Posted: February 28, 2020
Deadline for applications: March 27, 2020

Friends of Panthertown Job Opportunity

Posted: February 28, 2020
Deadline for applications: March 27, 2020



Friends of Panthertown

Friends of Panthertown is a rapidly growing, dynamic 501(c)3) non-profit organization tasked with protecting, maintaining, and improving 30 miles of public trails in Panthertown Valley, a backcountry recreation area in Nantahala National Forest, located between Cashiers and Lake Toxaway, NC.

The mission of Friends of Panthertown is to work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to conserve this outstanding natural resource while improving the quality and experience of recreational opportunities in Panthertown Valley.

Friends of Panthertown is currently hiring a part-time Trail Stewardship Coordinator to coordinate and manage all volunteer activities in Panthertown Valley, with a focus on safety and sustainability. The Trail Stewardship Coordinator will also coordinate, teach, and lead a public education program focused on backcountry stewardship and Leave No Trace principles of outdoor ethics.

A qualified Trail Stewardship Coordinator will work independently, under the direction of the Executive Director and Board of Trustees, to assign, coordinate, manage, and train on-the-ground volunteers, and will help direct natural resource management projects throughout Panthertown Valley.

The Trail Stewardship Coordinator will patrol, monitor, evaluate, maintain, and improve the 30-mile public trail system, update and maintain an active volunteer database, schedule and promote volunteer trail work days, recruit and train trail volunteers, coordinate and train volunteer Trail Ambassadors and Trail Crew Leaders in accordance with an Adopt-A-Trail program and while following U.S. Forest Service safety regulations, and provide outreach and public education by teaching the Leave No Trace principles of outdoor ethics to youth and adults within Panthertown and in the surrounding community.


Physical work is required on-the-ground, and planning work is accomplished via computer, with coordinated meetings located in Jackson County, and throughout western North Carolina, as required. Hours and days worked are flexible and will vary depending on the time of year and weather conditions, but will average 20 hours per week paid hourly, including some weekends, as projects are needed.


• Work with Executive Director, Board of Trustees, and Trail Boss to develop work projects.
• Lead and coordinate on-the-ground trail crews and volunteers working in Panthertown Valley.
• Make plans for trail work projects and join trail crews and volunteers on the trails to do the work.
• Teach trail skills to program staff and volunteers and ensure all safety standards are met.
• Identify opportunities for improvements to processes and approaches to fulfill trail work mission.
• Plan and manage long-term goals and short-term volunteer projects for 30-mile trail system.
• Patrol, evaluate, monitor, maintain, and improve the 30-mile public trail system in Panthertown.
• Make inventories of trail conditions. Submit reports and provide photographs, as necessary.
• Schedule and promote regular public and by-invitation trail work days and projects as needed.
• Recruit, train, and evaluate volunteers and maintain pool of volunteers for trail work projects.
• Maintain volunteer records and database, provide regular reports to E.D. & Board of Trustees.
• Promote, manage, maintain, and evaluate an Adopt-A-Trail program in Panthertown Valley.
• Recruit, train, and evaluate volunteer Trail Ambassadors and Trail Crew Leaders.
• Coordinate, teach, and lead public education focused on stewardship and Leave No Trace principles.
• Assist in planning, coordinating, and leading volunteer recruitment activities and member hikes.
• Represent Friends of Panthertown in Panthertown Valley, at outreach events, and in the community.


Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Highly motivated.
  • Good health and physical fitness.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Comfortable working without direct supervision.
  • Willingness to take responsibility for all aspects of a trail crew.
  • Must pass a background check.
  • Must act professionally at all times when representing Friends of Panthertown.
  • Must have a focus on safety and sustainability when maintaining trails in Panthertown.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.
  • Must have a reliable vehicle for transportation.
  • Must have a working telephone, computer, and internet access.!
  • Must have strong computer skills (familiar with using email, spreadsheets, word processor, etc.)
  • Must be capable of heavy physical activity, capable of lifting tools and large branches.
  • Ability and willingness to work independently and as a team with staff and volunteers.
  • Ability to plan and manage work projects while following U.S. Forest Service safety requirements.
  • Ability to accept responsibility for maintaining trails to U.S. Forest Service standards.
  • Ability to lead and train volunteers in the safe and sustainable execution of trail projects.
  • Ability to teach trail skills and provide safety instructions to trail crew volunteers.
  • Ability to motivate and work with people of all ages, levels of experience, and backgrounds.
  • Ability to hike long distances on mountain terrain while carrying tools and equipment.

Highly Desirable

  • Experience in outdoor leadership, project management, teaching, and/or volunteer coordination.
  • One or more seasons of trail work or other conservation experience.!
  • Considerable knowledge of methods, materials, tools, and techniques used in trail construction.
  • Sawyer skills and trail construction knowledge are a bonus. Training will be provided, as needed.
  • Skills and certifications such as First Aid/CPR, Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder.


  • Compensation depends on the qualifications and experience of candidate.
  • Employment is part-time, paid hourly (average 20 hours/week) with opportunities for advancement.
  • Worker’s Compensation insurance and personal protective equipment is provided.
  • Reimbursements are provided for all supplies and materials needed for the position.
  • There will be a 6 month probationary and evaluation period.
  • Training and certifications provided, as needed, to qualified candidate include First Aid/CPR/AED, Wilderness First Aid, Leave No Trace Master Educator, and U.S. Forest Service chainsaw sawyer certification, plus opportunities for additional trainings and certifications after evaluation period.


Please send your resume, cover letter, and three professional references as PDF or DOC attachments to attention Jason Kimenker, Executive Director, or you may mail your materials to:

Friends of Panthertown
PO Box 51
Cashiers, NC 28717

E-mail inquiries only please, no phone calls.

Deadline: March 27, 2020, however Friends of Panthertown may schedule interviews and make a selection prior to that date, so please submit your application materials as soon as you prepare them.

Friends of Panthertown is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

It is the intent of Friends of Panthertown to employ and retain the most qualified individuals without regard to race, age, color, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, expression of gender identity, socioeconomic status, source of legal income, geographic origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law. As a non-profit organization working in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, we are committed to diversity. The stated goal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service is to create a culture of inclusion that awakens and strengthens all people’s connections to the land and each other.

Panthertown Volunteers