Full job description

Department: Forest Restoration
Reports to: Senior Director, Forest Restoration
Location: Remote (Colorado or New Mexico)
FLSA Category: Exempt
Post Date: 06-28-2024
Close Date: 07-12-2024
Salary: $80,000 to $100,000

American Forests is a national non-profit organization committed to creating healthy and resilient forests from cities to wilderness, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife. We advance our mission through forestry innovation, place-based partnerships to plant and restore forests, and movement building. We envision a world in which the significant environmental, societal and economic benefits of forests are fully realized and equitably available to all people. Established in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national non-profit conservation organization in the U.S. working to restoring urban forests and forested landscapes for nearly 150 years.
American Forests is proud to be a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible workplace. These are our shared values. We welcome individuals who bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences to be a part of our team to help make a difference individually and collectively as we work toward achieving our mission. We are committed to fostering an environment that is welcoming and respectful and provides opportunities for advancement and professional growth for every team member.

The Forest Restoration team supports American Forests’ efforts to advance landscape-scale, collaborative, climate-informed forest restoration through place-based partnerships and workforce development. The team consists of managers, coordinators, foresters, scientists, analysts, and partnership experts who work collaboratively to build and maintain relationships with diverse stakeholders and land managers. We are seeking an exceptional leader with significant experience with diverse teams covering large geographies, forest management, and partnership building.
The Director, Southern Rockies Forest Restoration will lead American Forests’ growing team in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah in creating resilient forest landscapes through collaborative restoration and resilience treatments. This includes both managing and leveraging a robust portfolio of restoration projects on public and private lands with public and private funds to accelerate the pace and scale of collective forest restoration across the southwest. In addition to field restoration and collaboration projects, the position will be responsible for building and maintaining a reputation as a thought leader for reforestation in the region by coordinating with agency, industry, and university researchers and managers to help solve complex forest management problems. The position directly reports to the Senior Director of Forest Restoration, but success in this position will require constant and two-way communication with all members of the Southern Rockies and Forest Restoration Teams.
American Forests has a long history of partnering with the USDA Forest Service, state agencies, tribal nations, Conservation Districts, and others to implement restoration projects. This position will develop American Forests program in the Southern Rockies through authentic and need-driven problem solving and exceptional project and program execution while empowering both the team and Southern Rockies partners.


Project Development and Completion (40%)
  • In collaboration with regional and national leadership, develop relationships and place-based projects with federal, state, local, and tribal governments as well as universities, NGOs, and private land managers.
  • Produce necessary proposals, plans, applications, contracts, and agreements to implement regional projects.
  • Function as the project lead on region-wide projects and assist region staff on projects which they are leading
  • Conduct necessary data analysis, working group meetings, writing, presenting, etc. as specified in project agreements.
  • Ensure projects are fully executed, meeting expectations of the land managers, funders, and American Forests.
  • Collaborate with Forest Restoration program staff to conduct outreach to and engagement with private landowners, tribes, and pueblos related to ecosystem service market opportunities including the Reforest America Carbon Program
  • Conduct site visits to evaluate restoration projects.
Strategic Scaling & Program Development (20%)
  • Build upon and grow the current Southern Rockies portfolio to replicate regional models across forested regions as appropriate with both local ecological and place-based considerations.
  • Guide the strategic direction of the portfolio by identifying and developing impactful projects in important landscapes to restore Southern Rockies forests in partnership with state and federal agencies, local governments, tribes, and private entities.
  • Align and secure public and private funds to support such projects and ensure development goals align with the American Forests’ climate-informed restoration goals, impact model, and other relevant plans and best available science. This includes providing strategic pathways through relationship building followed by guidance and review of contracts and grant applications wherever appropriate or necessary.
  • Strategic Scaling and Program Development efforts should take place in partnership with the Senior Director of Forest Restoration as well as the Director of Forest and Restoration Science.
Team Supervision/Support & Project/Program Oversite (15%)
  • Provide support for regional staff including developing and maintaining organization-required employee specific work and development plans, and ensuring staff have access to necessary tools and resources.
  • Track and manage project financials, work closely with program and operations staff to find creative funding solutions and ensure financial efficiency.
  • Coordinate with the Senior Director of Forest Restoration to encourage cross-region consistency and collaboration mechanisms, ensure partner experiences and expectations are met, and identify and implement efficiencies wherever possible.
Communication and Administration (15%)
  • Serve as an external spokesperson for the organization on matters of forest restoration. This will include speaking at conferences and meetings as appropriate.
  • Gather and share information from forest restoration and resilience projects in partnership with the Senior Director of Forest Restoration and the American Forests team. This could include contributing to blog posts, magazine articles and other communications pieces.
  • Provide review and oversight of projects, including tracking project progress and documenting outcomes.
  • Manage program budgets and financial reporting in close collaboration with the Finance and Business Operations team.
  • Manage staffing and staff resource needs working closely with Human Resource and Finance teams.
Other Tasks and Duties (10%)
  • The incumbent will provide input and assistance on projects in other regions based upon their specific area of expertise.

While we do not expect any one candidate to possess all of these qualifications, the ideal candidate will possess many of the following professional and personal skills and qualities:
  • Minimum of 7 years of relevant experience, including demonstrated proficiency in: (1) forestry, botany or other ecological field work, (2) leading, developing and managing a team towards specific goals and ensuring that team members are meeting such goals, and (3) experience in managing budgets and detailed progress reporting.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Ecology, Agriculture, or a related field required. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Ability to formulate research questions and hypotheses, and design field sampling methods to test those hypotheses; manage and analyze data; and report/publish results.
  • Experience applying scientific knowledge to inform management recommendations.
  • Ability to produce complex, clearly written, well-documented reports and studies to support planning, analysis, and conservation of natural resources in accordance with established professional standards.
  • Possess a well-rounded, interpersonal skill set with the capacity to build and maintain relationships with agency staff, associated tribes, service subcontractors, landowners, and researchers, and to work effectively in a larger team environment, both regionally and nationally.
  • Possess an impact-driven, self-motivated quality with strong time management and organizational skills and the ability to meet recurring deadlines.
  • Ability to conceptualize annual project targets, characterize site-specific challenges through scoping activities and autonomously lead all reforestation team and subcontractor outputs toward those targets over extended (e.g., 12-month) timelines, with measurable impacts, and the ability to adapt as needed.
  • Experience leading others in communications, safety planning, and implementation of 8-day wilderness backpacking trips at elevations up to 12,000 feet and in extreme heat, cold, and smoky conditions.
  • Knowledge of the Wilderness Act and wilderness stewardship.
American Forests’ headquarters is located in downtown Washington, DC. This position is a remote position; however, it does require physical residence within the region, preferably Colorado or New Mexico. Subject to applicable laws, American Forests requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. We will consider requests for accommodation to this vaccination requirement during the recruiting process. Any requested accommodation(s) must be reviewed and approved (if applicable) in advance of your start date.

Up to 15% of travel is required to engage with partners and colleagues, assess projects, and/or conduct fieldwork. The majority of time will be spent in a general office environment.

This position will develop, support, and supervise staff required for the program of work in which the incumbent builds. Additional positions are likely to be added to the program as workload and funding permit.

American Forests is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to diversity in the workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to provide access to all individuals along the continuum of human ability and experience.

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In accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English.