American Bird Conservancy
West Virginia Outreach Forester
Joint Position with American Bird Conservancy, National Wild Turkey Federation, and WV Division of Forestry
Title: Outreach Forester
Employer: American Bird Conservancy (ABC)
Supervisor: Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture Coordinator
Location: Lewisburg, WV (WV Division of Forestry Office)
Application Deadline: Open until position is filled
American Bird Conservancy (ABC), an international bird conservation organization, is seeking to employ an Outreach Forester as a joint position with National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) and West Virginia Division of Forestry (WV DOF). This is a full-time, 2-year term position. The outreach specialist will serve as a liaison between private landowners and staff of partner conservation organizations, including West Virginia DNR and Division of Forestry, National Wild Turkey Federation, and NRCS. The focus of this position is increasing private landowner enrollment in NRCS Farm Bill programs, especially the Working Lands for Wildlife effort targeting Golden-winged Warblers. The outreach specialist will be an employee of American Bird Conservancy but work closely with the staff of partners.
This position requires an understanding of NRCS Farm Bill programs, especially the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), forest and habitat management techniques, and how to communicate effectively with private landowners. There will be extensive contact with private landowners and agency partners in person, by telephone, and through e-mail and other correspondence. The work requires initiative, flexibility, and attention to detail. It is essential that the staff member in this position is able to prioritize tasks and work in a team environment. The position reports to the AMJV Coordinator.
1. Develop, finalize, and execute an outreach strategy with program partners to increase private landowner enrollment in NRCS Farm Bill programs, especially Working Lands for Wildlife targeting Golden-winged Warblers. Development of this strategy will include working with the Wildlife Management Institute and D.J. Case to support/utilize proposed research on landowner motivation.
2. Create a new and/or improve existing database(s) of partners, large landowners, the WV Tree Farm System, and forest and groups, farm groups etc. Consult forest industry and trade groups for mailing lists and potential marketing strategies that effectively reach target landowners and conduct targeted bulk mailings to landowners with properties that overlap known Golden-winged Warbler populations.
3. Compile existing private landowner outreach materials, identify coverage gaps, and expand outreach efforts, including greatly expanding social media presence and cross-post with partner organizations, contact traditional press and develop and identify PR opportunities, and create and distribute print press materials. Coordinate various outreach efforts, including (but not limited to) workshops, field tours, and meeting directly with forest landowners and farmers to discuss habitat management options (e.g., forest management, brush management, grazing) for their property and enrollment in NRCS programs to conduct habitat management.
4. Coordinate with NRCS, WV Division of Forestry, WV DNR, and other partners to identify existing landowner relationships and coordinate with their technical staff to refer landowners for enrollment in NRCS Farm Bill programs. Work closely with the WLFW Coordinator in WV on all outreach and landowner enrollment efforts and occasionally assist the Coordinator with their duties. Assist with planning forest management actions on state lands to be used as demonstration areas and coordinate forestry demonstration tours of these areas with interested landowners.
5. Maintain records and performance metrics, such as number and type of outreach events held, number landowners reached, number of landowners to respond, number of site visits, and additional monitoring metrics to be identified through collaboration with WMI and their contractual agreement with D.J. Case.
1. Bachelor’s degree or higher in forestry, wildlife ecology, or a related field. An understanding of forestry and silviculture, conservation implementation, habitat management, or wildlife biology desired.
2. Knowledge of ecology and natural resource issues of the Appalachian Region, especially of neotropical migrant and resident birds.
3. Knowledge of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) landowner cost-share programs
4. Experience managing and creating dynamic content for websites and social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs.
5. Proficiency using various software applications (e.g., PowerPoint, Word, Publisher, Acrobat document and forms, Photoshop) to produce communications products such as fact sheets, newsletters, posters, etc. Proficiency with databases and Geographic Information Systems to assist with developing landowner outreach strategy that incorporates both landowner information and Golden-winged Warbler occurrence and habitat parameters.
6. Ability to effectively research and obtain relevant information quickly, then translate to diverse audiences the acquired understanding of large amounts of complex information regarding biological diversity, fish and wildlife conservation, cultural values and economic and environmental benefits and services provided by healthy and sustainably managed ecosystems;
7. Desire to work collaboratively with a diversity of stake-holders. Demonstrated networking and communication skills (presentation, inter-personal, reading, writing); project management experience, and organizing and leadership skills.
8. Ability to work and coordinate multiple projects at the same time. Ability to set priorities, work independently, efficiently and accurately, and meet deadlines.
9. Demonstrated written and oral communication skills and the ability to adapt messages to a diverse audience that includes private landowners, habitat managers, conservation administrators, and the general public.
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