Forest Resource Planner
Lake Stevens, WA
Type of Job
$58,500 - $70,000 annually
Apr 25, 2023
About the job
Forest Resource Planner
Terms: Regular full-time position (40hrs/week), with benefits
Hiring Salary Range: $58,500 - $70,000 annually
Job Classification and Range: Resource Planner, Range 8
Priority deadline: Initial review of applications will begin Monday, May 1, 2023. Applications accepted until position is filled.
Snohomish and Whidbey Island Conservation Districts (SCD and WICD) are seeking a Forest Resource Planner to deliver natural resource planning services to landowners throughout Snohomish County, Camano Island, and Whidbey Island, working alongside the Forestry Program Manager and the Agroforestry Program Manager. This role, jointly serving two conservation districts, will provide forestry and agroforestry technical assistance, planning, and implementation support to landowners and residents.
Forestry (50% in Snohomish County and Camano Island; 25% on Whidbey Island)
The Forestry Program at Snohomish and Whidbey Island Conservation Districts seeks to promote and conserve resilient forests for multiple benefits and to reduce the risk of forest land conversion by empowering communities and forest landowners to become knowledgeable and successful stewards of forest resources. This position will provide technical assistance for both Snohomish and Island County residents, encouraging landowners and residents to pursue ecological forest management options. This position will participate in Puget Sound Conservation Districts (PSCD) Regional Forestry Program meetings with foresters across the Puget Sound to refine best management practices, coordinate on shared goals, and pursue additional funding to support regional programs. This position will lead the development and growth of a wildfire preparedness program at the, working with agency partners and collaborators to prepare residents for wildfire events and providing technical assistance to landowners to reduce wildfire risk. This position will also complete afforestation projects, enrollment of landowners in cost-share programs including USDA farm bill programs, and delivery of forestry education at community events.
The Agroforestry Program at SCD promotes agroforestry adoption to benefit soil health, water quality, wildlife habitat, and carbon sequestration, while increasing farmers’ income sources. Agroforestry is a form of “multifunctional agriculture,” where perennial trees and shrubs are combined with annual crops and/or livestock on the same unit of land. This position will provide technical assistance on agroforestry practices such as forest farming and alley cropping and will work to connect landowners to cost share and other funding resources. The position will assist with activities that include developing planting plans, coordinating plantings or agroforestry trials, providing information about funding programs, educational events for landowners, and developing outreach materials.
A successful candidate will have strong Pacific Northwest ecological knowledge, a diverse background in natural resource management, and the ability to work independently and collaboratively with excellent communication skills. The tasks included in this job description span a wide range of disciplines; we seek an individual who has the capability to quickly gain expertise in new areas in order to fulfill the full project role. We hope to find a Forest Resource Planner who is passionate about natural resource conservation and supporting landowners and stakeholders in forest management and agroforestry practices.
This position will report to the Forestry Program Manager. While jointly serving both SCD and WICD, this position will be employed by SCD.
About the Snohomish Conservation District
One of 45 Conservation Districts in the State of Washington, the Snohomish Conservation District is a leader among peers with robust programs encompassing agricultural resilience, habitat restoration, forestry, urban stormwater, farm planning, youth education, community engagement and more. The District works with farmers, residents, and landowners on a collaborative and voluntary basis throughout our service area that includes Snohomish County and Camano Island. We take the mission of the District to heart - “work cooperatively with others to promote and encourage conservation and responsible use of natural resources” - as we implement successful and innovative projects.
These are illustrations of the various types of work performed. The omission of specific duties does not exclude them if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.
- Promote forest stewardship programs, provide resource materials, and connect landowners to forest stewardship services.
- Provide technical assistance to landowners seeking to improve their management of forest resources, restore fish and wildlife habitat, plant trees / reforest areas, and implement best natural resource management practices. Activities include conducting site visits, diagnosing and providing assessments of resource conditions, identifying management priorities, preparing project area maps, and developing practice-related prescriptions.
- Provide technical assistance and planning support to communities on forest stewardship plans, fuels reduction projects, and forest stewardship projects.
- Prepare forest stewardship plans for Non- Industrial Private Forest (NIPF) landowners. Activities include conducting forest natural resource inventories, evaluating compiled data, and assembling and presenting data in forest stewardship plans. Forest stewardship plans prepared meet the requirements set forth by Washington State Integrated Forest Management Plan Guidelines & Template, NRCS CAP106, NRCS National Forestry Manual Part 536 Subpart B.
- Support landowners on preparing and submitting cost-share applications and implementing funded practices. Activities include preparing forest health management cost-share applications and Job Sheets associated with local, state and federal programs; supporting landowners with obtaining contractor estimates and permits; and providing ongoing technical assistance during and after the contract award process as needed.
- Support landowners with accessing and enrolling in Open Space Taxation programs such as the Designated Forest Land Program and locally administered “current use” programs such as the Public Benefit Rating System programs of Island County.
- Connect landowners with other natural resources specialists, agencies and programs that furnish technical/financial assistance, provide public / private partnership funding and offer other incentive programs.
- Assist landowners in obtaining permits and complying with state and local regulations such as a local Critical Areas Ordinance and the Forest Practices Act.
- Support recipients of cost-share funding to ensure effective and complete installation of funded practices. Activities include providing guidance on practice implementation and construction specifications to meet NRCS standards; supporting implementation of forestry projects; and responding to questions and concerns regarding cost-share award details.
- Provide technical assistance to landowners and residents for wildfire risk reduction which may include creating defensible space around homes and communities.
- Lead the creation of a chipping program for the Snohomish Conservation District, helping residents chip woody material to reduce wildfire risk.
- Champion the SCD agroforestry program, provide landowners technical information, and connect landowners with funding resources for agroforestry implementation. Technical assistance may include writing a technical letter or a resource management plan. Funding resources may include CD cost share programs such as Sustainable Farms & Fields funding, NRCS EQIP programs, and grants such as Western SARE, or WSDA grants.
- Assist with the implementation of agroforestry practices on forestlands and farms within Snohomish County and Camano Island. Implementation may include the development of a planting plan, cultural resource review process, procuring plants, and logistics of plant deliveries and planting days.
- Work collaboratively with a network of Western WA Agroforesters in the documentation, development, and education of Pacific Northwest specific agroforestry practices.
- Assist Forestry and Agroforestry Program Managers in acquiring funding for forestry projects including project development, grant writing, and landowner outreach.
- Promote strong integration across the District’s Forestry Program, Agroforestry Program, Habitat Restoration and Floodplain Management Program, the Agricultural Program, the Community Conservation Program, and the Outreach Program when providing technical assistance to landowners and supporting forestry project implementation.
- Work as a member of the PSCD Regional Forest Stewardship Program Team, collaborate with other Team members to meet Program goals, build-out forestry services, and integrate our work across the Puget Sound.
- Participate in outreach, media and education events, such as workshops, fairs, Forestry Field Days, by presenting and sharing information related to forest health and stewardship, writing fact sheets and articles, assisting with development of publications such as landowner testimonials, and developing communications materials to market Program services.
- Participate in outreach, media and education events such as workshops, fairs, Agroforestry farm tours by sharing information on agroforestry practices and their benefits, writing articles, developing fact sheets, and assisting with the development of publications and communications materials centered on agroforestry practices
- Contribute to writing fact sheets and articles and other print or web publications and District services related to forest management topics.
- Assist with the Conservation District’s Annual Plant Sale.
- Other related duties as assigned.
Required knowledge, skills, and abilities
- A Bachelor’s degree in Forestry or natural resource/environmental field with coursework related to agroforestry, forest management, silviculture, terrestrial / plant ecology, botany, and upland habitat restoration.
- A minimum of three years of professional level experience in forestry, forest management, silviculture, or agroforestry. Alternative combinations of education and work experience will be considered.
- Demonstrated knowledge of natural resource issues such as forest management, forest health, native plants, and soils.
- Knowledge of westside versus eastside wildfire ecological history and best practices for creating defensible space around homes.
- Demonstrated experience implementing forestry projects to include knowledge of forest regeneration, thinning and harvests.
- Demonstrated experience with agroforestry projects or habitat restoration to include knowledge of farmland, habitat, and regulatory programs in the Puget Sound
- Familiarity with NRCS conservation practices, conservation planning, and landowner incentive and cost share programs.
- Ability to communicate effectively with private landowners, project partners, and co-workers, and capacity to engage diverse communities.
- Proficiency in communicating technical information to a variety of audiences including private landowners at one-on-one site visits, workshops, and volunteer events.
- Proficiency writing reports, outreach materials, technical assistance letters to landowners, management plans, and/or components of funding applications.
