Nature & Purpose of the Position
Pierce Conservation District is seeking a full-time Habitat Improvement Program Director to lead an exciting new era of our work to restore habitat that is vital to the health and wellbeing of fish and wildlife, as well as the people of Pierce County. This position will be part of the District’s Leadership Team and will help us achieve our long-term vision of creating thriving ecosystems that support native habitat for healthy populations of salmon, orca, and other wildlife, while also creating greater resiliency to climate change and helping achieve our environmental justice goals. This position will lead current staff working to restore both freshwater riparian and marine habitat and will also co-create positions and hire new team members to help deliver the habitat goals of the District’s new 5-year Strategic Plan.
This position will be leading the Habitat Team’s effort to implement our next major restoration projects and helping create a pipeline of future projects both large and small. This position will help realize the vision for our Habitat Program by working with a broad range of local partners, including but not limited to local Tribes, divisions of Pierce County government, state agencies, non-profits, and local landowners. The Habitat Improvement Program Director will have a profound impact on our programming, our organization, and most importantly, our community.
About Pierce Conservation District
Pierce Conservation District is government that works. Our mission is to equitably support community-driven solutions to our most pressing local environmental challenges. We work strategically and passionately to conserve and restore the natural resources of Pierce County. Our work improves both rural and urban communities to benefit the health and well-being of our citizens. We work in six core program areas: Water Quality Improvement, Farm Assistance, Habitat Restoration, Urban Agriculture, Environmental Education, and Climate Resiliency. When you join the Pierce Conservation District staff, you join a team of talented and committed people who are mission-driven and care deeply about improving our environment and our community. The Pierce Conservation District practices equity and inclusion by listening and learning from our valued and diverse communities and being ready to adapt and design more intentional or additional support so that we are equitable in the delivery of our programs and services.
Pierce County includes 1,806 square miles of ceded lands of four Federally recognized Tribes: the Puyallup Tribe, the Nisqually Tribe, the Muckleshoot Tribe, and the Squaxin Island Tribe. We recognize that the traditional and current homelands of these Tribes and their territorial lands, waters, and air are contiguous and transcend U.S. government-established boundaries. This means the quality and abundance of the County’s natural resources directly affects the quality and abundance of natural resources of Tribal Nations. While Pierce Conservation District does not hold federal trust responsibilities, we work to conserve natural resources that are the foundation of a Tribes’ rights to their ceded land. We practice equity by understanding the historical and cultural context of the land we steward, and the people, cultures, and communities the health of the land impacts. By working to restore habitat that is vital to traditional food gathering and cultural practices, this position will help lead the way in our efforts to honor Tribal Treaty Rights. To read our full Equity and Tribal Treaty Statements and learn more about these initiatives, please review our 2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan.
Primary Job Responsibilities
The primary responsibility of the Habitat Improvement Program Director is to set the direction, develop, and manage programming of the Habitat Improvement Program to ensure alignment to District’s mission, the 2021 – 2026 Strategic Plan, and effective and equitable program delivery. The successful candidate must have strong program and project management skills, have a strategic mindset, and be a proven leader. The Habitat Program Director reports directly to the Executive Director, and is responsible for the following:
- Managing the District’s Habitat Improvement program by providing support to program staff, and developing, coordinating, and leading habitat restoration projects.
- In partnership with executive leadership, developing the vision for the future of the District’s habitat restoration efforts in terms of programs, projects, and staff, and implement that vision.
- Leading a GIS-based Habitat Prioritization process to target our work to the areas of greatest need and impact.
- Leading major restoration projects through grant funding, design, permitting, subcontracting, implementation, and long-term maintenance
- Leading the expansion of our City Forest Credits carbon credit program through development of projects that fight climate change through carbon sequestration.
- Elevating awareness of the importance of this work as it relates to Tribal Treaty Rights and food sovereignty.
- Hire, train, manage, and mentor staff.
- Ensure program operations and activities adhere to legal guidelines and internal policies.
- Representing the District on local and regional planning/partnership committees such as Floodplains by Design, Salmon Recovery Lead Entity, Local Integrating Organizations, and the Puget Sound Conservation District caucus habitat working group.
- Effectively communicating and promoting the District’s mission, values, culture of inclusivity, and the impact of the Habitat Team’s work.
- Work with our cross-program Data Team to implement data and output-based evaluation strategies to monitor program/project performance and determine adaptive management needs.
- Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director from time to time.
Secondary Job Responsibilities
- Respond to public inquiries related to habitat and habitat restoration; conduct or delegate site visits and provide recommendations on best management practices.
- Manage contracts, scheduling, and billing with the Washington Conservation Corps crew and crew-share partners.
- Perform or delegate annual monitoring of Pierce County’s In-Lieu Fee sites; participate in development of future ILF sites as needed.
