County Forester/Resource Advisor

Ravalli County

Hamilton, Montana

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $50,000 - $65,000 DOE
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Classification:                   Full-time

Department:                      Commissioners                                       

Reports to:                         BCC

Posting Date:                     3/13/2024                                                   

Application Deadline:    Until Filed

Position Grade:                 Exempt                                                       

Rate of Pay:                        $50,000 - $65,000 D.O.E.

Job Summary:

The purpose of the Ravalli County Forester position is to develop, promote and implement County forestry and natural resource policies that assist Federal, State and private forest land owners in the management of their forest lands and to enhance forest health, mitigate wildland fire, improve wildlife and watershed habitat and maximize the economic well-being of Ravalli County.  The County Forester will represent the County Commission to the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Montanan DNRC, wood products entities and private land owners on issues of forest management, including fire mitigation, grant management issues to include county response to project proposals through the NEPA/MEPA process and provide technical assistance to existing and future county timberlands and timber projects.

Essential Functions:

  • Nature of work:  As directed by the Ravalli County Commissioners, delivery of County forestry services includes:
    • Coordination and collaboration with regional and local USFS staff, Montana DNRC, NRCS, Bitterroot RC&D, NGOs, state and local timber companies, contractors and private land owners. 
    • Participating in the Ravalli County Collaborative and Fire in the Root Council meetings
    • Preparing applications for local government assistance grants as well as any federal/state grant programs that will enhance and promote the County Forestry program.
    • Develop the county hazardous fuels reduction program and assist private land owners in basic forest stewardship planning and technical forestry assistance.
    • Represent Ravalli County on Bitterroot National Forest fuel reduction projects and planning committees 
    • Administrative duties include coordination with County finance office, County Road & Bridge department, Office of Emergency Management, Planning Department, budget management, grant management, reporting of grant funding and coordination with County departments as needed. 
  • Personal Contacts:  Continuous coordination and outreach with land management agencies, timber/lumber companies, local contractors, private land owners, schools, etc.
  • Supervision Received:  communication and consultation with Ravalli County Commissioners as needed.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

Currently - None

All other employees (should the department expands).

Travel Required:

  • Driving and time in the field throughout Ravalli County regularly.
  • Driving to State and Federal offices throughout Montana occasionally.


  • Represent Commissioners in collaboration with USFS, MT DNRC, USFWS on forest management issues.
  • Serve as a member and represent County positions and policy with the Bitterroot National Forest.
  • Review, develop and recommend written response comments on all NEPA/MEPA documents on natural resource projects on state and federal lands throughout Ravalli County.
  • Research grant opportunities, manage fuel reduction/fire wise grants and contracts, brief County Commissioners on grant opportunities and write and submit grant applications.
  • Continue to engage with the FS on the County/FS Participating Agreement and implement Hazardous Fuel Reduction projects on FS and Private lands
  • Develop Requests for Bids and Proposals for private contractors, oversee contracts and monitor all project related activities.
  • In coordination with FS, inspect completed hazardous fuels projects administered by the County.
  • Consult and coordinate with USFS and MT DNRC on planning of “Good Neighbor Authority Projects” within Ravalli County.
  • Perform Home Risk Assessments and Forest Stewardship programs in coordination with Fire in the Root and DNRC.
  • Educate and perform outreach to public and private entities on wildfire mitigation and fuels reduction programs
  • Coordinate with the FS, DNRC, NRCS, B RC&D and other entities on implementation of action items and objectives within the 2024 CWPP. Monitor progress and status of action items and objectives in the CWPP and commit to annual review cycles for any updates.
  • Coordinate with CWPP Core-Team and hold intermittent meetings to assess progress/planning
  • Monitor fuel reduction projects on private lands within the wildland urban interface in coordination with other agencies and organizations.
  • Update the County’s Natural Resource Use Policy

Required Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:

  • Thorough knowledge of forest and wildfire management theories, principles, practices, regulations
  • Considerable knowledge of short and long range planning programs, wildland fire mitigation and industry operations
  • Knowledge of forest insects, disease and pest management
  • Knowledge of office and contract/grant management
  • Knowledge and experience writing grant applications and grant administration
  • Ability to write technical documents, letter and comments including project scoping documents, EA project comments, project objections and update the County Natural Resource Use Policy
  • Ability to coordinate, collaborate and work with diverse groups from government agencies, industry, and private landowners
  • Ability to understand and represent to stakeholders, the needs and requirements of Ravalli County
  • Proficiency in public presentations and utilization of both office and field technology
  • Effective written and verbal skills

Required Education and Experience:

  • This position requires a Degree in Forestry or related field with direct course work in forest management
  • 3-4 years progressively responsible work experience in forest and wildfire management, or any satisfactory, equivalent education/experience.
  • Knowledge of NEPA, MEPA, and associated natural resource law, wildland fire management and Home Ignition Zone fuels reduction, and experience with grant administration.
  • Experience briefing diverse groups, participating in collaborative groups/projects, coordinating with multiple federal, state and local agencies, strong written and verbal communication skills and proficiency with basic computer technology.
  • Considerable knowledge of forestry and fuels management
  • Must possess Montana driver’s license.

Work Environment:

  • Work will be performed in both office and field settings; field environment will consist of seasonal weather to include adverse weather conditions in sometimes remote locations. Experience in driving 4x4 vehicles on remote, rough and rugged terrain and roads required.  

Physical Demands:

  • Will require bending, lifting up to 60 lbs., hiking in often times rough, steep and rugged terrain
  • Visual, Hearing and Dexterity Demands: Visual requirements include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision and good depth perception.

Affirmative Action/EEO Statement

Ravalli County is an equal employment opportunity employer (EEO).  Ravalli County does not refuse employment or discriminate in compensation or the other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment based upon race, color, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, pregnancy, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, political beliefs, genetic information, or veteran’s status.

Other Duties:

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive list of all activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of this position.  Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.


To apply online go to: https://ravalli.bamboohr.com/careers/126?source=aWQ9Mjg%3D 

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

Category Forestry , General / Stewardship
Tags Wildland Firefighter , Permitting , Outreach