Conservation Crew Leader

Walker Basin Conservancy

Yerington, Nevada

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Salary range of $16-22/hour depending on experience
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

The Walker Basin Conservancy (Conservancy) leads the effort to restore and maintain Walker Lake while protecting agricultural, environmental and recreational interests in the Walker Basin (www.walkerbasin.org). The Conservancy acquires water rights and ranches to increase freshwater flows to Walker Lake. We re-establish native plant communities on former agricultural fields, increase public access and recreation opportunities, and develop practical solutions to save Walker Lake.

From creating Nevada’s newest State Park (the Walker River State Recreation Area) to adding thousands of acres to Wildlife Management Areas, our work impacts thousands of community members, ranchers and recreationists every year. The Conservancy operates a nursery that produced more than 25,000 native plants in 2021 and produces native seed for conservation purposes on its properties. Our team comprises approximately 30 full-time employees and between 15 and 40 AmeriCorps Members given the season.

We invite you to join us in our ambitious mission to restore Walker Lake. The Conservancy has an inclusive, positive culture that values work-life balance and growth opportunities. Our generous benefits package further separates us from other non-profits and local employers.

JOB PURPOSE: The primary purpose of a Conservation Crew Leader is to support field operations of the Walker Basin Conservancy’s (WBC) to ensure the successful transition of retired farmlands to self-sustaining vegetation communities that are able to thrive in the absence of supplemental irrigation. The Crew Leader will work with the Field Manager, Land Manger and other staff to implement and monitor stewardship projects and is expected to spend a significant amount of time in the field. The Crew Leader will oversee the operation of five or more AmeriCorps members on their team, including being responsible for safety, project performance, and some weekly administration paperwork.

A knowledge of desert plant ecology and ecological restoration, nursery or horticultural practices, or agricultural systems, irrigation equipment, and large equipment operation is essential. The Conservation Crew Leader should also have a sincere interest in sharing their knowledge of Great Basin desert ecology, restoration practices, the flora and fauna of Nevada, and agricultural applications as they relate to conservation success. The Crew Leader position requires mentorship, patience, technical aptitude, focus on efficiency, and a high level of comfort in the outdoors. Crew Leaders are ultimately responsible for successes and short-comings of the crew.

Essential Functions

  • In cooperation with the Field and Stewardship Managers, implement the day to day operations of conservation lands managed by WBC and track progress of assigned field projects.
  • Assist with all aspects of successful stewardship implementation. Duties may include ground preparation, seeding, planting, irrigation, weed control, or other tasks as necessary.
  • Manage, supervise, and lead the day-to-day details of project work with the assigned crew.
  • Implement skills training on work-site and facilitate intentional discussions via informal lessons to contribute to the crew’s personal growth and group dynamics.
  • Install and manage drip, handline, trench, and wheel line irrigation systems.
  • Oversee and manage AmeriCorps members who are planting shrubs, grasses and forbs from containerized stock and seed as part of the WBC’s re-vegetation program on retired farmlands.
  • Ability to identify the native and non-native flora of Nevada.
  • Collect and compile field data with program data forms, GPS, cameras and other equipment. Ensure that accurate records of planting and seeding activity, herbicide applications, and irrigation activity are kept and delivered to the appropriate parties.
  • Ensure that crew members complete administrative tasks such as timesheets efficiently and accurately.
  • Develop a deep working knowledge off all equipment, irrigation infrastructure, project partners, and vegetation management techniques used by the Program.
  • Responsible for crew operational safety, maintaining and transporting a variety of small to heavy equipment (hand tools, power tools, tractors, mowers, trimmers, chainsaws, backhoe, water truck, and road grader).
  • Some administrative responsibilities including weekly reports, member timesheet submission, and AmeriCorps performance measure reporting.
  • Other duties as assigned mutually agreeable between Walker Basin Conservancy and the employee.

