Wildfire Mitigation Program Specialist

Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
20 Mar 2018
End of advertisement period
17 Apr 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Description of Work Unit

The Colorado State Forest Service is an agency of Colorado State University, Colorado’s land grant institution of higher education, and is housed, organizationally, in the Warner College of Natural Resources. The CSFS also staffs the Division of Forestry for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. The CSFS has 18 field units throughout the state, with a State Office located in Fort Collins on one of the foothills campuses of CSU.

The Forest Planning and Implementation Division of the Colorado State Forest Service provides administration and oversight of forest management programs that directly contribute to the agency’s mission of “the stewardship of Colorado’s diverse forest environments for the benefit of present and future generations”. The Wildfire Mitigation Specialist is a sub-staff of the Forest Planning and Implementation Division of the Colorado State Forest Service. The administration of wildfire risk reduction programs is carried out under the supervision of the Manager of Fire, Fuels, and Watershed.

Position Summary

Under the direct supervision of the Manager of Fire, Fuels, and Watershed, the Program Specialist is responsible for the oversight and administration of programs supporting wildfire risk reduction activities in Colorado. Specifically, this position will be responsible for program administration, professional forestry functions, and science-based forest management and wildfire risk reduction expertise supporting, 18 field units throughout Colorado. This position will serve as the State Liaison for the Firewise USA® program by approving all new and renewal applications and assisting the field units and communities with program requirements. Additionally, this position will provide program guidance on Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPPs), track and provide updates on the number of CWPPs completed, in progress, and updated throughout the state. The incumbent represents the Colorado State Forest Service (CSFS) on various statewide mitigation related groups and develops and delivers wildfire risk reduction presentations at high-profile regional and statewide events. This position will be responsible for preparation and submittal of grant applications for wildfire risk reduction grant programs, monitoring target accomplishment and ensuring accomplishment reports are completed in a timely manner.

Required Job Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree (or greater) in forestry, another natural resources program, or a related degree will be considered.
  • Four years of combined field forestry and/or forest management program administration experience.
  • One year of professional experience in wildfire hazard mitigation activities.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain a driver’s license or access to a licensed driver by the employment start date.

Preferred Job Qualifications

Wildfire Risk Reduction

  • Knowledge of forest management in Western United States Forests, Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) issues, and major forest health disturbances in Colorado.
  • Understanding of fire behavior, structural ignitability concepts, treatments and techniques effective in reducing wildfire hazards.
  • Knowledge of the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code (IWUIC), Home Ignition Zone (HIZ), and National Cohesive Wildfire Strategy concepts.
  • Completion of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) courses: S-130/190, S-290, S-390.
  • NWCG FFT1 qualified; previous wildland firefighting experience in Wildland-Urban Interface.
  • Experience writing, reviewing, and implementing CWPPs and Wildfire Hazard Mitigation Plans.
  • Experience in writing prescriptions to reduce wildfire risk and improve forest health including specifications on treatment methods (types of equipment, crews).
  • Experience with assessing structures and surrounding vegetation for wildfire hazards and providing recommendations to reduce the hazards through modifications to construction materials and vegetative treatments.

Program Planning and Administration

  • Experience with program planning and administration including: effectively documenting accomplishments, record-keeping, developing annual reports, budget management, developing annual program of work, and strategic planning.
  • Experience with writing, reviewing, and managing various forestry related grant programs.
  • Strong organizational, multitasking, planning and prioritizing skills.
  • Experience with and demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and advance outcomes with internal staff and external partners, cooperators and teams.
  • Experience working in and maintaining a safe working environment; quality and demonstrated excellent customer service ethic and professionalism.
  • Proficient with ArcGIS mapping and analysis.


  • Ability to develop strong working relationships with diverse stakeholders.
  • Ability to reduce complex theories, concepts, principles, and methodologies into layman’s terms.
  • Experience in organizing, developing and delivering public presentations, events, publications, and other informational and educational activities.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills.

