The Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) has an immediate need for forestry consultant (3 year minimum contract), to work in Rhode Island in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management – Division of Fish and Wildlife (RIDFW) and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to implement sustainable young forest management practices to benefit a variety of at-risk wildlife on private lands as part of WMI’s Young Forest Initiative, a project of the NRCS Regional Conservation Partners Program (RCPP). The Forester will work directly with RIDEM Wildlife and Forestry staff, NRCS and Wildlife Management Institute specialists to identify private landowners for involvement with forest planning and wildlife habitat management treatments to create, enhance and maintain critical young forest habitats required by New England cottontail, American woodcock and over 50 other species of wildlife. Work will involve close collaboration with RIDEM and NRCS and utilize funds available through RCPP, Working Lands for Wildlife, Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and general Environmental Quality Incentive Programs (EQIP).
- Promote young forest management to private landowners, foresters and wildlife habitat practitioners; including organizing and conducting training workshops with other resource managers.
- Identify and directly contact private landowners interested in young forest enhancement opportunities.
- Conduct property site visits and identify areas eligible for young forest habitat enhancement for landowners to consider.
- Develop an NRCS Conservation Plan for forestland using NRCS mapping/planning tools and software.
- Facilitate private landowner enrollment in NRCS programs. Will review NRCS program application and eligibility documents with the landowner during consultation visits.
- Practice Area Layout Certification. Will assist NRCS staff and the landowner by marking practice area boundaries to ensure adequate completion of practices enrolled in contracts. May also verify that practice completion meets NRCS standards and complete checkout documentation for practice certification after work is completed by contractors/landowners.
- Maintain a list of potential contractors for private landowners to contact regarding contracted work.
- Work with professional resource managers and private landowners to assist with overseeing the implementation of young forest practices as outlined in their program contracts.
- Stay current on NRCS programs, practices and standards. Will obtain required Job Approval authority for the forestry/wildlife practices used in this project.
- Assist resource professionals with development of site specific forest management plans according to NRCS practice standards and focal species’ best management practices.
- Communicate with, and provide technical assistance to private landowners as well as local, state and federal agencies on implementation of best management practices for young forest focal species.
- Forester will assist in collecting habitat and population data as defined in monitoring protocols and will be responsible for data entry into RIDFW tracking database and WMI’s Tracker system.
- Write and submit quarterly and annual reports to RIDEM, NRCS and WMI staff.
Knowledge and Skills
Must demonstrate knowledge of principles and practices of silviculture, private forest land management, forestry inventory analysis and management, forest insects and diseases, electronic field data collection (GPS and GIS), forest product harvesting operations, ability to develop both short and long-term forest management plans, and software knowledge such as Microsoft Office, Access, ArcView and computer applications.
Preferred candidates should also possess experience working in Northeast ecosystems and associated management techniques. Knowledge of young forest/early successional management and its impact on wildlife species at risk in the region. Ability to effectively communicate and work with the general public, state / federal / NGO Partners, other cooperators and peers. Ability to compile and analyze data, prepare tables and write reports of a technical nature. Ability to write about forest and wildlife and habitats for the general public. Ability to perform fieldwork while exposed to a variety of climatic conditions. Ability to prepare and present talks on forest and wildlife ecology, restoration and protection activities. Ability to establish and maintain harmonious working relationships with co-workers and the general public. Must be willing to maintain appearance appropriate to assigned duties and responsibilities as determined by the agency appointing authority.
- Candidates must possess either: Bachelor's or higher level degree in Forestry or a related plant science where coursework is distributed among the categories of: ecology and forest biology; measurement of forest resources; management of forest resources; and, forest resource policy, economics, and administration
- An understanding of forestry and silviculture, conservation implementation, habitat management, ornithology, or wildlife biology desired.
- All candidates must demonstrate knowledge, skills and abilities to utilize inventory and planning tools (e.g., prisms/angle gauges/relaskop, site index, stocking guides).
- The position requires excellent networking and communication skills (presentation, inter-personal, reading, and writing); project management experience, and organizing and leadership skills.
- Knowledge of NRCS landowner incentive programs, especially Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
- Experience working with private landowners as well as Federal / State agencies (ex. NRCS, RIDEM, USFWS, USDA Forest Service).
- Ability to use Excel, ArcMAP, Google Maps, and other computer mapping systems, including Trimble GPS, to identify and delineate project boundaries.
- Proven ability to manage multiple projects, produce effective results and meet deadlines. Applicant must be self-motivated, responsible and have ability to solve problems.
- Forester may be required to participate in specific training programs in order to use partner facilities and equipment.
- Forester may be required to complete the NRCS Certified Conservation Planner State Specific Training for TSPs.
- Applicant must have a valid driver’s license.
State Required Certification or Licensing: Must possess all certifications or licenses if required by state or local law or regulation in which service will be provided.
Duty station will be located in the USDA NRCS State office in Warwick, RI.
Contract Terms: WMI will pay contractor an amount not to exceed $58,000 in any 12-month period based on 26 pay periods per year and 74 hours worked per period. Hourly rate is $31.15 per hour. As an independent contractor, the type of work you perform and work schedule including leave and holidays is at the discretion of the RIDEM
To Apply: Please email letters of interest and a resume highlighting relevant work experience to Scot Williamson, WMI Vice President. If you have not received an acknowledgement of receipt for your resume within 24 hours, please call 802/563-2087.