resource conservation district
Building Fire-Adapted Forests and Assessing Watershed Health
Interest/experience in forestry, prescribed fire, hydrology, water
Written and verbal communication (collaboration/outreach)
timber, forest operations, irrigation, agricultural engineering
Ability to work in challenging outdoor environments
Interested in supporting rural communities
Openings: 0 of 1
*This position has been filled*
Focus Area: Forestry/Fire
Climate Mitigation & Adaptation, Ecological Forestry, Regenerative Agriculture, Watershed Management, Fire Preparedness & Management, Education & Outreach
Education & Outreach
Goals & Needs
The Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District (SVRCD) is based out of Yreka, California, and serves central Siskiyou County from south of Mount Shasta to the Oregon Border. Our two departments focus on forestry, fuels, prescribed fire management and water quality, streamflow monitoring, and irrigation. The communities that we serve are certified disadvantaged areas and have been and continue to be deeply impacted by wildfires, drought, and climate change. The Forestry department focuses on landscape-level forest health and adaptive wildfire resilience. This includes managing over 3,000 acres of CalFire fuel reduction grants, working in collaboration with the United States Forest Service (USFS) on cross-boundary forest restoration projects, and helping manage the Siskiyou Prescribed Burn Association. The Water Quality department works on monitoring groundwater and water quality in the Shasta, Sacramento, Klamath, and McCloud watersheds by working with local ranchers and agencies to monitor agricultural runoff, monitoring streamflow for successful salmonid spawning, and collecting data from stream gages and groundwater wells.
The GrizzlyCorps member would share their time between the Forestry and Water Quality departments. For the forestry work, the member could expect to spend time conducting pre and post-treatment data collection and photo points, developing social media and educational outreach for forest health and prescribed burning, engaging with landowners and managers during site visits to project areas, and building capacity for the Siskiyou Prescribed Burn Association by prepping burn units, increasing community engagement and educational outreach and participating in prescribed burns. For the water quality department, the member would spend time in the field monitoring stream gages, attending water quality meetings, and compiling groundwater and water quality data to share as ongoing outreach to agencies and the local ranching community. The work that the GrizzlyCorps member would help with is essential to help underserved communities adapt to a changing climate and increase resiliency to impacts that threaten rural survivability and prosperity such as wildfire and drought.
Capacity Building Projects
West Mount Shasta Forest Resiliency Project: This project includes fuel reduction and forest restoration treatments on private lands west of the town of Mount Shasta. This project is working in conjunction with a large USFS fuel reduction and restoration project adjacent to the project area. The GrizzlyCorps member would coordinate with landowners to cohesively plan and implement treatment prescriptions and contribute to the development of a Demonstration Forest on a preserve owned by the Siskiyou Land Trust.
Siskiyou Prescribed Burn Association: The SVRCD has partnered with five other local organizations, the Mid Klamath Watershed Council (MKWC), the Scott River Watershed Council (SRWC), the Quartz Valley Indian Reservation (QVIR), and Torchbearer to conduct prescribed burns on private landowners’ properties in Siskiyou County. The GrizzlyCorps member would be instrumental in assisting with community outreach and education for this partnership, help with landowner relations, planning and burn unit preparations, fire training and workshops, and implementing the prescribed burns themselves.
Cross-Boundary Good Neighbor Authority Fuel Reduction Projects: The SVRCD is partnering with industrial timber companies, CalFire, Klamath National Forest, Siskiyou County, and Oregon State University on landscape-scale cross-boundary fuel reduction and forest restoration projects west of Yreka. The GrizzlyCorps member would support this work by establishing and measuring monitoring plots to assess treatment effectiveness as well as helping conduct site visits when the contractors are working. They would also interpret results and benefits into public education and outreach materials.
Water Quality and Groundwater Data Collection and Outreach: The SVRCD conducts site visits to monitor the water quality and TMDL of the Shasta River every three weeks, collects the data, performs routine maintenance, and inputs the data into a master spreadsheet. Data is also collected on groundwater levels through CIMIS reports. However, none of this information is distributed to the local ranchers in a timely manner so that they can make decisions based on the current water level. The GrizzlyCorps member would be instrumental in compiling all this data and distributing it on a monthly basis to the local ranchers so they can be informed on current groundwater levels and water quality. This would help the SVRCD and the ranching community better adapt to climate change and drought conditions through more sustainable and informed water use. The project outcome would be a reliable and replicable way of communicating with the ranchers through a monthly pamphlet/newsletter.
Organizational & Community Highlights
The SVRCD is a special district of the state that serves central Siskiyou County, California’s northernmost county. The SVRCD’s district includes the Klamath watershed and all its minor tributaries from the California State line near Keno to below Happy Camp, the entire portion of the Applegate River in California, the lower end of the Scott River, the entire Shasta watershed, and the Siskiyou County portions of the Sacramento watershed, McCloud watershed, and Fall River watershed. This wide range of ecosystems and communities allows the SVRCD to work on diverse projects with a variety of stakeholders. The primary industries of Siskiyou County are timber, agriculture, rangelands, and tourism. The Water Quality team works with agricultural producers and state and federal agencies on projects that monitor and manage streamflow, agricultural flow, groundwater, and fish habitat. The Forestry team works with the USFS, CalFire, private industrial timber companies, local environmental organizations, and smaller private landowners to implement landscape-scale fuels reduction, fuel breaks, forest and meadow restoration, and prescribed fire.
Working for the SVRCD will provide an opportunity to understand all the steps to manage conservation projects from acquiring the grants, completing the environmental assessments, conducting the planning and outreach, and implementing and monitoring the projects. The Grizzlycorps member will learn the process of implementing large-scale projects, how to monitor and collect relevant data, and ultimately, how to work with diverse and oftentimes conflicting stakeholders to collaborate and find the best solution for the project priorities and the communities they impact.
The SVRCD shares office space with the local National Resource Conservation Service(NRCS); however, many staff work part-time from home or are out in the field. The office space is in the town of Yreka, which is a small, rural community that has numerous services including grocery stores, thrift stores, hardware and ranch supply stores, bookstores, restaurants and coffee shops. Siskiyou County offers extensive outdoor recreation including hiking, mountain biking, fishing, hunting, whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, and skiing throughout the Marble mountains, the Trinities, the Klamath River, Mount Shasta, and the Russian wilderness, to name a few. The Pacific Crest Trail passes just west of Yreka, as well as the Miracle Mile, which has the highest diversity of conifer species in the WORLD. Yreka is halfway between the eclectic towns of Mount Shasta, California, and Ashland, Oregon, which host music events, ski resorts, shopping malls, and the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival.