Seeking a Conservation & Agriculture Specialist

Conservation Program Delivery

JOB VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT

Conserving and Enhancing Flood-irrigated Waterbird Habitat & Livestock Production on Working Lands

Conservation & Agriculture Specialist

Application Deadline:  June 15, 2019

Location:  Lakeview, Oregon; Anticipated Start Date:  on or about August 1st, 2019

Overview:  This exciting opportunity is part of a collaborative effort between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV), U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Ducks Unlimited, Inc. (DU) to further conservation delivery of NRCS Conservation Implementation Strategies (CIS) and other working lands conservation programs in southeast Oregon. The position will provide technical assistance to NRCS for implementing the Working Lands Waterbird Habitat Conservation CIS. The primary goal will be marketing and delivering Farm Bill conservation programs to livestock producers, flood irrigators and private landowners.  This position will be administered by the IWJV and key funding partners. The successful applicant will be an employee of Wildlife Management Institute (WMI). WMI’s mission is: “dedicated to the conservation, enhancement and professional management of North America’s wildlife and other natural resources.”  Daily guidance will be provided by the Lake County NRCS District Conservationists (DC).  A team comprised of contributing partners will provide additional oversight and leadership.

Duties:

  • Provide technical assistance (conservation planning, livestock and flood irrigation management, wildlife biology, wet meadow management, waterbird habitat management, or other natural resource disciplines) and guidance to landowners, government agencies, non-government organizations and others.  Training will be provided by NRCS, IWJV, USFWS, DU and other local and state agencies.
  • Coordinate integration and application of biological sciences and production agriculture within the conservation programs in cooperation with the local NRCS DC and others, consistent with Field Office Technical Guides.
  • Complete conservation plans and maps, contracts, applications and other required documentation for implementing Farm Bill conservation programs ((i.e., Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)), and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) Program. The position requires expertise in biological sciences, surface-irrigated agricultural lands (i.e. flood-irrigated), aquatic invasive species management, invasive plant management and rangeland science in cooperation with private landowners and partners.
  • Communicate program requirements, complete site visits to determine eligibility, and develop contracts/plans for applicants enrolling in USDA conservation programs or other state and local conservation programs for the management, restoration, enhancement and protection of flood-irrigated pasture and hay lands to mutually benefit livestock forage production and wetland-dependent migratory birds.
  • Work with agricultural producers to develop and implement infrastructure repair projects on flood-irrigated pasture and hay lands.  Provide information to landowners on emerging working lands conservation easement programs.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned, including promotion, marketing and outreach activities related to USDA, NAWCA and OWEB projects.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to communicate effectively with private landowners, government agency personnel and conservation partner organizations.
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision.
  • Ability to work cooperatively with diverse clientele.
  • Knowledge of ranch management, water resource management and wetland ecology, including the ability to develop and complete flood irrigation infrastructure rehabilitation projects that include wetland wildlife habitat management objectives.
  • Ability to obtain USDA Security Clearance and NRCS Conservation Planning certification.
  • Excellent verbal/written communication and organizational skills.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • A general qualification guideline for this position is an Associate’s Degree, or equivalent, in Natural Resource Planning, Rangeland Science, Wildlife Biology/Management or Agriculture Technology, with an emphasis on developing prescribed grazing systems and course work and/or experience in working lands management systems is desirable.  Funding partners may agree to substitute experience in ranching if that experience includes forage production using flood irrigation.
  • Knowledge of computer skills is required and applicant should be familiar with Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Ability to use ArcMap and NRCS Toolkit would be beneficial.
  • Physical ability to stand and walk for extended periods of time over rough terrain; lift and move material weighing up to 50 pounds; work in all types of weather conditions.

Additional Information:  The funds for this position are primarily of federal origin, managed through Cooperative Agreements with the hiring entity.  Funding has been secured for three years with intent to secure additional funds. Compensation is commensurate with experience.  The work week will be 40 hours/week.

Training and Experience Guideline:  Any combination of training and/or experience that will enable the applicant to possess the required knowledge, skills and abilities.

Salary: $49,500 per year, based on education and experience.  Because the position does not include health insurance benefits, the salary includes a 10% stipend to offset the cost of health insurance. The position will be eligible for WMI 401(k) retirement benefits and WMI will provide workers’ compensation, general liability protection, professional liability protection and unemployment insurance benefits. 

Duration: This position is conditionally funded for 3 years with partners actively pursuing funds for additional years.

To Apply:  Send a cover letter, resume and three references with contact information.

Email:  Send application materials to ccolson@ducks.org and ed.contreras@iwjv.org by the application deadline.