Working Title: NE Washington Forest Health Planner and Monitoring Coordinator
DNR Region/Division: Forest Resiliency Division
Current Class Title: Environmental Planner 4
Current Salary Range: 63 Position Number: 7965
Supervisor’s Name and Title: Chuck Hersey, Forest Health Planning Section Manager
Position Status: Seasonal (12-month period)
Work Schedule: Full Time
Address Where Position Is Located (Duty Station): Northeast Region Office, 225 S. Silke Road, Colville, WA 99114 or Home Duty Station (anywhere in the northern half of eastern WA)
DNR Mission: Manage, sustain, and protect the health and productivity of Washington’s lands and waters to meet the needs of present and future generations.
The Forest Resiliency Division is responsible for the assessment, planning, coordination, implementation, and monitoring of forest health related activities across all-lands that work to restore and sustain ecological functions of Washington’s forested landscapes. The Planning, Science, and Monitoring Section provides critical forest health insect and disease monitoring, technical assistance, and planning to analyze forest health and resiliency treatment needs statewide.
The Northeast Forest Health Planner and Monitoring Coordinator will serve as a senior level forest health planner responsible for guiding the development and implementation of forest health multi-party stand and project level monitoring plans in support of the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan Monitoring Framework in eastern Washington and the Forest Action Plan. This position will work collaboratively with relevant DNR staff, federal, state, and tribal partners and external stakeholders to develop, coordinate, implement, and report findings from multi-party stand and project level monitoring plans that assess forest health conditions, prescribed burning effects, mechanical treatment effects and wildfire effects, primarily in eastern Washington.
This position will also be the lead planner working with DNR staff, federal, state and tribal partners, forest collaboratives and external stakeholders to implement the 2020 Forest Action Plan, 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan: Eastern Washington, and the Forest Health Assessment and Treatment Framework across all-lands in priority landscapes in northeast Washington including the Colville National Forest.
Assigned Work Activities (Duties and Tasks)
50% of time – Serves as the senior level forest health monitoring planner coordinating the development and implementation of multi-party stand and project level monitoring plans in support of the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan: Eastern Washington, Forest Action Plan and the Forest Health Assessment and Treatment Framework. Tasks include:
- Coordinate with DNR Forest Health Scientists, DNR Fire Ecologist, DNR Fire Scientist, US Forest Service staff, DNR Service Forestry Staff, DNR state lands staff, tribal staff, conservation districts, and university researchers to understand current stand and project level forest health monitoring efforts. Summarize current DNR and partner forest health monitoring efforts, data collection biennial commitments under House Bill 1168, and highlight key gaps and identify short-term and long-term strategies to fill those monitoring
- Act as the custodian of Forest Health Treatment Unit/Stand Level monitoring protocols. Ensure protocols are updated in line with current science and programmatic monitoring needs. Provide training on monitoring protocol to DNR staff and
- Act as the custodian of collected monitoring data and monitoring database in coordination with Forest Resiliency Science, IT, and GIS Analyst staff. Periodically review, quality check, and clean database to ensure consistent data reporting. Coordinate with the Forest Resiliency IT Manager to ensure DNR staff and partners have adequate monitoring data collection and storage systems and relevant software
- Coordinate training and data collection for DNR’s Treatment Unit/Stand Level monitoring within the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan Monitoring Framework for eastern Washington to gather a detailed view of on-the-ground forest conditions in treatments to evaluate where prescription objectives were met and how treatments have impacted forest health indicators at the stand level that are difficult to measure using remote sensing or modeling (e.g., fuels, density of small trees, snags, understory vegetation). This work requires significant engagement and outreach within DNR as well as with external partners. Treatment/Stand Level monitoring will utilize the Treatment Unit Monitoring Protocol and data collection system developed by DNR, including revision of the protocol over time as
- Support and assist training and data collection for Treatment Unit/Stand Level monitoring in western Washington priority landscapes. Amend the DNR Treatment Unit Monitoring Protocol and data collection system for eastern Washington as needed to suit western Washington monitoring
- Within priority landscapes, develop project level (i.e. watershed) monitoring plans with DNR staff and partners to collaboratively monitor the implementation and effectiveness of landscape- scale forest resiliency projects, inform forest health treatment planning and adaptive management, and integrate into future landscape assessments. Plans include monitoring pre and post treatment conditions, and changed conditions during project implementation such as This position will lead development of project level monitoring plans in northeast Washington, and provide expertise and support to DNR Planners in other geographies.
- Coordinate forest health Treatment Unit/Stand Level monitoring analysis and reporting with relevant DNR staff and partners, including integration into Forest Health Tracker. Prepare a key findings annual report from review of Treatment Unit/Stand Level monitoring analysis to share internally and with partners. Develop a summary of stand and project level forest health monitoring results for the Forest Health Assessment and Treatment Framework legislative report due in December of every even-numbered
- Create monitoring report templates and write monitoring
- Conduct their own forest health monitoring projects (data collection, analysis and reporting), but that will be a minor component of the job. The majority of their time will be spent coordinating the monitoring efforts of others and ensuring monitoring data is analyzed and communicated in a coherent and standardized
- Provide forest health monitoring technical support for DNR staff and partners.
