Starting in 2018, The Student Conservation Association (SCA) partnered with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Southern Region to administer the Integrated Fire and Recreation (IFR) Internship. This program includes a two week training which involves basic firefighter training, a work capacity test, and basic trail management and maintenance. After the training, interns are placed for approximately 14 weeks on specific forest districts implementing what they learnedduring the training in the field and continuing with on-the-job training. Upon completion of their 640-hour internship, interns have the opportunity to earn the Public Land Corps Hiring Authority giving them eligibility to apply to merit vacancy announcements for two years.


2020 Program Details:

  • Dates January 2020 – April 2020 (specific dates TBD)
  • Two week training at a national forest within the Southern Region and 14 weeks on the district unit
  • Past field locations have included Daniel Boone National Forest, George Washington & Jefferson National Forests, National Forests in North Carolina, Cherokee National Forest, Francis Marion & Sumter National Forests, Ozark St. Francis National Forest, and Chattahoochee National Forest

Current Intern Eligibility Requirements:

  • US Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • 18-30 years of age
  • Completion of associate degree or higher
  • Background in natural resource management or biological sciences
  • Physically fit
  • Interested in working outside
  • Positive attitude
  • 2.0 or higher GPA

Integrated Fire & Rec Intern Team

Current Duties:

  • Under close supervision, receive on-the-job training in fire suppression and prevention
  • Assist with fuel management fire suppression such as fireline construction and backfiring
  • Move dirt, chop brush, or fell small trees to build fireline using hand tools
  • Patrol fireline to location and extinguish sparks, flare-ups and hot spot fire
  • Perform other resource management activities as assigned
  • Recreation/trail duties

Requirements of USFS Forest Unit / District Level Partners:

  • Interview and select a candidate from a pre-screened candidate pool of qualified candidates
  • Provide direct management and mentorship of the intern
  • Ideally, provide housing to the intern, if housing is not available a housing stipend can be provided to the intern


Would you like to host your own IFRI Program or intern outside of the Southern Region?

Reach out directly to Toby Bokum-Fauth via to start the conversation.

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