The Sagebrush Ecosystem Alliance (SEA) is a geographically focused effort that will emphasize enhancing conservation of sagebrush ecosystems across 1.1 million acres of Sage-grouse Priority Habitat Management Area in Northwestern Utah, and potentially portions of Southern Idaho/Northern Nevada Sagebrush Focal Areas.
The SEA will provide a field-based effort for disseminating and implementing best management practices based on the best available science and on-the-ground expertise. The SEA coordinator will work with a wide array of stakeholders [local land owners, grazing permittees, local governments, interested publics, Utah State University experts, the Utah Community-Based Conservation Program (CBCP), Utah State University Extension (EXT), National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF ), Stewardship Alliance of Northeast Elko County, Box Elder Coordinated Resources Management (CRM), Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) biologists, the Utah Grazing Improvement Program (UGIP), the local Natural Resources Conservation Service Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) program, the BLM, and other entities] in the conservation and management of the sagebrush ecosystem.
Specifically, the SEA Coordinator will accelerate the delivery of technical and partnership assistance to implement conservation practices that will enhance landscape level diversity and benefit multiple species that use the sagebrush ecosystem, management actions will include: wet meadow restoration, controlling expanding conifers, reducing wildfire risk, invasive species control, and coordinating the planning and implementation of appropriate grazing practices and range structural improvements, among other projects.
The SEA Coordinator will be a fully benefited employee of Utah State University under the direct supervision of Dr. Eric Thacker. Dr. Thacker and the SEA Coordinator will coordinate job responsibilities with a SEA Advisory Board composed of SEA partners (BLM, NRCS, SGI, UGIP, Box Elder CRM, DWR and other cooperating agencies). The SEA Coordinator job responsibilities will include the identification, implementation, and evaluation of projects stated above that are related to conservation priorities in the SEA Focus Area. The successful candidate must be able to communicate and engage local landowners to identify potential project opportunities and then work closely with the coordinating agencies to plan, implement and evaluate the conservation impacts of the projects proposed and completed. To accomplish these tasks the SEA Coordinator will be directly involved with the identification, planning and implementation of projects as well as development of funding proposals for specified projects. The SEA coordinator may also need to assist BLM in preparation NEPA documents as part of the proposed projects. Most work will be directed toward conservation priorities including, but not limited to: conifer removal; restoration of wet meadow complexes; grazing management; invasive species control; and management and developing multi-allotment grazing systems. The SEA Coordinator will work with the stakeholders to develop thresholds and responses for sagebrush-obligate habitats to support the BLM grazing permit renewal process, in addition to assisting in developing grazing permit terms and conditions for actions needed to meet or make progress toward meeting habitat objectives for sage-grouse and other sagebrush-obligate species.
Required Skills and Experience:
- MS Degree (or commensurate experience) in Rangeland Science or related field (i.e. Wildlife, Agriculture, or Watershed Sciences)
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and as a team member
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Four or more years of demonstrated experience and success in planning and carrying out rangeland and/or wildlife habitat improvement projects or programs.
- Ability to act as a liaison between federal, state, university, and county clientele
- Working knowledge and experience with livestock grazing management
- Understanding of sage-grouse and other sagebrush obligates ecology
- Demonstrated proficiency in data collection, data base management and data analysis
- Demonstrated proficiency in rangeland and habitat monitoring techniques
- Familiarity with dealing with cost-share type agreements (i.e. NRCS)
Preferred Skills and Experience:
- Three years or more of demonstrated experience conflict resolution or facilitation experience.
- Skills and experience with grant writing
- Experience developing extension and outreach materials (Fact sheets, bulletins and multimedia resources.)
- Skills and experience with implementing applied research activities
- Strong plant identification skills
- Strong GIS skills
- Familiarity with Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative
- Familiarity with NRCS Sage-grouse Initiative process
- Familiarity with Utah Department of Agricultural and Food Grazing Improvement Program
- Experience in operating and care for 4×4 trucks and ATV’s
The Sea Coordinator will be required to travel extensively throughout the SEA Focus area to meet with stakeholders, attend meetings, conferences, site visits, and field tours. This travel can involve over nights stays. The candidate should also expect to work in remote locations alone for extended period s of time often in variable and extreme weather conditions.