RV Camping

The Bureau of Land Management Taos Field Office Is Looking For A Rio Chama El Vado River Host In New Mexico

Rio Chama El Vado RiverThe Bureau of Land Management Taos Field Office is looking for a Volunteer River Host at the Wild and Scenic Rio Chama boat launch site from April 1 to September 30. Between April 15 and September 15, the BLM allows only permitted launches on the Rio Chama from El Vado Dam to Chavez Canyon (21.6 miles). Launches are assigned every day of the week, and Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days. Major duties and requirements of the position are listed below.

Volunteer Host is not required to take on law enforcement issues; however, they monitor the launch site and report any problems or situations to BLM staff or the staff of the put-in facility.

Volunteer Host ensures that boaters are knowledgeable about river corridor regulations and best practices for minimal impact so that they may have a safe and enjoyable experience while maintaining the outstandingly remarkable values of the beautiful and diverse Wild and Scenic Rio Chama and the integrity of the Chama River Canyon Wilderness.

The host is expected to be committed to their duties and be available during daytime and weekend hours, therefore outside work or existing jobs are not permitted while being a host for BLM. Couples are encouraged. Preference given for full 6-month commitment.


  • Download launch permit information from online permit system.
  • Check-in permitted river groups prior to launch. No fee collection duties are required; however if groups have a balanced due on launch fees host will ensure party will self-deposit in secure vault at put in.
  • Inform boating groups of regulations. Report any issues to your supervisor. Volunteer does not perform law enforcement.
  • Visually verify required equipment for all groups launching.
  • Maintain first come – first served whiteboard for 4 large group reservable river camps.
  • Conduct traffic control for the launch area (generally only necessary on Fridays).
  • Provide information to boaters about Rio Chama, including general information, minimal impact best practices, availability of facilities.
  • Operate a BLM radio or satellite phone properly and professionally.
  • Perform light litter control at launch sites. Report launch site maintenance needs to BLM staff.
  • Occasionally assist groups after hours.
  • Occasionally assist with other projects along the permitted section of the Rio Chama.
  • No fee collection duties required. Host does not collect money. If groups have a balance due they will self-deposit fees in secure vault at put in.

The hours are flexible. A minimum of 30 hours per week (6 hours per day, 5 day per work week) is normal and weekend work is expected. Days off should be planned for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Hours of work are negotiable and holiday work is expected. The host will inform the BLM supervisor if they will be absent from the recreation area or if they need to take time off during their regular schedule.

Background/Reference Check Required: YES


  • Must possess own recreational vehicle. Government housing is not provided. Site and hookups will be provided.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Willingness to potentially work early mornings (potentially as early as 7 AM), and otherwise flexible hours.
  • Have knowledge of, or interest in, boating (rafting, canoeing, kayaking, etc.) equipment and best practices.
  • Ability to accomplish light computer work and possess reliable computer.
  • Properly wear a BLM uniform, including only wearing the uniform while on official duty.
  • Have a professional, courteous, and patient demeanor.
  • Ability to work effectively in stressful situations for short periods of time.
  • Ability to keep and report clear and accurate records.
  • Low to moderate physical effort is required for this position.


  • Backpacking/Camping
  • Boat Operation
  • Conservation Education
  • Drivers License
  • Fish/Wildlife
  • General Assistance
  • Map Reading
  • Office/Clerical
  • Visitor Information
  • Working with People

The Volunteer Host’s personal RV will be located at the launch site – Cooper’s El Vado Ranch. Cooper’s is on the bank of the Rio Chama one mile below El Vado Dam and is a popular location for fishing, family events, and cabin rental. The office at Cooper’s sells very few things – soda, chips, lures, etc. Cooper’s is 14 miles (~20 minutes) from the closest town – Tierra Amarilla – with a gas station and few other amenities. The nearest town with a grocery store is Chama NM (27 miles – ~35 mins). Weather at Cooper’s El Vado Ranch is generally mild but can range ~40 degrees daily, and weather can change quickly. There are health clinics in both Tierra Amarilla and in Chama, and the nearest hospitals are Pagosa Springs Medical Center and Presbyterian Española Hospital, each 1.5 hours away.

Position benefits include full hook-up host site (water, electric, septic, WiFi…propane available for purchase and will be reimbursed)), modest daily reimbursement ($20) and mileage if personal vehicle used on duty. There is no cell service on site.

Email: bweinsto@blm.gov
Website: https://www.blm.gov/programs/recreation/permits-and-passes/lotteries-and-permit-systems/new-mexico/rio-chama-river


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