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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Director, Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants Staff
Department:  Department Of Agriculture
Agency:  Forest Service
Job Announcement Number:  AG-11-2013-0018

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$119,554.00 to $179,700.00 / Per Year
Monday, July 29, 2013 to Monday, August 26, 2013
Full-time - Permanent
1 vacancy - Washington, DC, US  View Map

Applications will be accepted from all groups of qualified individuals.



If you would like to work for a premier agency in the area of conservation and natural resources; the Forest Service is the agency for you. The Forest Service has the responsibility for managing 191 million acres of National Forest System lands across the United States. To learn more about our agency, exciting mission, vision, and guiding principles, please visit (

This position is SES, Career Reserve. Positions in the SES are not graded. The salary range is $119,554 - $179,700 per year. SES employees are also eligible for bonuses and awards based on performance. Veteran's preference is not applicable to the SES. Selectee is subject to a one-year probationary period, unless currently serving under an SES appointment. Visit for additional information regarding SES employees.


  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to qualify for this position
  • You must be able to obtain/maintain a background investigation
  • This position may be subject to random drug testing
  • You will be required to do some travel
  • Individuals selected for SES positions may be subject to reassignment
  • Relocation expense may be paid in accordance with Federal Travel Regulation


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The Director, Watershed, Wildlife, Fish, Air, and Rare Plants Staff, serves as program leader and technical director of Forest Services programs involving conservation, development, and manipulation of wildlife and fish habitats, and in this capacity:

  1. Formulates, interprets and implements polices, standards, and methods for conservation, development, and management of wildlife and fish habitat on lands administered by the Forest Service. This ranges from protection and recovery of endangered species habitat to prescriptions for timber harvest, livestock management, road construction, recreation facilities, and watershed projects that will fully consider the needs of watershed, fish, wildlife, air, and rare plants.
  2. Serves as consultant to the Chief and Staff of the Forest Service, Staff Directors, Regional Foresters, and State, Federal, and private organization cooperators on the development, conservation, maintenance, improvement, and protection of the watershed, wildlife, fish, air and plants environment in Forest Service programs. Advises top staff of the Forest Service on critical and sensitive problems related to habitat changes resulting from programs involving the Forest Service. This includes all resources activities carried out by the interest that will affect habitat in National Forests. This includes all resources activities carried out by the interests that will affect habitat in National Forests. This also includes the impact of one wildlife species on another and the impact on certain species on other National Forest programs.
  3. Provides overall leadership and direction to the watershed, fish, wildlife, air and rare plant programs. This includes planning, organization developing, and administering the agency’s broad national programs through a decentralized administrative organization organized, oriented, and authorized to settle local problems under Services-wide and Regional direction in accordance with local conditions. This involves consideration and prescription of solutions for highly significant and complex problems in the functional areas of:
  • Planning – This includes providing direction in establishment of the watershed, wildlife, fishery, air, and rare plant mission of the Forest Services and in setting goals and objectives for their attainment within and overall broad agency policy and funding. The National Forest Management Act calls for the watershed, air, fish, and wildlife resources to be an integral part of Forest Management Plans. This includes providing direction in the collection, analysis, interpretation, and use of data regarding species associated with various habitats and how they will be affected by planning alternatives. Direction on determination of what is a viable population of all vertebrate species in relation to each alternative is required. In addition, the direction must include how to integrate cooperative Comprehensive State wildlife and Fish Management Plans call for in the Endangered Species Act with Forest land management plans. Such cooperation is essential in the wildlife and fish resources area where jurisdiction areas overlap.
  • Watershed, Wildlife, and Fish Management in Administration – This involves technical guidance in working with Regions and State wildlife and natural resources agencies to determine population levels of watershed, wildlife and fish that are commensurate with, their habitat supply, carrying out management reviews of wildlife and fish habitat use to insure conformity with planning goals and objectives; reviews of how other resources programs of the Forest Service are helping to meet watershed, wildlife and fish goals through coordination,; and monitoring of complete wildlife and fish habitat projects to see if expected outputs are being realized. Although it is difficult to economically measure most output from wildlife programs, the anadromous fisheries products on from National Forest waters is an exception. The incumbent administers and anadroumous fisheries program that produces an average of 150 million pounds of salmon a year for an estimated value of $250 million based on selling these fish at dockside to a commercial packer in addition, subsistence use amounts to 1.4 million pounds valued at 6.8 million – Subsistence use of fish and wildlife is administered by the Forest Service in Alaska providing this position with a complex, volatile issue.
  • Wildlife and Fish Habitat Improvement – This involves the planning, design, and construction of watershed, wildlife, air, and fish habitat projects such as stream improvement structures, waterfowl nesting structures, protection fencing, grass axed for seeding, prescribed burning, etc.; the maintenance and rehabilitation of improvements; proper interspersion of vegetation types; and the creation of any required habitat that is not present in sufficient quantity and quality to meet the wildlife and fish goals and objectives.
  • Multiple Use Management This involves the coordination of wildlife and fish habitat needs with other uses of the land, including timber, livestock, watersheds, recreation users,  andengineering projects. The complex challenge is to provide and protect fish and wildlife habitat and other sustainable resource conditions while providing multiple uses from a managed forest environment.

