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Trinity County Cone Corps Technician – Sierra Nevada Alliance and American Forests
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.
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. SNAP 2022-23 Position Description 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 Trinity County CA Cone Corps Technician (Technician) will directly contribute to an increase in cone monitoring and collection. The Technician will receive hands-on experience in the field of reforestation with guidance from industry experts. Additionally, they will contribute to American Forests, the Watershed Center, and Trinity County RCD efforts through assistance in administering seed collection contracts and evaluating cone crops. They may also assist American Forests, the Watershed Center and Trinity County 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 unique opportunity to be a part of a high-level reforestation project and contribute directly to the needs of California’s forest ecosystems, including post-fire recovery. It is a great chance to build a career in forestry and/or natural resources. The skills that will be gained through this position are in high demand.
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 managers.
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’, the Watershed Center’s and Trinity County 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.
Things to Note:
The Technician position will be based in Weaverville, California at the Trinity County RCD and Watershed Center offices. They will be expected to work across forestlands surrounding Trinity County, including but not limited to Six-Rivers, Shasta-Trinity, and Mendocino National Forests, as well as on private lands within these areas. They will be expected to work with Resource Conservation Districts and nonprofits in the area to support their cone monitoring and collection planning efforts, within reason. 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 Technician will be expected to 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.
- 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 Trinity County 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.
- 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.