Diversity Statement

Applicants are expected to possess demonstrated knowledge of and relevant ability with culturally diverse communities among potential target and constituent populations.

Essential Duties

Job Duty Category Program Planning and Administration Duty/Responsibility

This position requires proficiency in general program planning and administration skills including but not limited to: recording accomplishments, meeting deadlines, budget administration, and supporting field operations. The Program Specialist needs to be proactive and forward thinking in his/her program development, assist other Program Specialists in accomplishing program objectives, forecast program needs, be aware of significant changes, practices, science, etc. in related areas, and effectively share new knowledge and information with internal staff and external partners and cooperators.

Specifically, the incumbent of this position will facilitate the creation and implementation of multi-year plans to ensure completion of annual program of work; coordinate closely with local, state and federal partners in the administration of assigned programs; monitor target accomplishments and ensure accomplishment reports are completed in a timely manner.

Areas of focus include (but are not limited to):
Community Wildfire Protection Plans (CWPP)

  • Maintain database of all CWPPs in Colorado.
  • Determine barriers/needs of communities with existing plans that are not actively implementing the CWPP. Develop solutions to move from planning to action.
  • Provide guidance to field units on how to integrate CWPPs into FEMA Hazard Mitigation Plans.
  • Provide professional services to field staff engaged in CWPP development and implementation.
  • Update and maintain the CWPP template in the Colorado Wildfire Risk Assessment Portal (CO-WRAP).

Fire Adapted Communities

  • Engage in Fire Adapted Communities network; serve as point of contact for Colorado Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network (CSFS is affiliate member).
  • Develop training for field staff, and partners in Fire Adapted Community concepts/tools for consistent messaging.
  • Integrate concepts into publications and outreach efforts (i.e. community meetings).

Firewise USA®

  • Serve as the State Liaison for Firewise USA® program. Provide field staff with current program information/requirements. Assist communities with program information. Utilize National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) online portal for managing Firewise USA® program participant information and approving new and renewed communities.
  • Track, review, and provide updates on Firewise USA® applications for Colorado
  • Remain current on Firewise USA® program requirements.
  • Maintain a positive working relationship with the NFPA, which provides oversight for the Firewise USA® program.

Fuel Treatments

  • Provide professional, science based assistance to CSFS staff regarding effective treatments for reducing hazardous fuels.
  • Provide assistance to CSFS Science and Data Division in determining options for collecting and processing pre-post treatment fuel load data to incorporate into project monitoring. Assist with post-treatment data analysis to determine treatment outcomes and possible changes to future prescriptions to meet fuel treatment objectives.
  • Keep up-to-date on emerging issues, science and research regarding fuel treatment effectiveness.
  • Conduct post-fire analysis of fuel treatment effectiveness.
  • Knowledgeable in treatment prioritization modeling efforts and potential uses for CSFS planning efforts.

Wildfire Hazard/Risk Assessments and Modeling

  • Maintain and implement the CSFS HIZ Assessment form and instructions, and facilitate training of staff in use of form. Keep up on the latest science pertaining to ignition resistant construction, effectiveness of treatments, and WUI-based building codes. Analyze other assessment methodologies to determine potential enhancements for CSFS HIZ form.
  • Thorough understanding of CO-WRAP data layers used in the risk assessment. Responsible for determining enhancements and data layer updates. Proficient in the use of CO-WRAP for internal/external planning efforts. Develop outreach strategy for internal/external audiences. Serve as point of contact for questions received from CO-WRAP users regarding aspects of the program (risk layers, etc).
  • Knowledgeable of various wildfire risk modeling efforts and potential uses for CSFS planning efforts.

