Based in Flagstaff, AZ
ACE Southwest is based in Flagstaff, commonly known as the “gateway to the Grand Canyon,” but this welcoming city of almost 75,000 offers much more than close proximity to one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The city is located on the intertribal indigenous lands of the Hopi, Yavapai, Pueblos, Western Apache, and Hohokam nations, with nearby Hualapai, Diné (Navajo), Zuni, and Ute lands, to name a few (visit the Native Land website to learn more about indigenous lands in this region and beyond). Flagstaff is a city rich in cultural diversity, educational opportunities at Northern Arizona University, and an abundance of outdoor enthusiasts drawn to both the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the world (Coconino National Forest) and the state’s highest mountain (Mt. Humphreys at 12,633ft). In addition, old Route 66, the “Mother Road”, runs through Flagstaff and has been the setting for several movies, such as Easy Rider and Forrest Gump.
ACE’s main office in Flagstaff, Arizona was first opened in 2004 by ACE founder Chris Baker. For six years, ACE operated out of a small building on the south side of downtown Flagstaff before moving to our current office on the north side heading towards the Grand Canyon. This location serves as the National Crew Office and houses the Southwest Crew Division, with a nearby Administration Office.
The outdoor sports enthusiast is right at home in Flagstaff. There are an abundance of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and trail running as well as rock climbing all within easy walking distance of the city center. In the colder months, take a quick drive down to Sedona or visit nearby Arizona Snowbowl and Coconino National Forest for downhill or cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Flagstaff itself is ideally located for an exploration of the Four Corners Area and is centrally located to many of the most well known National Parks and Forests in the United States, most notably Grand Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. If you prefer a more relaxing form of entertainment, the city hosts a wide array of concerts, art and cultural festivals, cuisine offerings, and nightlife events that one might expect from a bustling college town.
What We Do
The Southwest Arizona Division (SWA) has traditionally focused heavily on trail work including trail design, construction and maintenance including drystone masonry and rigging. In the fall and winter months, however, SWA also works with a multitude of National Wildlife Refuges conducting ecological restoration. Sewn throughout these two major varieties is also fencing, forest thinning and historic restoration.
Where We Work
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Petrified Forest National Park
- Tonto National Forest
- Montezuma Castle National Monument
- Coconino National Forest
- Wupatki National Monument
- Santa Fe National Forest
- Coronado National Forest
- Saguaro National Park
- Imperial National Wildlife Refuge
- Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
- And many more!
ACE Pacific West is separated into two locations, Central CA and Southern CA
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA – ACE Pacific West’s Central California base is located in the suburbs of Sacramento, resting on Nisenan, Patwin, and Me-Wuk ancestral lands. Settled on the confluence of the Sacramento and American Rivers, Sacramento is a well-established center of California and a thriving city of over 500,000.With one of the world’s largest railway museums, the world-renowned 32-mile Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail along the American River, and conservation-focused Sacramento Zoo all within a 10-mile radius, there is no limit to the excitement downtown Sacramento offers during off days. For those looking to travel a bit further to nearby attractions, Lake Tahoe is only a 2 hour drive Northeast and offers an array of activities for the outdoor enthusiast as the Gateway to the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA –ACE Pacific West’s Southern California base is located in Ridgecrest and rests on Northern Paiute, Kawaiisu, and Newe (Western Shoshone) indigenous lands in close proximity to the California High Desert. Compared to Sacramento, Ridgecrest is a relatively small, quaint and comfortable desert town of about 30,000, with strong ties to the local Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Surrounded by four mountain ranges: the Sierra Nevada to the west, the Cosos to the north, Argus Range to the east, and the El Paso Mountains to the south, there is no shortage of outdoor adventures to partake in during off days. From rock climbing to wildflower hunting to camping, Ridgecrest’s desert environment provides a scenic and challenging adventure within legendary public lands such as Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve.
