Conservation Program Delivery
Conserving and Enhancing Flood-irrigated Waterbird Habitat & Livestock Production on Working Lands
Conservation & Agriculture Specialist
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled
Location: 1 Position in Hines, Oregon; 1 Position in Lakeview, Oregon;
Anticipated Start Date: on or about January 3, 2018
Overview: These entry level positions are part of a collaborative effort between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV), U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS), Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), Harney Soil & Water Conservation District (HSWCD), Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU), and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) to further conservation delivery of NRCS Conservation Implementation Strategies (CIS) and other working lands conservation programs in southeast Oregon. The positions will provide technical assistance to NRCS for implementing the Working Lands Habitat Conservation for Waterfowl CIS. The primary goal will be marketing and delivering Farm Bill conservation programs to livestock producers, flood-irrigators and private landowners. Positions will be administered by the IWJV and key funding partners. The successful applicant of the Harney County Partner Position will be an employee of the HSWCD, one of the position funders. HSWCD, established in 1972, is a municipal subdivision of government housed within the NRCS office. The SWCDs mission is to conserve, protect, and develop soil, water and other related resources for the economic and environmental benefit of the people of Harney County. The successful applicant of the Lake County Partner Position will be an employee of The Wildlife Management Institute (WMI).
Daily guidance will be provided by the Harney County and Lake County NRCS District Conservationists (DC) for each respective position. A team comprised of contributing partners will provide additional oversight and leadership.
• Provide technical assistance (conservation planning, livestock and flood-irrigation management, livestock forage production, agricultural systems, wet meadow management, wetland management, or other natural resource disciplines) and guidance to landowners, government agencies, non-government organizations and others. Training will be provided by NRCS, IWJV, USFWS, DU and other local and state agencies.
• Coordinate integration and application of agriculture production and biological sciences within the conservation programs in cooperation with the local NRCS DC and others, consistent with Field Office Technical Guides.
• Complete conservation plans and maps, contracts, applications and other required documentation for implementing Farm Bill conservation programs ((i.e., Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Security Program (CSP), and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)), and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) Program. Successful applicants should demonstrate expertise in rangeland management, agriculture technology, surface-irrigated agricultural lands (i.e. flood-irrigated), aquatic invasive species management, invasive plant management or biological sciences in cooperation with private landowners and partners.
• Communicate program requirements, complete site visits to determine eligibility, and develop contracts/plans for applicants enrolling in USDA conservation programs or other state and local conservation programs for the management, restoration, enhancement and protection of flood-irrigated pasture and hay lands to mutually benefit livestock forage production and wetland-dependent migratory birds.
• Outreach to and work with agricultural producers to develop and implement infra-structure repair projects on flood-irrigated pasture and hay lands. Provide information to landowners on emerging working lands conservation easement programs.
• Perform other related duties as assigned, including promotion, marketing and outreach activities related to USDA, North America Wetlands Conservation Act and OWEB projects.
• Conduct an assessment, document trend, and provide quantitative information regarding the ecological state of the riparian species located on deeded agriculture lands quarterly to the HSWCD (reported in aggregate).
• Identify grant funding opportunities and practices necessary to meet the goals of the Ag Water Quality Management plan.
• Submit at least two grant funding requests for financial assistance to assist with stream segments identified as not meeting functionality outlined in the Silvies River Demonstration Area Plan (Pertinent to Harney County Position).
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Ability to communicate effectively with private landowners, government agency personnel and conservation partner organizations.
• Ability to work independently with little supervision.
• Ability to work cooperatively with diverse clientele.
• Knowledge of ranch management, water resource management and wetland ecology, including the ability to develop and complete flood-irrigated infra-structure rehabilitation projects that include agricultural and wetland wildlife habitat management objectives.
• Ability to obtain USDA Security Clearance and NRCS Conservation Planning certification.
• Excellent verbal/written communication and organizational skills.
• Valid driver’s license.
• A general qualification guideline for this position is an Associate Degree, or equivalent, in Rangeland Management, Agriculture Technology, Natural Resource Planning, or Wildlife Biology/Management, with an emphasis on developing prescribed grazing systems and course work and/or experience in working lands management systems is desirable. Funding partners may agree to substitute experience in ranch management if that experience includes forage production using flood-irrigation systems.
• Knowledge of computer skills is required and applicant should be familiar with Microsoft Word and Excel.
• Ability to use ArcMap and Toolkit and Google Earth would be highly beneficial.
• Experience or exposure to conservation planning beneficial.
• Physical ability to stand and walk for extended periods of time over rough terrain; lift and move material weighing up to 50 pounds; work in all types of weather conditions.
Additional Information: The funds for this position are primarily of federal origin, managed through agreements with the hiring entity. Compensation is commensurate with experience. The work week will be 40 hours/week.
Training and Experience Guideline: Any combination of training and/or experience that will enable the applicant to possess the required knowledge, skills and abilities.
Salary: Up to $45,000 per year. Health and retirement benefits vary by employer. Salary will be based on education and experience.
Duration: This position is conditionally funded for 3 years with partners actively pursuing funds for additional years.
To Apply: Send a cover letter, resume, and three references with contact information.
Email: Send application materials to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Please indicate if you have a position preference as part of your submission.
Harney Soil & Water Conservation District is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.