Four days ago, I moved to Yellowstone, and with that move came my first real access to internet (not just on my phone and not limited to 10 minutes) that I have had in about a year. After filing through personal stuff I needed to catch up on, I realized I had literally hundreds of unread messages on my Facebook and Instagram from people who read this blog. I had not realized just how many people actually read this, and was surprised by the sheer volume. I am going to try to get back to everyone, but just know it will likely take me awhile. However, what I will do is use this blog to address the frequently asked questions that kept popping up in these messages to me.
Do you have to move from park to park? Do they assign/station you to a specific location?
You have complete control in where you go; you just have to be hired there. You pick which parks to apply to, and which parks you accept positions in. You can be like me and park hop or you can choose to just work one place a year. The main thing is that while you are still a seasonal, you are limited to 1039 hours in a location and then you HAVE to leave. You don’t have to go to another park unless you want to, most people travel, go back home, or work at ski resorts in the off season.
Speaking of the off-season, which months do people in Forestry Field usually have off?
Obviously this can change from place to place, but generally the slow or “off” season is November-April. There are however places like Death Valley or the Everglades in which those months are their peak season, and of course places like Yosemite or Zion that really don’t have any kind of off season. It really varies and is a question you should ask when interviewing for a position.
What is employee housing like?
Surprisingly, this is the number one question people have asked me. Again, it really varies. Government employee housing for me has ranged from a beautiful two-bedroom house with a stone fireplace and wraparound deck on a river to a dorm in which I shared one toilet with 14 people to dilapidated trailer similar to Edward Abbey’s in Desert Solitaire. Again, this is something that you may want to ask in the interview process. In case you are feeling shy, there is also this website www.parkhousingreviews.com (not friendly for mobile devices) that has some of the housing available for review. One thing is for certain, no matter where you are, you will be living in a gorgeous location and you probably won’t be spending much time at home anyways.
Where do I start?
This one has been more common in recent months, and I think it may be because the blogs I did covering this subject are a few years old at this point. Rather than going over it all in detail again, I am just going to link back to the blogs I have previously written on the best internships and how to land a federal job.