- Contribute articles, photos, and other content to the District’s Tahoma View newsletter, website, and social media accounts.
- Participate in one of the District’s cross-programmatic teams (Equity, Data, Sustainability, Communications, Wellness & Encouragement).
- Manage assigned partner and jurisdictional relationships.
At a minimum, the person in this position must have a bachelor’s degree with academic training in environmental, natural sciences, or related fields. At least 10-years of experienceworking in habitat restoration or a related field, as well as experience working with Tribal partners, public agencies, and private landowners. Experience could also be a minimum of 5-years in habitat restoration and 5-years in a leadership role. Proven project, program, and team management experience is also required. Candidates should have a thorough and comprehensive understanding of Puget Sound ecosystems, riparian environments, and salmon ecology.
The ideal candidate will have excellent team leadership skills, attention to detail, ability to lead and manage multiple projects at different stages of development, and the ability to clearly communicate the impacts of our work to the public, partners, and elected officials.
Additionally, the person in this position should be a high-achieving, hard-working, self-motivating individual who is committed to protecting Pierce County’s natural resources. Other qualifications for this position include:
- Experience managing major restoration projects, including grant writing, design, permitting, cultural resources review, subcontracting, and implementation.
- Experience in leadership of programs, projects, staff, and volunteers.
- Track record of implementing projects that have multi-benefit outcomes such as farms – fish – floods, and/or equity and climate resiliency.
- Demonstrated ability to work both independently and in highly collaboratively settings with multiple jurisdictions and organizations to achieve a common goal.
- Knowledge of a broad range of soil and water conservation and environmental principles, techniques, and methods, and demonstrated ability to apply and install habitat restoration practices which involve complex and diverse ecological interactions.
- Sound knowledge of and experience identifying plant species endemic to western Washington, as well as common invasive weed species.
- Dedication to equity and environmental justice goals.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills to address groups, to prepare and explain restoration plans, write informational articles, and to prepare summary work reports.
- Proficiency in standard business software suites such as Microsoft Office.
- Ability to work closely and collaboratively with others in a public office environment and in a remote work setting.
- Self-motivated, ability to organize and plan own schedule of activities related to work plan goals approved by the Executive Director.
- Ability to maintain accurate records regarding time-keeping and authorized expenses.
- Honesty, integrity, and commitment to excellence.
- Service oriented attitude and constructive problem-solving skills.
- Interest in delivering programs using community centered design concepts.
- Familiarity with ArcGIS Online.
- Understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion and how to implement programs equitably.
- Flexible and able to work well under pressure.
- Ability to develop a positive working relationship with a variety of people including landowners, elected officials, staff and community volunteers.
- Successful experience working independently and in groups in both office and field settings.
Physical Requirements and Working Conditions
This position works in office and outdoor environments, with occasional travel to a variety of locations to conduct work and may be exposed to typical hazards encountered at such work sites. This is a full-time position consisting of 40 hours/week. Position will require the flexibility to work community hours, not just traditional work hours. This includes some work on Saturdays and evenings.
Licenses, Certificates & Other Requirements
Valid Washington State driver’s license at time of appointment with maintenance thereafter, or evidence of equivalent mobility.
- Supplemental Information
Compensation & Benefits
This is a fulltime, exempt Director level position, with an annual salary between $77,024 – $84,726, depending on qualifications and experience. Benefits include retirement, 100% of premiums paid for medical/dental/vision for you and your dependents as well as accrued paid sick leave, annual leave, 10 paid holidays per year, District paid state family medical leave premium, an ORCA card and a training budget.
Pierce Conservation District?is?an equal opportunity employer, and we make an effort to recruit people of color and individuals from diverse backgrounds to apply for open positions.
Visit www.piercecd.org/Jobs.aspx and within the Habitat Improvement Program Director job description follow the “Apply Now” link and fill out the form, attaching both a cover letter and resume complete with three (3) professional references.
Application Process: Applications will be reviewed by a diverse hiring panel of District leadership and key partners to the Habitat Program. The panel will make recommendations for candidates to be interviewed starting June 23rd, with initial interviews with the hiring panel scheduled the week of June 28th. The hiring panel will make recommendations to the District’s executive leadership for follow up interviews for finalists. The position will remain open until filled.
Interviews will be 30 – 60 minutes, and will consist of questions from each of the panelists to inform the panel of experience and knowledge in habitat restoration, supervising a staff team, grant writing, commitment and contribution to our equity goals, and other topics. The interview is also the candidate’s opportunity to ask the panel probing questions to gauge if the District and the position is a good fit for them.
Position open until filled. First review of applicants is: June 23, 2021
First round of interviews: to be scheduled week of June 28, 2021
Projected Start Date: August 1, 2021
Allan Warren, Communications & Development Director