The Whidbey Island Conservation District (WICD) is seeking a Stewardship Forester to deliver WICD’s forest health and wildfire resiliency programs by providing technical assistance, conservation planning, and community partnership building and support. WICD is an important part of Whidbey Island’s fabric of life and serves the population in important ways involving land management and natural resource conservation. This position serves a critical role sharing expertise and resources with our island community. We are excited to find an experienced self-starter who is energetic, with a great work ethic, and strong interest in becoming part of our team.
The Stewardship Forester is a full-time, non-exempt hourly, benefited position that reports directly to the Executive Director. The purpose of this position is to implement the Whidbey Island Conservation District’s forest health and wildfire resiliency programs. These programs are founded on natural resource management activities with private landowners, land managers, and with community and neighborhood leaders and groups. The Stewardship Forester provides technical assistance to a wide variety of audiences to plan and implement forest health and wildfire resiliency projects at various scopes and scales. They also provide wildfire risk reduction outreach and education to communities and partners, support existing and new interested communities through the national Firewise USA program, and foster partnerships with other wildfire and natural resource management agencies and organizations.
The Stewardship Forester must be able to build and maintain trusted relationships while working productively with our diverse community of residents, land managers and partners, including but not limited to forest landowners and land managers, residential homeowners, community neighborhood associations, community organizations, tribes, and government agencies. Other duties include assisting with other regional forestry programs alongside existing partners, participating in general community engagement events, and producing educational content. The Stewardship Forester will have exceptional organizational, communication, and people skills to build trust and empower residents to better understand wildfire risk and take associated actions, is conversant in the latest science and research on wildfire risk for western Washington, and possesses an understanding of natural resource conservation science and concerns applicable to the Puget Sound region.
- Independently assess and develop management recommendations on private lands for forest health, as well as wildfire resiliency and ignition zone management (i.e. field technical assistance requests, complete site natural resource inventories, write forest stewardship plans, assist with requests involving the Island County Assessor Designated Forest Land Program and timber management plan questions, provide consultation to partners with questions surrounding forest practices permitting and develop a robust referral list to other resources)
- Provide support for conservation practice implementation and monitoring, including assessment of eligibility for state cost-share funding and other partner financial assistance opportunities, including USDA, assisting landowner and land managers through the application and contracting processes
- Provide individual wildfire risk assessments to private landowners/managers and community-scale wildfire risk assessments for neighborhoods
- Assist communities with wildfire planning efforts and participation in the Firewise USA Program
- Develop community-based fuels reduction projects as part of support through the Firewise USA Program
- Track, evaluate, and report activities to demonstrate impact
- Develop and publicly present on topics including forest health, wildfire risk and preparedness
- In coordination with WICD communications staff, design outreach and reporting materials including social media posts, fact sheets, and website content
- In coordination with WICD communications staff and the Executive Director, provide information to the media on forest best management practices and wildfire risk and preparedness
- Promote Wildfire Awareness Month in May with communities and partnering agencies
- Maintain partnerships with local, state, and federal partners to ensure coordinated efforts
- Participate in county updates to wildfire and forestry-related mitigation plans
- Participate as a member of the Washington Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (WAFAC)
- Capacity building/management
- Manage projects and prepare reports
- Contribute to development of program-funding proposals
- Mentor other staff on Firewise and Forestry Health Planning
- Attend relevant trainings to remain current on best practices related to forest health and wildfire resiliency
- Bachelor’s Degree involving forestry-related or natural resource sciences and two years of professional level experience. An Associate’s Degree in forestry or forestry-related science or technology or other closely related field may be substituted if the applicant has three years or more of applicable experience
- Understanding of wildfire risk factors and ability to prioritize work in high risk areas, building off of, updating, and expanding the prioritization work done when the Firewise USA Program was first developed and launched with partners by the WICD in 2016
- Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, with diverse staff, partners, and members of the public
- Experience working with forest landowners, ability to use good judgment and maintain confidentiality
- Demonstrated ability to handle multiple projects, deadlines, and work both independently and cooperatively
- Experience working with public outreach programs, meeting facilitation, and preparing and delivering presentations to the public
- Able to work in remote and rugged locations under a variety of weather conditions, traverse difficult terrain, and carry field equipment necessary to complete required job tasks
- Experience with basic forest mensuration and biometric tools and techniques
- Experience using GIS mapping technology and software
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) and Google Workspace
- Possess a valid driver’s license and a personal vehicle available for work travel
We do not expect any single candidate to possess all the qualifications listed. Research tells us that some individuals will only apply to roles if they meet all the listed qualifications, but we will train you and we expect you to learn in the role. We are looking for team members who round out our current skill base. If this is you, we encourage you to apply.
