CA Cone Corps - USFS Foresthill Seed Orchard Technician - SNA Forestry Fellow

Sierra Nevada Alliance

Foresthill, California

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $25/hr
Deadline Jun 16, 2023
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Background on Sierra Corps Forestry Fellowship Program: 

Sierra Corps is a Forestry Fellowship program implemented by the Sierra Nevada Alliance that aims to increase workforce capacity for forest health, restoration, biomass utilization, and wildfire resilience projects in the Sierra Nevada. The Alliance places Fellows with partners throughout the region for forest-health related employment. Fellows bring their education, skills, and expertise to engage in paid fellowships that provide assistance in assessment, planning, permitting, project management, and other essential forest restoration and wildfire resilience work. The Sierra Corp is a program that allows you to advance your career in environmental conservation and forest health by working as a forest project coordinator and contribute to the increase in pace and scale of forest restoration at a time when it is critically needed. 

For this position, you will be a Fellow for Sierra Nevada Alliance, completing your fellowship and working under direct supervision by American Forests.

Position Location: Foresthill, California

Compensations and Benefits: 

  • Full time, 40-hour week position $25/hour, 6-month period 
  • Employer-provided Health Insurance as identified in the Alliance Employee Handbook 
  • Paid holidays as outlined in the Alliance Employee Handbook
  • One day of sick leave accrued per month worked
  • Up to 5 days of paid vacation accrued at 0.83 days/month 
  • A total of $1,775.00 stipend to be used during the Fellowship term, itemized as follows:
    • $625 travel stipend
    • $250 supplies stipend
    • $250 equipment stipend 
    • $650 training stipend 

Work Commitment: Sierra Corps Fellows are passionate and committed to the mission of the Sierra Nevada Alliance, Sierra Corps Program, and their Host Site(s). Fellows make a full-time commitment to serve the nonprofit organization or public agency host site in the Sierra Nevada. Positions ideally begin in June 2023. 

Time Commitment: Fellows are required to complete project specific work over 6 months, working 40 hours/week.  All Fellows are required to commit to the full term of their Fellowship position.  Paid holidays, accrued vacation and sick leave are also included in this time commitment.  Positions ideally start in June 2023 and finish in December 2023.

Host Site Description: American Forests is a national non-profit organization committed to creating healthy and resilient forests from cities to wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife. We advance our mission through forestry innovation, place-based partnerships to plant and restore forests, and movement building. We envision a world in which the significant environmental, societal and economic benefits of forests are fully realized and equitably available to all people. Established in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national non-profit conservation organization in the U.S. working to restore urban forests and forested landscapes.

American Forests is proud to be a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible (DEIA) workplace. These are our shared values. We welcome individuals who bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences to be a part of our team to help make a difference individually and collectively as we work toward achieving our mission. We are committed to fostering an environment that is welcoming and respectful and provides opportunities for advancement and professional growth for every team member.

We hope you find a future with us.

Position Description: 

In recent years, California forests have been devastated by historical mega-fires, and burned landscapes are at risk of a full-type conversion. The Governor’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force Working Group has identified a reforestation opportunity of ~1.5 million acres across the state. Currently, California state seed banks do not have enough seeds to meet this need. The pace and scale of cone collection across the state must rapidly increase to improve forest resilience. American Forests is working to do so on private and public lands through collaboration with the United States Forest Service Region 5 (USFS R5) and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) through the Reforestation Pipeline Partnership (RPP) and the development of the California Cone Corps.  

The CA Cone Corps - USFS Foresthill Seed Orchard Technician (Technician) will directly contribute to an increase in cone monitoring and collection. The Technician will receive hands-on experience in the field of reforestation with guidance from industry experts. Additionally, they will contribute to American Forests and the USDA Forest Service Region 5’s efforts by supporting the seed orchard’s overall production and the health of the trees. They will increase the capacity at the seed orchard to monitor and collect viable cone crops – ultimately helping to fill gaps in the state seed banks. At times, they may support wild cone monitoring and facilitating cone collections. 

