Forest Conservation Program Manager

Posted 2 months ago


The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL – pronounced circle) was founded in 1983 by grassroots activists determined to protect the South Yuba River from dams. Ultimately, SYRCL won permanent protections for 39 miles of the South Yuba River under California’s Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Today, SYRCL is the central hub of community activism to protect, restore, and celebrate the Yuba River watershed. With 38 years of achievements, 3,500 members and volunteers, SYRCL is doing great things for the Yuba watershed. SYRCL is a leader in the Sierra headwaters for addressing statewide and regional issues – challenging new dams, recovering endangered species, addressing climate change and drought, water security and water quality. Together, we are extending our powerful coalition from the summit to the sea.


The Forest Conservation Program Manager will lead SYRCL’s forest conservation work throughout the Yuba River watershed. SYRCL’s forest health work accelerated in 2019 and thus has grown considerably in the past few years. The program aims to 1) improve forest health and forest resiliency throughout the watershed 2) engage diverse stakeholders throughout the Yuba River watershed to promote and implement forest health projects, 3) partner with local educational institutions for workforce development opportunities 4) tackle invasive weeds and 5) raise funds through collaborative grant requests and alternative funding streams.

The Forest Conservation Program Manager will work to meet the above goals as currently envisioned while also defining a larger forest conservation program for the organization.

This is a full time, exempt position. Main work hours will be scheduled during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 9 am -5 pm) and evening and weekend work may be required.


The Forest Conservation Program Manager will provide leadership, strategic and science-based recommendations, direct supervision of one or more employees, proactive fundraising and grant writing, while implementing forest restoration projects. This requires a significant amount of stakeholder engagement and knowledge in the fields of forest ecology or forestry as well as managerial and fundraising experience and contractor management. The successful candidate will help set and advance SYRCL’s advocacy priorities including:

General Responsibilities

  • Work to understand local forest and fire resilience needs throughout the Yuba watershed.
    Build and steward relationships with stakeholders for large-scale and long-term forest landscape planning to develop and prioritize future projects.
  • Develop a working knowledge of existing all-lands forest collaboratives including their structure, governance, outreach and engagement plans, conflict resolution procedure, and project development and approval processes.
  • Communicate about the collaborative and project results to a broad range of audiences, including public presentations, conferences, in publications, and SYRCL and CCP newsletters and social media.
  • Complete basic administration functions, including tracking progress towards deliverables, writing reports to funders, and serving as the communications point between funding agencies and SYRCL.
  • Participate in regional forest health and fire resilience meetings and workshops, including summits hosted by the DOC Watershed Coordinator Program, as well as monthly meetings held by the
  • Forest Management Task Force Sierra and Eastside Regional Prioritization Group.
  • Create and maintain systems to ensure the program can function beyond the tenure of one individual and the DOC grant term.
  • Directly supervise one or more staff working on forest conservation initiatives both in office and in the field. Hire, evaluate, retain, and develop direct reports. Support team member goals and work objectives as appropriate.
  • Other duties as they arise.

Program Development

  • Create a sustainable and diverse Forest Conservation program within SYRCL’s Watershed Science department that works towards research collaborations, volunteer activities, and thousands of acres of restoration projects.
  • Develop proposals and budgets for new projects, including identifying funding sources.
  • Track and research grant opportunities, maintain a catalogue of proposal solicitation notices and partnership opportunities.
  • Lead and support fundraising efforts, including grant writing and leveraging resources, necessary to identify and implement new projects.
  • Seek out opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration within SYRCL, leveraging existing program areas. Contract and grant management, including developing, negotiating, awarding, and administering requests for proposals, contracts, budgets, and reports.
  • Become familiar with traditional ecological knowledge principles and contemporary practices in indigenous communities in the Sierra Nevada. Support forest conservation projects that promote inclusion and indigenous land management.

Forest Health Projects

  • Develop, support, and oversee implementation of ecological forest restoration projects, possibly including commercial and non-commercial thinning, reforestation, prescribed fire, and invasive weed control to meet ecological and project goals.
  • Project planning, including selection of treatment type (prescribed fire, mechanical thinning, hand thinning, non-commercial and pre-commercial thinning, etc.) and intensity.
  • Secure permits and approvals and ensure compliance with NEPA and CEQA. Supervise contractors, including log/timber operators, forestry consultants, and field crews.
  • Serve as a resource for other forest health projects occurring in the watershed, tracking projects with an aim to facilitate collaboration and leverage resources for success.
  • Develop the Yuba Forest Network; delegate and oversee effective leadership of this outreach effort.
  • Lead participation in the North Yuba Forest Partnership and maintain SYRCL as a lead partner.
  • Delegate and oversee participation as appropriate.


Required Skills:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in forest ecology, forestry, silviculture, natural resources management, or a closely related field. Advanced degree preferred.
  • A minimum of five years of relevant experience.
  • Knowledge of forest ecology for conifer and mixed forests.
  • Proven grant writing and project management experience including ensuring that awarded grants are tracked to make certain completion of deliverables, reporting, billing and invoicing.
  • Facilitation experience or training.
  • Proficient with GIS and mapping.
  • Demonstrated experience in creative problem-solving, opportunity development, effectively leveraging talent across diverse teams, and developing novel approaches with high-impact outcomes.
  • Ability to build consensus, develop effective coalitions and collaborate with diverse interests.
  • Team player and ability to interact effectively and respectfully with people from different cultures and experiences and those who live in nearby communities.
  • Effective communication skills necessary to develop and maintain lasting partnerships with government, agency, and community representatives, among others.
  • Demonstrates initiative, is conscientious, and provides follow-through on areas of responsibility.
  • Positive, self-motivated, and quick learning performer highly valued. This position requires confidentiality, and a sense of humor is a must.
  • Possession of a registered and insured personal vehicle, and a valid California Driver’s License.


This position requires frequent computer use, extended periods of time sitting at a desk, and occasional lifting of up to 30 pounds. Additionally, the ability to speak clearly and be understood by others is required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Annual salary is $60,000-$65,000, depending on experience plus 14 days paid time off (PTO), 3 sick days, and 10 paid holidays annually. The position requires occasional travel within California (generally to Sacramento) and occasional nights and weekend work.


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Our interview process begins will be a phone screen interview; semi-finalists will be invited to video call panel interview if not local; and finalists will be invited for an in-person interview.


This position is open until filled. Submit your cover letter and resume online at

SYRCL is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other protected status. Women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ people, and members of other historically disenfranchised populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

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Nevada City, CA

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