Wildlife/Wetland Easement Team Specialists (2 Positions Available): Iowa

Conservation Districts of Iowa
Sioux City, IA or New Hampton, IA
Job Category
Full time Positions
Starting Salary: $18.47/hour, health benefits and retirement package, paid holidays and paid leave. CDI reserves the right to terminate or amend and all benefit plan(s). Participation is neither a contract nor a guarantee of future employment.
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
*Assists in the delivery and administration of the ACEP-WRE program in Iowa. Works to enroll, restore, enhance, and manage Wetland Easements by providing technical assistance to landowners to develop plans for the implementation of the habitat improvements. Both locations will have a mixture of pothole and riverine wetland sites. Overview & Job Duties: Work in a joint capacity with Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI), Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) to assist with development of wetland restoration plans of operations (WRPOs), prepare management plans and compatible use requests, coordinate restoration activities, and implement restoration vision of multi-disciplinary team on existing and future Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Wetland Reserve Easements (ACEP-WRE). Activities will include conservation planning, easement monitoring, on-site habitat assessments, plan and proposal writing, coordination of appropriate plans and reports, coordination with Area Private Lands Biologists and Easement Specialists to ensure habitats meet needs of wildlife, including those listed as threatened or endangered. Provide technical assistance for wildlife habitat enhancement techniques to private landowner’s and public organizations. Attend CDI, NRCS and Iowa DNR Private Lands Program trainings and meetings. The incumbent will work in the following areas: • Housed in the Sioux City USDA-NRCS office covering USDA-NRCS NW Area OR • Housed in the New Hampton USDA-NRCS office covering USDA-NRCS NE Area The incumbent is an employee of Conservation Districts of Iowa and receive supervision from CDI with daily instruction provided by the local USDA-NRCS Area Easement Specialist. Will work closely with Iowa DNR Private Lands Biologist in conjunction with the USDA-NRCS agreement funding the position. Training and support will be provided by both the NRCS Area Easement Specialist and the Iowa DNR in particular the Private Lands Biologist. The incumbent will provide wetland biological/habitat expertise to and coordinate activities of multi-disciplinary restoration planning team, including civil engineers, engineering technicians, soil scientists, wildlife biologists, and others as appointed. The incumbent will be knowledgeable of all USDA Farm Bill Conservation Programs, Iowa DNR, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS) and local programs to private landowners and participants, with special emphasis on USDA’s ACEP-WRE. Duties: • Serve as coordinator for interdisciplinary wetland easement restoration teams (hereafter, “Team”) • Assist Team with development of wetland restoration plans/plan of operations (WRPOs) and management plans for conservation easements • Assist Team with policy reviews to ensure compliance of all ACEP-WRE applications and subsequent WRPOs with NEPA and other federal and state statutes • Assist with technical reviews in order to prepare compatible use requests from and for landowners • Conduct on- and off-site monitoring of easements to document progress towards meeting habitat and management goals set out in WRPOs • Assist with documentation and monitoring of potential easement use violations as appropriate • Assist with monitoring of on-going, on-site restoration activities to ensure conformance to applicable USDA-NRCS practice standards and applicable WRPO activities • Work closely with Iowa DNR Area Private Lands Biologist as needed to ensure habitat requirements are met for wildlife as planned in WRPO, with special attention to habitat requirements of any threatened or endangered species planned for or affected by easement restoration • Provide technical assistance to landowners and clients in field offices as needed or assigned • Where assigned, assist with development of new ACEP-WRE applications • Receive training with the goal of becoming a USDA-NRCS Certified Conservation Planner
Required Knowledge Skills and Abilities: • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with landowners and partner agencies. • Ability to work independently with little supervision and with diverse clientele. • Ability to work outdoors in wetland environments and associated risks and difficulties, including but not limited to temperature, water, terrain, insects, agricultural runoff, and others. • Knowledge of wildlife ecology, wetland-associated threatened and endangered species, and wetland and upland management including the ability to utilize various habitat management tools in the development of management plans. • Knowledge of basic land survey principles, including use of laser-planes, GPS, and other survey instruments. • Knowledge of agricultural drainage practices, systems, and moist-soil management. • Knowledge of basic legal documents as related to land ownership and management. • Excellent verbal and written communication. • Proficiency with computer software programs such as Microsoft Office, ArcGIS or USDA Conservation Desktop. • Strong organizational skills. • Valid driver’s license required; some use of personal vehicle may be required (mileage reimbursement provided). • Ability to utilize UTV/ATV, including transport of such vehicles by trailer. • Some overnight and evening work required. • Able to obtain USDA Federal Security Clearance. Training and Experience Guideline: A general qualification guideline for this position is a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Management or closely related natural resources field and 1 year related field experience in wildlife habitat development and management or providing wildlife technical assistance. Application Deadline: Until Filled Anticipated Start Dates: 2-4 weeks post successful job offer. To Apply: Please include your cover letter, resume and three professional references as one PDF file. Send to John Whitaker at john@cdiowa.org. Conservation Districts of Iowa is an equal opportunity employer.
Contact Person
John Whitaker
Contact eMail
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