Programs offer young adults chance to work at park

Staff reportFebruary 2, 2014 

Mount Rainier National Park hires several interns every year for spring and summer positions. The opportunities include wilderness patrols, working with the interpretation staff, doing research and managing the volunteer program.

“These positions offer excellent opportunities for young people to get a foot in the door with the National Park Service or other conservation agencies,” said Kevin Bacher, who coordinates the park’s intern program.

Many of this summer’s job announcements have been posted. Here are some of the opportunities:

Student Conservation Association: The park has worked with the association almost as long as the organization has existed. In addition to Community Crews recruited from high schools in Seattle and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the park typically hires about six people to serve in positions lasting 12-16 weeks. Currently available are backcountry, citizen science coordinator, environmental education and trails volunteer coordinator internships. For more information, go to thesca.org.

Geologic Society of America: The park has hired “Geoscientists in Parks” for a number of years, and some have gone on to seasonal and permanent positions in the National Park Service, Bacher said. Positions are open to geology students at the university level, and applications are due Feb. 18. Visit GSA’s website at geosociety.org for details.

Washington Conservation Corps: At least one crew from corps works at the park each summer, helping with trail maintenance projects. Other crews serve at other national parks and forests throughout the state. This program is for men and women ages 18-25. Go to ecy.wa.gov/wcc for details.

Youth Conservation Corps: This program hires high school students from communities around national parks for 8- to 10-week summer positions. Mount Rainier typically hires about half a dozen such students in March or April, for positions starting in late June or early July. For more information, visit youthconservationcorps.org or contact the park’s human resources office at 360-569-6522.

NEW PARKS COMMISSIONER

Selah resident Douglas D. Peters has been appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to serve on the State Parks and Recreation Commission. Peters’ six-year term began last week.

Peters was a founder of the Yakima Greenway Foundation and currently is on the board of the Yakima Greenway Endowment. The endowment was formed to create an 11-mile-long recreation trail along the Naches and Yakima rivers bordering the City of Yakima. He served as the first president of the Washington Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and now is on the steering committee for the Nature Conservancy Eastern Cascade Initiative, according to a State Parks news release. He has served over the years on a number of nonprofit boards whose work focused on housing, education and the arts. Peters also is a current member of the Yakima Valley Community College Foundation Board and the Yakima Symphony Orchestra.

During a 42-year legal career, Peters served as city attorney of Selah and Naches and has a private law practice in Central Washington. He was president of the Yakima County Bar Association and a founding member of the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. He and his wife, Marj, have four children and five grandchildren.

“We have a wonderful park system here in Washington. In fact, it’s one of our state’s best assets,” Peters said in the release. “I look forward to serving on the commission to ensure that our state park system is healthy and strong, not just for today, but for our kids and grandkids.”

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