Forestry Assistance Program forester for Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties

Hiring Organization: Gogebic Conservation District
Employment type: Full-Time
Job Location: Bessemer, MI
Application Due Date: September 30, 2023

The Forestry Assistance Program provides private landowners and local units of government with technical information and guidance on the use and management of their forestry, wildlife habitat, and related natural resource concerns.

Day-to-day administrative supervision will be provided by the Gogebic Conservation District Manager. The position is based in the Gogebic Conservation District Office in Bessemer, MI. The forester services landowners in Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties.

Upon accepting the job offer, the successful candidate must sign a work agreement which defines the conditions of employment including salary and benefits. Benefits include holiday pay, sick and annual leave, MERS retirement program, mileage reimbursement, $1000 annual health stipend and opportunities for training
and skills development.


• Bachelor of Science or Master of Science degree in Forestry from a Society of American Foresters accredited program. Bachelor’s or master’s degree in forestry from a university program that is not accredited by the Society of American Foresters will also be accepted, although not preferred. Candidates that maintain the Certified Forester or Candidate Certified Forester credential, regardless of degree, will be accepted.

• Good communication skills (writing, public speaking, working with individuals of all ages)

• Ability to represent the organization in a professional manner, building respect and confidence in the community.

• Ability to establish and maintain professional relationships with individuals of varying social and cultural backgrounds and with co-workers at all levels.

• Computer proficiency including Microsoft Office Suite, and GIS mapping programs.

• Ability to read various types of maps (aerial, topography, soils) and navigate through properties accordingly.


• Serve as initial point of contact for non-industrial private forest landowners, local governments, and other private property owners for forest management wildlife habitat, and soil & water conservation concerns.

• Fulfill grant agreement requirements (deliverables).

• Provides on-site land examination and resource evaluation, options regarding wildlife habitat and forest management.

• Prepares written follow-ups and resource materials to landowners after onsite or office visits.

• Provides advice on tree planting/reforestation for timber production, windbreaks, wildlife habitat.

• Provides diagnosis and advice on the control of insects, disease, and wildlife pests for individual trees and woodlands.

• Connects landowners with natural resources specialists regarding programs, agencies, organizations, and private sector interests that furnish technical/financial assistance.

• Maintains a good working relationship with other forestry service providers, both public and private.

• Maintain a good working relationship with agency and other forestry assistance providers, both public and private.

• Provides technical input regarding species selection for the Conservation District’s programs.

• Provide technical input regarding species selection for the Conservation District's annual tree, shrub, plant sales (primarily native species that are useful for reforestation, wildlife habitat, soil erosion control, etc.).

• Conducts outreach activities, demonstrations, workshops.

• Works with Conservation District, NRCS, other staff and programs.

• Pursues/maintains certification with Society of American Foresters (SAF).

• As needed, prepare written summary of findings, a management plan, or referral to an appropriate agency after an on-site inspection or other communication with clients.

• Provide advice on tree planting/reforestation for timber production, windbreaks, wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration.

• Provide advice on the control of erosion, sedimentation, soil compaction and other environmental impacts resulting from forest management activities.

• Independently prepare correspondence, reports, news articles and social media posts.

• Assist with preparation of the FAP documentation.

• Submit monthly accomplishment reports to the CD Boards (more frequently if needed or requested by the Board or MDARD).

• Other duties as assigned.

This position is funded by a year-to-year State of Michigan grant through the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development - Forestry Assistance Program. The wage ($23.16 to $25.40/hour) will be commensurate with the candidate's experience and education. Outreach activity required in this position
offers a wide variety of topics and opportunities for professional development, flexibility of content, and can frequently be tied to the forester’s own interests within forestry/wildlife habitat/etc.

The Gogebic Conservation District office is located in the Natural Resources Center in Bessemer, Michigan, the county seat. Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties, located. in the western most portion of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, are largely forested with large areas of National Forest and commercial forest land. Numerous summer and winter recreational opportunities exist to serve the taste of almost any outdoor enthusiast. Many thousands of acres of public land are ideal for hunting. Many miles of rivers and lakes are ideal for fishing or paddle sports enthusiasts. We have numerous trails systems for hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing,
snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ORV use, and equestrian use. Several downhill ski areas are also located in Gogebic County.

Major Responsibilities

Enroll acres in Qualified Forest Program (QFP) 55%
Follow up with landowners reached by previous forester in FY23. Initiate outreach to landowners through targeted mailer and other means. Post referrals on district website. Spend up to 55% of work time traveling to perform site visits and consulting with landowners in Gogebic and Ontonagon Counties.

Public outreach, education, & responses to inquiries on forest health
issues. 35%
Periodic field days, library seminars, or workshops about emerging forest health concerns; initiate programming (such as invasive species survey) and outreach to increase public awareness of major forest health issues.

Participation & support in GCD general district outreach 10%

Support Gogebic Conservation District in supplementary ways through general district outreach, assisting the District Manager with the Tree Sale, network with local partners to initiate and support enriching community programming, and represent GCD by participating in other community events.