Private Lands Wildlife Forester

American Bird Conservancy Published: April 4, 2024
Petersburg, WV
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
Natural Resources/ Restoration / Outreach / Advocacy / Planning / Land Use
(Number of Job Posting Views: 5)

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The mission of American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is to conserve birds and their habitats – the places birds need to thrive – across the Americas. We are an established and growing group of 125+ dedicated staff, located across the United States and with a network of partners from Canada to Chile.

Each year, we grow in budget and staff, and we deliver more results aimed at preventing bird species extinctions and reversing declines that are reducing populations of nearly all bird groups. Our work is guided by our principles, which include a commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI).

Position Summary

American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is seeking to fill one Private Lands Wildlife Forester position in eastern West Virginia to work effectively with private forest landowners and local partners in West Virginia to implement sustainable forest management on private lands following ecologically based silviculture and best management practices for locally occurring priority wildlife species.

The wildlife forester will be part of a multi-disciplinary team of biologists, foresters, soil conservationists, and others working across West Virginia to address resource concerns and enhance forests on non-industrial private forestland. This project is being coordinated by Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture (AMJV) staff, who are employees of ABC. Supervision, daily direction, training, and support will be provided by AMJV and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff. The field foresters and associated activities are supported with funds from NRCS and ABC.

  • Title:    Private Lands Wildlife Forester
  • Supervisor:  Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture Coordinator 
  • Location:  Franklin or Petersburg, WV
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2024
  • Term of Position: Approx. January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2029; extension pending additional funding

Primary Duties

  • Work with AMJV staff, NRCS, WV Division of Forestry, WV Division of Natural Resources, and other partners to:

1. Promote forest management for priority wildlife species identified in the WV State Wildlife Action Plan by following best management practices.

2. Identify and directly contact private landowners with forest management opportunities.

3. Conduct site visits to private forest owners and provide technical assistance including the development of conservation plans.

4. Work with NRCS staff to facilitate private landowner enrollment in NRCS programs.

5. Identify additional landowners and future sites for forest implementation or habitat restoration on private lands. 

6. Complete all aspects of forest habitat management including:

  • Layout and mark boundaries of project area(s).
  • Survey project area boundaries and roads using GPS unit, then use collected data to produce necessary maps using computer programs. 
  • Collect and use data to prepare the following preparation documents:
    a. Conduct forest inventory using industry software as needed
    b. Prescription Narrative
    c. Evaluate potential impacts to sensitive species 
  • Apply the silvicultural prescription through timber marking. 
  • Meet with prospective contractors to tour the project area(s).
  • Oversee the project implementation to ensure prescriptions are followed
  • Recommend and implement practices to control invasive and problematic species.

Other duties will include:

  • Promote young forest management following the Golden-winged Warbler Best Management Practices to private landowners as part of the NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife program.
  • Promote forest management following the Cerulean Warbler Forest Management Guidelines to private landowners, foresters and wildlife habitat practitioners
  • Monitor and track project activities using an electronic database and GIS to ensure proper reporting for assessing success, and possibly assist with focal species monitoring pre- and post-treatment. 
  • Assist resource professionals with development of site specific forest and grassland management plans according to NRCS practice standards and focal species’ best management practices.
  • Communicate with, and provide technical assistance to, private landowners as well as local, state and federal agencies on implementation of best management practices for focal wildlife species.
  • Complete trainings to pursue NRCS conservation planner certification and job approval authority.
  • Participate in relevant partner meetings at the state or regional level. 
  • Complete any NRCS required trainings to maintain access to NRCS systems.
  • Write and submit quarterly and annual reports to AMJV and ABC.  

Position Requirements 

  • Graduation from an associate's degree program in forestry (e.g., forest management, urban forestry, forest science, agroforestry), wildlife (wildlife conservation, wildlife management, wildlife science) or similar conservation-related field, and two years of technical forestry and/or wildlife management experience;
  • or graduation from a bachelor's or master’s degree program in forestry (e.g., forest management, urban forestry, forest science, agroforestry), wildlife (wildlife conservation, wildlife management, wildlife science) or similar conservation-related field.

Required Experience:

  • Accurately identify tree species across age classes (i.e., sapling to mature) and seasons (winter, summer, etc.).
  • A valid driver’s license and experience navigating a vehicle on unpaved roads or in off-road conditions.
  • Knowledge of NRCS landowner cost-share programs, especially EQIP.
  • Experience working with private landowners as well as public agencies (ex. NRCS, WV DNR, USFWS, USDA Forest Service)
  • Knowledge of landowner incentive programs (e.g., Farm Bill). 

Preferred Experience:

  • Preference will be given to applicants who are or are able to become licensed foresters in the State of West Virginia. (
  • Ability to use Excel, ArcMAP, Google Maps, and other computer mapping systems to identify and delineate project boundaries.
  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects, produce effective results and meet deadlines. Applicant must be self-motivated, responsible and have the ability to solve problems. 
  • Ability to navigate in remote areas using GPS and/or maps


  • Salary:  $46,969 per year


  • Benefits include medical, medical flex, and 403(b) plan.
  • Paid vacation days (15), holidays (10+), and sick leave.  

To Apply

  • Please click "Apply on Company Website" below to email your apply online at Paylocity
  • If you have any difficulties uploading your resume and cover letter, then please send them as ONE document to

At American Bird Conservancy, we believe that a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills makes us more effective. We are committed to creating a respectful and inclusive work environment for all of our employees. 

As an equal opportunity employer, ABC is committed to ensuring that employees and applicants for employment have equal opportunities regardless of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other factor unrelated to the requirements of the position.

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