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Forestry Crew Leader

Hemlock Restoration Initiative
Job Field:
Job Type:
Full Time
North Carolina
Location Detail:
Job Description:


Program Description: The Hemlock Restoration Initiative (HRI) is a grant-funded program managed by WNC Communities’ Forestry Education LLC. HRI’s mission is to work with a variety of partners and existing programs to restore hemlocks to long-term health throughout North Carolina and ensure that eastern and Carolina hemlocks can resist hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) and survive to maturity on North Carolina’s public and private lands. This is accomplished through establishing hemlock conservation areas (HCAs), implementing chemical and biological control of HWA, supporting the restoration efforts of partner agencies, and educating private landowners and others on the importance of hemlocks and how they can help conserve hemlocks on their own properties or as volunteers on larger public lands projects.

Summary of Position: The Crew Leader will help train, motivate, work alongside, manage and oversee a small team of forestry technicians in hemlock restoration activities on national, state and otherwise conserved forests, including parks, game lands, and private lands across Western North Carolina. These activities will consist of scouting and assessing the health of hemlock stands, writing and updating hemlock treatment plans for each site, installing and collecting data from impact monitoring plots, conducting chemical treatments for HWA, and to a lesser degree supporting other HWA control strategies, including biological and silvicultural control strategies. The Crew Leader is responsible for ensuring that the crew produces high quality work to achieve successful project outcomes that meet HRI’s and partners’ expectations. The Crew Leader will possess good judgment, professionalism, leadership and communication skills, initiative, willingness to learn, emotional maturity and resilience, resourcefulness, and comfort in the outdoors. This individual will work closely and collaborate with the HRI program director and other staff members, but will be the primary point of contact for landowners, managers, and members of the public when on-site. They may also help coordinate, manage, and oversee volunteers and other “guest crews” not employed by HRI on occasion.

This position is an excellent opportunity to be a member of a dynamic team, play an influential role in addressing an important forest health issue, and work in ecologically special and often stunningly beautiful natural areas across Western North Carolina and the Southern Appalachians. The ideal candidate will believe in the program’s mission, embrace a positive, collegial culture, and desire to be a member of a hard-working team for a transformative non-profit organization during a time of institutional growth.

See a full list of duties at the link above

Work Environment: HRI’s office is located in Asheville, NC. The position will be primarily an in-person, field-based position, using the office as headquarters, with the option to work a limited number of hours remotely if necessary. The weekly schedule will vary, but a typical work week for the Crew Leader during the treatment season (October-April) might consist of 3-4 days in the field and 1-2 days in the office. Most fieldwork days will be 10+ hour days (generally 8:00AM to 6:00PM) returning to the office each day; however, there will also be multi-day, overnight trips (camping or staying in shared cabins). The field work can be moderately to highly physically strenuous, in remote locations, on difficult terrain (steep slopes, thick understory vegetation), in cold and occasionally hot temperatures, with possible exposure to poison ivy, insects and other wildlife.

Start Date: September 18, 2023, somewhat flexible

Hours: Full-time September through May (~40 hrs/week, non-exempt); some weekends and multi-day, overnight trips throughout the year; possible part-time work June through August (TBD)


Position Requirements

The Crew Leader must:

-Be authorized to work in the U.S.

-Have at least one year working in a team setting, training, supervising, and managing others

-Have a valid driver's license, an insurable driving record, and reliable transportation

-Be able to drive 4WD vehicles/trucks in a variety of road conditions

-Have basic computer skills, including intermediate knowledge of Excel and Google Workspace, strong professional email etiquette, strong data management skills, and the ability to prepare and maintain records and reports

-Have, or be willing to obtain, a North Carolina Commercial Pesticide Applicator’s license

-Be willing and able to mix and apply insecticides correctly and safely (once trained)

-Be capable of physically strenuous field work in the work environment described above using a variety of hand tools and pesticide application equipment

-Be willing and able to work an irregular weekly schedule with occasional weekends/evenings, and multi-day trips

-Be willing and able to camp or stay in shared housing, where private rooms are not always available


The strongest candidates will also demonstrate the following skills and competencies:

-An affinity for working with people and strong skills in leadership, interpersonal communication, organization, time management, problem solving, conflict resolution, and motivating others

-An astute attention to detail and a commitment to quality and excellence in every area of work

-An ability to manage, balance, and coordinate multiple, diverse responsibilities and deadlines; take initiative; anticipate workflow; and delegate tasks to others, as appropriate

-Ability to understand and follow HRI systems and processes, to understand and carry out oral and written instructions, as well as assign strategic and specific instructions to crew members

-A personal and professional style that maintains good will, collegiality, and trust with all partners, staff, and key community stakeholders

-Be approachable, communicative, professional, personally accountable, and able to receive and provide constructive feedback

-Ability to adapt to surrounding work environment and conditions that can change frequently

-Ability to problem solve, produce solutions, and also ask for help when needed

-Outdoor living/camping skills and a commitment to “Leave no Trace” principles

-Previous experience in nonprofit, conservation, and/or natural resource management fields

-Experience or knowledge of environmental stewardship and restoration, Southern Appalachian forest ecosystems, forestry, collection of ecological field data, or pesticide application

-Wilderness First Aid or First Responder medical training


Non-discrimination Hiring Statement:

WNC Communities’ Forestry Education LLC is an equal opportunity employer. Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, mental or physical disabilities, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. All employment decisions shall be consistent with the principles of equal opportunity employment. Accommodations to enable all individuals to participate in the application process may be provided upon advance request. People with diverse skills and experience and individuals who identify with groups typically under-represented in the conservation industry are encouraged to apply

Minimum $22 per hour, negotiable

Professional development training, professional network growth, and pro-rated gear deals

How to Apply:


Position is open until filled

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