around January 31, 2015. Phase II will authorize placement of beginning on/around February 1, 2015 and end on around July 31, 2015.
From the inventory information in the forthcoming round of updates, the BLM will then make decisions concerning which lands the BLM will continue to manage for wilderness characteristics and other concurrent multiple uses. This work does not entail decision making. Decisions about managing wilderness characteristics will stem from subsequent public planning processes.
Five principal tasks constitute the scope of work for this project:
·        Consult with Field Office recreation staffs to obtain local knowledge about lands known to contain or have the potential to contain wilderness characteristics and other supplemental values (e.g., ecological, geological, scientific, educational, scenic, historical)
·        GIS analysis to determine whether the extent and boundaries of lands with wilderness characteristics in the existing inventory remain valid or merit revaluation
·        GIS analysis to determine whether proposed additions and changes proposed by citizens to the extent and boundaries of lands with wilderness characteristics
·        On-the-ground validation of proposed changes for an individual area where changes in extents and boundaries for the area amount to greater than one square mile (= 2.59 km2)
·        Document in a permanent electronic file, using data standards and forms established in BLM Manual 6310, the map results of GIS analysis algorithms, narratives from field notes, and photographs which support inclusion of existing and proposed lands with the wilderness characteristics in the 2014 inventory update.
Criteria for Analyses
  • Size - The area must be over 5,000 acres of roadless, contiguous BLM-managed lands OR, for areas smaller than 5,000 acres, the area may qualify if it is practical to preserve and use them without damaging their current condition. In addition, roadless areas less than 5,000 acres that are contiguous with lands that have been formally determined to have wilderness or potential wilderness values, or any federal lands already managed for the protection of wilderness characteristics (e.g. Wilderness Areas or Wilderness Study Areas) may also qualify.
  • Naturalness - Must appear to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature. Any work of human beings in the area must be substantially unnoticeable. Minor human impacts such as a water trough or fences may often be considered substantially unnoticeable.
  • Outstanding Opportunities for Solitude OR Primitive, Unconfined Recreation - The area must offer a visitor the chance to avoid evidence of other people or provide for outstanding opportunities for primitive and an unconfined type of non-motorized, non-mechanical recreation activity like hiking, fishing, etc. Solitude or outstanding primitive recreation opportunities do not have to be available in all portions of the area. An area may possess outstanding opportunities through either the diversity of possible recreation opportunities in the area or the outstanding quality of one opportunity.
  • Supplemental Values - If size, naturalness and outstanding opportunities criteria are met, then ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical values may be noted, but are not required to qualify as lands with wilderness characteristics.

Skills Required
Professional or research experience using ArcGIS software
Mapping and cartographic skills
Use of GPS units, digital cameras
Technical writing
Physical strength to walk long distances (>20 km) in one day
Wilderness First Aid and Safety
Valid driver’s license
Clean Motor Vehicle Driver Record (REQUIRED)

  • California Desert Conservation Area, Bishop Field Office and Susanville Field Office of BLMm equals a wonderful tour of California’s wildllands.
Main Area of Focus
Geographic Info Systems (GIS, includes GPS)
Education, Training & Skills Expected
Resource Management
graduate candidate or degree
competent without supervision
competent without supervision
competent without supervision
competent without supervision
Data Analysis
competent without supervision
Orienteering compass skills
competent without supervision