American Bird Conservancy
Southwestern Riparian Partner Biologist
Title: Southwestern Riparian Partner Biologist
Supervisor: Vice President, Western Region
Location: Bakersfield, California
Application Submission Deadline: December 15, 2018
American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist — the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.
We are currently looking for a motivated, self-starting, and detail-oriented individual with southwestern riparian habitats and their bird conservation needs to reach out to private landowners to promote voluntary conservation actions that benefit riparian birds in southern California.
This individual will reach out effectively to private landowners, and work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and other local partners in southern California to implement voluntary conservation and management practices on private lands to benefit Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (SWFL), Yellow-billed Cuckoo (YBCU), Least Bells’ Vireo (LBVI) and other wildlife associated with riparian habitat through the NRCS’s Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) program and the Declining Species Habitat Initiative.
1. Provide increased outreach capacity to accelerate the NRCS WLFW program that targets SWFL, YBCU, LBVI and southwest riparian ecosystems in southern California.
2. Give technical assistance to landowners to address wildlife habitat natural resource concerns. Technical assistance includes landowner consultation, on-site visits, evaluating and identifying wildlife resource concerns, assistance in developing conservation plans for multiple land uses, designing practices, assisting with project implementation, and monitoring results
3. Provide information about NRCS programs and develop conservation plans and contracts.
4. Establish an active and productive relationship the NRCS Leadership and staff.
5. Work with key landowners and managers to develop watershed-level conservation and management strategies that benefit southwestern-dependent riparian birds in southern California.
6. Use assessments to identify the highest priority riparian habitat areas for the SWFL, YBCU, LBVI and other high priority riparian dependent birds and wildlife. Include opportunities to benefit Tricolored Blackbirds (TRBL) whenever possible.
7. Identify the most promising landowners and producers and develop an outreach program to connect with them. (This will include working with NRCS GIS specialists to identify priority properties and landownership.)
8. Work with NRCS staff to develop a tool-kit of Best Management Practices (BMPs) and appropriate NRCS practices that will benefit the target species within the WLFW framework.
9. Develop and coordinate an outreach campaign to priority landowners and land managers, in coordination with NRCS staff and other partners. Include outreach workshops, potentially in partnership with federal, state, and NGOs entities. Target outreach efforts toward private landowners, landowner associations, as well as key land managers (both agency and NGOs) within the watershed and provide information on maintaining riparian areas (e.g. invasive plant and pest management, irrigation water management, livestock grazing practices etc.) and promoting WLFW program goals.
10. Facilitate communication and coordination with various partners involved with watershed-level strategies (i.e. Weed Management Areas would be a great opportunity to initiate those relationships).
11. Meet with landowners and provide technical assistance to them to promote Working Lands for Wildlife and other Farm Bill Program opportunities. This includes biological ad technical assistance, facilitation through the NRCS contracting process, development of site-specific conservation plans, and meeting NRCS practice standards and SW riparian BMP's.
12. In coordination with NRCS staff, develop conservation plans for private landowners, including practices specifications, to establish potential projects in priority areas for southwestern riparian bird restoration.
13. Assist with compliance of the NRCS SWFL Programmatic Biological Opinion and ensure that technical service provided comply with all applicable Federal, State, Tribal, and Local laws and requirements, and meet applicable USDA-NRCS standards.
14. Ensure conservation plans and agreements implemented on the ground to improve and enhance riparian habitat and benefit SWFL, YBCU, LBVI, TRBL and other wildlife.
• Bachelor's degree or higher in ornithology, wildlife management or environmental sciences, with an emphasis on riparian habitat management and restoration is required. A deep understanding of riparian habitat improvement and management, wildlife management, and bird conservation desired.
• Professional knowledge and skills to assess, devise, and apply strategies for riparian habitat management to meet desired wildlife habitat objectives. Experience developing and implementing site-specific riparian restoration and management plans/practices, and the ability to utilize riparian bird inventory tools/inventory protocols needed.
• Willing and able to travel across southern California. Applicant should be prepared to spend as much as 20% of their time away from home. ABC covers travel expenses.
• Experience working with private landowners as well as public agencies (NRCS, DNR, USFWS, etc.) and knowledge of landowner incentive programs desired.
• Knowledge of NRCS landowner cost-share programs (such as WLFW, EQIP) is preferred.
• A general knowledge of environment laws, regulations and policies to ensure legal standards are met in formulation of habitat development and restoration activities.
• 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.
• Ability to use ArcGIS, Google Maps and Microsoft Excel and 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 and work well independently.
• Willing and able to work in physically challenging environment under adverse conditions.
· Partner Biologist may be required to participate in specific NRCS training programs in order to use partner facilities and equipment.
· Applicant must have a valid driver's license.
• Benefits include medical, dental, and 403(b) plan.
• Paid vacation days (15), holidays (10+), and sick leave.
• Office expenses covered.
• Pre-approved professional training and workshop expenses covered.
• Lodging and meals covered for travel away from home.
• Rental vehicle or personal mileage reimbursement, if partner vehicles are unavailable.