Incumbent accomplishes wildlife and fish goals and objectives by working with other resources staffs to gain commitment to achieving wildlife and fish management goals and objectives through coordination with their programs.

  • State and Private Forestry – This involves providing technical leadership and guidance to State and Private Forestry to insure that cooperative programs are in compliance with the Endangered Species Act, and are responsive to the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978. Disseminates wildlife and fish habitat information that can be helpful in providing interest Forest land owners with recommendations on how to treat private stands of timber to meet the owner’s wildlife and fish objectives.
  • Cooperation – Achieving wildlife and fish objectives and goals on National Forest System lands is dependent upon cooperative programs with other Federal agencies and the States. Intensive and close cooperation is particularly needed with the States with whom wildlife and fish management responsibilities on National Forest System lands are shared, the Fish and Wildlife Services and the Bureau of Land Management of the Department of the Interior, and the National Marine Fisheries Service of the Department of Commerce.

    Although many Forest Services wildlife and fish habitat programs and activities are done in cooperation with the Fish and Wildlife Service, the most intensive and complicated activities involve animal damage control and implementation of Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Both of these programs are not only technically complicated, but evoke intensive public emotion. Therefore, considerable skill is needed not only in jointly working out technical problems in effective public communication.

    Strong and understanding leadership and direction are required in the cooperative programs with respective States. This cooperative effort is carried out with the 44 States that contain National Forest system lands. As the Forest Service shares the watershed, Fish, wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants management responsibilities with the States on National Forest System lands, it’s vital that good cooperative relations be maintained.

    Leadership is also need in cooperative efforts with other Federal Agencies such the Bureau of Land Management. Of extreme importance is the ability to cooperate and work with the man public conservation agencies who are not only interested in Forest Service wildlife and fish habitat programs but participate actively in either supporting or opposing such programs. The support of the majority of such groups is essential in achieving wildlife and fish objectives.

    The Director is responsible for establish and maintain partnerships with national watershed, fish, wildlife, air a, and plants organizations. Over 25 such partnerships have been established providing a strong coalition of support for forest service management activities. This includes furthering the Challenge Cost share program, which leverages about 2 private dollars for each federal dollar. In 2990 there were 1,700 Challenge Cost projects.
  • Threatened and Endangered Animal & Rare Plant Species – Provides overall supervision for the formulation and recommendation of policy, plans, programs, and standards of national scope to encourage the effective protection, development, coordination, and management of the threatened and endangered-plant and animal program. The T&E species program is especially complex since the Endangered Species Act requires that every Forest service action must be evaluated for its effect on T&E species. A mandatory consultation process with the Department of the Interior and Department of Commerce is required for all actions that may affect a listed species. The Forest Service may have over 10 thousand actions per year subject to the Endangered Species Act.

    These legal requirements necessitate very close coordination with other functional areas within the Forest Service to assure that actions initiated by them are legally evaluated and consulted upon.

    The incumbent bears overall responsibility for coordinating endangered species programs between all USDA, agencies by co-chairing the Fish and Wildlife Working Group for the Secretary’s Natural Resources and Environmental Committee.

A.    Determine adherence to established standards through fields visits, reviews and inspections. Determines standards for such inspections; develops criteria and approaches to assure attainment of functional objectives in line with national program goals and objectives; and determines the technical adequacy and, soundness of recommendations based on review findings.

B.     Considers and recommends appropriate action on complaints and appeals resulting from Forest Service wildlife and fish management policies and practices, such as appeals connected with conflicts between elk cover needs and timber sale volumes, wildlife snag requirements, and fuel wood policy, livestock use in riparian habitat and threatened and endangered species conflicts.

C.     Reviews and evaluates research programs to determine application to current wildlife and fish management program nerds; the recommendations of research studies directed toward the solution of newly, recognized of increasingly important problems; and implementation of research results for the purpose of achieving improved wildlife an fish management on Forest Service lands and demonstrating the value of changing practices and managing non-Federal lands for wildlife.

D.    Coordinates conservation, development, and utilization of wildlife and fish habitat with multiple-use sustained yield programs fox National Forest system lands and water; and coordinates assigned functional programs with those of other government agencies and privately-owned forests and I rangelands.

