Columbia River Regional Water Coordinator

Wenatchee, WA, US

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) protects, conserves, and restores the State’s native fish and wildlife populations and their habitats. These properly managed resources provide sustainable fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and other outdoor experiences for millions of residents and visitors. WDFW’s employees are diverse, interdisciplinary, and enjoy the challenges and satisfaction of working in perhaps the Nation’s most beautiful state. Biologists, scientists, enforcement officers, spatial analysts, land stewards, administrators, lab and computer technicians, customer service representatives and others manage hundreds of fish and wildlife species, maintain nearly a million acres of public wildlife lands, provide opportunities for recreational and commercial fishing, wildlife viewing and hunting, protect and restore habitat and create and enforce the laws that protect fish and wildlife resources. Find out more about us and the important work we are a part of at

Columbia River Regional Water Coordinator
(Environmental Planner 4 – Permanent)
The Department of Fish and Wildlife is recruiting to fill one full time, permanent, Columbia Basin Regional Water Coordinator in the job class of Environmental Planner 4. This position plays a lead role in implementing projects to conserve water to protect and enhance instream flows and ensures that out-of-stream water supply projects are consistent with fish and wildlife protection and recovery.  It is also an important member of the state-wide water policy team for the Department and is part of a team working to restore Endangered Species Act-listed salmon, steelhead, and bull trout throughout the Columbia Basin. The position is located in the Habitat Program, Ecosystem Services Division. The duty station for this position is Wenatchee, Ellensburg, Yakima, Ephrata, or possibly elsewhere in central or eastern Washington.

On behalf of the Department, serve as the coordinator and a principal agency contact responsible for ensuring that projects developed and implemented by the Washington Department of Ecology’s Office of Columbia River (OCR) improve instream flows help protect and restore fish and wildlife, including federally protected salmon, steelhead, and bull trout populations. Successful implementation of OCR projects is central to protecting and enhancing instream flows and sound stewardship of water resources, fish, and wildlife in the Columbia Basin.
Primary duties include:

  • Leading and facilitating discussion with tribes, federal and state agencies, local governments, and non-governmental stakeholders to evaluate and implement OCR projects to benefit in- and out-of-stream water supplies consistent with protecting and restoring salmon, steelhead, bull trout, and other fish and wildlife
  • Drafting environmental compliance documents and/or comments on those documents
  • Working across programs and regions to help develop policy-level strategies on Columbia River water use, instream flows, and mitigation
  • Providing oversight of water and land-use permit applications to assure compliance with local, state, and federal laws
  • Negotiating and developing contracts with OCR
  • Preparing and delivering technical and policy-level white paper analyses and/or briefings
  • Helping keep interested parties and the public apprised of key OCR accomplishments for fish and wildlife and opportunities for input on developing projects.

A Master’s degree or above with major emphasis in environmental studies, science, policy, or planning or other field relevant to understanding water law and policy, fisheries, and ecosystem function.
Prefer knowledge of land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, landscape architecture, geography, land use or environmental law, public administration with an environmental emphasis, or closely related field
Three years of professional experience in land use, urban, regional, environmental, or natural resource planning, and/or program development. 
One year of experience as an Environmental Planner 3
The applicant is required to have strong skills in writing, oral communication, project management, and budget management; and the ability to synthesize large amounts of potentially conflicting technical and policy information into actionable guidance and direction. The candidate must be able to:

  • Develop strong relationships with partners including state and federal staff, tribes, OCR staff, non-profit groups, agricultural interests, and county commissioners
  • Assess fish and wildlife habitat needs based on technical studies
  • Demonstrate strong ethics and integrity. Contribute to a culture of inclusiveness, relationship building, open communication, tact, and diplomacy;
  • Build a professional team that is focused on results and accountability;
  • Be resourceful, creative and innovative in problem solving;
  • Demonstrate organizational skills and political and social awareness
  • Develop budgets and negotiate contracts
  • Act as an ambassador for WDFW to the communities in which we work in order to find common ground and resolve concerns in a collaborative manner
  • Demonstrate a commitment to collaborative conservation
Desired Qualifications and Skills
Master’s Degree in environmental science, policy, or planning, or another advanced degree relevant to understanding water law and policy, fisheries, and ecosystem function. Five years of professional experience in environmental or natural resource management, planning, conservation, project management or program development. It would be desirable to have the following skills:
  • Understanding of management principles, including strategic planning, developing and monitoring budgets, program/project management, and conflict resolution.
  • Sound judgment in controversial arenas including fish and wildlife protection and restoration activities.
  • Negotiation skills
  • Decisiveness in the face of conflicting professional opinions, time pressure, controversy, and limited budget
A valid Washington State or other State Driver’s License is required
Experience is based on full time equivalency (i.e., 40 or more hours/week).  Part-time work is prorated (e.g., 20 hours/week for 6 years = 3 years of experience).  Do not count experience that was a part of your educational requirements.
Supplemental Information

The successful candidate must be willing and able to:

  • Work independently in a small office
  • Work occasional long, irregular hours outside of the regular business hours of 8:00 am – 5:00 pm including occasional evenings and weekends.
  • Travel up to five days per month throughout the eastern Washington and occasionally to Olympia for meetings and site visits.
This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the State of Washington, Department of Fish & Wildlife, and the Washington Association of Fish and Wildlife Professionals (WAFWP).  As a condition of employment you must either join the union and pay union dues, or pay the union a representational or other fee within 30 days of the date you are put into pay status.
How to Apply:
To apply for this position you MUST complete your profile at and attach the following to your profile before completing the online application:
  • A cover letter describing how you meet the qualification of this position (generic cover letters will not be accepted)
  • A current resume (please make it succinct)
  • Three professional references (personal references do not count as professional references)
Please note:  Failure to follow the above application instructions will lead to disqualification.  E-mailed documents will not be accepted in lieu of attaching your documents to the online profile.
Upon submission of your online application, you will immediately receive a confirming e-mail.  You will then be notified via e-mail of your status during the process.  In addition to the e-mail notifications, you can check the status of your application at any time by visiting your online profile at  Due to the high volume of applications that we receive, we ask your understanding and encourage you to use the online process and avoid calling for information.   
The Department of Fish and Wildlife is an equal opportunity employer. We strive to create a working environment that includes and respects cultural, racial, and ethnic, sexual orientation and gender identity diversity. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, persons over 40 years of age, disabled and Vietnam era veterans and people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, are encouraged to apply. Persons needing accommodation in the application process or this announcement in an alternative format may call (360) 902-2276 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (360) 902-2207.