Nature and Purpose of Work
The Conservation Technician will be a part-time employee of Save Our Saluda and will assist in fulfilling project requirements of the Section 319 Water Quality Improvement Grant (Grant) to reduce sediment runoff in the North Saluda River and Saluda Lake Watershed. The Conservation Technician will also work with local agricultural resource agencies such as the Greenville and Pickens NRCS and Soil and Water Conservation Districts as necessary to develop project specifications. Day to day work activities of the Conservation Technician will be guided by Save Our Saluda.
Duties and Responsibilities
The major responsibilities of the Conservation Technician include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Recruit landowners to participate in the Grant.
- Conduct farm visits and effectively promote conservation planning and agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) in both one-on-one and group settings.
- Explain cost-share and contracting details and expectations to interested landowners.
2. Work with landowners and agricultural resource agencies to develop conservation plans, conduct site surveys, and design BMPs. The primary agricultural BMPs, as described in the Grant, include but are not limited to:
- Cover crops and intercropping
- Vegetated riparian buffers
- Conservation tillage
- Culvert ditch stabilization
- Vegetated waterways
- Farm access road stabilization
- Sediment control basins
- Terracing and contouring
- Streambank stabilization
- Livestock cross fencing and exclusion fencing
- Alternative water sources for livestock (water wells, water pipelines)
- Heavy use area protection
3. Ensure proper installation of agricultural BMPs.
- Oversee construction phases.
- Inspect completed practices to ensure compliance with standards, specifications, and contract requirements.
- Develop and implement a monitoring plan to ensure proper maintenance of conservation practices. Conduct follow-up site visits to identify maintenance needs.
4. Prepare administrative reports in accordance with the requirements of the 319 Grant and other funding organizations.
- Manage financial contracts for BMP installations, including cost-share agreements and reimbursement requests for installed and approved BMPs.
- Maintain time sheets, work logs, and travel logs.
- Prepare monthly activity reports.
- Prepare quarterly financial and activity reports in accordance with the requirements of the Grant.
5. Assist Save Our Saluda with Grant-related outreach efforts
- Develop press releases, brochures, letters, web content, etc.
- Conduct public interest meetings and technical workshops.
- Assist with the development of an effective outreach program promoting agricultural BMPs in the North Saluda River watershed.
- Represent the Grant Project at community events, meetings, fairs, festivals, and other public events.
6. Other Grant-related duties as assigned.
Skills and Qualifications
1. Minimum 5 years experience in agricultural conservation, including developing conservation plans and implementing USDA-NRCS conservation programs (especially EQIP).
2. Strong job approval authority for BMPs listed in Section 2 under Duties and Responsibilities and be able to work with resource agencies to develop BMP design standards and specifications.
3. Experience using USDA Tool Kit and Pro Tracts software.
4. Experience using GIS mapping software and handheld GPS to map, engineer and locate BMPs funded under the Grant.
5. Experience maintaining appropriate records and creating reports for federal grants and programs.
6. Preferred candidates will have knowledge, skills, and abilities equivalent to an NRCS Soil Conservationist GS-7,8,9.
7. Possess excellent communication skills, enthusiasm, and a personable nature.
8. Self-motivated, organized, and able to work independently with limited supervision.
9. Able to work in cooperation with a variety of natural resource professionals, contractors, and private landowners.
10. Physically able to work outdoors in SC weather and wildlife conditions to develop conservation plans and inspect installed practices.
Contract and Work Schedule
This is a contract position subject to Grant funding. The position is part-time, hourly, estimated at an average of between 10 and 20 hours per week (will vary by the week), with no benefits. The position may require some evening and weekend work. The anticipated duration of the position is Fall 2019 through Fall 2022.
Salary is negotiable, based upon qualifications and experience. Approved travel will be compensated at the standard federal government rate ($0.58/mile as of 8/1/2019).
Save Our Saluda
Marietta, SC 29661