Qualifications

  • 3+ years of experience in a natural resources, agricultural, or landscaping setting with demonstrated leadership experience;
  • General experience with and knowledge of irrigation equipment and operations;
  • Ability to safely operate large machinery and vehicles including tractors, ATVs, trucks, and trailers;
  • Ability to safely operate chainsaws, brush cutters, backpack sprayers, and other equipment;
  • Ability to keep detailed records, communicate with other staff and supervisors, and to work unsupervised to accomplish program tasks;
  • Clean driving record and a NV State driver’s license, or ability to obtain within 1 month of hire;  
  • Ability to lift 50+ pounds and to work long hours in an outdoor setting;
  • Strong oral and written communication, conflict resolution, and project management skills; and
  • Ability to complete Leadership Training within 3 months of hire.

Physical and Mental Requirements

Strength, dexterity, coordination, and vision to use tools and equipment for prolonged periods. Strength and stamina to bend, stoop, sit, and stand for long periods of time.  Strength and dexterity to operate small, medium, and heavy equipment. Strength and stamina to endure standing and working for long periods of time and in extreme weather conditions. Dexterity and vision to observe oncoming traffic hazards and react quickly to emergency situations.  Some heavy lifting (over 75 pounds) is occasionally required.

In compliance with applicable disability laws, reasonable accommodations may be provided to qualified individuals with a disability who require and request such accommodations.  Applicants and incumbents are encouraged to discuss potential accommodations with the employer.

Working Conditions

Technicians work in an outdoor setting with varying weather conditions, including, but not limited to: extreme heat, dry conditions, rain, snow or hail, and extreme cold.  Work sites will generally be in areas with at least primitive road access for crew vehicles. Work sites will generally not have access to potable water, restroom facilities, or cellphone signals, and Technicians will be expected to follow Leave No Trace principals on work sites without facilities. Work will frequently require hiking over rough terrain while carrying tools and equipment.

Position may occasionally be required to operate heavy machinery in hazardous environments. Environment is generally dirty, with prolonged exposure to conditions such as dust, fumes, noise, or odors. Frequent interruptions to planned work activities occur.

Salary & Benefits:

Pay range of $16-$22 per hour depending on experience.

Excellent employee benefits package which includes:

  • Employer paid health, dental and vision plans for employee (worth over $5,200 annually);
  • Life insurance plan for employee (pays up to 1x employee’s yearly salary to beneficiary)
  • Retirement 403(b) plan including a Conservancy contribution equal to 6% of your salary ($1,996 to $2,745 annually);
  • 120 hours of annual paid vacation, increasing to 160 hours after first year, 16 hours of annual personal leave, and 60 hours of annual sick leave;
  • 12 paid holidays plus a Conservancy paid holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s;
  • Health and wellness subsidy of up to $300 annually and access to outdoor industry pro-deals.
  • Uniform stipend of up to $200 annually, along with some uniform pieces being provided;
  • Monthly cell phone reimbursement of $35 ($420 annually); and
  • Employer paid professional development.
HOW TO APPLY

Position will remain open until filled. Only top candidates will be contacted.

Please send cover letter and resume to:

Miguel Gonzales

Miguel.gonzales@walkerbasin.org

Subject Line: Conservation Crew Leader

All applicants must also submit an Employment Application Acknowledgement form that can be found on our website at: https://www.walkerbasin.org/join-our-team

Please call (775) 463-9887 ext. 110 with questions.

Walker Basin Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer.

Equal Opportunity Statement – Walker Basin Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer. WBC does not discriminate against any employee, applicant, director, officer, contractor, or any other person with whom it deals because of race, creed, color, disability, age, sex, veteran status, religion or political affiliation. WBC complies with all federal and local statutes prohibiting discrimination in employment.

Reasonable accommodations may be provided for qualified individuals with a disability.

Disclaimer - The statements contained herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work to be performed by the employees in these positions. The statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in each position. Other responsibilities, duties, and skills may be assigned and management retains the right to add or change the responsibilities, duties, and skills at any time. 

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

Category Botany, Ecology, General / Stewardship, Land Trust, Restoration