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Connecting Youth To The Outdoors

About Little Yosemite Valley Internships


The National Park Service frequently requires supplemental staff during the busy summer season to provide visitor and resource protection.

The following volunteer and intern positions have been created to augment the operational staff and supply call-when-needed resources to handle emergencies, which routinely occur in the park.

These positions enable the public to be exposed to the complex operation of Yosemite National Park and learn about ways in which they may make a career in the National Park Service.

Little Yosemite Valley Backcountry Ranger Internships

The Valley District will recruit our backcountry ranger interns through the Student Conservation Association to assist rangers with day-to-day summer operations in Little Yosemite Valley (LYV).The Valley District began partnering with SCA in 2008 and is pleased to be able to continue to host these outstanding internship opportunities in 2011.

About the Student Conservation Association and how to apply:

The Student Conservation Association is a nationally recognized internship program which provides applicants with hands-on conservation service opportunities in the national parks. The SCA interns in LYV will be provided the opportunity to learn what it is like to be a backcountry ranger in Yosemite, to gain valuable training and experience, and to make a significant contribution to the park. Positions are expense-paid and offer education awards.To apply, visit internships are usually announced on the SCA website in December and selections will be made by early March.The internship lasts about 14 weeks and typically begin in early June and end in early September.

About Little Yosemite Valley:

The Little Yosemite Valley (LYV) is a backcountry ranger station located about four and a half miles from the bustle of Yosemite Valley at an elevation of approximately 6,000 feet. The ranger station consists of three canvas-wall tents, an outdoor cooking area which has a roof to keep of the rain, a corral, and some storage sheds.  At times there are up to twenty people living and working out of this area and other times you might be all alone.  LYV SCA interns live and work in the backcountry of LYV four days per week. Food is packed in by a string of mules once per week. The kitchen area has a stove with multiple burners, an oven, and several refrigerators.

LYV is the headwaters of the Merced River and contains the trail network leading to Half Dome, the John Muir Trail to Mount Whitney, and many other wilderness destinations. LYV is the heart of the High Sierra with two stunning waterfalls on the approach to the ranger station and incredible vistas beyond.

While there are no roads in this wilderness area, it is one of the busiest trail systems in Yosemite and perhaps the National Park Service. Up to 80,000 people hike this corridor per year. Working in LYV is a unique opportunity to perform the Ranger mission in a busy backcountry setting. LYV is a challenging place to work but an experience that you will never forget. A typical summer in LYV might log 60 search and rescue incidents, many medical emergencies, and countless opportunities to interact with visitors and inform them about safety and resource management in a backcountry setting.

The day-to-day duties of the intern will vary widely but will usually emphasize preventative search and rescue (PSAR) and wildlife management. The PSAR portion of the position involves talking to hikers about their skill level and known hazards in an attempt to prevent any mishaps.  The intern will perform these duties while on foot patrols of area trails near LYV but will be primarily focused on Half Dome and Emerald Pool.  Additionally, the volunteer is expected to respond to and report emergencies as well as assist with search and rescue operations.

The wildlife management portion of the position involves assisting and educating hikers on how to keep Yosemite’s wildlife wild. Specifically, the intern is trained to assist with monitoring bear activity and assisting visitors with proper food storage in LYV.

Interns are also expected to the assist the LYV rangers with operations and projects.

This internship is a great opportunity for anyone thinking of a career with the National Park Service, emergency medicine, search and rescue, or wildlife management.

Housing will be provided to the intern in canvas-wall tents both in LYV and in the Valley. The housing will be shared with another intern.  LYV is fairly rustic but the Valley offers nearby access to plumbed bathrooms, showers, laundry, phone, and other essentials. An enthusiastic attitude and an aptitude for new experiences may be more important than current knowledge, skill, and experience. A 40-hour per week commitment is expected.

Applicants over 21 years of age are preferred. Preference will be given to emergency medical technicians, applicants with demonstrated backcountry experience and those that possess a high level of athleticism.  Please be sure and submit a resume and references with application to the SCA.

Supervisor and Contact Information:

Jeff Webb, Supervisory Park Ranger, Yosemite Valley, Yosemite NP



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