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Hiring: Watershed Forester
Organization: Grand River Conservation Authority
Location: Cambridge, Kitchener-Waterloo Region, Ontario

Internal/External Job Posting Regular Full Time Bargaining Unit Position

Watershed Forester

The Land Management Division is comprised of the Central Services, Conservation Area Operations and Conservation Lands departments and oversees the strategic mandates of the Grand River Conservation Authority as they relate to land use and recreational enjoyment of properties owned and operated by the Authority.

General Accountabilities
Reporting to the Supervisor of Natural Heritage within the Conservation Lands team, the Watershed Forester is responsible for creating and maintaining forest management plans for GRCA-owned forest (approximately 11,000 hectares), guide implementation of those plans and report on forest management activities and issues. This position provides input to help ensure the technical integrity of GRCA’s forestry initiatives and ensures compliance with the Professional Foresters Act (2000). The Watershed Forester works with other GRCA program areas, the watershed community, and stakeholders in the implementation of adopted projects and programs. The Watershed Forester will contribute forestry expertise to GRCA Natural Heritage activities and GRCA planning processes, forest-related extension work, and as requested review woodland and vegetation management proposals that may impact regulated natural heritage features.

Specific Accountabilities:

  1. Coordinate forest management planning on GRCA lands by integrating silviculture and ecological restoration and management principles. Guide and implement forest management activities through the assessment of GRCA-owned forests, preparation of silvicultural prescriptions, and ensuring activities achieve forestry management objectives with a current emphasis on the management of conifer plantations.
  2. Assisting and completing the public procurement of goods and services, contract administration, and overseeing the work of consultants and contractors, as it relates to projects that facilitate the operational element s of the forest management plan.
  3. Maintain and update the 10 -year GRCA Lands Forest Management Plan; create 5-year plans and annual operating plans and reports, develop, and maintain budgets, and work with others to implement the plans; maintain eligibility for relevant tax incentive programs such as the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program; develop forestry policies and procedures. Provide forestry oversight and input on corporate compliance with the Professional Foresters Act (2000).
  4. Coordinate GRCA’s response to managing forest pests, diseases and certain invasive species for the conservation and restoration of forest and other habitats. This does not include GRCAs tree risk management program.
  5. Guide aspects of inventory and monitoring of natural heritage and forestry attributes of Grand River Watershed and GRCA properties.
  6. Work with the watershed community and stakeholders to promote and provide information on forest conservation, restoration, and management.
  7. Support appropriate private landowner forestry activities via input to the GRCA forestry extension program.
  8. Advise GRCA and other agency staff in forestry matters in support of their decision- making processes (e.g., parks planning, land use planning, woodland conservation, land acquisition, etc.).
  9. Position GRCA forestry programs to optimize contributions to watershed hydrology and natural heritage, and to community and social benefits, consistent with GRCA’s Vision and Strategic plan, and relevant municipal, provincial, national, and international natural heritage/forestry initiatives.
  10. Support networks and programs through committee participation and liaison to help accomplish the objectives and accountabilities above.
  11. Maintain relevant databases and GIS layers.

Technical Requirements:

  1. Bachelor of Science in Forestry (or similar) degree; member of the Ontario Professional Foresters Association - Registered Professional Forester status (or ability to achieve within 1 year). Ontario Managed Forest Plan Approver designation.
  2. Technical understanding and minimum of 3 - 5 years of practical experience in a combination of forest management, silviculture, ecological restoration, urban forestry andor natural areas management.
  3. Ontario Tree Marking Course Certification and Ontario Pesticide Training and Certification is considered an asset.
  4. Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite of programs and experience with GIS software. Experience with forest or natural heritage inventory and other natural heritage data collection software or applications is considered an asset.
  5. Demonstrated working knowledge of pertinent legislation, including but not limited to, the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Conservation Authorities Act, Professional Foresters Act, Forestry Act, Pesticides Act, Endangered Species Act and Migratory Birds Convention Act.
  6. Competent in the use of equipment for tree planting, silviculture, inventory and GPS work and knowledgeable in the types of equipment employed by contractors for forest management activities.
  7. Excellent communication skills, including written, verbal, presentation, stewardship extension, and conflict resolution.
  8. Valid driver`s license.

Competencies and Abilities:
Professional Judgement

Demonstrated ability in the area of critical thinking, analysis and assessment of implications, making connections of underlying issues and the ownership of the outcome. Sound judgement resulting in fair, efficient and effective decision making, bringing clarity and resolution to complex and ambiguous situations. Ability to carry out skillful negotiations and interest-based conflict resolution.

The willingness to hold oneself and others accountable for acting in ways that are consistent with stated values, principles, and professional standards. Maintaining impartiality, objectivity, confidentiality, and fairness when dealing with employees, stakeholders and special interest groups.

Goal/Action Oriented
Maintains high level or productivity and self-direction. Demonstrated experience in project management with the ability to work under pressure and handle multiple tasks simultaneously with changing priorities. Does not shy away from challenges and seldom gives up, especially in the face of resistance, setbacks, or change. Seizes opportunities; takes initiative and is self- motivated. Organizes work, plans activities, and sets priorities in a manner that meets competing needs and timely resolution of matters.

Team Work
Interacts with people effectively. Able and willing to share and receive information. The ability to gather facts and pertinent information to gain an understanding before drawing conclusions, taking action or resolving conflict. It involves active listening and comprehension of verbal and nonverbal signals to enhance understanding. Demonstrated ability to build partnerships with staff and stakeholders. Exceptional internal communication skills are needed for staff relations, working interdepartmentally with respect to communications, and to provide support to other programs within the GRCA.

Customer Focus
Dedicated to meeting the expectations and requirements of internal and external customers. Exceptional communication skills to create, maintain and enhance relations with municipal partners, stakeholders, and the public.

Deadline for Applications: 4:00pm April 3, 2023
Approximate Start Date: April 2023

The hourly pay rate for this position is Job Level 7 $34.93 to $43.66 per hour (pay rate under review)
Hours of work: 35 hours per week

To Apply:

If you would like to be considered for this career opportunity, please send a resume and cover letter to in MS Word or PDF format and quote “Watershed Forester” in the subject line. Please indicate you saw this posting at GoodWork.

The GRCA strives to provide a collaborative and respectful work environment. We value the health and well-being of our employees and prioritizes Health and Safety in our workplace. We offer a comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, vision care, life and disability insurance; Participation in the OMERS defined benefit pension plan, with generous employer- matching and a pass for free entry into GRCA conservation areas. We currently provide an option to work a flexible schedule and/or hybrid to balance the demands of both work and home.

We thank you for your interest, however only candidates under consideration will be contacted.

GRCA is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to inclusive, barrier-free recruitment and selection processes and work environments. If you require any accessibility accommodations at any point during the application and hiring process, please contact us. Any information received relating to accommodation will be addressed confidentially.

Pursuant to section 29(2) of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Individual Privacy Act R.S.O. 1990, C. M.56 the personal information contained on this form is collected under the legal authority of the Conservation Authorities Act, R.S.O. 1990, chapter C.27 and is used for recruitment purposes. Questions about the collection of personal information should be directed to the Manager of Human Resources, Grand River Conservation Authority, PO Box 729, 400 Clyde Road, Cambridge, Ontario N1R 5W6. 519-621-2761


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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Mar 17 2023    ID: 67464