Application Deadline: April 4th, 2023
Anticipated Start Date: May 1st, 2023
Overview: These four positions are part of a partnership between Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) and Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever (PFQF). The incumbents will conduct habitat management work on public wildlife management areas. They are full-time, permanent employees of PFQF and will receive daily leadership from KDWP Wildlife Area Managers. These positions not only provide professional services but also prepares employees for potential advancement in the natural resources field by providing training in planning, management, and implementation of habitat practices.
Duties: The incumbent will assist with all aspects of managing the assigned wildlife management areas. Major responsibilities include and vary depending on duty station:
- Supervising and implementing habitat management work on public lands which will include but is not limited to prescribed burning, mechanical tree removal with skid steer, food plot establishment, brome conversion, native grass establishment, dove field management, and herbicide application.
- Participating in scientific field studies and surveys which will include spotlight deer surveys, pheasant crow counts, quail whistle counts, pheasant and turkey brood surveys, fall covey counts, and waterfowl surveys. Incumbent may assist other biologists and divisions with sampling, surveys, and other duties.
- Coordinating agricultural permits and habitat plans using GIS.
- Participate in habitat management of intensely managed wetlands with a focus on moist soil management. Including wetland draw downs, water pumping, use of a variety of water control structures, wetland design, infrastructure repairs and maintenance, soil disturbance techniques, flood response, row crop production, and use of large array of tools and equipment to meet management objectives.
- Procuring supplies and equipment.
- Supervising and participating in the construction, maintenance and repair of area buildings, equipment, and roads.
- Providing public outreach.
- Participating in training and evaluation of seasonal employees.
- Performs other related duties as assigned.
Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- A basic understanding of environmental, agricultural and/or natural resource science. Education may be substituted for experience as determined relevant by the partners. Preference will be given to candidates that possess a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in wildlife management.
- Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with colleagues and partner agencies.
- Ability to work independently with little supervision.
- Excellent verbal/written communication and organizational skills.
- Valid driver’s license required.
Training and Experience Guideline: A general qualification for this position is a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife Management or related field and/or related experience. Other preferred, but not required qualifications include a basic understanding of upland habitat management, prescribed burning, tractor and implement operation, equipment transportation, hand and power tools, noxious weed identification and management, wildlife and grassland ecology, and GIS, especially ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro. Proper training will be provided as necessary for the successful candidate.
Salary: $37,440/year, starting salary + Benefits.
To Apply: Please combine your cover letter, resume, and 3 references into a single Word Document or PDF File before clicking on the blue APPLY button at the bottom or upper right corner and uploading to the “Resume” section of your application. For a complete list of current job openings, please visit our Recruitment website at: www.pheasantsforever.org/jobs (our benefits summary is also viewable on our website).
If you have additional questions, please contact Eran Sandquist, Conservation Delivery Director 763 242 1273
Pheasants Forever, Inc and Quail Forever is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, status as a qualified individual with disability, or any other category that may be protected by law.
Description of Work Areas:
Webster Wildlife Area
Located on the South Fork Solomon River on the western boundary of the Smoky Hills in Northcentral Kansas. Webster WA is on the upper end of 3,740-acre Webster Reservoir and encompasses 7,622 acres of public hunting area that is intensively managed for game species, hunting, and non-consumptive uses. Pheasant, quail, turkey, whitetail deer, waterfowl, furbearers, dove, rabbits, many songbirds, and non-game wildlife inhabit and use the area. Deer, waterfowl, upland birds, and turkey hunting are the primary land uses and at times Webster can be excellent for hunting and wildlife viewing.
Over the past 25 years at Webster WA cedar trees and shrub thickets have greatly expanded and are now choking out some areas of formerly excellent wildlife habitat. This has created the potential for habitat improvements to make significant impacts on all species of local wildlife. The work done by this Habitat Specialist will positively impact the landscape, create “new ground effect,” and result in significant increases in wildlife populations on Webster WA. Secondarily, there has previously been no turkey, quail, or pheasant population monitoring on Webster WA. The Habitat Specialist at Webster will assist in the establishment of long-term data sets and indexing which will allow us to monitor the immediate effects of our habitat improvement projects. Finally, this Habitat Specialist will have ample opportunity, and be encouraged, to spend time partaking in outdoor recreation, reading about wildlife management, and exploring online resources to improve their understanding of ecology. The synergy between your daily work and your recreational pursuits will allow you to develop as a habitat manager, a wildlife biologist, and a professional.
Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area
Marais des Cygnes Wildlife Area is approximately 45 minutes south of Overland Park, Kansas It lies in the floodplain of the Marais des Cygnes River and is unique for its quantity of managed wetlands and bottomland hardwood forest. The array of wetland units are managed for a diversity of habitat types, producing abundant food and cover for migratory waterfowl and other wetland species. In general, wetlands are dewatered in the spring and reflooded in the fall with water pumped from the river. Bottomland hardwood forests are dominated by oak and hickory and are excellent habitat for turkey, white-tailed deer, squirrels, and, during wet seasons, waterfowl that use forested wetlands. In addition to wetlands and bottomland forest, the area features upland forest, upland and wet-meadow prairie, restored native grasslands, and cropland. Waterfowl hunting recreation is the primary objective for this area. The Habitat Specialist is actively involved in all aspects of wetland and upland habitat management.