The Pacific West program, formerly known as ACE California, was established in Santa Cruz, California in 2008. The Pacific West administrative office is now located in Felton, California within the Santa Cruz Mountains. In such a vast state, this division has held as many as three separate division offices, with work extending throughout the western contiguous United States and even into the islands of Hawaii. To learn more about indigenous lands and nations in this region and beyond, visit the Native Land website or download the Native Land app.
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA –Located in California’s Central Valley, Sacramento summers are hot, arid, and mostly clear while the winters are short, cold, and wet. The temperature range over the course of a typical year is anywhere from 39°F to 94°F. With its roots as the state capital dating back to the 1850’s, when the discovery of gold at nearby Sutter Creek initiated the Gold Rush, Sacramento boasts a vibrant and historic downtown, whether within the restaurants and museums in ‘Old Sacramento’ or at the nearby State Capitol building and museum. Sacramento also hosts a nearby international airport and has a multitude of bus and light rail routes offered through Sacramento Regional Transit for easy transportation throughout the city. Hiking, mountain biking, or water sport activities in Lake Tahoe are only a 2 hour drive Northeast. Historic, yet modern, San Francisco is alternatively only a 1.5 hour drive Southwest, while the infamous Yosemite National park is a mere 3 hour drive Southeast. Whether checking out local museums or traveling a bit further for world-renowned outdoor adventures, the Central California branch offers something enticing for everyone!
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA –Sitting at 2,300 ft. elevation in California’s high desert, Ridgecrest summers are hot and arid, while winters are cold and dry. The temperature range over the course of a typical year is anywhere from 30°F to 103°F. Conveniently, Ridgecrest is within a couple hours’ drive to some of California’s most visited destinations. ACE participants can go to the highest point in the continental United States (Mt. Whitney) and the lowest point (Death Valley) within about an hour and a half drive from Ridgecrest; and for those interested in the city life, Los Angeles is only a 2.5 hr drive Southwest! Locally, the area hosts two museums, the largest concentration of Native American petroglyphs in the western hemisphere, a living ghost town, and several geological attractions including the otherworldly Trona Pinnacles. For those into Sci-fi movies, the Trona Pinnacles will look oddly familiar if you’ve seen movies such as “Planet of the Apes” and “Star Trek”. Whether checking out exotic plant and animal life of the surrounding high desert, hiking and rock climbing on some strange geological formations, or taking a quick drive to check out incredible outdoor attractions, the Southern California branch has something for everyone!
What We Do
ACE Pacific West works in a wide variety of areas throughout the state of California. From forest thinning using chainsaws and building trail structures using dry-stone masonry in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range to trail construction within California’s coastal Redwood forests, the vast range of projects take us all over California and the Pacific West. Our work encompasses trail construction and maintenance, specialized rock work, habitat restoration and native planting, fencing, fuels reduction, invasive species removal, historic preservation, and much more. To join ACE Pacific West is to contribute to a lasting legacy of work proudly implemented for the benefit of the environment and communities throughout the West.
Where We Work
California State Parks all across the state (Big Sur, Monterey, North Coast, Mt. San Jacinto)
Based in Hurricane, UT
ACE Mountain West is located in Hurricane, Utah (locally pronounced HER-a-kin) and is literally seated at “The Gateway to Zion.” Hurricane is located on indigenous Southern Paiute and Pueblos lands (visit the Native Land website to learn more about indigenous lands in this region and beyond). This quaint and picturesque town of almost 20,000 offers year-round outdoor recreation opportunities as well as close proximity to some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, such as Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, along with one of the world’s most famous destinations: Las Vegas. quickly becoming an internationally known hotspot for mountain biking, and IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) has awarded the Hurricane Cliffs trail system one of its coveted “Epic Ride” designations, with many of these trails constructed or maintained by ACE. While the town may never be confused with a bustling, crowded city, its charm is visible by simply walking its quiet neighborhoods, having a friendly exchange with its citizens, or just taking in the relaxed lifestyle and nearby amenities.
