The Wilderness Society: Energy and Climate Policy Fellow

Apply here. (Applications due Friday, January 12, 2018)

Non-U.S. citizens are not eligible to apply for this position.


Location: Washington, DC

Fellowship Position

Position title: Recreation and Forest Policy Fellow

Department: Recreation Policy; Forest Policy

Reports to: National Director of Recreation Policy

Address of fellowship placement: 1615 M St NW Washington, DC 20036

Department Description

The Wilderness Society's Recreation Program advocates for land management policies that help connect people to America's public lands. It does so by working to increase opportunities to access public lands, and by ensuring that these lands provide high quality recreation experiences. The Recreation Program is part of The Wilderness Society's People Outdoors Program, a broad-based effort to grow the community of people who are connected to America's public lands and willing to participate in efforts to protect them. TWS' Forest Planning Program works in the land management planning process of the U.S. Forest Service. Through this process, the agency makes forest planning decisions that establish management policies for the National Forests. TWS advocates for planning decisions that protect forest resources and manage recreation on the National Forests in a sustainable way.

Position Description

The Recreation and Forest Policy Fellow will play a key role in the execution of The Wilderness Society's recreation and forest policy campaigns. Working directly with the National Director of Recreation Policy and the Director of TWS' Forest Policy Team, the Fellow will provide research and analysis of pending legislative and administrative policy proposals that impact recreation and forest management, and will assist with advocacy campaigns on these proposals. The Fellow will also be involved in coalition work with other conservation and recreation organizations. During the Fellow's second year, he or she will be expected to assume increasing independent responsibility for management of specific projects on these topics and carry them forward to a successful conclusion.

Examples of specific responsibilities, projects, tasks, and/or duties of the Fellow include:

  • Provide analysis, feedback, and recommendations on key agency policies that impact recreation and forest management. Past fellows have developed policy recommendations on the use of cell phones and photographic equipment in designated Wilderness, application of the National Environmental Policy Act to outfitting and guiding on the national forests, travel by motorized vehicles in the national forests, and other important issues. 
  • Provide research on issues relating to national forests, including but not limited to forest conservation land designations, risks to forest health, implementation of conservation laws and programs, and recreation opportunities, trends, and maintenance. 
  • Analyze the effects of new and potential legislation and administrative policies on recreation management, forest conservation and the integrity of bedrock environmental laws. 
  • Research, write and edit materials in support of TWS’ recreation and forest policy goals, such as white papers, fact sheets, blogs, newsletters, and educational materials. Past fellows have developed a comprehensive history of public lands in the United States, and published articles on youth in the outdoors and fishing in Central Park, NY. 
  • Develop concepts for new policies to protect wild areas on the national forests, and contribute to The Wilderness Society's campaign to build a broader, deeper and more diverse constituency for the protection and preservation of public lands. Past fellows have provided support for TWS' leadership of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids and the Coalition for Outdoor Access. 
  • Meet with Congressional and agency staff to communicate TWS' position on legislative and administrative policy proposals. Past fellows have worked on the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act, the Guides and Outfitters Act and Public Lands Recreational Opportunity Improvement Act.


The following coursework/experience is helpful but not required:

  • Environmental Law and Policy
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Research and Writing

Professional Development

Professional development is a high priority for the High Meadows Fellow. The National Director of Recreation Policy is an attorney and seasoned advocate who has 26 years of professional experience working on public policy in Washington, DC. The National Forest Planning and Policy Director is equally experienced working in conservation and in the agency planning process. Both individuals take their responsibility for professional development very seriously. The Recreation and Forest Policy Fellow will be required to participate in training programs offered to TWS staff, and will also be encouraged to take on public speaking roles related to TWS work. Requests for other types of professional development will also be considered. The Fellow will likely be offered the opportunity to attend conferences on outdoor recreation and education, and will be encouraged to submit proposals for presentations at those conferences related to the work of the position. The current Fellow has taken on a leadership role in the SHIFT Emerging Leaders Program and has attended two SHIFT conferences during his tenure.