As Staff Director, is responsible for national level administrative activities including considering and support budgetary requirements for program accomplishment, development of a financial plan and allotment base, determine expected and actual program effectiveness, advising on forest and related rangeland research needs as they involve wildlife and fish habitat, and the issuance of directives and guidelines.
Provides leadership and coordinates the operations of subordinate Group Leaders, largely through conferences, policy decisions, and individual discussions. Personally takes action to resolve strategic operations problems, resolves complains, completes performance ratings, and selects employees for promotion or reassignment and determines broad program priorities. Reviews and evaluates group program actions from the standpoint of effective integration with Service-wide policies and objectives. 


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As a basic requirement for entry into the SES, applicants must provide evidence of progressively responsible leadership experience that is indicative of senior executive level managerial capability and directly related to the skills and abilities outlined under Mandatory Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications.

Typically, experience of this nature will have been gained at or above the GS-15 grade level in the Federal service, or its equivalent with state or local government, the private sector, or non- governmental organizations. Your resume needs to emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of programs managed, and your program accomplishments, including the results of your actions.

1. Degree: biological sciences, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to the position.


2. Combination of education and experience: Courses equivalent to a major, as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Failure to meet the basic qualification requirement and all Mandatory Technical factors automatically disqualifies an applicant.


A. EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS (ECQ): All applicants must submit written statements. Your narrative response must not exceed two (2) pages per ECQ.

The ECQs were designed to assess executive experience and potential not technical expertise. They measure whether an individual has the broad executive skills needed to succeed in a variety of SES positions. All applicants must submit written statements describing accomplishments that would satisfy the ECQs.

You must address each ECQ separately. You are required to respond to all ECQs. If you fail to do so, you will be rated as 'ineligible.'

Each accomplishment should be clear, concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities, the scope and complexity of programs managed, and results of your actions.

Additional information on the ECQs is available at

ECQ 1 LEADING CHANGE: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment. (Competencies: Creativity and Innovation, External Awareness, Flexibility. Resilience, Strategic Thinking, Vision)

ECQ 2 LEADING PEOPLE: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts. In addition to this ECQ, you must also describe your accomplishments in EEO and/or CIVIL RIGHTS. This includes opportunities provided to minorities and women to receive grants and/or contracts, employment and advancement, training, award recognition, and program benefits. (Competencies: Conflict Management, Leveraging Diversity, Developing Others, Team Building)

ECQ 3 RESULTS DRIVEN: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this ECQ is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks. (Competencies: Accountability, Customer Service, Decisiveness, Entrepreneurship, Problem Solving, Technical Credibility)

ECQ 4 BUSINESS ACUMEN: This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically. (Competencies: Financial Management, Human Capital Management, Technology Management)

ECQ 5 BUILDING COALITIONS: This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals. (Competencies: Partnering, Political Savvy, Influencing/Negotiating)

Fundamental Competencies: These competencies are the foundation for success in each of the Executive Core Qualifications; Interpersonal Skills, Oral Communication, Continual Learning, Written Communication, Integrity/Honesty, Public Service Motivation. The Fundamental Competencies are crosscutting; they should be addressed over the course of your ECQ narrative. It is not necessary for you to address the Fundamental Competencies directly as long as the narrative, in its totality, shows mastery of these competencies on the whole.

The following applicants may omit the mandatory ECQ narrative statements, but must provide proof of status as stated below.

1. Applicants who are currently serving under a SES-Career appointment or who are eligible for reinstatement into the SES. You must provide a recent Standard Form 50 (SF-50) that documents career appointment to the SES.

2. Applicants who are graduates of an OPM-approved SES Candidate Development Program. You must provide proof of OPM Qualification Review Board certification.

B. MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS (TQ): All applicants must submit written statements. Your narrative response must not exceed two (2) pages per TQ. You must address each TQ separately. You are required to respond to all TQs. If you fail to do so, you will be rated as 'ineligible.'

1. Knowledge of and professional experience in fisheries, wildlife and watershed management and related sciences.

2. Knowledge of existing legislation, Executive Orders, policies, principles, objectives and natural resource program conditions and ability to apply this knowledge to accurately evaluate relative merits of changes in agency program direction and emphasis.

To preview questions please click here.


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Some of the benefits for which you are entitled to but not limited to are:

Federal Holidays

Annual & Sick Leave

Federal Employee Retirement System

Thrift Savings Plan

Federal Employees Health Benefits

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program

Federal Employees Group Life Insurance

Flexible Spending Accounts

Federal Long Term Care Insurance

For more information on these and many other benefits, go to:


Consideration for competitive selection for this position is open to all persons within the area of consideration who meet the basic qualifications. Race, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, religion, marital or family status, disability, and other non-merit factors will not be considered.

1. This position is covered under the post-employment restriction of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (P.L. 95-521). This law also requires the selectee to file an Executive Personnel Financial Disclosure Report (Standard Form 278), within 30 days of appointment.

