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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 523U
Category: Science & Engineering

Class Series Concept



Positions serve as a senior level professional in a natural resources program area. Examples of a natural resource program area include, but are not limited to, land management, timber sales, agricultural leases, shellfish and public tideland recreation, forest practices, reforestation and stand management, and/or environmental education.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Under general direction, positions set their own priorities and make decisions independently under broad direction. Incumbents resolve complex problems or difficult issues that have broad potential impact. Incumbents are expected to develop and innovate, and be responsible for the flow and completion of work. Positions develop or recommend program standards and guidelines. Incumbents are given the scope and intent of the work assignment but are expected to determine the methods and procedures to complete the work tasks. 

Typical Work

Serves as the region land management specialist responsible for lease administration and land management activities primarily involving non-forested lands;

Serves as a unit forester responsible for development and implementation of the unit’s forest management plan, including the supervision of professional foresters and coordination of other agency specialists in timber sale layout and design, timber sale administration and compliance, silviculture prescriptions and road maintenance;

Serves as the Shellfish Program Coordinator responsible for state wild stock geoduck assessment, tracking and allocation and representing the agency in developing tribal shellfish management plans with Puget Sound Treaty Tribes and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife;

Serves as a Forest Practices forester responsible for reviewing forest practice applications for compliance with the Forest Practices Act; approving with or without conditions or disapproving applications; providing technical advice on forest practices, rules, policies and procedures to department staff, other agencies and the public; ensuring compliance of forest practices operations with Forest Practices rules and regulations through education and enforcement;

Serves as the region intensive management forester; manages the region's Computerized Geographic Information System, which produces data that aids field foresters in resource management; provides silvicultural prescriptions and plantation maintenance assistance and training on new intensive management developments;

Coordinates and oversees projects, contracts and volunteer activities in support of a region natural areas program; develops partnerships with public and non-profit organizations to more effectively manage the region’s natural areas;

Positions may supervise lower-level staff;

Performs other duties as required.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position. 

Persons legally authorized to work in the U.S. under federal law, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, are eligible for employment unless prohibited by other state or federal law.

Desirable Qualifications

A Bachelor’s degree in natural resources or area of specialty and two years of professional experience in a natural resource program area.  For some positions, paraprofessional or technical experience in natural resources may substitute for the professional experience; three years of paraprofessional or technical experience to two years of professional experience.

Class Specification History

New class, effective January 1, 2006; Natural Resource Specialist 3 (replaces 95800 Natural Resource Program Specialist, 95820 Natural Resource Program Coordinator).
New class code (formerly 523K), effective July 1, 2007.
Revised definition, typical work and desirable qualifications; added distinguishing characteristics; adopted June 13, 2019, effective July 1, 2019.

Revised Legal Requirements; effective June 6, 2024, due to adopted legislative action.