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Position Detail

Organization: Columbia River Gorge Commission
Title: National Scenic Area Planner
Location: White Salmon, WA
Application Deadline: 2017-09-15
Posted: 2017-08-03

Position Description:

The Columbia River Gorge is world renowned for its outstanding scenic beauty, natural resources and recreation. The sea-level chasm that the Columbia River cut through the Cascade Mountains, and the dramatic diverse landscapes surrounding it, has created an internationally recognized treasured landscape. In 2009, National Geographic Traveler ranked the Gorge sixth on its list of international sustainable destinations, based in part on how its unique management system has helped it address development pressures.

On November 17, 1986, Congress passed the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act that established the largest National Scenic Area (NSA) in the United States. The NSA is 85 miles long and encompasses over 292,500 acres in Oregon and Washington along the Columbia River with a mosaic of working landscapes, forests, towns, and protected areas. Oregon and Washington established the bi-state Columbia River Gorge Commission in 1987 through an interstate compact to oversee the management of the NSA through land use planning, working in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, four Columbia River Treaty Tribes, and the many Gorge communities.

The Columbia River Gorge Commission’s agency is located in White Salmon, Washington, with a six-member team of planners and other experts. The Commission develops and implements policies and programs that protect and enhance the scenic, natural, cultural and recreational resources of the NSA, while encouraging economic growth to occur within existing urban areas and allowing development outside urban areas consistent with resource protection.

The Commission is now seeking an energetic, dynamic, and passionate National Scenic Area Planner for a unique leadership opportunity. This position will assist with the 10-year review and revision of the Gorge 2020 National Scenic Area Management Plan, conduct development reviews, and work closely with the Executive Director and other Gorge Commission staff in building and maintaining relationships with all levels of government, business, communities, and diverse stakeholders.

GENERAL PURPOSE: The National Scenic Area Planner will serve as a member of the Gorge Commission planning team and work on a wide range of land use, conservation, public engagement and economic development issues. The National Scenic Area Planner will coordinate the development and implementation of complex projects, policies and regulations for resource protection and economic development within the National Scenic Area. In addition, this position is responsible for fostering positive regional relationships in Oregon and Washington and will facilitate regional coordination among cities, counties, state and federal agencies, Columbia River Treaty Tribes and non-governmental stakeholders.

SUPERVISION RECEIVED: Works under the general guidance and direction of the Executive Director and Senior Planning staff.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: This position performs, or assists with, a wide range of complex long-range planning, regional program monitoring, current planning and compliance:

• Reviews development proposals for consistency with the Gorge Commission’s land use ordinance and prepares decisions; conducts follow-up reviews to ensure compliance with issued decisions.

• Reviews county land use decisions, state forest practices applications, and amendments to county land use ordinances for consistency with the National Scenic Area Management Plan.

• Provides technical and professional advice on the phone or in person. Provides information on land use applications, ordinances, plans and related planning programs, services, or regulations to landowners, contractors, realtors, community groups, and interested persons.

• Recommends compliance actions and other intervention measures as needed to ensure consistent regional compliance with the Management Plan for the National Scenic Area and local ordinances.

• Assists with strategic planning, scoping, data collection and analysis, policy options and final policy development, and public participation for long-range planning.

• Provides and receives peer feedback and guidance on own and other Commission planners’ planning projects and tasks.

• Implements elements of a program for monitoring implementation of the Management Plan, including developing work plans, carrying out research, analyzing results, and writing reports.

• Facilitates resolution of environmental and resource management issues arising from planning activities that are complex and sensitive.

• Provides consultation and technical assistance to agency management, cities, counties, Treaty Tribes, and state and federal agencies, and provide interstate and interagency coordination on complex policies, legal issues and proposed legislation to ensure compliance with National Scenic Area legal authorities.

• Works with Legal Counsel on appeals before the Commission; participates in appeal hearings; assists Legal Counsel with pending litigation as necessary.

• Represents the agency in the media and at conferences, seminars and speaking events.

• Reviews, analyze, prepare, and give reports/presentations to the Executive Director, Gorge Commissioners, civic groups, and the general public on Scenic Area issues.

Education and Experience:

• A Bachelor’s degree in land use planning, geography or a related field is required. A Master’s degree is preferred.

• At least two years of relevant professional experience demonstrating experience with the essential functions and responsibilities listed above. A Master’s degree may be substituted for one year of experience.

Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

The ideal candidate will be self-directed and outcome oriented. The position requires the ability to build collaborative working relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders.

• Ability to speak and write clearly, concisely, and effectively; ability to manage work assignments independently, efficiently and effectively.

• Proficiency in planning principles, public engagement techniques, and current trends in resource management and conservation.

• Experience with public forums, charrettes, and other public engagement strategies.

• Ability to interpret and apply planning policies and legal standards to given factual situations.

• Experience in providing planning assistance to applicants, and advising landowners to options for allowable development; ability to work with landowners, non-governmental organizations and agency officials in a courteous and professional manner.

• Experience in building and maintaining relationships with federal, tribal, state, and local governments, business communities, non-governmental stakeholders, and individual applicants and landowners.

• Ability to analyze and apply scientific information, observe and interpret trends, identify key relationships; and address large groups and engage the public on a variety of issues related to management of the National Scenic Area.

• working knowledge and experience using GIS applications to analyze and communicate land use trends and issues.

• Experience developing outreach materials such as graphic publications, web-based surveys, and online mapping tools.

SELECTION GUIDELINES: Formal application; rating of education and experience; at least two oral interviews and reference check; job-related tests may be required. Salary will be commensurate with experience, but generally starts between $40,000 - $55,000.

The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position.

The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the employer and employee and is subject to change by the employer as the needs of the employer and requirements of the job change.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please use the following link to submit an application through the State of Washington: (https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/washington/jobs/1811126). . For more information, including how to apply, see position description at http://www.gorgecommission.org/about-crgc/jobs.

Applicants will be asked to submit a resume, 2-page cover letter that provides concrete examples of directly related experience, a 2-3 page writing sample related to a land use issue, and a list of at least 3 references.

For more information on the Columbia River Gorge Commission, visit: www.gorgecommission.org

Deadline: September 15, 2017 at 11:59 pm Pacific time