FORESTER – IOWA & ILLINOIS
The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is seeking qualified candidates for a forester. This is a cooperative position between the NWTF and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and will be responsible for administering, implementing and promoting forestry improvements through NRCS technical assistance programs on private lands across the assigned area of responsibility. Work will be accomplished primarily through the development of conservation management plans. This is a full-time, term-limited (two-year minimum) position. Duty station will be an NRCS Service Center in the Driftless Area of Northeast Iowa/Northwest Illinois.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The forester assists NRCS and its partners in promoting the management of privately-owned forested lands and riparian areas for multiple resource benefits, including forest health, wildlife habitat, fuels reduction and water quality. The forester provides forestry assistance to private landowners, communities and public agencies to achieve optimum environmental, economic and social benefits from forest resources. In addition, the forester implements silvicultural practices and delivers technical assistance and financial assistance programs under the direction of cooperating partners.
• Work closely with the NRCS to identify opportunities and priorities for healthy forest restoration through the development of detailed plans using standard identification methods, costs, economics, and manpower needs
• Prepare forest management project contracts, providing specifications and prescriptions for forest management activities and assisting the District Conservationists in providing technical assistance to landowners (including site visits), resource inventories, completion of NRCS-CPA-52 Environmental Evaluation Worksheet, and Customer Service Toolkit Plan development
• Conduct outreach activities to promote forest management objectives within the designated working area
• Promote participation and highlight accomplishments by submitting newspaper articles to local newspapers within the project area and providing radio interviews on identified radio stations
• Develop and deliver innovative forest management techniques to landowners and cooperators through workshops, written materials, field days and educational programs
• Provide forestry and wildlife support to NRCS for implementation, checkout, and certification of planned activities utilizing conservation practices standards, specifications, and job sheets
• Develop Forest Management Plans and prescribed burning plans that meet NRCS criteria using Customer Service Toolkit Plan
• Develop and provide recommendations for working in forest stands to ensure these critical habitats are included in private lands management planning
• Work with local conservation districts to identify and plan multi-partner landscape level conservation projects
• Provide internal review and input as requested on need, purpose and design during stages of USDA-NRCS program forest management project planning and implementation
• Promote awareness and collaboration of state, federal and local conservation programs and planning, and acquire project support through engagement with conservation organizations, local conservation groups, industry and local communities as needed
• Other functions as assigned by supervisor
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
Preferred candidates will possess experience working in Midwest forest ecosystems and with associated techniques to manage those forests. Knowledge of forest inventory, management, and planning for major silvicultural types of the region is preferred; map reading and GIS-GPS technology, ArcGIS skills; ability to effectively communicate and work with the general public, state, federal, NGO Partners & other cooperators and peers is also required. The forester will possess knowledge and skills in the use and operation of forestry field equipment as well as skills in preparing spreadsheets, reporting accomplishments within NWTF reporting systems and using basic computing applications. The forester will possess the ability to effectively cooperate with private landowners, general public, cooperators and their peers. The position requires the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in written form, to convey clear and persuasive messages that positively influence the thoughts and actions of others.
Applicant must be able and willing to:
• Work alone in a diverse range of climatic and topographic conditions including extreme hot and cold temperatures, biting insects, and snakes, possibly in remote areas with limited access and amenities and other extreme conditions as warranted
• Walk several miles per day, in the conditions described above, and drive and/or ride long distances frequently without experiencing debilitating health problems
Salary is commensurate with experience and skillset and includes an excellent benefits package.
• Demonstrated knowledge of forest management techniques
• Experience with forestry and silvicultural, conservation implementation, habitat management, and wildlife biology is desired
• Strong organizational skills and ability to work independently with little direct supervision
• Strong written and verbal communication skills
• Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry (from a SAF-Accredited Program) or other natural resource degree with a strong forestry emphasis or relevant experience (Applicants with a Master’s degree in forestry or education/experience in wildlife management are preferred). Applicants within two months of graduating with a degree, as listed, will need to secure degree before hire date.
• Demonstrated proficiency using Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint and Outlook)
• Ability to use Excel, ArcGIS, Google Maps, and other computer mapping systems, including Trimble GPS, to identify and delineate project boundaries
• Experience working with private landowners, as well as Federal & State agencies with working knowledge of cost-share programs, such as Farm Bill programs
• Proven ability to manage multiple projects, produce effective results, and meet deadlines
• Applicant may be required to participate in specific training programs to use partner facilities and equipment. Applicant must have a valid driver’s license and ability to secure permission to use government vehicles.