Jobs and Internships


Posted March 21, 2016


Opportunity: The Chama Peak Land Alliance (CPLA) and Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) are requesting that interested individuals respond to this inquiry for a Conservation Legacy VISTA Volunteer position to be based in Chama, NM. The position would be for 1 to 2 years and is part of a 3-year position that would begin in the spring of 2016. If you are interested in this position, please apply online at by Friday, March 25th or sooner.

VISTA Volunteer Summary: The San Juan – Chama VISTA Volunteer will work under the supervision of BOR and CPLA to address upland forest threats to the San Juan – Chama Diversion Project that provides a substantial amount of water to the Middle Rio Grande Basin. The VISTA Volunteer will work to: 1) Assess the condition of the headwater forests in the San Juan – Chama and the impact of current forest treatments (thinning, prescribed fire) to reduce the potential for a catastrophic wildfire outside the natural range of variation, 2) Based on these findings, make recommendations on future investments to protect this critical water supply, 3) Conduct community outreach to educate stakeholders on the important role that the San Juan – Chama project plays for downstream users and incorporate community input into findings, and 4) Alleviate poverty in northern Rio Arriba County and surrounding communities through workforce development opportunities, regenerative agriculture, and the development of a natural resource based economy in this rural region.

What is a VISTA? VISTAs write grants, recruit and train volunteers, interpret data, foster and nurture partnerships, coordinate fundraisers, plan festivals, develop educational curricula, create outdoor classrooms, present at professional conferences and more. DOI/VISTAs develop sustainable programming that utilizes public lands to benefit impoverished communities through job-skills training, internships, environmental STEM education for youth, youth corps development, food systems development, nutritional education, community based economic development, and other measurable and effective anti-poverty interventions. The DOI/VISTA program aims to address the root causes of poverty and protect America’s natural resources, heritage, and tribal cultures. DOI/VISTA seeks to create the next generation of environmental stewards by increasing volunteerism and community involvement in public lands, and expanding awareness of the value of public lands to underserved communities. Stipend and Resources: The VISTA Volunteer will be provided with a monthly stipend that is equivalent to 105% of the poverty line for Chama, NM. Housing, office space, and a vehicle will be provided by the Bureau of Reclamation, Chama Field Office located in the town of Chama, just south of the Edward Sargent Wildlife Area. Other benefits include a limited health plan, forbearance on qualified student loans, an educational award, and a professional development stipend. For more information, visit:

Qualifications: Preference will be given to individuals who reside locally in the region, however, out of state candidates are welcome to apply. Candidate should have excellent communication skills and have an interest in organizational development, poverty alleviation, and conservation. VISTA Volunteers are government employees and must have a valid U.S. driver’s license. The position is based in Chama, New Mexico. 


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