Smoky Valley Ranch
The Smoky Valley Ranch is a 17,000 acre custom grazing cattle and bison operation with a goal of being a leader in sound range management. The ranch carries about 500 cow calf pairs and 400 yearlings during a grazing season from March through October, with 100 bison grazing year-round. The Rangeland Specialist participates in property operations, maintenance, management, and has primary responsibility for livestock care. Provides recommendations to the Project Manager regarding grazing rotations, and follows the grazing plan as directed by the Project Manager. Maintains logs on livestock and other operations, and shares information with the Project Manager.
Housing is available for rent for the Smoky Valley Ranch Rangeland Specialist on the ranch and in the nearby community of Russell Springs, but it is not a requirement for this position to live at Smoky Valley Ranch or in Russell Springs. If the Rangeland Specialist chooses to live at Smoky Valley Ranch, please note that this option may be modified by The Nature Conservancy in the future.
The Rangeland Specialist coordinates cattle shipping, weaning strategies, mineral supply, and other livestock care with tenants. Recognizes symptoms of illness in cattle and administers medical aid to livestock or consults veterinarian as necessary. (Not responsible for monitoring calving.) When cattle are off the ranch, primary responsibilities are infrastructure maintenance and improvement (fencing, water, corrals, and facilities). Bison herd stewardship responsibilities.
Maintains ranch infrastructure, including roads, water systems, and fences, and is responsible for other general upkeep, such as junk removal. Maintains facilities, tools, and equipment. Keeps vehicles clean and in good working order. Maintains and improves ranch areas visited by the public and donors, including trails, headquarters, residence areas, and perimeter parking lots and signage.
Carries out rangeland and wildlife monitoring and management activities as directed by the Project Manager, including grazing utilization and management of exotic species. Wildlife work includes rangeland management, monitoring, and research related to primary conservation targets: Lesser Prairie-Chicken and Black-tailed Prairie Dogs. Assists Project Manager with developing, implementing, and monitoring associated habitat management practices.
Assists with prescribed burns, under the direction of the designated burn boss.
Maintains constructive, positive relationships and liaisons, on behalf of TNC, with staff, neighbors, partners, the community, and visitors to the ranch.
Must have a commitment to ecological resource conservation in the Great Plains, and a willingness to learn about conservation issues and priorities.
Records hours and work performed, and reports information to the Project Manager. Performs other ranch work as directed by the Project Manager, and may occasionally assist Project Manager with off-ranch conservation projects and initiatives, such as rangeland and CRP conservation and management planning, implementation, and monitoring.
RESPONSIBILITIES & SCOPE:
Purchase supplies for Ranch, practicing financial prudence and within spending guidelines.
Networks with diverse groups, including land owners, conservation partners, government officials, donors, board members and the general public to recruit support for and publicize The Nature Conservancy.
Supervises Seasonal Ranch Hand and interns, assisting with training and monitoring work progress as directed by the Project Manager.
Convey work instructions to the Seasonal Ranch Hand and other preserve management team members.
Coordinate multiple projects, setting realistic deadlines and managing timeframes. Resolve management problems independently as delegated. Perform under minimal and occasionally distant supervision, consulting with supervisor in event of any unusual circumstance, problem or question that falls outside of general preserve management realm.
Work with and communicate effectively with a diverse range of people, including employees, researchers, the public, vendors, etc. Interact with ranch visitors, convey basic ranch information, and lead field trips as directed by the Project Manager.
The Smoky Valley Ranch Rangeland Specialist works in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances. These conditions:
require considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain
present frequent possibility of injury
irregular hours, occasional weekends
require long hours in isolated settings
BA/BS/AS/Technical or vocational degree in science-related field and 1 year related experience in custodial and ecological land management or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Experience with natural systems.
Experience in ecological land management principles.
Experience supervising staff.
Experience operating and or repairing various types of equipment and machinery.
Must have valid driver’s license, be insurable under TNC policy, and comply with TNC Auto Safety Program.
PREFERRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & EXPERIENCE:
Minimum 1 year experience in an agricultural or land management field and BA/BS degree in either the Natural Resource Management or Animal Science and Industry field. Or 3 years’ experience in an agricultural or land management field and an Associate/Technical degree.
Experience with bison or willingness to learn about bison handling and stewardship
Experience related to livestock operations including recognizing symptoms of illness and ability to administer medical aid to livestock if needed.
Experience with fence construction and maintenance.
Experience with current trends and practices in natural resource conservation or range management.
Experience recognizing plant and animal species as required to complete monitoring and management activities.
Experience operating various types of equipment in a safe and efficient manner (e.g.; trailers, ATV, tractor, lawn mower, chainsaw, etc.).
Must obtain and hold herbicide and rodenticide application as needed.
Qualified as or able to meet qualifications for Fire Fighter Type 2.
HOW TO APPLY:
Apply online at nature.org/careers
Application Deadline: Wednesday, October 28th
To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter as one document through The Nature Conservancy’s online application system. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on October 28th.
If you are having technical problems with the site or application process, contact [email protected] and include the job opening ID. Any questions related to this specific position may be directed to [email protected]
This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.
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