JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Forest Protection Advocate, Lobbyist and Grassroots Organizer
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
The John Muir Project is a small non-profit which is part of the much larger Earth Island Institute community. We have been successfully defending our nation’s public forests (national forests, BLM lands, National Parks and Wildlife Refuges) and the ecosystems and wildlife these lands support for twenty years. We employ a combination of forest management monitoring, original scientific research, public education and legal action in our efforts to ensure that science and maintaining natural processes and the ecological integrity of our forest ecosystems does not take a back seat to economic interests and greed. Our combined efforts of grassroots organizing and trips to DC to inform legislators about recent scientific research over the last few years have played a crucial role in helping to defeat logging bills. Given the most recent election, now more than ever we need a steady presence in Washington to maintain our relationships, keep legislators informed and push for legislative changes to permanently protect our public forests.
Earth Island Institute is headquartered in Berkeley, California, while the John Muir Project’s main office is in Big Bear City, California with additional staff in Nevada City, California.
This is a full-time position which will be based in Washington D.C. Travel will be a significant part of this position (approximately 20% or 10 weeks over the course of a year) including day trips to Congressional districts near the D.C. area and longer trips to strategic congressional districts, including in the western United States. Travel will also include trips to certain national forests across the country to obtain on-the-ground personal knowledge of issues regarding specific forests and ecosystem responses to natural disturbances, as well as participation in John Muir Project and/or Earth Island Institute staff gatherings.
- Identify, analyze and track House and Senate legislation related to forest management and policy.
- Attend committee meetings and hearings relevant to forest policy and management in the House and the Senate.
- Meet with congressional staff and members to educate them about the threats to our nation’s forests from resource extraction, development and fire suppression, with the goal of educating them about forest ecosystems and natural processes such as fire and drought which help to maintain forest integrity and create habitat heterogeneity, thus increasing biodiversity and guarding against the negative effects of climate change.
- Directly lobby members of Congress to oppose legislation that would harm our nation’s forests.
- Work to acquire congressional support for a pro-active forest protection bill.
- Develop relationships with key progressive Congressional offices to become a source of information and to help coordinate pro-forest, scientifically sound Congressional testimony to select committees and caucuses.
- Work with JMP staff to identify key members of Congress who support increased forest protection, as well as those who oppose such protections. Travel to these key Congressional districts and states to: (a) meet with forest protection activists and set up grassroots networks to demonstrate support for or mount increasing pressure on members of Congress in the form of calls, emails, social media, letters to the editor and opinion-editorials in local papers, and local news stories about harm from federal logging projects in the region; (b) organize “bird-dogging” of strategically key members of Congress, showing up with groups of forest/climate activists at town hall meetings or other events organized by the Congressperson or Senator in order to constantly raise the issue of forest protection; (c) Work with JMP staff to organize site visits into the forest, including to areas of unlogged post-fire snag forest habitat, with the in-district staff of key members of Congress, and with the members of Congress themselves and/or their D.C. staff, whenever possible; and (d) set up periodic lobby weeks to bring activists from key districts to D.C. to meet with their members of Congress and staff.
- Represent John Muir Project in coalitions and develop a leadership role within the DC environmental community on forest protection issues.
- Help to integrate domestic forest protection into the climate change policy agenda.
- A passion for forest ecosystems and a desire to protect these areas from exploitation.
- Outdoor experience. We are looking for someone who has and/or currently spends time in the forest whenever they are able, hiking, camping, backpacking, birdwatching, participating in scientific research, taking photos, leading fieldtrips, etc.
- A background in science, law, public policy, education, communications or combination thereof could be beneficial.
- Experience with forest protection advocacy on National Forests and a familiarity with the rules of government would be helpful.
- Previous lobbying experience in Washington, D.C. is useful, but not essential.
- Strong communication skills and a desire to share knowledge, and debunk myths and prejudices about forest ecosystems and natural disturbances such as fire and drought.
- A self-starter with a proven ability to work both independently and with a team.
- Highly organized, technologically capable with an ability to juggle multiple priorities successfully.
- Someone who is not constrained or daunted by so-called “political realities”.
John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity. We offer a competitive compensation package commensurate with other non-profits and full benefits which include medical, dental, vision and life insurance, 11 paid holidays per year, paid vacation and sick leave. A salary between $60-70k has been allocated for this position.
Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to: firstname.lastname@example.org with DC Position in the subject line. Please include any references which highlight your qualifications for this position as well as salary history. No phone calls or hard copies please. Job will be open until filled.
When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.