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Native Plant Nursery Manager

Walker Basin Conservancy Yerington, Nevada
Job Type Paid permanent

POSITION TITLE: Native Plant Nursery Manager

STATUS: Full Time

REPORTS TO: Conservation Land Director

POSITIONS REPORTING TO THIS POSITION: Potentially seasonal employees, interns, and contracted crews

LOCATION: Yerington, NV (exact reporting location TBD based on area of focus)

BACKGROUND: Established in 2014, the Walker Basin Conservancy (WBC) is leading the effort to restore and maintain Walker Lake while protecting agricultural, environmental and recreational interests in the Walker Basin (www.walkerbasin.org). The nascent and dynamic nature of the WBC and its diverse management obligations provide unique opportunities to develop operations from the ground level up, working closely with staff who are passionate about their mission.

The WBC currently manages thousands of acres of land and assets on multiple properties in the Walker Basin.  Land planning activities are underway and focus on assessing public use opportunities, conservation values, long term land ownership and stewardship, active and passive revegetation and restoration activities. 

The WBC is starting its own native plant nursery due to the organization’s need for native plants and seeds for its restoration projects. The Nursery Manager will be responsible for building the nursery from the ground up, purchasing and/or collecting starter plant and seeds, as well as plant propagation and care, in addition to seed increase projects.

Planting nursery stock from seed collected and certified from the Walker Basin will contribute to success in restoration projects that occur on very harsh or disturbed sites. Native seed is established and grown in nursery beds or in containers in a greenhouse for a period ranging from several months to several years. Plant size and stock type depends on several factors, including the number of growing seasons, the number of times the materials are transplanted, and/or the container size that the material is grown in.

At present, much of the native plant material used in restoration of WBC lands is contract grown. However, as WBC has increased the pace and scale of revegetation and restoration, the additional needs have arisen to collect and certify local Walker Basin native seed and to propagate native plants that are adapted to the harsh, arid environment of the Walker Basin. These opportunities present new challenges to nursery managers because little is known about propagating many of these new species.

JOB PURPOSE: The Native Plant Nursery Manager is responsible for overseeing the propagation facility and determining optimal growing conditions for each plant. The Nursery Manager will be involved with decisions regarding the types of native plants to grow and how many of each plant are necessary for restoration purposes.

LOCATION: Yerington, Nevada is a beautiful rural farming community located approximately 95 miles south of Reno, NV in the foothills of the eastern Sierra mountains. Yerington is small but growing with about 3,100 residents. Established in 1907, the city has heritage and deep roots in agriculture, mining, railroads, and gaming. Some of the nearby attractions, activities and recreational opportunities include:

  • Camping, biking, hiking, backpacking
  • Fishing, hunting and boating and OHV trails
  • Flat- and white-water boating (1 hour away)
  • Rock Hounding and climbing
  • Ghost Town Exploration
  • Ski Resorts (1.5-2 hours away)
  • Lake Tahoe (1.5 hours away)
  • Lahontan Reservoir (30 minutes away)
  • Walker Lake (45 minutes away)
  • Topaz Reservoir (45 minutes away)

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Seed collection, administration of seed cleaning, and certification;
  • Research Great Basin species and new techniques, and develop field trials to evaluate their potential;
  • Examine plants for diseases, insects, wildlife damage, and weeds to protect the health of the nursery;
  • Consult with the stewardship staff frequently to identify desirable plants to propagate;
  • Build the annual Nursery budget. Manage the purchase of finished or young plants, liners and seeds to keep the stock relevant and current to WBC projects. Communicate with WBC staff, State Park Staff, and other potential partners/growers and our plant brokers to identify species of interest;
  • Work closely with managers to identify native Great Basin plants to propagate, then create propagation project plans to have plants available at the appropriate times of year;
  • Conduct inventory of plants in propagation areas;
  • Ensure the propagation areas are clean and well-organized;
  • Ensure that any irrigation systems are in good working order and conduct supplemental watering if needed;
  • Ensure adequate winter protection of all plants.

Qualifications

  • A bachelor's degree in Horticulture, Agronomy or related field from an accredited institution;
  • At least 3 years’ experience in crop production and agricultural field work;
  • Experience in seed collection and processing;
  • Experience managing and training employees;
  • Knowledge and experience operating farm equipment, irrigation systems and chemical application;
  • Must be detail oriented, ability to multi-task and identify priorities;
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs. repeatedly;
  • Ability to work outdoors for long hours in inclement and hot weather;
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, walk and/or be hunched over;
  • The employee is occasionally required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl;
  • Ability to safely operate large machinery and vehicles including tractors, ATVs, trucks, and trailers;
  • Ability to keep detailed records, communicate with other staff and supervisors, and to work with minimal supervision to accomplish program tasks;
  • Clean driving record and a NV State driver’s license, or ability to obtain within 1 month of hire.

Salary & Benefits:

Entry-level salary begins at $50k, final compensation weighed heavily by experience and qualifications.

Excellent employee benefits package which includes:

  • Employer paid health, dental, vision and life insurance plans for employee Retirement 403(b) plan includes a 6% automatic company contribution;
  • 120 hours of annual paid vacation, increasing to 160 hours after first year of employment;
  • 16 hours of annual personal leave;
  • Company paid holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s;
  • 60 hours of annual sick leave;
  • 11 paid holidays;
  • Health and wellness subsidy;
  • 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:

Amy Gladding

amy.gladding@walkerbasin.org

Subject Line: Native Plant Nursery Manager

Please call (775) 463-9887 ext. 116 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.

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.
WBC's Conservation Staff at Pitchfork Ranch, Yerington, NV. Uploaded by Walker Basin Conservancy
WBC's Conservation Staff at Pitchfork Ranch, Yerington, NV. Uploaded by Walker Basin Conservancy