35% of time – Lead coordinated all-lands planning with DNR staff, federal, state and tribal partners, forest collaboratives and external stakeholders to implement the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan: Eastern Washington and the Forest Health Assessment and Treatment Framework in northeast Washington. Tasks include:
- Utilize landscape evaluations and other analyses to understand forest health treatment needs and review proposed projects in priority landscapes, and provide recommendations on necessary actions and investments to move priority landscapes into a resilience condition in coordination with the US Forest Service, tribes, forest collaboratives, DNR programs working on forest resiliency, and other partners.
- Assist in identifying new priority landscapes in northeast Washington based on state/local priorities and outreach to local land managers and
- Coordinate with internal DNR staff and external partners to develop and implement landscape- scale work plans that address identified forest treatment needs for priority landscapes in northeast Washington.
- Represent DNR Forest Resiliency Division on relevant internal and external committees and organizations focused on forest health and implementation such as the Forest Collaboratives, and interagency working groups to further the goals of the Forest Action Plan and 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan: Eastern Washington. Participate in committees by attending meetings, providing relevant content for meetings, providing timely follow-up for relevant post- meeting activities and deliverables, and providing updates to supervisor and other relevant DNR staff on pertinent committee
- Effectively represent science and agency policy while participating in working groups and
- Serve as the primary Forest Resiliency Division liaison to Colville National Forest. Coordinate with Forest Resiliency Division, State Trust Lands, and other DNR staff as needed. Develop official DNR comment letters on Colville National Forest projects in DNR forest health priority planning areas. Develop comment letters in time for adequate review by DNR management prior to comment
- Serve as the primary Forest Resiliency Division liaison to the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition (NEWFC). Attends NEWFC meetings, provides relevant content for meetings, and updates program staff on NEWFC activities.
- Inform utilization of state forest health resources and investments in northeast Washington to fulfill goals of the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan: Eastern Washington, and leverage additional resources. Work with DNR staff and partners to pursue special forest health treatment funding opportunities such as DNR direct investments, Joint Chiefs, Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program, Landscape-Scale Restoration Grants, FEMA hazard mitigation grants, etc. Coordinate grant proposal development with partners and write grant proposals.
- Develop effective communication channels and processes to ensure increased understanding of tribal rights, values, projects, and interests in existing DNR priority landscapes and informing selection of new priority landscapes. Regularly coordinate and communicate with the Natural Resource Department staff of tribal organizations with tribally owned land and interests in northeast Washington.
10% of time – Participate in forest health grant and contract administration. Tasks include:
- Coordinate with DNR competitive grant program awardees, including the Building Forest Partnerships grant program, to develop, manage, execute, and monitor relevant grant agreements and contracts in coordination with DNR Grants and Contract
- Develop, manage, and monitor contracts and agreements to invest resources and facilitate implementation of DNR forest resilience strategic plans in coordination with DNR Procurement, Contracts, and Business staff including: develop initial scopes of work, and budgets, track expenditures and review invoices for payment, ensure terms of contracts and intended deliverables are being met, and conduct compliance monitoring for contract closure.
5% of time – Other duties as assigned. Tasks include:
- Actively participate in the Planning, Science, and Monitoring Section and Forest Resiliency Division team including regular meetings.
- Present and provide input to the Forest Health Advisory Committee as needed.
Effectively incorporate different viewpoints and positions into forest health planning.
Document key viewpoints and identify potential conflicting viewpoints and work with group to resolve conflicts. (Ongoing frequency).
Efficiently track and synthesize feedback for forest health planning documents.
Develop a system to track edits and comments for collaboratively developed documents. (Monthly frequency).
Effectively communicate and represent science and agency policy to external audiences.
Work with DNR Communications staff to develop communication materials. Observe agency peers behavior in various internal and external settings and emulate appropriate communication styles and behaviors. (Ongoing frequency).
Coordinating with partners to develop and implement efficient and meaningful forest health monitoring plans.
Define clear roles and responsibilities to develop and implement monitoring plans for internal and external staff. Ensure commitments are documented in individual staff work plans with supervisor support. (Monthly frequency).
What duties are performed that require the position to make choices, determinations or judgments?
This position is responsible for determining appropriate forest health monitoring plans at the stand and project (watershed level). This will require utilizing professional judgement to determine appropriate monitoring plan components depending on the resource being monitored, monitoring questions being asked, and feedback for DNR staff and external partners. This position is also responsible for incorporating feedback and edits from staff and external partners and stakeholders into forest health monitoring reports.
Which decisions are sent to the next level of supervisor/manager or technical authority for recommendation/decision?
Decisions potentially affecting major agency policy must be reviewed by supervisor.
Potential Impact of Results
Who (citizens, other department/unit personnel, statewide-personnel, etc.) would be impacted and the degree of impact?