ACE Mountain West’s office originally opened in nearby St. George, Utah in 2012 before moving to its current home in Hurricane. The stunning landscapes and abundance of public lands in southern Utah have made this locale a cornerstone of the ACE Conservation Crew program. Jump into adventure and start your exploration of the Grand Staircase region here!
Set along the base of red sandstone cliffs, at an elevation of 3,330 feet (1,000m), Hurricane basks in over 260 days of sunshine a year and experiences very low humidity. The town boasts beautiful hiking and camping opportunities at nearby Zion National Park (30 minutes away), Bryce Canyon National Park (2 hours away), Cedar Breaks National Monument (90 minutes away), the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park (3 hours away), and Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (15 minutes away). Winters, while mild in the desert, play host to various snow sports at the higher elevations. Brian Head Ski Resort, which sits adjacent to Cedar Breaks National Monument, is home to some of the best powder in the West giving merit to Utah’s motto: “The Best Snow on Earth.” For those individuals looking for a more urban experience, the glistening lights of Las Vegas are only two hours to the west, and Salt Lake City is five hours to the north. There is a little something for everyone in ACE Mountain West, no matter their interests or tastes!
What We Do
ACE Mountain West’s work is as varied and engaging as the landscapes we traverse. While we often focus on trail construction and maintenance, including creation of new mountain biking and equestrian trails, our crews also work on local native planting projects, habitat restoration, fencing installation, and river restoration efforts. As part of greater fire mitigation efforts in the West, we also often work on fuels reduction projects that involve forest thinning and stacking of slash piles to minimize dead and down fuels for wildfires.
Where We Work
- Zion National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Arches National Park
- Wind Cave National Park
- Capitol Reef National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Arches National Park
- Dixie National Forest
- Timpanogos Cave National Monument
- Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
- And many more!
Based in Corpus Christi, TX
ACE Gulf Coast Division is located in the beautiful coastal bend region of South Texas along the Gulf of Mexico. Corpus Christi sits on indigenous Coauiltecan and Karankawa lands (visit the Native Land website to learn more) and is home to Padre Island National Seashore, the largest stretch of undeveloped barrier island seashore in the world. This National Park Protects over 70 miles of coastline, dunes, coastal prairies, and wind tidal flats that vehicles can drive through. Crew members often car camp on Padre Island on the weekends for fun. Corpus Christi has world class fishing and is home to over 380 species of migrating birds. In fact, the city is called the birdiest city in the world. Downtown Corpus Christi has an abundance of ocean front parks, bars and a fun night life with great live music. Texas’ massive Jazz festival has been hosted here every year since its inception in 1960.
ACE Gulf Coast was opened in September 2017 in order to better serve the invasive species removal needs of the coastal region. Although the workload is diverse, ACE Gulf Coast’s efforts are primarily focused on restoring gulf coast prairies and watersheds to support threatened and endangered animals and neo-tropical migrating birds, such as the Whooping Crane.
Explore Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi is home to all of the ocean amenities one could hope for, including windsurfing, kite surfing, shore and deep-sea fishing, and world class beaches. Catch a wave or catch a viewing of a sea turtle hatchling release! Those that enjoy a bit of history and education can visit the Corpus Christi Museum of Science & History or the Selena Museum, celebrating the life of the Queen of Tejano Music, Selena Quintanilla Perez. To learn more about local flora and fauna, the nearby Texas State Aquarium and South Texas Botanical Garden & Nature Center provide a relaxing and engaging day out. If you hear the ocean calling, come work with us on the Gulf Coast!
