Terms: 1.0 FTE, exempt, salary $40-$45,000 annually DOE, paid time off and holidays, health insurance, matching retirement, cell phone stipend, mileage, and flexible schedule including work from home.
Deadline: Open until filled; application review begins Monday, November 25th.
Start Date: January 2020.

Celebrating 26 years of partnerships, the Blackfoot Challenge is a nonprofit organization with the mission to coordinate efforts that conserve and enhance the natural resources and rural way of life in the Blackfoot Watershed for present and future generations. Our Board of Directors is composed of private landowners, public land managers, non-profit partners, local business owners, and other watershed residents. At the Challenge, Board and staff work together with passion and dedication to further community-based conservation.

Position Description:
The Blackfoot Challenge seeks a hardworking and collaborative Forestry and Prescribed Fire Coordinator to coordinate our forest lands conservation program. This position will steer an innovative private lands and cross-boundary prescribed fire program while maintaining a mature program of private lands forestry and fuel reduction projects in the Blackfoot Watershed. The Forestry Coordinator reports directly to the Executive Director and Board Forestry Committee Chair, and works collaboratively with the BC Board and staff, numerous agencies and businesses, and local landowners. This position is also responsible for researching, writing, and reporting on numerous government and foundation grants. The ideal candidate will have highly developed communication skills with an emphasis on listening and learning from landowners and partners to co-generate project-based solutions.

Work Location and Conditions:
The Forestry Coordinator will provide on-site services in Ovando, MT and throughout the Blackfoot Watershed. Travel is required for field work throughout the watershed, attendance at monthly Blackfoot Challenge Board of Directors meetings, and other committee meetings in the watershed and surrounding area. The Forestry Coordinator will have a flexible schedule and must be comfortable working from home with minimal supervision.

Position knowledge, experience, and abilities:
• Knowledge of forest ecology and fuels management practices used in conifer forests and rangelands in the Northern Rockies.
• Experience in forestry, wildfire management, prescribed fire, and community engagement.
• Abilities:
o Can secure funding for project work;
o Can work independently with minimal supervision;
o Can collaborate with multiple parties to implement small acreage and large landscape scale vegetation and prescribed fire treatments. Requires using innovative and creative approaches and a solid grounding in forest ecology and fire science; o Can work with a variety of individuals including federal and state employees who administer grants and conduct fuels management work, landowners who need advice and assistance in designing and contracting vegetation treatments, and contractors who implement vegetation management treatments using conventional forest harvest practices, specialized thinning equipment and prescribed fire/planned ignitions;
o Must be able to set aside ego and approach fuels reduction and prescribed fire with creativity, maturity, and the deepest respect for carefully thought out projects.

Blackfoot Hazardous Fuel Reduction Program Coordination (45%)
• Assist private landowners in the design and implementation of fuel reduction and forest health improvement projects and inspect completed projects for compliance with grant requirements.
• Oversee fuel reduction cost-share programs and connect landowners with appropriate costshare funding mechanisms and contractors.
• Research and prepare grant requests and grant reporting requirements to support private lands forestry projects.
Prescribed Fire Program Coordination (45%)
• Coordinate the Blackfoot Prescribed Fire Working Group and oversee the prescribed fire costshare program.
• Work closely with The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other partners to continue development of private lands prescribed fire program, including burn planning and implementation.
• Assist private landowners in the design and implementation of prescribed burns. Connect landowners with appropriate cost-share funding mechanisms and contractors; inspect completed projects for compliance with grant requirements.
• Coordinate or host workshops and educational events on prescribed fire topics for community members and landowners.
• Research and prepare grant requests and grant reporting requirements to support prescribed fire in the Watershed.
Forestry Committee Coordinator (5%)
• Work closely with the Chairman of the Forestry Committee to determine direction and implementation for committee activities.
• Convene and facilitate annual or semi-annual Forestry Committee meetings to report on deliverables and provide a forum for project collaboration and communication.
• Participate in community tours and presentations, and produce materials that highlight partnerships programs and projects in the watershed.
Agency Coordination (5%)
• Work in partnership with the USDA Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Natural Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS), Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (MTFWP), the University of Montana and Lubrecht Forest (UM), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) for conservation/stewardship projects across multiple parcels.

Required Qualifications:
• Minimum 5 years’ experience in forestry/natural resource management.
• Bachelor’s degree in forestry, silviculture, natural resource management, or similar field.
• Fieldwork experience in forestry, fire, or ecology in western Montana forest types.
• Wildland or prescribed fire experience as FFT1 or FFT2.
• Candidate must place high value on collaboration and have the ability to communicate effectively with private landowners, federal and state agency partners, and contractors.
• Strong written and verbal communication skills.
• Willingness and desire to be a team player within a collaborative, respectful, and solutions- and growth-oriented work culture.
• GIS skills: proficient in ArcGIS; able to create maps for planning or use in the field, collect geospatial data, digitize shapefiles from imagery, and send geospatial data to granting agencies.
• Technology: proficient in the use of Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel, and cloud-based systems like Box.
• Ability to work long hours outside in all weather conditions, walk 3+ miles over uneven terrain, and lift 50lbs.
• Travel required; must possess a valid driver’s license and personal vehicle.

Preferred Qualifications:
• Specialized experience in or knowledge of forest harvest practices.
• Experience preparing burn plans (NWCG, TNC or other).
• Familiar with Montana Streamside Management Zone laws, Best Management Practices, and MEPA/NEPA processes.

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter and resume in one combined pdf document to Sydney at with subject line of “Forestry Coordinator Application.” Make sure to detail prescribed fire operations experience.

Questions about the position may be directed to Sydney at

The Blackfoot Challenge will conduct background checks on all final candidates, and offers of employment are contingent upon those results. In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at the Blackfoot Challenge will be based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. The Blackfoot Challenge does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices because of race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, military status, or mental or physical disability.