Forest Conservation Program Manager

Watershed Science · Nevada City, California
Department Watershed Science
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Manager/Supervisor
Compensation $65,000-$80,000


The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL – pronounced circle) was founded in 1983 by grassroots activists determined to protect the South Yuba River from dams. Ultimately, SYRCL won permanent protections for 39 miles of the South Yuba River under California’s Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Today, SYRCL is the central hub of community activism to protect, restore, and celebrate the Yuba River watershed. With 38 years of achievements, 3,500 members and volunteers, SYRCL is doing great things for the Yuba watershed. SYRCL is a leader in the Sierra headwaters for addressing statewide and regional issues – challenging new dams, recovering endangered species, addressing climate change and drought, water security and water quality. Together, we are extending our powerful coalition from the summit to the sea. 



The Forest Conservation Program Manager leads and envisions SYRCL’s forest conservation work throughout the Yuba River watershed.  SYRCL’s forest health work accelerated beginning in 2019 and continues to grow considerably.  The program aims to 1improve forest health and forest resiliency throughout the watershed 2) engage diverse stakeholders throughout the Yuba River watershed to promote and implement forest health projects, 3) partner with local educational institutions for workforce development opportunities and 4raise funds to continue collaborative planning efforts and on-the-ground project implementation.  

The Forest Conservation Program Manager will work to meet the above goals as currently envisioned while also defining a larger forest conservation program for the organization.  

This is a full time, exempt position. Main work hours will be scheduled during normal business hours (Monday-Friday 9 am -5 pm) and evening and weekend work may be required.  



The Forest Conservation Program Manager will provide program vision and leadership, strategic and science-based recommendations, direct supervision of one or more employees, proactive fundraising and grant writing. This requires a significant amount of stakeholder engagement, project partner relationship management, knowledge in the fields of forest ecology or forestry, as well as managerial and fundraising experience and contractor management. The successful candidate will help set and advance SYRCL’s forest conservation priorities including:  

  • Continue to build and oversee sustainable and diverse forest conservation program within SYRCL’s Watershed Science department that works towards forest resiliency. Lead and support programmatic grant writing, necessary to plan and implement new projects. Contract and grant management, including developing, negotiating, awarding, and administering requests for proposals, contracts, budgets, and reports. 
  • Lead participation in the North Yuba Forest Partnership, a diverse group of nine organizations working to collaboratively plan and implement forest restoration across an unprecedented scale of 2750,000 acres of USFS managed land. Work closely with USFS and partners on project planning, financing, and steering. 
  • Engage in project planning, including selection of treatment types (prescribed fire, mechanical thinning, hand thinning, non-commercial and pre-commercial thinning, etc.) and intensity. Work with internal and external project partners to identify and prioritize project treatments within existing project footprint(s) and identify new project areas within the Yuba Watershed to target forest conservation work. Incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge and support projects that promote inclusion and indigenous land management where possible.  
  • Secure permits and approvals and ensure compliance with NEPA and CEQA. Supervise contractors, including planning surveyors, forestry consultants, and field crews. 
  • Develop, support, and oversee implementation of ecological forest restoration projects. Seek opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration within SYRCL, leveraging existing program areas. 


  • Bachelor’s Degree in forest ecology, forestry, silviculture, natural resources management, or a closely related field. Advanced degree preferred. A minimum of five years of relevant experience. 
  • Proven grant writing and project management experience including ensuring that awarded grants are tracked to make certain completion of deliverables, reporting, billing and invoicing.  
  • Demonstrated experience in creative problem-solving, opportunity development, effectively leveraging talent across diverse teams, and developing novel approaches with high-impact outcomes. 
  • Ability to build consensus, develop effective coalitions and collaborate with diverse interests.  
  • Team player and the ability to interact effectively and respectfully with people from different cultures and experiences and those who live in nearby communities. 
  • Effective communication skills necessary to develop and maintain lasting partnerships with government, agency, Tribal, and community representatives, among others. 
  • Demonstrates initiative, is conscientious, and provides follow-through on areas of responsibility. 
  • Facilitation experience or training. 
  • Proficient with GIS and mapping. 
  • Familiarity with Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forest ecology. 
  • Positive, self-motivated, and quick learning performer highly valued.  This position requires confidentiality, and a sense of humor is a must. 
  • Possession of a registered and insured personal vehicle, and a valid California Driver’s License. 



This position requires frequent computer use, extended periods of time sitting at a desk, and occasional lifting of up to 30 pounds. Additionally, the ability to speak clearly and be understood by others is required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Annual salary is $65,000-$80,000, depending on experience plus 14 days paid time off (PTO), 3 sick days, 401K plus employer match, and 10 paid holidays annually. The position requires occasional travel within California (generally to Sacramento) and occasional nights and weekend work.


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Our interview process begins will be a phone screen interview; semi-finalists will be invited to video call panel interview if not local; and finalists will be invited for an in-person interview.



This position is open until filled. Submit your cover letter and resume online.


SYRCL is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other protected status.  Women, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ people, and members of other historically disenfranchised populations are strongly encouraged to apply.

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  • Location
    Nevada City, California
  • Department
    Watershed Science
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation