Invasive Species Removal and Habitat Restoration Fellows (2) – Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Type of Job
Jun 9, 2022
About the job
Invasive Species Removal and Habitat Restoration Fellows (2) - Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge
ACE EPIC placements provide young adults with focused, hands-on opportunities to work alongside and under the guidance of agency mentors as they apply their knowledge of resource management on their path to becoming the next generation of resource and land managers.
Funding for ACE positions is provided by a federal program designed specifically for the employment of youth and young adults.
For more information about ACE, please visit: www.usaconservation.org.
Summary: American Conservation Experience, a Nonprofit Conservation Corps, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking 2 Restoration/Invasive Species Fellows to help with a large invasive plant removal and habitat restoration project within Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge. The fellows will conduct invasive species removal using various mechanical and chemical methods as well as conduct biological mapping within the Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Fellows will receive direction and guidance from USFWS staff but will also be required to operate independently at times.
Start Date: July 18th, 2022
End Date: 18 weeks later
**18-week commitment required**
Location: Bitter Creek Wildlife Refuge, Maricopa, CA
As a hub of condor activity and research opportunities, Bitter Creek NWR is a unique keystone at the nexus of two mountain ranges encompassing much of the historical California condor range and serving as an important wildlife corridor.
The refuge protects habitat within an important east/west running mountain range and provides movement corridors for populations of native ungulates, raptors, and other wildlife.
Condor and other wildlife movements extend beyond refuge boundaries and exemplify the Service's contribution to a much larger conservation initiative as we partner with public and private landowners. Alongside these charismatic animals, so, too, can lesser known and rare wildlife and plant species thrive within this intact and functioning ecosystem. Also protected on the refuge are Native American cultural resources and remnants of 19th century homesteads.
The 14,186-acre refuge encompasses a sizable portion of Bitter Creek Canyon, and many of its tributary canyons. The canyon has historically been infested with non-native tamarisk (Tamarix ramosissima) which has serious adverse consequences on the structure and stability of native plant communities. Regionally, riparian ecosystems make up less than 1% of the total land area of California and have been identified as the most critical habitat for the conservation of many wildlife species. This project focuses on restoring critical riparian and grassland habitats for the preservation and enhancement of San Joaquin Valley special status plant and animal species through the eradication and removal of tamarisk within Bitter Creek canyon.
For more information about Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge, please visit: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/bitter-creek
Work Schedule: Duties will primarily be carried out Monday - Friday. Bi-weekly totals should not exceed 80 hours. A flexible work schedule may be required, which could involve work performed outside of normal work hours including on weekends and/or holidays. Time off may be granted and requests should be directed to ACE and the FWS for approval.
Living Allowance: The ACE Member is expected to contribute approximately 40 hours/week and will receive a living allowance of $550/week to offset the costs of food and incidental expenses, dispersed bi-weekly.
Housing: ACE members will be accommodated in provided agency housing at no cost for the duration of the term. When residing in FWS provided-housing or on FWS lands, strict adherence to site specific policies and/or regulations is required. The fellow will be sharing common areas with other crew members and with FWS staff.
Public Land Corps (PLC) Non-competitive Hiring Authority: Members serving on this project may be eligible to receive a Department of the Interior (DOI) PLC non-competitive hiring authority certificate upon completion of their term of service. Eligible members must meet standard requirements of completing at least 640 hours (16 weeks at 40 hours/week) and utilize their certificate when applying for qualifying federal positions within 2 years of receipt. PLC projects also include specific eligibility requirements such as age and citizenship. Please contact ACE staff with questions about eligibility.
This placement is meant to facilitate personal growth and professional development and promotes exposure to land management agencies and networking with agency professionals. This could include gaining experience in a variety of conservation fields and/or shadowing different work groups.
The member will provide support and assistance under the guidance and direction of FWS staff in the accomplishment of:
- Physical removal of invasive plants including hand pulling or with tools (including chainsaws, loppers, and hand saw).
- Spot application of General Use Pesticides (with oversight by refuge staff)
- Data collection using handheld GPS units and/or other mapping equipment.
- Assist with other biological work (e.g. Condor Biology), and other Refuge work (e.g. maintenance) as opportunities and interest allows.
- Operation of Refuge vehicles, ATV, UTV, and other small equipment.
- Other duties as assigned
Physical Requirements: This position requires physical exertion such as walking long distances over extremely hot, dry, and rough surfaces while carrying up to 40 lbs.; bending, crouching, stooping, lifting or reaching. Hand and finger dexterity and physical coordination may involve fine and precise procedures, delicate adjustments or exact measurements.
Environmental Conditions/Hazards: Duties are performed primarily outdoors. Temperature and weather extremes can be encountered in the performance of outdoor duties. The member is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow staff/members or resources. The member will be working outdoors on steep rocky terrain and may be exposed to extreme heat or cold, high humidity, stinging and biting insects, dangerous wildlife, venomous snakes and inclement weather. Average high temperatures in the area hover around 98°F in June and July, and days with heat in excess of 100°F are common through September.
Vehicle and Equipment Use/Safety: A vehicle will be provided, and the refuge will provide the tools required to accomplish the tasks the member is asked to do. Training will be provided for all equipment that the member is asked to use, such as ATV/UTV and sprayer. Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) will be mandatory for any activity that requires it. A valid state driver's license is required. Strict adherence to FWS and ACE equipment training, certification and safety protocols is required.
- Willing and able to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner.
- Ability to be both self-directed/work alone, and be a positive, contributing member of a group.
- U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
- A valid driver's license and an insurable driving record (documentation to be provided upon request).
- Willing to undergo and must pass required criminal history checks.
- Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
- Strong writing, communication and organizational skills;
- Ability to follow biological protocols and procedures
- Ability to multitask and shift schedule and priorities to meet changing conditions.
- Commitment to completing tasks thoroughly and on time.
- Ability to complete tasks independently and work well in a team
- Ability and interest in working in the field with mostly hot but variable weather conditions and ability to lift 40 lbs. and hike long distances over rocky, steep and uneven ground.
- Skills and abilities to resolve a full range of problems or situations when performing a variety of tasks in a field or office setting.
- Experience hiking or backpacking in backcountry
- Competitive applicants for this position can hold or be pursuing a minimum of an associate's degree and/or have relevant experience in subject areas such as natural resources, biology, ecology or a related subject
- Prior experience and certification in herbicide application;
- Experience using hand tools for physical removal of invasive species;
- Experience and certification with: UTV/ATVs;
- Experience and certification using chainsaws;
- Workplace experience following protocols in support of biological surveys;
To Apply: Please submit your resume, a cover letter demonstrating your interest and experience, and contact information for three professional/academic references to the online application page for this position here: https://usaconservation.applicantpool.com/jobs/.
NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This position may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position please feel free to contact ACE EPIC USFWS Division Support Specialist, Nich Jackosky, firstname.lastname@example.org, (928) 699-6041.
Vaccination Requirement: ACE Members must verify that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 or have requested and been granted a medical or religious exemption to vaccination by the time they start their term.
EEO: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.