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wilderness management


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Hi i really dont know if this is the right place to post this, but i was wondering if any one majored in wilderness management in college because that is what i am doing and i was wondering if you did, where are you working now.

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Hey wildfan,

I graduated from U of Mt in 1994 with a talk in forestry with an emphasis in wildland management. I spent several years working out west with the USFS, NPS, BLM, USGS and one private outfitter. The work was awesome, the pay sucked, but we often joked that we got paid in sunsets:D. Seasonal work, which can extend as much as 10-12 months a year is available for those who work at lining it up, but permanent work is very difficult to find (there are many decidated folks 'putting their time in' as we speak).

I moved back to MN (Twin Cities) several years ago to be close to my family and to try to find gainful employment. I work for a county park system north of the cities...I don't work in-the-field, I work in an office - public relations...ugh. For me it was a trade-off. Now I seek out my 'wildland' experiences and I can finally afford some of the cool gear to help the experience!

I plan to move back out west after 'putting my time in here' (gaining experience, squirelling away some extra $scratch$, and getting 'tenure' with my retirement benies). In my opinion, there are a few ways to get into the profession...Networking is important and often times some professors can provide that...Something in your home town helps too, as you already know the local 'norms' and whatnot. Finally, I would tell any current student to strongly consider GIS skills...even expertise. This software is the future of wildland/resource mangement...and many of the folks in the agencies are older (and in the way smile.gif) and do not have computer skills, not too mention GIS skills.

Hope that helps a bit. Good luck. Post any questions or lemme know your email and we can talk about it more of the board.


a.k.a. Failin'

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hey wildfan, im goin to go off on a tangent here, bare with me. i graduated from vcc 2 yrs ago with a wilderness degree. i know luke real well. he'll help ya try to get lined up with the forest service if ya want in the summer. do it if you can!!!, really helps the resume. i never did because at the time i just got my pup, and i had no one to watch him(your hours are 8 days on 6 days off), bad move on my part. anyway, its a cool program. got to go to italy! but in reality, its only an associates degree. if you really want to make any money, you better plan on a 4 yr. degree. luke will cram the Resource Recreation and Tourism degree at the U of Idaho down your throat. i transfered to idaho last year, however, i lost interest in the wilderness mgmt stuff, too politcal, and its a lame program too. my roomate i had in ely, who convinced me to go out to idaho, was in that program and drop out of that program after he had a 2 hour lecture about tourism management at disney land, so he got an environmental science degree instead. and i, being completly sick of the politics in wilderness management, went into fisheries mgmt. more up my alley. tried it last year, but, didnt like the school(too BIG), or the area(middle of farm country). so, im back now. goin to school at UWS. majoring in fisheries science and getting a Minor in GIS. GIS is Geographic Information Systems. its absolutly amazing. i absolutly hate computers, but the stuff you can do with this software is insane. wave of the future, my boy!! very glad im doing it, because in ALL reality, you cant get a lot of money in the natural resource field unless you got a masters or better. and im too old to think about a masters degree. so i figure, the more skills i have, the more experience i have, and knowing the right people, the better my chances are at getting in somewhere and moving up. i STRESS get some experience over the summers. i also STRESS NETWORKING!!! thats huge. knowing the right people will help a ton. anyway, most people i know that got done with that degree, transfered to a 4 yr college or work seasonally with the forest service, or they work a fire crew. the wilderness program is very interesting, and educational. if politics are your thing go for it. like i said, its only a 2 yr, associates degree, get that done and your options are endless when it comes to transfering to another school. the program is basicly a primer for a university education. i honestly recomened the forestry program, or the water program, of the wildlife program. lukes a little loopy, (you'll figure that out soon enough) and lori schmidt is the schmidt!! awsome lady, tons of resources at here disposal. she does the wildlife program, and basicaly keeps the wolves alive at the wolf center. the forestry, and Water programs are more bio intensive, so i wish i would have taken them, considering what im currently doing, and they may be a better option for work when all is said and done. anyway i HAVE to stop. im writing freekin a novel. anymore ?'s, let me know. ENJOY E-Town, I'd give anything to still be up there.

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