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Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority

Los Angeles, CA

Wildfire Prevention and Resilience: Planning and Outreach


Desired Skills/Traits:

  • Desired Academic Backgound:

    • We seek a Fellow with an academic background in conservation, sustainability, ecology, Environmental Science, Environmental Policy, Forestry, Landscape Architecture, or a related field. 

  • We are primarily looking for a Fellow who either has or is interested in developing skills such as:

    • strong communication, 

    • GIS mapping, 

    • collecting and analyzing data, 

    • analyze and track project progress to meet deadlines, 

    • develop community engagement materials,

    • and is interested in learning about wildfire planning and project implementation. 

  • Secondary skills include:

    •  an understanding of wildfire ecology and conservation biology and restoration, although we can provide guidance on these skills. 

    • A basic understanding of native plants, animals, and ecosystems of Southern California is desired. 

    • Bilingual (English/Spanish) is highly desired. 

    • Fellow must have a valid California driver’s license in good standing with a satisfactory driving record. 

    • Training on the science behind wind-driven fire events would be most helpful.

    • Intermediate-level skills with Office 365, technical writing, public speaking, and basic first aid training are needed. The ability to logically organize information and files and follow established systems is required. 

Openings: 0 of 1

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Focus Area: Forestry/Fire

Climate Mitigation & Adaptation, Education & Outreach, Fire Preparedness & Management

project breakdown







Education & Outreach


Goals & Needs


The Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority (MRCA) is a local park agency who manages over 80,000 acres of open space in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties including the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Susana Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, and parkland in the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. MRCA is dedicated to the preservation and management of local open space and parkland, wildlife habitat, coastal access, watershed lands, and trails in both wilderness and urban settings, and to ensuring access to public parkland and coastal resources. The MRCA works in cooperation with the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) and other local partners to acquire parkland, participate in vital planning processes, work towards wildfire resilience, connect wildlife habitat, and complete major park improvement projects. 


Natural resource management, including creating more resilience wildlands and watershed protection, is integral to the work that MRCA does and 80% of the area that MRCA predominantly serves is classified as being in either a High or Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, including some of the most fire-prone areas in the state. The shrubland-dominant region poses a unique problematic fire regime including too frequent fires that are human-caused and wind-driven. The MRCA and SMMC are leading the local efforts for the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity (RFFC) Program to increase regional capacity to develop, prioritize, and implement projects that improve wildland health and fire resiliency, facilitate greenhouse gas emissions reductions, and increase carbon sequestration in forests and wildlands.


The MRCA is looking for a GrizzlyCorps Fellow to support RFFC Program efforts. The Fellow will work under the supervision of the RFFC Program Manager, within the Park Development Division, on tasks ranging from engaging with local agencies and partners, identifying current wildfire community engagement activities and practices, mapping engagement activities documenting important social and environmental resources, and analyzing data to help determine wildfire engagement needs in wildfire-risk communities. One measure that can help communities become more resilient to the effects of wildfire is to modify buildings to be more resistant to ignition (structure hardening). The Fellow will establish a local hardware store community-hardening project to engage with communities and promote wildfire-home hardening practices. Although the RFFC Program and wildfire resilience will be the focus of the Fellow’s work, the MRCA will provide other opportunities for the Fellow to explore their interests in the conservation field as related to to park and watershed improvement projects. 

Capacity Building Projects

Project 1: Wildfire Prevention and Resilience: Planning and Outreach


There are many organizations and agencies working on wildfire resilience projects as part of the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program. The specific agencies directly served will be the SMMC and MRCA, but the RFFC program also includes coordination and funding with local non-profits and Resource Conservation Districts. These include the Elyria Canyon Community Wildfire Resilience Program led by North East Trees, and the Akuutet Learning Nursery led by Community Nature Connection. Regional partners, like Resource Conservation Districts (RCD), are connecting with communities on structure hardening practices. The role of the Fellow is to understand which communities are being engaged, and ensure that vulnerable communities and those who have been historically excluded are included. It is also crucial to understand that even in areas seen as affluent there are language barriers, people lacking resources, and other obstacles preventing engagement. Project activities include building relationships with local land managing agencies, tribes, and nonprofit organizations to identify and map current wildfire community engagement activities and practices, and help determine wildfire engagement needs in at-risk communities. Not every message is compelling to every person, so the Fellow will need to understand how to reach people with differing motivations.


Project 2: Community Hardening Outreach Resources Demonstration Project


Wildfires in the region that MRCA serves are predominantly shrubland wind-driven fires where embers are the primary source of home ignitions. Community hardening is a holistic approach to strategically hardening homes in coordination with community needs and it is a vital way for communities in our region to become more wildfire resilient. Several community engagement efforts for the general public are already underway through Resource Conservation Districts, state, county, and local municipalities, and fire mitigation organizations, such as fire safe councils. For this project, the objective is to build on resources developed by others to create a one-stop-shop for home hardening at a local hardware store. By leveraging existing structure hardening practices and resources, the Fellow will facilitate easier access to community hardening resources with an in-store engagement tool. The Fellow’s tangible end products will directly reach community members susceptible to wildfires. 


Finally, the MRCA will work with the Fellow to develop a project of their choosing based on their interests in conservation and wildfire resilience and connected to an existing MRCA park or Park Development project. This will provide the opportunity to expand on their interest and will cultivate skills for professional development.

Organizational & Community Highlights


As a small public agency, the MRCA has a diverse and supportive team, where each day you are solving unique and exciting problems. Working with MRCA will accelerate your understanding of wildfire and general park planning in Los Angeles, providing professional development and training to prepare for your career in climate action. The Fellow’s home office will be at the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens in Los Angeles, CA. Los Angeles is one of the most diverse areas in the country and lends itself to some of the most challenging and exciting open space and resource preservation projects. Joining our organization, you will have the opportunity to work with the various MRCA Divisions including Park Development, Watershed Planning, Restoration, Construction, and Fire. The work will also include opportunities for public speaking, both formal and informal. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a diverse set of projects that can include Los Angeles River revitalization, urban stormwater capture projects, planning and construction of new natural parks in urban areas, trail planning and development, coastal access projects, and of course restoration and wildfire resilience projects. MRCA works closely with partner agencies, tribes, and local community-based nonprofit organizations. This will be an amazing opportunity for you to learn about conservation projects and programs throughout Los Angeles. There will also be opportunities to participate in advocacy efforts with State government and to build relationships with community-based organizations. 


MRCA’s work culture is flexible. Our Park Development staff work independently in a hybrid model, have flexible time schedules, and provide input on their work priorities. Collaboration with other departments and outside partners is a crucial factor to success, and all projects require creative thinking and the ability to come up with multiple solutions to obstacles. Much of our senior leadership has been with MRCA for over 20 years, providing a great deal of stability and institutional knowledge. Work experience with MRCA often leads to a long career in local government and public service. 

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