2. Applications sent in U.S. Government postage-paid envelope and submitted through Federal Agency courier services will not be considered.

3. The 1993 Hatch Act Reform Amendments prohibit oral and written political recommendations for Federal jobs.

4. Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, must be registered with the Selective Service System before they can be employed by an executive agency of the Federal government. This requirement does not apply to Agency employees appointed before November 8, 1985.

5. All application forms are subject to the provisions of the Privacy Act and become the property of USDA.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication or program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).

Reasonable Accommodation: This agency provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency at 202-690-1870. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.


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You can apply for this position via on-line submission. Your online application must include the following documents:

1. Resume

2. Responses to the Mandatory Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications.

3. Supporting Documentation (See required documents for more information)

Candidates who do not submit complete application packages as indicated will not be considered.

Please be sure to remove all PII (e.g. SSN & DOB) from all documents.

Spell out Acronyms the first time used.

Applicants who cannot apply on-line, please mail or fax applications to the Agency Contact listed in the vacancy announcement.

Applications must be received by 11:59 pm EST on the closing date.

Critical Submission Requirements and Reminders

1. Application and supporting documentation will not be accepted via e-mail.

2. Please be sure to click both (FINISHED) buttons when completing your on-line application.

3. Our online application system is 100% compatible with Internet Explorer (IE) versions 5.0 and above.




A complete application package will require the submission of:

1. Resume, which must include all of the information listed below.

Vacancy announcement number

Full name, mailing and email addresses, day and evening telephone numbers

Country of citizenship

Information about your paid and nonpaid work experience related to this position including; job title, duties and accomplishments , employer's name and address, supervisor name and phone number, duration of employment, and salary and hrs per week

Educational information, including the name, city and state of colleges or universities attended, major as well as the type of degree received

Information about honors, awards, and special accomplishments

2. Responses to the Executive Core Qualifications - Submit responses to the questions which addresses EACH of the ECQs separately. The purpose of these questions are to provide you, as an applicant, the opportunity to elaborate on your experience, training, and specifically, significant achievements which relates to the ECQs being used to identify the best qualified candidates for this vacancy. DO NOT simply repeat entries from other parts of your application package.

Please provide complete responses to the executive core qualification questions. When addressing the five ECQs the total length of your statement must not exceed 10 pages (no more than 2 pages per ECQ) using 1 inch margins and a 12 point font.

An ECQ statement may include one or two examples of relevant experience. The number of examples is not as important as assuring that your experience matches the ECQ criteria, but please try to limit examples to a maximum of two to ensure a clear and concise narrative that flows.

Please provide your examples using the C-C-A-R Model(Challenge/Context/Action/Results), as described below:

a. Challenge: Describe a specific problem or goal.

b. Context: Describe the individuals and groups you worked with, and/or the environment in which you worked to tackle a particular challenge (e.g., clients, co-workers, members of Congress, shrinking budget, low morale.)

c. Action: Discuss the specific actions you took to address a challenge

d. Results: Give specific examples of the results of your actions. These accomplishments demonstrate the quality and effectiveness of your leadership skills.

Examples of the CCAR model, the method of writing your ECQs, can be found at:

3. Responses to the Mandatory Technical Qualifications

Submit responses to the questions which addresses EACH of the Mandatory Technical Qualifications individually. Your narrative responses must not exceed two (2) pages using 1 inch margins and a 12 point font per Technical Qualification.

4. Supporting Documentation

If you are a Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program graduate, submit proof of the Office of Personnel Management's certification and a narrative statement addressing only the mandatory technical qualifications.

If you are a current or former SES member, submit documentation of SES status and a narrative statement addressing only the mandatory technical qualifications. For documentation, you must submit a copy of your Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) showing your position, title, series, grade, and tenure.

Submit responses to the questions which addresses EACH of the ECQs separately.

Please be sure to include the announcement number on your application. Also, please omit your social security number from all pages of your application.

5. DO NOT submit any additional information, extraneous materials will not be considered.


Britnie Tucker
Phone: 202-260-8781
Fax: 202-720-2774
Agency Information:
Fax: 202-720-2774


Applicants who meet the mandatory requirements in items A (Executive Core Qualifications), and B (Mandatory Technical Qualifications) above will be considered qualified for this position. Rating and ranking to determine the 'best qualified' will be conducted by a panel of experts and will be based upon consideration of the degree to which applicants meet the mandatory requirements as described in the announcement. Interviews and qualifications inquiries may be required.

The Executive Core Qualifications of the selectee are subject to prior approval by the Office of Personnel Management Qualifications Review Board (QRB). Unless you have already been certified by an OPM QRB in the past, your ECQs must be certified by an OPM QRB before appointment can occur. When reviewing Executive Core Qualifications Statements, the QRB is looking for experience as well as specific challenges, actions, and results.

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