VetsWork offers opportunites for Veterans in the National Forests

In a press release that came out late last week The United States Forest Service notified the public it is seeking applications for internship opportunities on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. There are pressing conservation needs on public lands, and the National Forests are partnering with VetsWork for their leadership and experience.

Conservation projects heva an interdisciplinary focus including wildfire prevention and response, recreation enhancement, timber management, public outreach and education, habitat restoration and road improvement. In addition to training, VETSwork members receive a paid living allowance and a post-program educational stipend of five thousand five hundred dollars.

The deadline to apply for one of these internships is January 15th, 2017. For more information contact

Katie Schmidt at (509)-395-3465, or Aaron Stanton (253) 653-4231.

More than 2.5 million veterans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many within this new generation of veterans face transition and unemployment challenges as they return to civilian life. The Vetswork program strives to address these challenges by providing career development opportunities for our returning veterans while simultaneously addressing the needs of our public lands.

Thomas Tidwell, the Chief of the Forest Service stated, “The career development programs for returning veterans offered by the Mt. Adams Institute are changing people’s lives and making a difference for the Forest Service….We are particularly pleased to have been able to employ many of the veterans engaged through [the] program.” Aaron Stanton agrees. As the VetWorks Program Director he sees evidence that indicates over 50% of participants are offered jobs upon completion of the program.

The positive results of this program are in large part due to the training and ability of veterans to build a professional network of folks on the inside that know them personally. This allows them to be very well positioned to get jobs. Veteran Jason Griffith said that “Of all the stepping stones on the path to becoming a permanent employee with the Forest Service, the VetsWork program has taken me farther and higher than any other.”  VetsWork is a program of the Mt. Adams Institute, headquartered in Trout Lake, Washington. Their mission is to strengthen the connection between people and the natural world through education, service learning, career development and research ( The program is funded with support of Americorps, a national program that engages more than 75,000 members in service annually across the country.

Contact Information:Katie Schmidt at, Mt. Adams Institute, 2453 HWY 141, Trout Lake, WA 98650 or

Aaron Stanton,(253) 653-4231.


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

Current Weather