Feather River CA Cone Corps Technician – Sierra Nevada Alliance and American Forests

Quincy, California

Organizational Background:

American Forests is a national non-profit organization committed to creating healthy and resilient forests from cities to wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water, and wildlife. We advance our mission through forestry innovation, place-based partnerships to plant and restore forests, and movement building. We envision a world in which the significant environmental, societal and economic benefits of forests are fully realized and equitably available to all people. Established in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national non-profit conservation organization in the U.S. working to restore urban forests and forested landscapes.

American Forests is proud to be a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible (DEIA) workplace. These are our shared values. We welcome individuals who bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences to be a part of our team to help make a difference individually and collectively as we work toward achieving our mission. We are committed to fostering an environment that is welcoming and respectful and provides opportunities for advancement and professional growth for every team member.

We hope you find a future with us.

Position Description:

In recent years, California forests have been devastated by historical mega-fires, and burned landscapes are at risk of a full-type conversion. The Governor’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force Working Group has identified a reforestation opportunity of ~1.5 million acres across the state. Currently, California state seed banks do not have enough seeds to meet this need. To restore forest resilience in these areas at a meaningful pace and scale, cone collection must rapidly increase. American Forests is working to do so on private and public lands through collaboration with the United States Forest Service Region 5 (USFS R5) and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE) through the Reforestation Pipeline Partnership (RPP) and the development of the California Cone Corps.

The Feather River CA Cone Corps Technician (Technician) will directly contribute to an increase in cone inventory data – which will help inform crop collections. The Feather River RCD CA Cone Corps Technician will receive hands-on experience in the field of reforestation with guidance from industry experts. Additionally, they will contribute to American Forests and Feather River RCD efforts through assistance in administering seed collection contracts and evaluating cone crops. They may also assist American Forests and Feather River RCD team members’ project management by providing feedback on their project’s successes and challenges. Further, they will have opportunities for their own professional development while helping to build the California Cone Corps program.

This position is a great opportunity to build a career in forestry and natural resources. The Technician will work across public and private lands building skills in conifer identification and cone phenology. They may have opportunities to support other landscape-level reforestation efforts or nursery management, when applicable. The selected candidate will gain in-demand skills including contract management, seed collection and saving, seedling production, and reforestation project planning.

Specific Responsibilities:

Monitoring and Inspection (75%)

  • The Technician will support the statewide initiative to fill the state banks to ensure enough seeds are collected to fulfill climate-smart reforestation goals. They will do so through monitoring and reporting viable cone crops on public and private lands. Doing so includes the following:
    • Driving, often offroad, to reach cone crops.
    • Submitting reports through an application to state seed banks.
    • Continually visiting viable cone crops to ensure correct collection timing.
    • Shooting cones down off trees to cut and check viability and noting any insect or other signs of damage.
    • At times, communicate with USFS and CAL FIRE seed bank staff.

Project Implementation (15%)

  • Write contracts for cone collections and help organize the collections.
  • Facilitate cone collections on the ground and help ensure cones reach the nursery safely to be processed.

Project Administration (10%)

  • In addition, the Technician will be responsible for managing programmatic budgets, engaging with other colleagues, and supporting American Forests’ and Feather River RCD’s mission as needed.

Site-Specific Training Provided:

The Technician will develop a professional development plan that aligns with their goals and supports their success with American Forests. The professional development plan will be developed with the site supervisor in conjunction with the American Forests California Cone Corps Manager.

Additionally, the Technician will receive hands-on experience and training in determining seed maturity, insect identification, seed/cone recordkeeping, as well as safety procedures.

Location & Working Conditions:

The Technician position will be based in Quincy, California at the Feather River RCD office. They will be expected to travel and work across forestlands surrounding Plumas County, including but not limited to Plumas, Lassen, Tahoe, and Mendocino National Forests, as well as on private lands within these areas as permissions allow. While they will report to the Feather River RCD office, they will be expected to collaborate with other Resource Conservation Districts in the area as directed by American Forests to support their cone monitoring and collection planning efforts. Shifts may vary depending on the season. Some weekend shifts may be required.

Some office work will also be expected including recordkeeping, contract administration, attending meetings, writing reports, and emailing. At times, responsibilities may take place in a field setting. Most days will be spent in the field where the Feather River RCD CA Cone Corps Technician will be expected to drive, stand, walk, or sit for long periods of time. The work does require lifting materials which may weigh up to 40 lbs. The field setting includes, but is not limited to the following:

1. Varying terrain and dense vegetation (possible exposure to wildlife, ticks, poison oak, and mosquitos), hot, wet, and cold conditions

2. Severely burned landscapes with standing dead trees and little/no shade coverage Reforestation efforts in California have expanded in recent years, in part due to the efforts of American Forests. This rapid growth has led to an increase in job opportunities across the sector. While employment is not guaranteed upon completion of the term, skills gained will be of value to the reforestation industry and to American Forests as our organization continues
to grow.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Forestry, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, or a related field.
  • Ability to work independently and self-manage to maintain productivity within American Forests and Feather River RCD expectations.
  • Valid Class C driver’s license, must be able to drive a rental truck in CA.
  • Experience databasing and/or record keeping.
  • Ability to work well within a team.
  • Ability to commit to the full 675-hour term.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Attention to detail, specifically in regard to project planning and tree, seed, and cone identification.
  • Project planning or management experience.
  • Reforestation project experience including site preparation.
  • Ability to think creatively and problem-solve, with a willingness to find innovative solutions.
  • Strong desire to work in a forest health-related career.

Click here for more information and to apply.

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