US Forest Service - Tribal Relations Positions

09/21/2022 21:35 | AAC Admin (Administrator)

The USDA Forest Service, Southwestern Region-R3 is outreaching for EIGHT Tribal Relations permanent positions in Arizona and New Mexico.

  • GS-0301-13 Regional Tribal Relations Specialist, Regional Office, Albuquerque, NM
  • GS-0301-12 Assistant Regional Tribal Relations Specialist, Regional Office, Albuquerque, NM, or Phoenix, AZ, or Tuscon, AZ
  • GS-0301-12 Forest Tribal Relations Specialist, Coconino NF, Flagstaff, AZ
  • GS-0301-11 Forest Tribal Relations Specialist, Coconino NF, Flagstaff, AZ
  • GS-0301-11 Forest Tribal Relations Specialist, Apache-Sitgreaves NF, Springerville, AZ
  • GS-0301-11 Forest Tribal Relations Specialist, Cibola NF, Albuquerque, NM
  • GS-0301-11 Forest Tribal Relations Specialist, Prescott NF, Camp Verde, Chino, or Prescott, AZ
  • GS-0301-11 Forest Tribal Relations Specialist, Tonto NF, Phoenix, AZ

We are seeking interested candidates in preparation for advertisement for these positions.

Please respond with your interest by October 28, 2022.

Summary

The Tribal Relations Program for the Southwestern Region is robust with relationships with 55 federally recognized pueblos and tribes across Arizona, New Mexico, and parts of Eastern Texas and Oklahoma. The Southwestern Region’s vision: The peoples of the iconic American Southwest care for its treasured landscapes as an essential and continuous legacy captures the fundamental importance of the many cultures that make up and interact in the southwest. These positions play a vital role in meeting the vision and objectives of the Region including the understanding and trust responsibility of tribal sovereignty and how to fulfill it in the context of the Tribes and Pueblos located here.

The Southwestern Region is committed to the USDA national direction of expanding Tribal Consultation and Strengthening Nation-to-Nation Relationships for the Agency to meet the federal trust responsibility, honor treaty obligations, and support tribal self-determination as exemplified in various policies and administrative direction. The Region is focused on advancing the national tribal relations program by strengthening relationships with tribes to increase capacity within the USDA Forest Service and tribes, develop joint training in consultation and USDA directives, increase our partnerships with tribes through co-stewardship, and protect tribal sacred sites and incorporating indigenous traditional ecological knowledge.

Major Duties

The GS-0301-13 Regional Tribal Relations Specialist serves as the Tribal Relations Specialist and point of contact for the American Indian Tribes having an interest in the activities of the Region and its Forests relative to the government-to-government trust responsibility.  The incumbent serves as a contact for the Washington Office (WO), other regions, and Indian groups, including Tribal Councils, Tribal Leaders, and officials of other agencies.  The incumbent will address challenges relating to implementation of Forest Service programs and services and identify partnership opportunities at the regional level. 

The Tribal Relations Specialist represents the Regional Forester in the government-to-government relations between the Forest Service and the various tribes within the region, including those who have an interest in the activities of the region and its forests.  As such, serves as point-of-contact for the WO, other regions, American Indian Groups including Tribal Councils, Tribal Leaders, Native Corporations and officials of other federal agencies.  Facilitates communication between the Regional Forester and Forest Supervisors, and American Indian Tribes/Nations, and inter-Tribal organizations in matters of natural resource management, program delivery, trust responsibility, employment opportunities, protection of sacred and cultural sites important to American Indians, access to sacred sites, and plant collection issues.

The incumbent serves as principal advisor to the Regional Forester and Forest Supervisors, in the concerns, interest, and involvement of American Indian issues.  Provides expert advice using the framework of legal, policy, and manual and handbook guidance.  Facilitates communications for the implementation of legal requirements between American Indian Tribal Governments, the Forest Service and external tribal organizations and traditional practitioners. 

Coordinates and provides training with Forest Supervisors and externals on traditional uses of forests, American Indian customs and practices, working with Tribal Governments, and farm bill applications and sacred sites issues.  Coordinates and participates in inter-agency and regional planning projects and planning activities to ensure protection of American Indian rights, tribal rights and concerns. 

Facilitates conformance with Civil Rights Act Title VI obligations in delivery of Forest Service programs and activities.  Advises Forest Supervisors,  Regional Forester, Station Director or Station Program Managers of barriers that may exclude American Indian groups or committees from Forest Service programs.

Serves as Region Liaison and technical authority for developing interests, recommendations, action plans, and establishing and/or interpreting policy in matters of American Indian affairs and interests.  These areas include but are not limited to Tribal Forest Protection Act (TFPA); Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA); American Indian Religious Freedom Act; American Indian Self-determination and Educational Assistance Act; Cooperative Forestry Act; current Farm Bill; Executive Orders on government-to-government relationships; Archeological Resource Protection Act (ARPA); National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and sacred sites access, and how these affect NFS programs, cooperative efforts with State & Private Organizations and other university research efforts.

Participates with counterparts in reviewing and drafting national policy, program processes, and design/development of programs to complement cultural differences between the American Indian Tribal Governments and the Forest Service.  Analyzes and evaluates information and prepares recommendations for program enhancements, direction and procedures to tribal requirements with those of the Forest Service.  Provides oversight to ensure and maintain effective government-to-government relationships among the Region’s forests and grasslands, and tribes or groups of American Indian people located within the region. 

