Blackrock Bear Safety Ambassador, Friends of the Bridger-Teton

near Moran, WY

Description:
The Bridger-Teton National Forest, in partnership with Friends of the Bridger-Teton, is recruiting a bear education technician for a full- time ambassadorship on Blackrock Ranger District during summer season 2020. The Blackrock Ranger Station is located near Moran, Wyoming in the beautiful Northwestern corner of the State within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

The individual will lead bear safety education efforts across the District, providing education in the field with National Forest visitors, permit holders such as Resort and Outfitter/Guide operators, and homeowners adjacent to the National Forest.  Additionally, the incumbent would coordinate with District staff on signing and infrastructure related to bear safety and food storage compliance.

Work Schedule:   Full time, 4 days per week, 32 hours
Application Period Closes:  February 22, 2020

Major Duties:

Serve as bear safety education lead for the District in coordination with Zone Wildlife Biologist and Blackrock District Ranger to help mitigate human-wildlife conflicts.  Individual would assist with bear safety/bear spray use trainings for local Resort and outfitter/guide employees.

Grizzly bears frequent meadows along Togwotee Scenic Highway corridor that attract large crowds.  Education is important to deliver in these scenarios to help prevent potential dangerous human/bear encounters due to people getting too close to grizzly bears and bear cubs.  The District has a variety of infrastructure including food storage boxes, bear poles, and a wide variety of signage at campgrounds, trailheads, and dispersed campsites throughout the front country and backcountry.  This signage and infrastructure requires maintenance, inventory, and evaluation of adequacy/needed changes or updates, and consistency across types of sites.  Ambassador would also be responsible for assisting with signing of temporary area closures for public safety in instances such as a bear claiming a carcass near a developed area, campsite, trail, etc. and communicating human-bear safety concerns with Forest colleagues and partner agencies as appropriate.

Job Duties:

  • Proactively patrol and initiate public contacts and educational outreach focused on reducing bear conflict; promote proper food storage, “Bear Aware” principles, and responsible wildlife-viewing best practices.
  • Respond to calls and provide roadside bear education, presence and signage in collaboration with WGF/WYDOT and Togwotee Mountain Lodge Staff to prevent unsafe behavior.
  • Facilitate bear safety training sessions for local outfitters and lodges in collaboration with WYGF.
  • Help inventory, maintain and repair existing bear boxes and signage in campgrounds, trailheads and dispersed camping sites throughout the District
  • Respond to situations across the District where we may need to provide safety signage, such as a bear on a carcass.
  • Provide additional outreach and education to the “in-holding” areas on Buffalo Valley to promote good behavior with grills, bird feeders, trash storage, etc.
  • Work independently around potentially dangerous wildlife on a flexible schedule, which may include early evenings (before dark) and weekends.
  • Record volunteer hours and accomplishments.
  • Provide Forest visitors with information about bear ecology, behavior, and conservation, bear safety, and ethical wildlife viewing standards.
  • Record bear observations and behavior including the use of scopes, binoculars, and interpreting bear sign.
  • Interpret bear behavior and ecology for visitors and answer questions.
  • Deliver PowerPoint and oral bear safety presentations.
  • Document human behavior related to bear encounters and provide these details in written reports to US Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers or position supervisors.
  • Keep daily records of grizzly bear, black bear, and other wildlife observations.
  • May remove roadkill or assist WYDOT or WGFD with removing roadkill.
  • Demonstrate a courteous, customer service attuite with visitors and colleagues.
  • Follow U.S. Forest Service procedures and policies.
  • Follow US Forest Service social media policy.
  • As an agency representative, support and explain agency policy and objectives.
  • Wear the provided identifying uniform.
  • Ambassador will carry, at a minimum, a radio, bear spray, maps and a cell phone.
  • Operate a government motor vehicle safely; must have valid driver’s license and safe driving record.
  • Provide supervisors with recommendations for improving the operation as necessary.
  • Will attend bear safety training and on-site orientations by District staff, with directed and as needed guidance and assistance throughout the season.

Skills and Qualifications:

  • Strong communication skills with an ability to engage the public with a friendly and professional public service attitude.
  • Reliable attendance and dependability.
  • Experience working with people under challenging and emotionally charged situations, and ability to maintain composure and professionalism in these situations.
  • Ability to work with attention to safety, and independently with little supervision for extended periods.
  • A passion to serve and promote public lands and their stewardship in the spirit of a public servant, recognizing the mission of the Forest Service to provide for sustainability of many diverse uses.
  • The ability to be self-motivated with a willingness to ask questions for clarification. The ability to cooperate and serve as an extension of Forest Staff.
  • An understanding of bear behavior and an operational command of safety and ethical standards of wildlife viewing.
  • Ability to stand/walk for long periods of time in all weather conditions.

Working Conditions:

  • Work may require extended periods of standing and walking, including many hours spent standing near traffic and in proximity to potentially dangerous wildlife.
  • Educational interfaces may be formalized through indoor presentations or in the field and situationally dependent. Not all visitors will be friendly or cooperative.
  • Work will be performed in inclement weather, including hot, sunny, buggy, rainy, and/or cold conditions.
  • May need to lift objects that weigh up to 50 pounds.

If you would like more information about this opportunity, contact

Jason Wilmot, Jackson/Blackrock District Wildlife Biologist, at 307-739-5542,  jason.wilmot@usda.gov.

or

Todd Stiles, Blackrock District Ranger, at 307-543-3910, todd.stiles@usda.gov.

Reimbursement is available for this opportunity at approximately $45.60 per day.