Forest Wildlife Specialist- Forester
North Carolina- Private Lands
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Employer: Ruffed Grouse Society & American Woodcock Society
Region: Southern Appalachians
Starting Date: September 1, 2022
Term of Position: September 2022 to September 2025, with a possibility of position extension.
Background and Primary Duties:
The Ruffed Grouse Society & American Woodcock Society (RGS & AWS) are a national, nonprofit organization with a 60-year record of forest wildlife conservation. RGS & AWS in partnership with the American Bird Conservancy, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), are looking for a wildlife-oriented forester to work effectively with private forest landowners in the mountain region of western North Carolina.
The selected individual will conduct outreach, collect and review data, draft forest management plans, and prepare stands for implementation for private landowners interested in being part of NRCS’s Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) partnership to assist in the recovery of the golden-winged warbler (GWW), while also promoting forest health and timber production objectives.
The Forest Wildlife Specialist’s main duties will work with NRCS field staff, RGS & AWS staff, and local partners to:
• Promote forest management that benefits healthy forests and GWW habitat to private landowners and consulting foresters; including helping organize and conduct education and outreach events.
• Identify and directly engage private landowners with NRCS-based forest stewardship opportunities intended to benefit forest health and GWW populations.
• Conduct site visits to provide technical assistance to interested landowners and advance GWW management plan development.
• Work with NRCS field offices and other professional resource managers to assist with drafting and implementing management plans on private lands using established forest management guidelines known to benefit GWW and improve forest health.
• Assist with monitoring and tracking project activities using an electronic database and GIS to ensure proper reporting for assessing success, and potentially assist with focal species monitoring.
• Assist resource professionals with developing site-specific forest management plans according to NRCS practice standards and focal species’ best management practices. Successful candidate will provide evidence of being an effective writer.
• Write and submit monthly summaries, and interim and annual reports to funders and partners.
• Bachelor's degree or higher in forestry is required. A deep understanding of forest stand improvement practices and wildlife conservation is a benefit.
• Professional skills, knowledge, and experience in active forest management to meet desired silvicultural and wildlife habitat objectives. Experience developing and implementing site-specific forest management plans or practices and the ability to utilize forest inventory tools or inventory protocol needed.
• Experience working with private landowners as well as public agencies, including NRCS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state forestry agencies, and state wildlife agencies.
• Knowledge of NRCS landowner cost-share programs such as EQIP and WLFW preferred.
• Proven ability to manage multiple projects, produce effective results and meet deadlines. Proven ability to be self-motivated, responsible, and solve problems. Applicant must be able to develop and manage their daily work schedule to achieve results and work highly independently.
• Ability to use GIS to identify and delineate project boundaries; and Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Database to manage information.
• The position requires excellent networking and communication skills (presentation, inter-personal, reading, and writing); project management experience, and organizing and leadership skills. Applicant should be a team player, but also work well independently.
• Willing and able to work in physically challenging environment under adverse conditions. RGS & AWS will provide all field forestry supplies required for the position to excel.
The Forest Wildlife Specialist will report to the NRCS field office in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. A portion of their timing working from a home office might be possible depending on the candidate. However, the position should be prepared to report to Spruce Pine multiple times per week as needed. The position is an RGS & AWS employee and represents RGS & AWS in their work. The position will be supervised by RGS & AWS’s Southern Appalachian Forest Conservation Coordinator. There will be a 6-month probationary period for the purposes of determining the suitability of the employee to their new position.
The salary for the position is $50,000.00, plus benefits, health insurance, and retirement options. A vehicle will be available for the position, with the possibility of mileage reimbursement or a vehicle stipend. A purchasing card for business and travel expenses, computer, printer, cell phone, office supplies will be provided.
Please send a cover letter and resume to Charles Faires (RGS & AWS) at firstname.lastname@example.org by 11:59pm on August 19, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Charles at 412-443-0905.