- Ability to use computers to write reports, prepare maps using ArcGIS, and record field data, and ability to learn specialized computer programs as needed.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and manage workload, schedule, and resources to meet deadlines and achieve goals.
- Demonstrated ability to effectively perform multiple responsibilities simultaneously and/or frequently move from one activity to another without losing focus.
- Ability to maintain accurate records regarding time-keeping and authorized expenses.
Preferred knowledge, skills, and abilities
- A Master’s degree in Forestry or natural resource/environmental field with coursework related to agroforestry, forest management, silviculture, terrestrial / plant ecology, botany, and upland habitat restoration.
- Demonstrated understanding of Washington DNR Forest Practices Board rules and implementation guidance, familiarity with Washington DNR Forest Practices application procedures, and knowledge of other local, state, and federal regulations affecting forest land management
- A track record of successfully engaging and facilitating collaboration with small and nonindustrial forest landowners seeking to improve forest resources and implement forest conservation practices
- Knowledge of local, state, and federal ordinances and regulations including Snohomish County and Island County codes and regulations
- Knowledge of local, state, and federal Conservation District partners
- Washington State Pesticide License with Aquatic Endorsement
- Agriculture Weed Control endorsement
- Experience with NRCS conservation planning
Physical Requirements and Working Conditions
This position includes both office and field work and frequent travel to job sites. Field work comprises approximately 50% of the position. Most of the field work is conducted in a natural environment with rough and sometimes dangerous terrain. This position requires the ability to:
- Work outdoors in all weather conditions and on rough or uneven terrain
- Drive a vehicle when travel is needed. Must hold a valid, unrestricted Washington State driver’s license (or have the ability to acquire upon hire).
- Safely operate a motor vehicle, including full-size pick-up and trailer, on both public and private roads during daylight and occasionally after dark.
- Operate hand and power tools.
- Operate a chipper for a wildfire risk reduction program using best safety protocol (or have the ability to gain this skillset while on the job)
- Sit or stand for long periods of time in a standard workday
- Lift, pull, carry, push up to 50lbs
- Bend, twist, squat, climb, kneel/crawl, reach overhead, etc.
- Use finger dexterity and fine manipulation
- Hear and speak to exchange information in person, on the telephone, and via video conference
- Occasionally work beyond an 8:00 am – 5:00 pm schedule or on the weekend.
The District offers a comprehensive benefits package which includes:
- Medical, including vision, insurance coverage through Washington State PEBB. The District matches employee dependent’s medical premiums at 80%.
- Dental insurance coverage through Washington State PEBB for full-time employees. The District matches employee dependent’s dental premiums at 100%.
- A monthly contribution to a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) plan through Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association (VEBA) for employees who opt to waive District medical insurance coverage.
- Life Insurance through Washington State Health Care Authority (WSHCA), with coverage paid by the District.
- Long Term Care coverage through the WA Cares Fund, with premiums paid by the District.
- Long Term Disability through WSHCA.
- Additional voluntary supplemental insurance opportunities are also available.
- Annual (vacation) leave accrued at a beginning rate of 8 hours per month, 8 hours of paid sick leave per month, and 12 paid holidays each year.
- Employer-contributed retirement program through the State of Washington Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and the ability to participate in the Deferred Compensation Program (DCP).
- All employees are covered by standard State and Federal programs, including WA Paid Family Medical Leave, Unemployment Insurance, Workers' Compensation, Social Security, and Medicare.
- Terms of compensation and benefits are set by the Board of Supervisors and may be amended at any time.
The position will work out of the SCD Lake Stevens office. Following a probationary period, this position may have the option to work remotely part of the time. This position will serve Whidbey Island residents for approximately 25% of the time; regular travel to Whidbey Island will be required. Some essential functions of this position require in-office or on-site work at specific times.
To apply for this position, please submit the following materials via our website at https://snohomishcd.org/employment:
- Cover letter stating why you are interested in this position
- CV or resume detailing your related experience
If you have questions about applying or need accommodation during the application process, contact Sarah Jones at email@example.com or (360) 722-2679.
Applications will be reviewed beginning May 1, 2023. Position open until filled.
We strive to work in partnership with all, to provide equitable and accessible programming on a nondiscriminatory basis, and to continually improve how we do so. All programs and services of the Snohomish Conservation District are offered on a nondiscriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.