This position is a unique opportunity to be a part of a high-level reforestation project and contribute directly to the needs of California’s forest ecosystems, including post-fire recovery. It is a great chance to build a career in forestry and/or natural resources. The skills that will be gained through this position are in high demand.

Specific Responsibilities:

Seed Orchard Management (70%) 

    • Compile and manage data of the seed orchard’s production and inventory, support with database upkeep. 
    • Develop standard processes and procedures for the seed orchard’s future production. 
  • Support orchard tree health through culling, pruning, mowing, weeding, fertilizing, trunk protection, and pest management practices.
    • Complete cone crop forecasting, monitoring, collection, and sanitization. 
    • Facilitate crew workdays at the seed orchard.
  • Maintain the seed orchard’s irrigation system. 
  • Identify and tag trees for recordkeeping purposes.

Field Work (10%)

  • Conduct cone monitoring on USFS forests for collections. 
  • Support in wild cone collection facilitation on USFS forestland.

Program Support (10%) 

  • As needed, support the overall goals of American Forests and USFS forest management and reforestation projects.

Fellowship Activities with Sierra Nevada Alliance (10%)

  • Attend orientation and skills trainings, skills development trainings, and graduation trainings

Location & Working Conditions:

The CA Cone Corps - USFS Seed Orchard Technician position will be based in Foresthill, California at the USFS Foresthill Seed Orchard. They will be expected to work in person at the Seed Orchard, with shifts varying depending on the season. Some weekend shifts may be required. 

Most days will be spent in the field where the Technician will be expected to stand, walk, or sit for long periods of time. The work does require lifting materials which may weigh up to 40 lbs. Office work will also be expected including recordkeeping, contract administration, attending meetings, writing reports, and emailing. At times, responsibilities may take place in a field setting. The field setting includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Varying terrain and dense vegetation (possible exposure to wildlife, ticks, poison oak, and mosquitos), hot, wet, and cold conditions
  • Severely burned landscapes with standing dead trees and little/no shade coverage

Reforestation efforts in California have expanded in recent years, in part due to the efforts of American Forests. This rapid growth has led to an increase in job opportunities across the sector. While employment is not guaranteed upon completion of the term, skills gained will be of value to the reforestation industry and to American Forests as our organization continues to grow.  

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Forestry, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, Agriculture or a related field.
  • Ability to work independently and self-manage to maintain productivity within American Forests and US Forest Service expectations.  
  • Experience in database and/or record keeping.
  • Ability to work well within a team. 
  • Ability to commit to the full 6-month term. 

Desired Qualifications:

  • Attention to detail, specifically in regard to project planning and tree, seed, and cone identification.
  • Project planning or management experience. 
  • Reforestation or agricultural project experience. 
  • Ability to think creatively and problem-solve, with a willingness to find innovative solutions.  
  • Strong desire to work in a forest health-related career. 

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to stand for long periods. 
  • Ability to lift 40 lbs. 
  • Repetitive tasks with few breaks. 
  • Work in adverse weather conditions including but not limited to high heat, rain, snow, smoke, dust, and cold temperatures (within reason). 
  • At times, walk, hike, or stand for extended periods of time with others and alone in steep, rugged, brushy, and/or remote terrain under adverse weather conditions. 

American Forests: https://www.americanforests.org/place/california  

Sierra Nevada Alliance Website: www.sierranevadaalliance.org 

Sierra Corps Website: www.sierranevadaalliance.org/sierra-corps-forestry-fellowship-program/


To apply: Please send a letter of interest and CV/resume to the SNA Forestry Program Director, Taylor Parker, PhD at: Taylor@SierraNevadaAlliance.org. Applications will be reviewed as soon as possible, and will continue until positions are filled. The ideal start date for this position is sometime in June 2023.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Forestry
Tags Conservation Corps