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The San Mateo Resource Conservation District (RCD) seeks a Wildfire Resiliency Program Manager to support the fire resilience and ecological health of local forests and help protect communities at the Wildland Urban Interface.

 RCDs across California serve as local hubs for conservation, connecting people with the technical, financial, and educational assistance they need to conserve and manage natural resources. RCDs help landowners, land managers, government agencies, and others to voluntarily protect, restore, and enhance natural resources on private and public lands. A defining characteristic of RCDs is that our assistance is non-regulatory, confidential, and free.



The Wildfire Resiliency Program Manager position is full-time and funded by grants. The Program Manager will focus on building wildfire resiliency while improving the ecological function of forests and other vegetation communities like coastal chaparral. These activities are often designed to incorporate various natural resource management considerations and produce multi-beneficial outcomes. The work generally involves leading or supporting diverse efforts, from general technical assistance to regional prioritization and planning, to designing and implementing programs and projects. Typical projects range from community chipper events that help homeowners dispose of vegetation removed to create defensible space, to large scale strategic fuel breaks. The position will work closely with a broad array of internal staff, partner organizations, government agency staff, and public and private landowners, and will require high levels of engagement and personal interactions, sometimes during non-regular business hours.



  • Supervise a staff of two project managers. Provide support in project management, environmental documentation, permitting, and logistics. Ensure timely project completion and meeting deliverables. Oversee and support project communication as needed among partners, with individuals, communities, and media. Assist staff with administrative responsibilities.
  • Coordinate with RCD staff from other programs regarding cross-cutting goals and issues.
  • Continuously develop program vision and goals.
  • Identify and pursue strategic opportunities for partnerships, resources, and communications to advance program goals.
  • Identify emerging fuel reduction and vegetation management opportunities through collaboration with key external partners such as fire agencies, public land managers, and private landowners.
  • Coordinate project development with staff, partnering agencies, and consultants.
  • Oversee program budgets currently totaling approximately $1.5 M annually.
  • Seek funding opportunities through private, local, state, and federal sources
  • Prepare grant proposals and communicate with funding agencies and grants managers.
  • Work with other RCD staff to communicate program activities and collaborate or coordinate as needed with other RCD efforts.
  • Contribute to overall RCD goals and mission through tasks and special projects as needed.
  • Communicate regularly with partners and foster positive relationships.
  • Engage with communities in need of wildfire resiliency support through individual communication, site-visits, and after-hour community meetings.
  • Respond to timely needs and pivot resources, such as in the case of fire recovery.



Successful applicants will “wear many hats” at the RCD. They will benefit from previous experience in stakeholder engagement, identifying emerging opportunities, responding to timely requests, utilizing new and streamlined permitting and environmental compliance routes, and high levels of collaboration. They will work across many disciplines and therefore must have technical, administrative, communication, and interpersonal skills.


Minimum qualifications

  • Knowledge in one or more of the following areas: wildfire behavior, fire ecology, forest health, watershed stewardship, natural resource management, hydrology, soil science, native plant and animal communities, restoration ecology, or similar field
  • Demonstrated ability in or transferable to conservation, program management, or a related field
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills and ability to work with a variety of people with diverse interests and temperaments
  • Strong computer skills, including Word and Excel
  • Highly organized, motivated self-starter with the ability to prioritize in a fast-paced work environment
  • Ability to work independently as well as part of a team
  • Ability to walk on rugged terrain, lift and carry supplies, and utilize equipment during all seasons
  • Creativity, sense of humor, “can do” spirit, collegiality, flexibility, strong desire to learn
  • Valid California driver’s license, clean driving record, and current auto insurance

Desired qualifications

  • Experience with community engagement
  • Familiarity with wildfire resiliency and forest health
  • Familiarity with local threatened and endangered species, including habitat needs and legal protections
  • Familiarity with local, state, and federal permits required for restoration projects
  • Experience working with watershed, restoration, or other conservation groups
  • Experience with environmental construction management



Financial compensation for the Program Manager will be commensurate with applicable experience, up to $110,000 annually. Benefits include a health, dental, and vision plan; paid time off; a retirement plan; and a flexible work schedule with the ability to work remotely as well as in the office; and a fun, fast-paced, positive work environment with excellent coworkers.



We strive to foster diversity and inclusion, from hiring and management practices to board recruitment to community service to professional development and beyond. Candidates reflecting the social diversity of California and of San Mateo County are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.



To apply, email a cover letter, resume, and three or more references to Joe Issel at joe[at] Applicants may later be asked to submit a driving record. Applications will be accepted through July 8, 2022. The RCD is an equal opportunity employer.