What We Do
ACE Gulf Coast members are offered extensive training in wildland coastal forest management using chainsaws, brushcutters, gas powered augers, herbicides and specialty tools to regain control of encroaching, toxic plant populations. Additional project work includes feral hog trapping, revegetation, restoring fragmented habitat, surveying, mapping, and water quality testing. This line of work often requires crew members to use UTV’s or kayaks to access remote backcountry locations in Texas State Parks and National Wildlife Refuges. ACE Gulf Coast prides ourselves in that almost every invasive tree removed has been replaced by a native one somewhere along our journey. A Conservation Corps presence is needed here more now than ever. Meet fellow like-minded colleagues from all over the country and gain the experience that qualifies you for career positions with private environmental firms and public land management agencies!
Where We Work
- Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
- Goose Island State Park
- Caddo Lake National Wildlife Refuge
- Padre Island National Seashore
- Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
- Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
- Little River National Wildlife Refuge
- Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
- Salt Plains NWR (Oklahoma)
- McGee Creek National Scenic Area (Oklahoma)
- And many more!
Based in Asheville, NC
Asheville was chosen for the Eastern Division because of its beautiful location nestled in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, its eclectic feel, and its close proximity to a variety of National Parks, National Forests, and State Parks. The city sits on indigenous Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee East) land, and is also near native Catawba, Tutelo, and Keyauwee lands (visit the Native Land website to learn more about indigenous lands in this region and beyond). The area is known for beautiful rivers, waterfalls, outdoor recreation including hiking, camping, biking, kayaking, climbing as well as live music, arts, and culinary experiences for all. Several Ski resorts are also under an hour away. The Appalachian Trail can be accessed within an hours drive of Asheville and hiking opportunities are endless with the Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, Cherokee National Forest, Sumter National Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway and other public lands within all directions of Asheville, NC. When members aren’t working or playing in the field many enjoy walking around downtown and enjoying their favorite establishment along the river for some relaxation.
ACE Eastern’s office opened in May of 2014 as an expansion of existing partnerships with Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. It boasts a wide reach across biologically and historically rich areas along the east coast and beyond. This includes the ACE Puerto Rico Conservation Corps (PRCC), a program created in alignment with the National Park Service and the National Forest Service to specifically serve local Puerto Rico residents in historic preservation projects and trails projects.
Asheville is known for having the best of both worlds: a haven for outdoor recreation in the Southeast, as well as having culture and arts. The River Arts District has a number of open artist studios and a variety of music venues that welcome local artists and venues downtown which welcome national acts. The South Slope neighborhood is known for having a number of breweries for those who are 21 and over. Asheville is also home to the famous Biltmore Estate- America’s largest home that is on 8,000 acres and includes gardens, trails, and a winery. Asheville is in a unique location that allows relatively quick access to mountains, rivers, trails, and cliffs that can facilitate just about any outdoor recreation activity.
What We Do
ACE is renowned for our expertise in trail construction and maintenance which forms a large percentage of the projects conducted out of Asheville. The habitat restoration program has been growing steadily and comprises our other main project focus area in the Eastern Region. Habitat restoration involves invasive species removal, native planting, riparian restoration, and timber stand improvement. Recently, ACE has become more involved in historical and cultural preservation at National Historic Sites and National Battlefields which encompasses a small, but consistent, percentage of work. Our partnerships and work sites include National Parks, National Forests, National Wildlife Refuges, Bureau of Land Management, State Parks, Non-profit organizations, and land conservancies throughout the eastern United States and Caribbean.
Where We Work
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
- Gettysburg National Military Park
- Congaree National Park
- Blue Ridge Parkway
- Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
- Manassas National Battlefield Park
- Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest
- Sumter National Forest
- Daniel Boone National Forest
- Cherokee National Forest
- Quivira National Wildlife Refuge
- And many more!
ACE’s Emerging Professionals in Conservation (EPIC) program is based out of Salt Lake City, UT and operates nationwide. Regional and remote staff assist in member support as participants work with agency mentors on specialized projects across the country. For more information about the opportunities that EPIC provides, visit the EPIC program page or Apply Now.