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Agriculture Conservation Specialist [ACS] (Forestry Program Concentration)

INTRODUCTON:

This position is located primarily in the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service’s [hereinafter NRCS] Hackettstown Service Center but may require assignment to the Morris County Soil Conservation District office. The NRCS works in cooperation with the Morris County Soil Conservation District to provide technical and financial assistance to farmers and private landowners, to encourage the implementation of conservation practices designed to address natural resource issues. The specialist assists the NRCS District Conservationist and Soil Conservationist in carrying out a coordinated soil and water conservation program in the north western NJ. The ACS is responsible for application, planning, follow-up and maintenance work for preliminary and single-practice phases that are scheduled in the conservation farm plan under the direction and supervision of the District Conservationist.  The ACS will have a concentration on the forestry related practices and planning for the USDA Farm Bill programs.

MAJOR DUTIES:

Develops and carries out schedules for conservation practice implementation and follow up work for the USDA Farm Bill Programs such as Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), with an emphasis on forestry planning, applications, and practices. This position assists with program implementation as assigned by, and under the direction and supervision, of the District Conservationist. The specialist will be expected to assist the public with the development of conservation plans, financial assistance contracts and ensuring implementation of these plans and contracts. The major duties of the position are as follows.

  • Assists with the review of forest management plans to ensure that they meet NRCS standards and specifications.
  • Utilizes NRCS tools and software to plan practices identified in approved forest management plans.
  • Oversees implementation of approved conservation practices on private forestland.
  • Serves as project manager for assigned financial assistance contracts.
  • Works to obtain Job Approval Authority for forestry related conservation practices as determined by NRCS.
  • Conducts sites visits and provides trip reports to the District Conservationist or designee.
  • Other duties as assigned.

The successful candidate will work with landowners on the application of various types of Federal and State Financial Assistance Programs and practices on agricultural and private lands in the work area. This individual makes initial contacts with landowners and provides technical assistance in the layout, installation, and maintenance of conservation practices called for in plans and contracts. The position develops conservation plans and financial assistance contracts in cooperation with the NRCS District Conservationist. Informing supervisors of modifications in contracts that affect financial assistance allotment is an important function of this position. Determines need and site location, survey and designs, stakes out and supervises installation on contracted items and certifies performance on referrals to the district conservationists.

Minimum Qualifications

  1. A Bachelor’s Degree or higher from an accredited educational institution with a concentration in; Forestry, Engineering, Ecology, Environmental Science, Wildlife Biology, Agronomy, Soil Science, and/or other Natural Resources Management disciplines.
  2. A valid New Jersey driver’s license.

Additional Desired Qualifications (desired but not required)

  1. An understanding of forestry, conservation, or agriculture practices or related working experience.
  2. Understanding of invasive species management.
  3. Ability to communicate with members of the public in a professional and respectful manner.
  4. Experience with Geographic Information System (GIS).
  5. Ability to work independently and manage multiple projects at once.
  6. Strong customer service skills.
  7. Plant identification skills related to forest plants.
  8. Wildlife planning experience.

This position requires the ability to recognize when revisions to forestry plans, farm conservation plans and financial assistance contracts are needed and recommends major changes in plans to the district conservationist, furnishing data supporting the recommendation and facilitating the revision of the plans and contracts. The successful candidate will be able to successfully complete training and work towards obtaining their NRCS Certified Conservation Planner designation.  This position complies with and adheres to all Federal policies and policies of the Morris County Soil Conservation District. The ACS will be overseen by the District Conservationist while detailed to the USDA NRCS Field Office and by the District Manager while working for the Morris County Soil Conservation District office.  The Morris County Soil Conservation District Manager will serve as the ACS functional supervisor.

To apply or for more information, please e-mail Jacqueline Connelly at jconnelly@mcscd.org.  Please include your resume and cover letter as part of your application.