Skip to content
Nov 8 / BARD CEP

Policy Associate — San Francisco, CA

Organization: Pacific Forest Trust

Job Title: Policy Associate

Location: PFT’s main office is located in San Francisco, CA. Travel to Sacramento on a regular basis, PFT’s field sites and Washington DC on periodic basis is required.

Hours and Compensation: full time – and salary based on experience

Application Deadline: until filled

Posted On: Nov. 7, 2012

Organization Overview

Pacific Forest Trust delivers landscape-scale private forest conservation in the West and develops innovative incentives for forest conservation at the national level. Pacific Forest Trust works to conserve irreplaceable private forest landscapes—60% of all forests in the U.S.—and secure the vital forest resources we all depend on. We do so in a way that rewards private landowners, boosts local economies, and restores resilient forest ecosystems. PFT has pioneered payments for ecosystems services in multiple ways, from climate and energy policy to carbon markets to working forest conservation easements to regulatory efficiencies. Our current policy focuses include forest climate, water, habitat and renewable energy services.

Headquartered in the verdant Presidio of San Francisco, PFT is a collegial environment filled with bright minds that generate groundbreaking ideas and work hard to implement them. We also understand the value of work/life balance.


PFT’s small-yet-mighty, collaborative, creative, and deadline-oriented policy team requires a nimble staff member who can manage multiple and frequently competing priorities, and produce creatively under pressure—with grace and humor.

The Policy Associate role is crucial to helping understand simply and tangibly the complex, often technical issues that confront forest landowners and stakeholders alike in our rapidly changing world. This is a diverse, hands-on position that requires initiative, critical thinking, and playing well with others. The Associate must balance research, analysis, advocacy, communication and organizational tasks with complex, deadline-driven projects. The overarching job goals are:

• Research and analyze key factors affecting PFT’s priority policy initiatives;
• Communicate these simply and effectively;
• Help formulate positions and;
• Advocate PFT’s solutions-oriented approach to advancing them.

The right candidate will be a team player in advancing and helping shape PFT ‘s policy initiatives.

The Policy Associate will provide support to PFT’s policy programs developing and implementing incentives for forest conservation and sustainable management. The position’s primary focus is research, analysis and supporting policy development for private forestland conservation incentives in California and federal policy. A secondary focus is on state policy in the Pacific Northwest.

Duties include research and analysis of climate change policies, forest energy policies, forest watershed service programs, conservation tax policy, and state and federal conservation funding programs. The Policy Associate will also support PFT advocacy efforts by drafting letters, memos, representing PFT at meetings and providing support to PFT–organized coalitions.


1. Research, analyze and report on state and federal legislation and regulations regarding forests, land use, climate change initiatives, tax incentives, and other policy issues related to private forestland management and conservation (e.g., watershed, fish and wildlife, habitat, etc.)
2. Represent PFT in designated meetings and regulatory proceedings and advocate PFT positions as required. Current examples include California’s Biomass Working Group and proceedings at the California Energy and Public Utilities Commissions related to incentivizing energy from forest restoration.
3. Summarize and report on new scientific studies and literature regarding climate change and forest conservation issues related to PFT’s initiatives.
4. Represent PFT in collaborative efforts to maintain and improve key state and federal conservation funding and support PFT coalitions in such efforts.
5. Facilitate state and federal legislative and agency support for PFT conservation projects.
6. Provide support for PFT efforts on climate change and renewable forest energy at state, regional, and federal levels.
7. Be the lead liaison to PFTs Communications Department, creating fact sheets, web content, and other educational materials.
8. Assist in other policy initiatives as needed and directed.

Current 2012-2013 Focuses

Activities in 2012-2013 include a significant focus on incentives for sustainable, renewable forest energy payments for ecosystems services for watershed functions, and incentives for endangered species protection as well as support for AB 32 implementation.


Masters in relevant field of forest ecology, conservation biology, policy or economics preferred; Bachelors degree in similar field a must. Relevant job experience a plus. Excellent research, writing and analytical skills required. Ability to understand and assimilate complex environmental issues and policies effectively and quickly, convey them simply, and advocate effectively are desired attributes. Proficiency in Mac environment needed, with facility in standard computer programs essential. A commitment to creative conservation and the mission of The Pacific Forest Trust, along with humor and a positive, enthusiastic attitude, will distinguish the successful candidate.

Valid drivers license and ability to lift 25 pounds are required.

How to Apply 

If you are seriously interested and fully qualified, email a targeted resume with a cover letter emphasizing your interest and experience to:, with the subject line: Policy Associate. Please include your salary requirements (a range, based on your salary history) in the cover letter.

Leave a comment