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Lake County Resource Conservation District

Lakeport CA

https://www.lakercd.org/

 

Lake County Forest Health and Fire Resiliency

Desired Skills/Traits:

  • Desired Academic Background and Knowledge:

    • Requires at least a 2-yr degree in Natural Resources, Forestry, Ecology, Wildland Fire Science.

  • Primary Skills:

    • Good oral and written communication skills for outreach (bilingual in Spanish a plus)

    • Organization and attention to detail to document work and progress towards deliverables.

    • Ability to apply ecological knowledge to planning in order to address forestry resource concerns.

  • Secondary Skills:

    • Works well with and without supervision, and works well with diverse teams

    • Adaptability and resilience, able to adjust to changing priorities while keeping the “big picture” in mind,

    • Optimistic spirit, positive attitude, and a sense of humor

 

Openings: 1 of 1

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Focus Area: Forestry/Fire

Climate Mitigation & Adaptation; Ecological Forestry; Education & Outreach; Fire Preparedness & Management

project breakdown

Research/Implementation

0%

Planning

50%

Training, Team Building, Documentation

10%

Education & Outreach

40%

Goals & Needs

The Lake County Resource Conservation District (LCRCD) is dedicated to the locally-led, long term sustainable conservation and stewardship of natural resources and agriculture in Lake County, California. LCRCD is a non-regulatory Special District of the State of California that provides conservation assistance to private landowners across Lake County. Originally formed by Congress for soil conservation, the expanded mandate today includes forest and watershed health, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement and restoration, invasive species management, conservation planning, and education. RCDs combine the accountability and transparency of a public agency with the flexibility and non-regulatory approach of a non-profit organization. This nimbleness allows RCDs to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our communities, build trusted relationships, and act as the crucial bridge that connects individuals with state and federal partners and programs. LCRCD works collaboratively with the Lake County governmental bodies, State and Federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations. 

 

Located in the west-central portion of northern California, Lake County lies midway between the Pacific Ocean and the Sacramento Valley. Clear Lake, the oldest and largest natural lake fully within the geographic boundaries of California, sits in the center of the county, surrounded by burned and unburned ridges. The diverse topography of Lake County ranges from level valleys and rolling hills to rugged mountains. Public lands comprise just over half of the County’s acreage. The area experiences hot, dry summers, and cool winters with moderate precipitation.

 

The majority of Lake County is in “Very High” Fire Hazard Severity Zones, according to Cal Fire’s updated assessments. Recent catastrophic fires burned over 532,852 acres, 66% of the total county. In addition, recent USFS reports identified significant conifer mortality due to drought and beetle infestation, and in May of 2022, the Lake County Board of Supervisors declared the pervasive tree mortality a Local Emergency. The State of Emergency was reissued in 2023. All the communities within Lake County lie within the Wildland-Urban Interface, meaning that the population and their properties are at an extreme risk whenever a wildfire occurs. 

 

The objective of LCRCD’s Forestry Department is to promote forest health and wildfire resilience throughout the county. The Fellow will assist in the expansion of LCRCD’s Forestry Department as we strive to assist the community in stewardship of healthy forests and fire resilience. The Fellow will be part of a growing team to build environmental stewardship programs for Lake County.

 

Capacity Building Projects

The Fellow will work with RCD forestry staff and our partner organizations such as NRCS, CAL FIRE, and community Fire Safe Councils in the development of a robust and sustainable community education and outreach program. The outreach and education program will be aimed at the entirety of the county, but specifically focused at reaching our historically underserved populations, including BIPOC communities. Special emphasis will be placed on assisting RCD staff in determining how to more effectively engage and meet the needs of tribal communities within the county. The Fellow will work with the RCD team to develop a database, resources, and response strategy to enable participation in our programs and assist in maintaining ongoing dialog between the RCD and stakeholders, ensuring the forestry and fire needs are being addressed within the community. 

The goal forestry outreach program is:

  • Determining gaps in the RCD’s current programs to meet the needs of the community;

  • Informing Lake County stakeholders of federal, state, local, and RCD programs promoting ecological restoration, forest health, fuels reduction, Traditional Ecological Knowledge,  and prescribed burning;

  • Education on forest health and stewardship, fire resilience, and ecosystem health;

 

Our Fellow will also support forestry staff in current and developing forestry programs focused on providing access to funding opportunities and technical assistance to forest landowners. This includes Lake RCD’s partnership with NRCS, with opportunities to work closely with the NRCS District Conservationist in enrolling forest landowners in cost-share programs.

The Fellow will work with RCD forestry staff in:

  • Conducting preliminary site visits for NRCS clients to discuss land stewardship goals and objectives during pre-application planning, 

  • Follow-up assessments as clients finish an NRCS contract, 

  • Performing forestry inventory data collection and analysis,

  • Developing forest management plans using NRCS prescriptions 

Organizational & Community Highlights

Lake County’s charm lies in the diversity of the ecosystems across the landscape. Residents and visitors have long been drawn by the natural beauty of this county. Population density is low, with fewer than 70,000 residents according to census data. This fosters tight knit community relations. In the aftermath of catastrophic wildfires, Lake County residents came together to support one another in the disaster recovery. This attitude of community responsibility has continued into disaster preparedness, with the formation of neighborhood FireWise committees, a HAM radio alert network used when communication lines are down, and ongoing community involvement in County and local Fire Safe Councils. LCRCD’s Forestry Department serves a wide variety of forest stewards, with diverse stewardship goals. Maintaining and increasing the diversity of stewards involved in LCRCD programs is a key component as our Forestry Department expands. Current clients range from multi-generational sustained yield logging families, to new land owners just entering into forest stewardship. Some goals include: post-fire reforestation of non-industrial timberlands, restoration of oak woodlands, post-fire resilience, and fuels reduction prior to prescribed burning. 

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