Administers and interprets policy regarding the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, American Indian Self-determination and Educational Assistance Act, Executive Orders on government-to-government relationships, and sacred sites access.  Responsible for monitoring the Forest Service trust responsibilities to federally recognized tribes and facilitating the development of action plans to meet those responsibilities.

The GS-0301-12 Tribal Relations Specialists represents the agency in dealing with the tribe(s), ensuring that the rights of Sovereign Indian Nations are fully respected and carried out in a government-to-government relationship.  Provides leadership to ensure that the rights of Sovereign Indian Nations are fully respected.

Coordinates activities and programs regarding program delivery needs for the tribes.  Coordinates the outreach of Forest Service (FS) programs and services to the American Indian Tribes in the region, and provides guidance to the consultative process associated with the government-to-government relationship between the tribes and region.

Provides consultation to tribal governments and region in assessing the impact of Federal Government plans, projects, programs, and activities on tribal trust resources and assures that tribal government’s rights and concerns are considered during the development of such plans, projects, programs, and activities.

Advises the Regional Forester team, Staff Directors, Forest Supervisors, and other officials of any procedural impediments that negatively impact the ability of the agency and its employees to effectively work with tribal governments.  Makes recommendations for new initiatives and programs to specifically address the trust responsibility and/or governmental rights of the tribes.   Provides periodic reports concerning activities and progress in improving agency and tribal relationships and activities.

Provides support in developing policies, procedures, and directives to strengthen relationships with tribes service-wide and within the region.  Provides advice and guidance to other staff who deal directly with tribe(s), on appropriate interaction with Tribal Representatives, to ensure the government-to-government relationship is respected and adhered to.  Provides group and one-on-one training on the Tribal Relations Program.

The GS-0301-11 Tribal Relations Specialists represent the agency in dealing with the tribe(s), ensuring that the rights of Sovereign Indian Nations are fully respected and carried out in a government-to-government relationship.  Provides leadership to ensure the rights of Sovereign Indian Nations are fully respected.

Coordinates activities and programs regarding program delivery needs for the tribes.  Coordinates the outreach of Forest Service programs and services to the American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes in the region, and provides guidance to the consultative process associated with the government-to-government relationship between the tribes and region.

Provides consultation to tribal governments and the Forest in assessing the impact of Federal Government plans, projects, programs, and activities on tribal trust resources and assures that tribal government’s rights and concerns are considered during the development of such plans, projects, programs, and activities.

Advises the Forest Supervisors, and other officials of any procedural impediments that negatively impact the ability of the agency and its employees to effectively work with tribal governments.  Makes recommendations for new initiatives and programs to specifically address the trust responsibility and/or governmental rights of the tribes.   Provides periodic reports concerning activities and progress in improving agency and tribal relationships and activities.

Provides support in developing policies, procedures, and directives to strengthen relationships with tribes service-wide and within the region.  Provides advice and guidance to other staff who deal directly with tribe(s), on appropriate interaction with Tribal Representatives, to ensure the government-to-government relationship is respected and adhered to.  Provides group and one-on-one training on the Tribal Relations Program.

Qualifications for all positions: Specifically, the positions require comprehensive knowledge of federal laws, regulations, policies, executive orders, court decisions, treaties, and agreements affecting relevant urban and rural communities, and tribal governments which govern the Forest Service relationship with American Indian tribes is required. The positions require skills to prepare recommendations for legislation to change the way programs are implemented. Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of American Indian issues and concerns is required to advise agency officials. The ability to qualify for the positions described above will be based on experience reflected in your resume and application.

Additional Information for all positions: The positions are located at specific geographic locations to facilitate effective work in the Region with tribal government offices. The positions are not remote but may be eligible for telework up to two days per pay period. Travel is required entailing typically a week at a time 7 or 8 times per year, but not more than 25% of the time. In all cases, the selectee must be located within the local commuting area of the Forest Service office listed below (the local commuting area for the agency is 50 miles and the agency worksite is 48 miles from the employee’s home). For positions with more than one location, the final determination will be made by the selecting official at the time of the job offer.

Points of contacts

Regional Office

  • GS-301-13 Regional Tribal Relations Specialist
  • GS-301-12 Assistant Regional Tribal Relations Specialist

Point of Contact: Wendy Jo Haskins-Director, wendy.haskins@usda.gov, 505-331-2564

Coconino National Forest

  • GS-301-12 Tribal Relations Specialist
  • GS-301-11 Tribal Relations Specialist

Point of Contact: Deputy Forest Supervisor Michelle Paduani, michelle.paduani@usda.gov, 812-276-8587

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest

  • GS-301-11 Tribal Relations Specialist

Point of Contact: Forest Supervisor Judy Palmer, judith.palmer@usda.gov, 928-245-8577

Cibola National Forest and Grasslands

  • GS-301-11 Tribal Relations Specialist

Point of Contact: Forest Supervisor Steve Hattenbach, steven.hattenbach@usda.gov, 505-506-7170

Prescott National Forest

§  GS-301-11 Tribal Relations Specialist

Point of Contact: Forest Supervisor Dale Deiter, dale.deiter@usda.gov, 928-379-3050

Tonto National Forest - 2324 E McDowell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85006

  • GS-301-11 Tribal Relations Specialist

Point of Contact: Neil Bosworth, neil.bosworth@usda.gov, 602-469-4981   

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