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Sep 6 / BARD CEP

Conservation Planner — West Wareham, MA

Organization: Massachusetts Association of Conservation Districts

Job Title: Conservation Planner (soil & water)

Location: West Wareham, MA  (dedicated to serving clients in Southeastern Massachusetts, will be headquartered in the West Wareham, MA NRCS field office under the supervision of the District Conservationist. Travel to and work from other field offices in MA may be required.)

Hours and Compensation: Full Time @ $43,000 – $47,000  – 40 hours/week

Application Deadline: Sep. 20, 2012

Posted On: Aug. 21, 2012

Organization Overview

“The Conservation Districts of Massachusetts in an effort to strengthen the individual districts, chose to form a State Association to assist the individual districts with Regional and Statewide problems, sponsor legislation beneficial to all, provide forums and workshops for discussion and solution of mutual problems, and strengthen goals and policies of the districts by providing them with an opportunity to speak with one voice.”


As Conservation Planner (SCP) working for MACD, incumbent shall provide assistance to land owners,
communities, conservation districts, the MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and the USDA
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in carrying out coordinated soil and water conservation
planning and delivery of farm assistance programs for Southeastern Massachusetts, an area which
includes a significant concentration of cranberry bog operations.


1. Assist landowners in identification of specific federal and state programs designed to assist in the
viability, conservation and management of land use for food and fiber production, especially cranberry
operations, or the preservation of natural resources.
2. Work with farmers and landowners in the selection and application of suitable soil and water
conservation practices as needed to address individual resource concerns.
3. Receive referrals, contact farmers and make field conservation planning visits.
4. Develop a variety of conservation plans involving rural and agricultural areas (especially cranberry
bogs) that require interpretation of soil, water and environmental data to develop sound land use.
Furnish necessary planning assistance resulting in a conservation plan that documents farmer’s or
landholder’s decisions.
5. Prepare and revise resource conservation plans and long-term contracts on units of land. Make field
surveys and examinations; prepare data and maps; tabulate needed information. Deliver and explain
conservation plans.
6. Provide resource planning, assistance and information on problems such as erosion, sedimentation,
flooding, drainage, land use, waste management, wildlife habitat, wetland restoration and water
7. As conservation plans are written, contact farmers to develop a systematic application schedule for
practices included in the plan. Provide assistance in layout and on-site installation of practices.
8. Check completed practices to determine that specifications are met. Complete field sheets and
recommend acceptability of completed practices to the District Conservationist for final certification.
Advise landowner/operator on completion of proper maintenance.
9. Update conservation Toolkit database with farm bill program information, applicant files, eligible
practices, cost lists and contract details.
10. Enter conservation plan data into Toolkit for program applications and contracts.
11. Develop and compile conservation planning maps for applicants and contracts.
12. Maintain program contract file folders.

13. Assist field office staff with contacting program applicants for data collection.

14. Compile data for input into nutrient and pest management components of conservation plans for
program applications and contracts for certification.
15. Assist in maintaining workload registers with information from contracts for needed follow-up, and in
carrying out basic functions of the follow-up schedule.
16. Establish and maintain program files and documents for program delivery and documentation.
17. Maintain mailing and contact lists for program delivery.
18. Attend program related meetings to gather data and record information.
16. Assist with a public region-wide and targeted outreach campaign for marketing Farm Bill and
Department of Agricultural Resources programs, including, but not limited to: simple visual displays
for local meetings and conferences, field days, public events, articles for newsletters and other news
media contacts. Work with NRCS Public Affairs Specialist in developing needed brochures and other
outreach information. Assist with meeting notices, letters, printing, copying, mailings, etc. for program
17. Maintain a daily record of activities; prepare and maintain field office records; and assist in the
compilation and develop of required reports.


1. Professional knowledge of concepts, principles, methods and techniques of natural resources
conservation, and ability to develop resource conservation plans employing conventional and
established criteria and techniques.
2. Knowledge of cranberry operations is extremely valuable in order to acquire planning data to
implement conservation practices. Skill is needed to interpret acquired data and develop basic
conservation plans employing conventional and established criteria and techniques.
3. Knowledge of soils properties and characteristics sufficient to interpret land use potential and
deficiencies and to advise organizations, landowners, communities and users on sound erosion control
and drainage techniques.
4. Degree or professional experience in: soil conservation or related agricultural or natural resource
discipline such as agronomy, soil science, forestry, agricultural education, or agricultural engineering
including 30 semester hours in a natural resource or agricultural field, including at least 12 semester
hours in a combination of soils and crops or plant science. Of the 12 semester hours, a minimum of 3
semester hours must have been in soils and 3 semester hours in crops or plant science.
5. Education: Education that provided specialized knowledge and skills in soil and water conservation is
more valuable than education that imparted broad but general knowledge and skills. Courses in soil
fertility, soil chemistry, soil genesis, plant physiology, plant science, and field crops are examples of
specialized courses that contribute towards meeting the required 12 semester hours as described
above. Courses in the physical sciences or engineering such as geology, civil engineering, and
hydrology also meet the soils, crops, or plant science course requirements where such courses
included a complete introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils.
6. Experience: Experience that included the application of techniques, principles, and methods from a
variety of agricultural and natural resource fields is appropriate, given the interdisciplinary character of
the conservation planner position. For example, experience gained in a specialized field such as soil
science, forestry, or agronomy is as fully acceptable as experience directly obtained in conservation
work. Familiarity with federal and state policies and programs to assist in the viability of food and fiber
production and implementation of conservation for the management of natural resources should be
highlighted in resume. Knowledge of or experience with wetlands restoration a plus.
7. Ability to produce work products using computers and MS Office applications.

8. Skill in organizational and administrative tasks.
9. Skill in both oral and written communication
10. Perform duties in a professional manner.
11. Perform other related duties and activities as assigned.
12. Ability to work well with others, individually and in groups.
13. Knowledge of equal opportunity and civil rights requirements of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative
Employment Act. Deliver programs and services that are carried out without regard to race, color,
national origin, gender, religion, age, physical/mental disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation,
and marital or family status. Maintain a positive regard for civil rights in all interactions with clients
and others.
14. Possess a valid driver’s license and a working motor vehicle for use during performance of duties.
Variable driving hours. Mileage reimbursement consistent with GSA schedule.
15. A security clearance to be obtained.

How to Apply

Email Cover Letter detailing degree, course credit and professional qualifications, resume and 3
references to or send to Sharon Randall – USDA/NRCS, PO Box 709,
Barnstable, MA 02630.

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