shasta valley resource conservation district
Building Fire-Adapted Forests and Assessing Watershed Health
The Shasta Valley Resource Conservation District is looking for an outgoing, curious individual who has interests in the suite of natural science fields, though as an agency we focus on forestry, fire, fuels, and water. Our fellow will ideally excel in verbal and telecommunications. We are looking for a self-motivated and independent individual, who is able to work on group and solo projects.
Desired academic background & Experience:
Experience with forestry, prescribed fire, fire ecology, GIS, and watershed management is ideal. Forestry and stream flow monitoring, timber cruising, and prescribed fire experience in regard to PBA and community burning are a plus.
Prescribed fire experience, GIS, and fieldwork experience in monitoring and botany/wildlife surveys.
Data collection and management, written and verbal communication skills, and education/outreach experience.
Openings: 1 of 2
Focus Area: Fire/Forestry
Climate Mitigation & Adaptation; Ecological Forestry; Education & Outreach; Fire Preparedness & Management; Watershed Management
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 primary programs focus on forestry, fuels, prescribed fire management as well as river and groundwater quality, streamflow monitoring, and salmonid habitat improvement. 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 and fuels management program 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 surface water quality in the Shasta, Sacramento, Klamath, and McCloud watersheds by working with local ranchers and agencies to monitor streamflow and TMDL’s towards overall improvement and for successful salmonid production, and collecting data from stream gages and groundwater wells.
The GrizzlyCorps member would share their time between the Forestry and Water Quality programs. For the forestry work, the member could expect to spend time in the field 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 on site visits to project areas, and building capacity for the Siskiyou Prescribed Burn Association (SPBA) by prepping burn units, increasing community engagement and educational outreach and participating in prescribed burns. For the water quality program, the member would spend time in the field monitoring stream gages, attending water quality meetings, and compiling groundwater and surface 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 work 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
Project 1: 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 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. A large portion of the fellow’s time would be dedicated to developing an independent biological and botanical monitoring project in the West Mount Shasta Forest Resiliency Project boundary (potentially with game-camera setup, botanical surveys, and photo monitoring points) that would culminate in education and outreach materials to share with the community of pre and post fuel reduction work for the project.
Project 2: Siskiyou Prescribed Burn Association
The SVRCD has partnered with five other local organizations including, the Mid Klamath Watershed Council (MKWC), the Scott River Watershed Council (SRWC), and the Quartz Valley Indian Reservation (QVIR) to conduct prescribed burns on private landowners’ properties in Siskiyou County. The GrizzlyCorps member will be instrumental in assisting with community outreach and education for this partnership, helping with landowner relations, planning and burn unit preparations, fire training, and workshops, and implementing the prescribed burns themselves. Developing, distributing, and organizing outreach and education materials for the PBA would also be a key part of the GrizzlyCorps fellow’s support for the PBA.
Project 3: Landscape-scale Fuel Reduction Project Support
The SVRCD has many large landscape-scale fuel reduction projects throughout Siskiyou county, such as the Yreka Ridge Fuel Break, the McKinley Scott Forest Management Project, Craggy Good Neighbor Authority, Slater Fire Rehab, and Highway 89 Roadside Fuel Reduction, and the GrizzlyCorps Fellow will be instrumental in helping conduct site inspections and establishing and maintaining photo monitoring plots. These projects all have multiple agencies involved in the project, and the fellow would be able to learn and be included in the complexities of interagency land management and collaboration.
Project 4: 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 will be instrumental in compiling 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 will help the SVRCD and the agricultural 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 Shasta Valley RCD’s office is located in Yreka, Siskiyou County, CA, with a 1.7 million acre district boundary encompassing the Klamath River entering Siskiyou county to Happy Camp, the entire Shasta River watershed, and the upper Sacramento River watershed within Siskiyou County. This includes the glacier-capped Mt. Shasta, whose 14,000 feet elevation dominates the northern California landscape. Yreka is Siskiyou County’s largest city with a population of around 7,800, and our closest major cities are Redding, CA, and Ashland-Medford, OR. Siskiyou County relies heavily on agriculture, logging, and tourism, and nearly the entire area is considered a Disadvantaged Community.
Siskiyou County enjoys all four seasons, though Yreka does not see nearly as much rain and snow as Mt. Shasta City. If an individual enjoys backpacking, fishing, hiking, biking, kayaking, or snow sports, they would be hard-pressed to find an area with better access than Siskiyou County. For plant lovers, the nearby Klamath mountains contain the richest temperate conifer forests in the world, along with world-famous flowering plant diversity. For those interested in wildlife, Siskiyou County lies at the front of the Gray Wolf’s return to the state, while the endlessly fascinating Klamath Mountains are western North America’s amphibian diversity hotspot. In the hot summers our local Klamath, Scott, Salmon, Sacramento, and McCloud rivers compete with the alpine lakes of the Marble Mountains and Trinity Alps for the best swimming spot. The Klamath Mountains' most remote areas are protected in numerous wilderness areas. Winter sports at Mt. Ashland and Mt. Shasta Ski Park are affordable and easy to reach, and the Mt. Shasta area has robust cross-country and snow-shoeing infrastructure, while Mt. Shasta and Yreka are continuously growing their mountain biking trail networks.
Our workplace culture is extremely flexible and relies on staff members’ motivation to fulfill the organization's mission and our team’s organizational support structure to move projects forward. Teleworking is possible when weather prohibits a trip to the office, while work in the field to meet with contractors, partner agencies, or GIS work is common. Our agency will impart crucial professional skills in the fellow including but not limited to being a self-motivated, organized worker coordinating with other agency staff to fulfill the organization’s mission. Our fellow will engage with stakeholders from a variety of public agencies at the municipal, county, special district, state, and federal levels, in addition to NGOs, private companies, and the general public, while participating in real-time forestry and watershed project management in all phases of development.