Title: Special Uses Resource Assistant-Coconino National Forest (1 position)
Start/End Date: October 26, 2020 – August 27, 2021 (anticipated)
Term: 44 weeks
Reports To: Deirdre McLaughlin (USFS Realty Specialist Lands and Minerals Program Manager)
Location: Coconino National Forest Supervisor’s Office (1824 S. Thompson St., Flagstaff, AZ 86001)
Status: 1700-hour AmeriCorps Service Term
Benefits: AmeriCorps Education Award $6,095 after successful completion of the internship. Two-year certificate of noncompetitive hiring eligibility and Direct Hiring Authority (DHA) through the USFS Resource Assistant Program (RAP)*
Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC) is partnering with Coconino National Forest to provide a 44-week paid, professional Resource Assistant opportunity that will work with the Forest’s Lands and Minerals Program. The Lands and Minerals Program for Coconino National Forest manages the Lands Special Use Permit (SUP) for land use on the forest, which includes mining operations and mineral uses such as cinder and sandstone quarrying, as well as overseeing permit issuance and occupancy administration of permit holders. Lands and Special Uses deals with forest usage such as power line routes, highways, pipelines, roads, communications sites, and telephone lines, and works with many partners including APS, ADOT, KinderMorgan, Transwestern, Unisource, Centurylink, and large communications companies such as Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. All of these users have SUPs that allow for them to operate on the Forest.
The selected Resource Assistant (RA) will have the opportunity to cultivate their skillset by learning all aspects of the Lands and Minerals program. The RA will work with Special Use permit applications, application processing, cost recovery, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes, issuance and filing of permits, permit administration, and field checking of current permits. The RA will get a chance to review each proposal with the different resource specialists on the Forest and ensure that mitigations are in place to prevent any damage to the natural resources in the area. The RA will also have exposure to and the opportunity to shadow other Forest resource departments such as Timber, Archaeology, Wildlife, Fire, Range, and Botany, in order to gain understanding of additional Forest Service career tracks. This position will be primarily office-based with an administrative focus, with limited time in the field.
All tasks will have COVID-19 mitigation strategies to reduce the spread in the local community. The intern must be willing to adhere to current CDC standards, in addition to USFS/Coconino National Forest and Conservation Legacy COVID-19 Policies and Procedures.
Essential Responsibilities and Functions:
• Become familiar with organization and filing of the Special Use Permit (SUP) system.
• Complete trainings in AgLearn, Natural Resource Manager (NRM), GIS, and Special Uses Database System (SUDS).
• Receive, process, and track Special Use applications.
• Keep track of application status in SUDS and throughout NEPA process.
• Assist with the issuance and administration of SUPs.
• Participate in field visits to a variety of locations across the Forest.
• Participate in job shadowing of different career fields within the Forest Service.
• Perform other duties as assigned to gain exposure to the work of the USDA Forest Service.
• Perform field inspections of various authorized facilities and associated improvements.
• Update databases with Special Uses administration renewal/reissuance data.
• Perform queries and identify data in need of clean-up for permits that are expired or expiring; clean up data as required.
• Research and scan necessary documents for permit authorizations.
• Work with specialists on questions, reports, and associated documentation.
• Prepare and send permit packages with associated documentation for final review and execution.
• Maintain, update, and provide documentation for administrative files for all authorizations.
• Pursuing or holding an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management, Recreation, Environmental Studies, or a similar field.
• Ability to communicate clearly and interact with the public, user groups, and agency staff.
• General computer skills including Microsoft Office Suite.
• Ability to take initiative and work alone or in small groups with minimal supervision.
• Applicants must pass a criminal history background check and should possess a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.
• Proficiency in written and verbal communication.
• Strong organizational skills.
• To successfully perform essential functions, the individual is required to sit, stand, walk, speak, hear, etc... May be required to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl for significant periods of time and be able to safely lift 50 pounds on a routine basis.
• Field work may require walking and climbing in steep, uneven terrain, exposure to adverse weather and insects, and performing physical labor. Work is performed outdoors where there is exposure to extremes of weather and temperature, in both established administrative areas and wilderness areas.
• Ability to remain adequately hydrated, fed, and properly dressed to remain generally healthy and safe, avoiding environmental injuries.
• Reasonable accommodations may be made for qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Participation and Expedition Behavior:
• Contribute to a safe learning environment; no harassment of others for any reason.
• Work effectively as a member of a team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions.
• Willingness and ability to complete all aspects of the program.
• Appropriately represent AmeriCorps, Arizona Conservation Corps, and the U.S. Forest Service at all times, including properly wearing the agency uniform.
Safety and Judgement:
• Effectively communicate danger to others in the form of either a warning of dangers others may be encountering or a notification of personal distress, injury, or need of assistance. Must be able to do so at a distance of up to 50 meters and in conditions with limited visibility or loud background noise such as darkness or high winds.
• Assigned duties will require the use of safety equipment such as tools, gloves, goggles, face cover and face shield, and hard hat.
• Effectively perceive, understand and follow direction by others so that you will be able to successfully execute appropriate and perhaps unfamiliar techniques to manage hazards. These directions may be given before the hazard is encountered or may need to be given during exposure to the hazard. Ability to respond appropriately to stress or crises that may arise.
• Stay alert and focused for several hours at a time while traveling and working in varied weather conditions.
• If taking prescription medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self-medicating without assistance from others.
• Learn, practice, and communicate “Leave No Trace” techniques.
• In accordance to a drug free workplace, alcohol and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and while on organization property.
*The USFS Resource Assistant Program (RAP) is a rigorous, immersive, paid internship providing developmental and training opportunities for individuals interested in learning more about Forest Service careers. After completing a minimum of 960 hours of satisfactory work and an associate degree, RA’s may acquire a two-year certificate of noncompetitive hiring eligibility. The certificate enables participants to apply to internal merit announcements for qualifying permanent General Schedule FS positions.
To Apply: Please submit an updated resume and cover letter and three professional references along with the online application at https://azcorps.org/individual-placement-openings . If you have questions, contact AZCC’s Individual Placement Support Coordinator Preston Sands through the AZCC website.
For more information on the USFS Coconino National Forest, please visit their website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/coconino/.
For more information about Arizona Conservation Corps, please visit www.azcorps.org. Arizona Conservation Corps is a program of Conservation Legacy.