American Bird Conservancy
Private Lands Forester, (MI)
Title: Private Lands Forester
Location(s): Kingsford, MI
Reports to: American Bird Conservancy, Vice President Great Lakes
Term: Renewed annually based on funding availability.
Application Submission Deadline: February 25, 2019
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 forestry experience to join our Great Lakes team in northern Michigan.
This individual will work effectively with private forest landowners, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and other local partners in Michigan to implement best management practices (BMP’s) on non-industrial private lands for focal bird species. The Private Lands Forester will work with project partners to identify focal species that best represent the needs of various forest cover types in the UP of Michigan. The Private Lands Forester will lead an effort to develop habitat management prescriptions for each focal species selected and work with the Michigan NRCS State Forester and Sate Biologist to develop technical notes for each of the habitat prescriptions.
The Private Lands Forester’s main duties will be to work within the identified focal areas in the UP of Michigan. Specific duties include:
• Work with NRCS District Conservationists to implement existing contracted practices to reduce NRCS workload and advance forest health outcomes (this will encompass approximately 60% of the Forester’s responsibilities until existing backlogs are cleared).
• Identify and communicate with landowners who may be interested in managing their forests for wildlife.
• Conduct field visits of private lands to evaluate property for possible treatment using focal species BMP’s.
• In conjunction with the landowner, provide technical assistance, facilitation through the NRCS contracting process, development of site-specific conservation plans and in accordance with NRCS practice standards and focal species BMP’s.
• Identify consulting foresters and/or logging contractors to complete projects that involve timber sales. Also, work closely with Forestry Assistance Program (FAP) foresters to refer projects to the private sector when necessary.
• Layout and/or mark project areas for non-commercial treatments such as tag alder or young aspen shearing. Identify and communicate with contractors capable of doing these treatments to continue developing a growing referral list to provide to landowners.
• Certify project completion via GPS tracking and camera to provide NRCS District Conservationists with GIS shape files and photo evidence to complete contracts and cost-share.
• Provide training and technical assistance to private landowners; technical service providers (TSP’s); local, state and federal agency staff on habitat BMP’s through workshops, trainings, meetings, etc.
• Monitor and track project activities using an electronic database and GIS to ensure proper reporting for assessing success, and assist with focal species monitoring pre and post treatment.
• Communicate with partners to track activities conducted on public lands while communicating with them about advancements on private land objectives.
• Bachelor’s degree or higher in forestry (or wildlife management or environmental sciences, with an emphasis on forest management) is required. A deep understanding of forest stand improvement and management, wildlife management, and bird conservation desired.
• Must be a certified plan writer.
• Professional knowledge and skills to assess, devise, and apply strategies for forest management as to meet desired wildlife habitat and forestry objectives. Experience developing and implementing site-specific forest management plans/practices, and the ability to utilize forest inventory tools/inventory protocol needed.
• Willing and able to travel across Michigan (mostly UP and Northern LP) with occasional travel to Wisconsin and Minnesota. Applicant should be prepared to spend as much as 20% of their time away from home. ABC and NRCS covers travel expenses.
• Experience working with private landowners as well as public agencies (NRCS, DNR, USFWS, etc.) and knowledge of landowner incentive programs (QFP and CF) desired.
• Knowledge of NRCS landowner cost-share programs such as EQIP 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, Web Soil Survey to identify and delineate project boundaries; 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. ABC provides a GPS, snowshoes, cruising vest, prism, flagging, forestry paint, etc.
• Forester 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.
• Forestry equipment/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.