- Demonstrated ability to motivate individuals to adopt and implement natural resource management practices
- Experience working with conservation districts, USDA NRCS, and WA Department of Natural Resources
- Understanding of Washington DNR Forest Practices Board rules and implementation guidance, familiarity with Washington DNR Forest Practices application procedures, and knowledge of other local, state, and federal regulations affecting forest land management
- Successful professional experience in general forest management activities such as forest road design and construction, timber management planning, silvicultural techniques, reforestation methods, and timber harvest boundaries
- Successful professional experience in coordinating groups of people, including communities or neighborhoods, to mobilize toward a goal
- Grant writing and project management experience, including scientific research project management skills
- Experience using graphic design tools such as Canva, Adobe Illustrator, or other software
- Shared office space; significant computer and telephone work (repetitive movement – typing)
- Frequent sitting, standing, walking on uneven ground, bending, and occasional lifting of moderate loads (50 lbs)
- Regular visits to property sites and working on varied terrain in all weather conditions
- Periodic travel to events and meetings
- Availability for evening and weekend work is required, as is occasional overnight travel
- Work-related travel in your personal vehicle is reimbursed per mile at current WA State rates
The incumbent must be able to perform each requirement of the position as outlined in the job description. Essential Qualifications are representative and essential for satisfactory job performance. The Work Environment characteristics are representative of those that may be encountered while on the job. WICD will make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the position.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:
$54,512 - $80,984 (depending on experience level)
WICD provides sick and vacation leave; medical, dental, and vision insurance (or equivalent health stipend); an Edward Jones IRA Simple Retirement plan (with match up to 3%); and 12 paid holidays per year. Additionally, as a government organization, employees are eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Typical: Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm; 40 hours per week with occasional evening and/or weekend work. There is an opportunity for a flexible work schedule.
This position is based in the historic waterfront town of Coupeville on scenic Whidbey Island. Located in Puget Sound south of the San Juan Islands and north of Seattle, Whidbey Island is easily accessible by the iconic Deception Pass bridge to the north and Washington ferries to the south. The island’s rugged terrain spans beaches, hills, and farmland with abundant opportunities for exploring the island’s natural beauty, including town, county, state and national parklands. The coastal towns of Oak Harbor, Coupeville, and Langley offer a variety of amenities. The island is home to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (Oak Harbor), as well as the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve, the only national historical reserve in the entire National Parks system. We have a thriving arts community and support a diverse array of farms and homesteads. A short distance (1-1.5 hours) from urban areas like Seattle, Bellingham, and Everett, Whidbey Island maintains the friendliness of a small island community while having the convenience of a larger metropolitan area close by.
The Whidbey Island Conservation District (WICD) was established in 1967 to assist landowners on Whidbey Island with conservation of natural resources. The District is a legal subdivision of the Washington State government organized under “Conservation District Law,” RCW Chapter 89.08. Conservation districts are non-regulatory, thus landowner engagement is voluntary and incentive-based. WICD employees are recognized for their ability to assist the Whidbey Island community with a high level of professionalism and expertise. WICD is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Please submit cover letter, fillable application (available at the WICD website www.whidbeycd.org), and resumé to our Finance & Operations Manager Maynard (firstname.lastname@example.org); subject line: Stewardship Forester. Three professional references will be required if the applicant is selected for an interview.
When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.
|Category||Forestry, General / Stewardship|