Rangeland Ecologist

Malheur County Soil & Water Conservation District

Ontario, Oregon

Job Type: Full-Time (Two year appointment, renewable depending on funding)

Salary: $38,500 - $50,000 DOE

Program Focus:

Develop and monitor conservation plans with private landowners who wish to enroll in the CCAA program that utilizes conservation and range management to improve habitat for sage-grouse. These site-specific plans will be developed within Malheur County’s CCAA jurisdiction boundaries. Additionally, develop secure grants to help fund the Malheur County CCAA efforts.

Primary Habitat Types:

  • Sagebrush steppe communities
  • Riparian areas/wet meadows
  • Agricultural/native grassland interface areas


Target Species Include:

  • Greater Sage-grouse
  • Other sage-steppe obligates


Geographic Focus Area:

All lands within Malheur County with program emphasis on Preliminary Priority Habitat (PPH) and Preliminary General Habitat (PGH) on private lands within the Malheur County CCAA jurisdiction. Coordinated resource management with federal lands is an important planning component to SSP planning documents.

Primary duty for CCAA rangeland ecologist is to provide Malheur County SWCD conservation program delivery & support to ensure the maximum number of landowners are enrolled into CCAAs.

1. Provide delivery & technical support for habitat conservation projects. Time allocation:

  • Conduct outreach to private landowners through meetings, telephone, or other mechanisms to identify opportunities for conservation of sage-grouse and other sagebrush obligate species.
  • Conduct site visits with the landowner and field office (FO) to provide technical guidance on developing conservation plans that address wildlife resource concerns.
  • Develop voluntary conservation agreements to improve or maintain habitat conditions on private lands. (Baseline inventory, screening and ranking, ARCGIS mapping.)
  • Conduct annual monitoring and provide written reporting to US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and others as necessary.
  • Identify potential grant opportunities through private foundations and the state and federal government, and match grant opportunities with needs within the district.
  • Write grant proposals for private, state, and federal funds with emphasis placed on sustaining capacity and Conservation Measure (CM) implementation.
  • Serves as liaison between landowners enrolled in the CCAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Supporting Duties CCAA Range Specialist

2. Identify, develop, and provide formal training, workshops, and products for information and outreach. Time allocation:

  • Collaborate with local, state, federal, tribal, and other stakeholders to formulate program level and strategic plans to address issues/opportunities related to the CCAA and maintaining working landscapes for rangeland.
  • Identify and secure funding to enhance efficiencies for outreach, development, implementation, and monitoring activities associated with the Malheur County CCAA.
  • Provide partners and landowners with on-ground training as needed or requested.
  • Rangeland education and outreach for the public (landowners, youth groups, community organizations, etc.)
  • Develop and provide information on local rangeland steppe related to wildlife and habitat issues, management techniques, and related Farm Bill programs to landowners.
  • Write rangeland related articles for district website and local newspapers.
  • Develop and implement communications strategies and tools, provide for adequate recruiting, and facilitate community capacity building and interest in the CCAA to include but no limited to media releases, social media, web presence and participation in community meetings.


3. Sustain cooperative working relationships.

  • Assist District manager and Malheur County CCAA steering committee chair with scheduling quarterly meetings of the committee.
  • Maintain meeting notes and action items requiring follow-up.
  • Finalize Malheur County CCAA strategic implementation strategy for inclusion in SWCD business plan and all counties sage-grouse strategic plan.


4. Develop technical proficiency.

  • Attend trainings as needed for professional development.
  • Become proficient with records management, as it pertains to privacy requirements of Oregon law.

Qualifications / Experience Level Required:

Minimum Requirements:

-Degree: bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource field: or a related discipline that included at least 42 semester hours in a combination of the plant, animal, and soil sciences, and natural resources management, as follows:

-Range Management– Includes courses in such areas as basic principles of range management, range plants, range ecology, range inventories and studies, range improvements, and ranch or rangeland planning.

-Directly Related Plant, Wildlife, Animal, and Soil Sciences–Courses in such areas as plant taxonomy, plant physiology, plant ecology, animal nutrition, livestock production, and soil morphology or soil classification are acceptable.

-Related Resource Management Studies–including courses in such areas as wildlife management, watershed management, natural resource or agricultural economics, forestry, agronomy, forages, and outdoor recreation management.
-Combination of education and experience–course work in the combination of plant, wildlife, animal, and soil sciences and natural resources management as shown above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Additional Qualifications:

-Must be proficient with Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook, and PowerPoint.
-Ability to use ArcGIS, to compile data, generate reports, and produce maps.
-Knowledge of ecological topics affecting the local area, including western juniper, sage-grouse, annual grasses (e.g. medusahead and cheatgrass), wildfire and applicable sagebrush steppe restoration practices.
-Range experience including plant identification, knowledge of local ecologial sites, experience with locally adapted State and Transistion models, grazing processes and practices, experience with relevant cover type monitoring, and ability to identify threats and appropriate conservation measures.
-Wildlife knowledge with a focus on sagebrush steppe species (sage-grouse)
-Technical writing experience preferred.
-Experience working with ranchers on conservation projects preferred.
-Good oral and written communication skills are required.

It is mandatory that applicants submit a legible copy of their college transcripts for all occupations with a positive education requirement. Failure to do so will result in non-consideration for the vacancy. If the title of the course work you believe is relevant towards meeting the minimum educational requirements does not adequately reflect the nature of the class work, please submit course descriptions from your college catalogue or the syllabus from your college professors.

Additionally, please provide a writing sample in the field of rangeland ecology and management (e.g. ecology site description, ranch plans, wildlife management plans), as well as a grant proposal that you have submitted requesting funds.

If you would like more information about the opportunity, please contact Justin Beam at 541-823-5130 or Jbean@malcoswcd.org

This position will require outdoor work under adverse weather conditions and steep terrain. Must possess and maintain a valid state driver’s license.


Justin Beam


Apply for This Position: Please email a cover letter, resume, and contact information for up to three references to Justin at Jbean@malcoswcd.org "Rangeland Ecologist" in the subject line. The announcement will remain open until filled.

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