Special Uses Resource Assistant-Tonto National Forest
Title: Special Uses Resource Assistant-Tonto National Forest (1 position)
Start/End Date: February 15, 2021 – September 24, 2021 (anticipated)
Term: 32 weeks
Reports To: Devin Quintana, Public Services Staff Officer
Location: USFS Tonto NF Supervisor’s Office (2324 E McDowell Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85006). *Due to COVID-19, telework will be expected with the potential for occasional office work.
Status: 1200-hour AmeriCorps Service Term
Benefits: Health Insurance eligible. AmeriCorps Education Award $4,336.50 after successful completion of the internship. Two-year certificate of noncompetitive hiring eligibility and Direct Hiring Authority (DHA) through the USFS Resource Assistant Program (RAP)*
Arizona Conservation Corps (AZCC) is partnering with Tonto National Forest to provide a 32-week paid, professional Resource Assistant opportunity that will work with the Forest’s Special Uses program. The Special Uses program oversees and administers a vast array of both recreational and non-recreational Special Use authorizations for activities such as hunting, fishing, rafting, lodging services, special group events, the use of lots for vacation houses, as well as for communication infrastructure, transmission lines, transportation corridors, water developments and agricultural improvements. These Special Uses authorizations enable a wide range of public services that directly support local communities and thousands of jobs, from large-scale energy and communication transmission to small-scale outfitters and guides. Processing and administering these permits is time-intensive and the intern's work will be crucial to the Tonto National Forest's efforts to meet local needs and demands, and will allow the Forest to better meet public expectations and facilitate important mission-critical projects brought forward by important partners.
The selected Resource Assistant (RA) will have the opportunity to cultivate their skillset within the Special Uses program by: assisting the Forest with the processing of Special Use authorizations for permits, leases, rights-of-way, easements, power lines, pipelines, communication site activity, fiber optic, filming, apiary, etc.; working with applications for new authorizations; assisting in the re-issuance of authorizations; and assisting with the closing of expired authorizations. The RA will also have opportunities for exposure to and the chance to interact with the Forest’s Environmental Specialists, Wildlife Biologists, Archaeologists, Hydrologists, Engineers, Recreation Specialists, Forest Planners, etc.
All tasks will have COVID-19 mitigation strategies to reduce the spread in the local community. The intern must be willing to adhere to current CDC standards, in addition to USFS/Tonto National Forest and Conservation Legacy COVID-19 Policies and Procedures. No housing is available for this position. This position will require remote work, with occasional office work.
Essential Responsibilities and Functions:
· Process new special use applications and amend existing special use authorizations.
· Become familiar with current Tonto NF priority special use authorizations.
· Understand NEPA requirements as they apply to specific Tonto NF special use authorizations.
· Coordinate with Tonto NF resource specialists to complete resource impacts and analysis for priority projects.
· Coordinate with potential applicants or current permit holders to screen requests.
· Complete trainings in the Special Uses Database System (SUDS) and other assigned trainings.
· Enter data into and update SUDS as necessary.
· Utilize Mercury correspondence program and ArcGIS/ArcMap as necessary.
· Issue and amend permits as needed.
· Perform other duties as assigned to gain exposure to the work of the USDA Forest Service.
· Pursuing or holding an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in natural resource management, environmental planning, forestry, watershed management, recreation management, geography, business, realty, or a related field.
· Ability to communicate clearly and interact with the public, user groups, and agency staff.
· General computer skills including Microsoft Office Suite.
· Ability to take initiative and work alone or in small groups with minimal supervision.
· Applicants must pass a criminal history background check and should possess a valid driver’s license with a clean driving record.
· Proficiency in written and verbal communication.
· Strong organizational skills.
· To successfully perform essential functions, the individual is required to sit, stand, walk, speak, hear, etc. May be required to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl for significant periods of time and be able to safely lift 50 pounds on a routine basis.
· Field work may require walking and climbing in steep, uneven terrain, exposure to adverse weather and insects, and performing physical labor. Work is performed outdoors where there is exposure to extremes of weather and temperature, in both established administrative areas and wilderness areas.
· Ability to remain adequately hydrated, fed, and properly dressed to remain generally healthy and safe, avoiding environmental injuries.
· Reasonable accommodations may be made for qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Participation and Expedition Behavior:
· Contribute to a safe learning environment, no harassment of others for any reason.
· Work effectively as a member of a team despite potentially stressful and difficult conditions.
· Willingness and ability to complete all aspects of the program.
· Appropriately represent AmeriCorps, Arizona Conservation Corps, and the U.S. Forest Service at all times, including properly wearing the agency uniform.
Safety and Judgement:
· Effectively communicate danger to others in the form of either a warning of dangers others may be encountering or a notification of personal distress, injury, or need of assistance. Must be able to do so at a distance of up to 50 meters and in conditions with limited visibility or loud background noise such as darkness or high winds.
· Assigned duties will require the use of safety equipment such as tools, gloves, goggles, face cover and face shield, and hard hat.
· Effectively perceive, understand and follow direction by others so that you will be able to successfully execute appropriate and perhaps unfamiliar techniques to manage hazards. These directions may be given before the hazard is encountered or may need to be given during exposure to the hazard. Ability to respond appropriately to stress or crises that may arise.
· Stay alert and focused for several hours at a time while traveling and working in varied weather conditions.
· If taking prescription medications, participants must be able to maintain proper dosage by self-medicating without assistance from others.
· Learn, practice, and communicate “Leave No Trace” techniques.
· In accordance with a drug free workplace, alcohol and drugs are prohibited while participating in AmeriCorps and program activities and while on organization property.
*The USFS Resource Assistant Program (RAP) is a rigorous, immersive, paid internship providing developmental and training opportunities for individuals interested in learning more about Forest Service careers. After completing a minimum of 960 hours of satisfactory work and an associate degree, RA’s may acquire a two-year certificate of noncompetitive hiring eligibility. The certificate enables participants to apply to internal merit announcements for qualifying permanent General Schedule FS positions.
To Apply: Please submit an updated resume and cover letter and three professional references along with the online application at https://azcorps.org/ipopenings. If you have questions, contact AZCC’s Individual Placement Support Coordinator Preston Sands through the AZCC website.