Percentage Of Time 55 Job Duty Category Support to Field Staff and Professional Services Duty/Responsibility

The incumbent of this position will be responsible for providing professional wildfire mitigation, hazard/risk/value identification and recommendations, and science-based forest management information to all CSFS field staff in wildfire mitigation planning and implementation activities within their jurisdiction. Work with CSFS personnel to ensure that key wildfire mitigation messages are consistent and integrated into presentation materials. Specific activities are included in the Planning and Administration Duties Section.

Percentage Of Time 20 Job Duty Category State and Regional Program Leadership Duty/Responsibility

The position maintains key working relationships with various local, state, and federal partners. This incumbent is expected to provide leadership, oversight, science-based forest management expertise, coordination and administration of working groups when needed, and advocating for wildfire risk reduction and social change consistent with our mission and strategic priorities.

  • Represent CSFS on various statewide mitigation related groups (Colorado Association of Realtors, Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, Planning for Hazards Steering Committee).
  • Develop and deliver wildfire mitigation presentations at high-profile regional and statewide events.
  • Collaborate with local, state, and federal land management agencies to ensure consistent messaging about wildfire risk reduction to target audiences.
  • Serve as professional resource for CSFS and partner agency publications.

Percentage Of Time 10 Job Duty Category Grant Administration Duty/Responsibility

The incumbent of this position will be responsible for preparation and submittal of grant applications for wildfire risk reduction grant programs. Grant programs have the potential to include $1-2 million dollars in grant awards annually and spanning multiple years. The Program Specialist is expected to monitor target accomplishment and ensure accomplishment reports are completed in a timely manner.
Specific responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Provide professional services and support to CSFS staff, cooperators and landowners to ensure wildfire risk reduction grant programs are effectively administered in compliance with state/federal fiscal rules.
  • Administer grant proposal process including distributing pre-proposal forms and budgets, setting timelines for submissions, leading internal team to review, rank pre-proposals for full grant development, finalizing grants for submission.
  • Manage budgets for individual grant projects and track accomplishments. Approve reimbursements.
  • Assist area staff in identifying areas for potential grant projects that align with agency priority areas.
  • Develop grant proposals that support agency wildfire risk reduction goals and objectives as needed.

Percentage Of Time 10 Job Duty Category Supervision of Seasonal and Hourly Employees Duty/Responsibility

The incumbent of this position is responsible for the daily oversight and guidance of seasonal and/or hourly staff, ensuring regular communication with employees. The incumbent of this position will develop and monitor ongoing performance. They will be responsible for creating bi-annual employee development plans, and updating those plans as needed. They are also expected to ensure the day-to-day safety of employees, and mentor and train seasonal and/or hourly staff as needed.

Percentage Of Time 5

Special Instructions to Applicants

For full consideration please apply by 4/8/2018, 11:59 pm (MT). A complete application will include a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcripts and contact information for 3 to 5 professional references. References will not be contacted without prior notification of candidates.

Please address how you meet the minimum and preferred qualifications in your application materials. Allow at least two to three weeks after the closing date for us to review your application materials and determine those candidates we plan to invite to interview. If you are not selected for an interview, we will send you notification when the process is complete. Should you be invited to an in-person interview, the CSFS will cover all reasonable travel expenses per candidate. At the time of on-campus interviews, application materials of finalist candidates will be made available to Forest Service and other relevant constituents.

Search Contact

For questions about this position or the application process, please contact Sarah Badding at Sarah.Badding@colostate.edu or 970-491-7293.

EEO Statement

Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Title IX Coordinator is the Executive Director of the Office of Support and Safety Assessment, 123 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523 -2026, (970) 491-7407.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

Background Check Policy Statement

Colorado State University (CSU) strives to provide a safe study, work, and living environment for its faculty, staff, volunteers and students. To support this environment and comply with applicable laws and regulations, CSU conducts background checks. The type of background check conducted varies by position and can include, but is not limited to, criminal (felony and misdemeanor) history, sex offender registry, motor vehicle history, financial history, and/or education verification. Background checks will be conducted when required by law or contract and when, in the discretion of the university, it is reasonable and prudent to do so.