Giant hogweed is an invasive plant with sap capable of causing injury to humans. In addition to being a public health hazard, giant hogweed plants decrease plant diversity and can lead to soil erosion. Giant hogweed plants are located in a variety of settings (e.g. riparian areas, fields, yards, forests). Control of these plants is very manageable when the plant numbers are few but a site can quickly grow from a few plants to many within a short time period. NYSDEC Forest Health’s giant hogweed control program assists public and private landowners by controlling the giant hogweed on their properties for them or providing training to them on how to control it themselves. DEC has a statewide giant hogweed control program consisting of three one-person manual control crews and six two-person herbicide control crews within the Division of Lands & Forests, Forest Health, located throughout DEC Regions 7, 8 & 9, at offices in Avon, Depew, and Syracuse. More information about giant hogweed and DEC’s statewide control program can be found online at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/39809.html.
We have an immediate opening for a one-person manual control crew located in Erie County. The position’s duties involve fieldwork within Erie County on both public and private lands; mapping infestations, collecting site information, surveying for plants and implementing manual control of giant hogweed plants found. Appropriate safety equipment and safety training will be provided at the outset of employment.
• Contact property owners to obtain permission to enter property for survey and/or control.
• Locate specific control sites using maps and GIS products.
• Implement manual control of giant hogweed. This is a labor intensive process and involves using a shovel to cut the plant taproot 5 inches below ground level. Manual crew sites may contain up to 400 plants.
• Removal and safe disposal of all giant hogweed flower/seed heads found.
• Scout each site for additional giant hogweed plants within a 500 square foot radius of the known, visible giant hogweed plants.
• Conduct field surveys with the use of a hand-held GPS and mobile mapping unit, and plot giant hogweed location polygons and records on digital maps.
• Acquire and inventory digital photographs of specific control sites to monitor yearly progress.
• Maintain detailed records of the control activities and site information for each site.
Required knowledge and skills
• Knowledge of accepted safety practices by which to prevent injury to self, staff and public and/or private property.
• Knowledge of invasive species, control techniques and plant identification skills. Ability to identify giant hogweed and associated plants with minimal training.
• Skill in using maps, GPS and GIS to assist in locating and recording survey sites.
• Physical ability to dig and cut hogweed plants for three months!
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Ability to interact well with the public and provide accurate information about giant hogweed to interested persons.
• Self-motivated, work well both independently and in a collaborative setting.
• Comfortable working alone for most of the field season
• Candidates must possess a valid New York State driver’s license at the time of appointment.
• Must be physically able to perform the duties assigned.
Applicants should supply a letter of intent, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Naja Kraus at email@example.com or 845-255-3414 (Fax).
Successful applicants will need to complete NYSDEC’s Employment Application Form (HR-1), available at any DEC Office or at the Department’s web site at http://www.dec.ny.gov/about/38596.html .
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is an equal opportunity employer.