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How mush would you like this job?


Have I got a job for you —  a federal government one, no less — but unfortunately there’s only one opening.

The National Park Service is looking for someone to mush through the Alaskan wilderness amid the heart-stopping beauty of Denali National Park and Preserve.

The job title is “kennel manager,” and it does require running Denali’s 31-animal dog kennel, but it also affords ample opportunity to  mush, mostly to rescue lost and stranded park visitors.

It pays  between $33,477 and $66,542 a year, and out of the 19.7 million federal government jobs, it’s the only one that requires mushing, according to an Anchorage Daily News report. Here’s the actual listing.

“Our candidate must be a strong leader with supervisory skills and will be relied upon to provide all manner of services as a park ranger — from rescuing visitors and patrolling the park wilderness to presenting educational programs and community outreach,” the park’s superintendent said in a news release.

As much as 70% of the winter is spent mushing through Denali’s wilderness on patrol, or to ferry supplies, or take researchers to various parts of the park. Feeding, breeding, training and picking up after dogs are among the duties, and, being a government job, you can rest assured there’s plenty of paperwork involved, but it offers plenty of time in the great, and very cold, outdoors.

The job’s current occupant, Karen Fortier, a Connecticut native who held the post for nearly 10 years, said it’s not cold toes that’s leading to her departure, but a second daughter, born a year ago. The time away from her family became more than she was willing to put up with.


Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time November 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Good grief. Alaska must really be the land of contrasts. Here we have an article about dogs being run for mountain rescue, which they must enjoy, or simply being exercised among all that glorious scenery. If I had money and could pass the physical, I’d pay them to let me have that job! Such a contrast to the idea of running dogs on a treadmill to train for a race that has become so abusive of them. As for the poor elephant, that’s simply unspeakable. (Of course I feel the same way about the polar bears in Baltimore…)