If the working relationships with partners in NE Washington including federal, state, local, and tribal agencies as well as forest collaboratives are damaged because of this position’s actions, it can potentially impact DNR’s ability to achieve its forest health goals as our forest health efforts rely on effective partnerships to be accomplished. If this position fails to perform their job correctly, DNR’s priority landscapes in eastern Washington will have reduced opportunities for forest health treatments including risk reduction which directly effects the communities living in or near forests in NE Washington as well as stakeholders who value and use this landscape.
What (dollars, larger systems, processes, other resources, etc.) would be impacted and the degree of impact?
The work this position performs is critical to the successful development and implementation of the Forest Action Plan and the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan. Goal 5 of the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan specifically calls for a for a forest health monitoring program. This job is a critical component of DNR’s forest health monitoring program. If the job is not performed correctly, it could jeopardize the credibility and social license necessary to achieve DNR’s forest health goals as well as potentially impact funding from the WA State Legislature. This position impacts the investment and success of over $2 million in All-Lands Direct Investments, Building Forest Partnership grants bi-annually, while also will directly influence the agency’s ability to secure federal grants including USDA Landscape Resilience Grants (up to $300,000 annually).
Lead Work/Supervisory Responsibilities
Lead Position – Yes Supervisory Position – No
- Assigns work
- Plans work
- Instructs work
- Checks others’ work
General Direction: Completed work is reviewed for effectiveness and expected results.
This position is supervised by the Forest Health Planning Section Manager who provides high-level direction for the work performed by this position. This position will work closely with the 20-Year Forest Health Strategic Plan Coordinator, Forest Health Scientists, Forest Action Plan Coordinator, Community Wildfire Preparedness staff, GIS analysts, DNR Wildfire staff, and DNR State Lands staff to effectively carry out the position’s duties. This position will also work closely with the Forest Resiliency IT Data Manager to ensure DNR staff and partners have adequate monitoring data collection and storage systems and relevant software accounts
Required Education and Experience
A Bachelor’s degree with a major study in natural resources (e.g. natural resource planning, forestry, landscape ecology, fire science, wildlife biology), public policy and administration with an environmental emphasis, geography, or a closely related field
- AND Five (5) years of professional work experience in natural resources planning, forest ecology, silviculture, fire science, landscape ecology, forest management, wildlife management, public policy and administration, geography, or a closely related field relying on the required position knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors.
Demonstrated experience and knowledge in all phases of forest health monitoring: field data collection, data analysis including statistical analysis, sampling methods, creating monitoring plans, and writing engaging monitoring reports that effectively communicate key monitoring results to diverse audiences.
Demonstrated experience with ArcGIS and related software to map and analyze natural resources.
Experience in working with indigenous tribes and First Nations on resource planning and management, and a basic working knowledge of tribal treaty rights with a willingness to continue learning.
DNR Core Competencies:
- Personal Accountability
- Value Others
- Compassionate Communication
- Inspire Others
- Commitment to Excellence
Demonstrated strong organizational and project management skills.
Excellent verbal and written communication skills to convey complex natural resource issues to technical and non-technical audiences.
Ability to lead internal and external forest health working groups as needed to further agency projects and initiatives.
Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a team setting with internal staff and external stakeholders.
Preferred/Desired Education, Experience and Competencies
Knowledge of major forest health issues in the Pacific Northwest and management strategies to address those issues.
Demonstrated ability to obtain grant funding by writing successful grant proposals.
Experience in forest management and/or silviculture.
A Master’s degree with a major study in natural resources (e.g. natural resource planning, forestry, landscape ecology, fire science, wildlife biology), public policy and administration with an environmental emphasis, geography, or a closely related field
- AND Three (3) years of professional work experience in natural resources planning, forest ecology, silviculture, fire science, landscape ecology, forest management, wildlife management, public policy and administration, geography, or a closely related field relying on the required position knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors.
Experience writing and managing grants and writing and managing contracts.
Experience participating and leading multi-stakeholder groups and understanding how to effectively communicate and represent both science and agency policy to external partners.
Experience participating in regional and local natural resource planning efforts.
Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment
Driving Requirements: This position requires driving as an essential function. Essential means that driving is a fundamental, crucial part of this position and not a marginal function. Employees who drive for state business, whether in a state or privately- owned vehicle, are required to possess a valid license as defined in policy PO02-006 and abide by all other driver responsibility requirements.
Work Setting: Work will primarily be in an office setting, with semi-frequent work in the field conducting forest health monitoring and trainings.
Schedule (i.e., days, hours, variations): Generally will work a 40 hour per week schedule. However, the work schedule may vary with travel, trainings and meetings.
Travel Requirements: This position will be required to travel throughout Washington State. Candidate must be able to drive a state vehicle and travel independently to those locations.
Equipment Used: Office equipment, computer use is heavy and frequent. Field monitoring equipment such as D-tapes, clinometers, prism, GPS and tablets will be used frequently.
Hazardous Materials: Common office cleaners, and in the field fuel/oil when driving.
Customers: This position serves a critical role in monitoring, planning, and coordination for DNR Forest Resiliency staff and will provide services in training and monitoring support to external shared stewardship partners.