La Cygne Lake is a 2,600-acre cooling reservoir for a coal-fired generating plant owned by Evergy, with 2,000 acres of the watershed comprising the wildlife area. The area is mostly wooded uplands, with some grass meadows and crop fields. Improving habitat for bobwhite quail, wild turkey, white-tailed deer and squirrels is the primary objective of habitat management for La Cygne.
Byron Walker Wildlife Area/Kingman State Fishing Lake
The Byron Walker Wildlife Area is in the physiographic area known as the High Plains; this region covers most of the western one-third of Kansas. The Kansas High Plains region is an area of vast flatlands and gently rolling plains. Soils are largely sandy loams which lean toward being xeric. The Byron Walker area is named after former manager, Byron Walker, who managed the area from 1947-1987. The wildlife area encompasses 5,178 total acres made up of largely mixed grass prairie and riparian woodlands. The Ninnescah River bisects the area from the west to the east boundaries. The original area was purchased in 1930 with plans to dam up the river and make a 1200-acre reservoir. The dirty thirties ended that project, and the smaller Kingman State Fishing Lake was built instead. Several ponds and developed wetlands have been constructed to increase fishing and waterfowling opportunities.
Grazing and prescribed burns are used to maintain the grassland/shrublands in a lower plant successional stage that is conducive to ground-nesting birds like bobwhite and turkey. Eleven wetlands are managed using moist-soil management and millet plantings to attract stronger numbers of waterfowl. Significant woodland management continues with exotic species being targeted for removal and thinning being done to encourage better ground cover. Two hundred and fifty acres are planted to deer/turkey browse each year. On October 5th, 2022, 493 adjacent acres were purchased and added to the area. Parts of the area have been a state nursery and the state quail farm historically. The area is well known for providing excellent bobwhite, deer, turkey, and waterfowl hunting and is located within 1 hour of the state’s largest city.
The work done by this Habitat Specialist will positively impact the flora and fauna, and result in significant increases in wildlife populations on Byron Walker. The Habitat Specialist may also be involved in deer, waterfowl, turkey, quail, and pheasant population monitoring on the area. The Habitat Specialist will assist in the establishment of long-term data sets and indexing which will allow us to monitor the immediate effects of our habitat improvement projects. He or she will have ample opportunity to spend time enjoying outdoor recreation, reading about wildlife management, and exploring online resources to improve their understanding of ecology. The synergy between your daily work and your recreational pursuits will allow you to develop as a habitat manager, a wildlife biologist, and a professional.
Kingman State Fishing Lake covers approximately 144 acres and is an area formerly known as the Callahan Marsh that was impounded in 1930 by crews with horses and slips constructing the original dam. The lake offers camping, fishing, and hunting opportunities with bass, channel catfish, bluegill, crappie, and northern pike stocked in the lake. Two thirds of the lake is managed as a waterfowl refuge, one third is open to hunting. The lake is currently under a salvage order preceding a complete renovation during the summer of 2023. The Habitat Specialist will be involved in every stage of this salvage, renovation, and the subsequent stocking. Vegetation may be established while the lake is drained and brush piles may be placed as well.
Milford Wildlife Area/Washington State Fishing Lake/Geary State Fishing Lake
Located on the western and northern boundary of Milford Reservoir, Milford Wildlife Area contains 19,000 acres, which consist of 2,000 acres of 9 functional wetlands, 5,000 acres of crop land, and 1,300 acres designated to a refuge area.
Prescribed burns are used to maintain the grassland/shrublands in a lower plant successional stage that is conducive to ground-nesting birds like bobwhite and turkey. 9 wetlands are managed using moist-soil management to attract stronger numbers of waterfowl. Over the years, shrub thickets have expanded and is a focus for control and removal. Throughout the wildlife area, various habitat types such as timber, agricultural fields, wetlands, and native grass plantings provide excellent habitat for upland game species, turkeys, waterfowl, deer, and non-game wildlife.
The work done by this Habitat Specialist will positively impact the flora and fauna, and result in significant increases in wildlife populations on Milford Wildlife Area. This work could include mechanical removal of woody species, planting and maintaining food plots, moist soil water management, noxious weed control, and prairieland maintenance/restoration. The Habitat Specialist may also be involved in deer, waterfowl, turkey, quail, and pheasant population monitoring on the area. The Habitat Specialist will assist in the establishment of long-term data sets and indexing which will allow us to monitor the immediate effects of our habitat improvement projects. He or she will have ample opportunity to spend time enjoying outdoor recreation, reading about wildlife management, and exploring online resources to improve their understanding of ecology. The habitat specialist will be encouraged to take lead of projects, plan and coordinate habitat management plans, and have a direct impact on wildlife habitat. The synergy between your daily work and your recreational pursuits will allow you to develop as a habitat manager, a wildlife biologist, and a professional.
Washington State Fishing Lake is a 65-acre lake surrounded by 353 acres of public land that provides habitat for quail, pheasant, turkey, deer, and numerous non-game wildlife. The lake also serves as a stopover area for migrating waterfowl in the fall and spring. Several food plots are planted in the spring and fall for food source for the wildlife. The lake offers camping, fishing, and hunting opportunities. The Habitat specialist would be involved in the planning and establishing food plots, prescribed burns, noxious weed control and removal of cedar trees.
Geary State Fishing Lake is a 99-acre lake surrounded by 180 acres of public land that provides habitat for quail, pheasant, deer, and numerous non-game wildlife. The lake has a good population of largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill and crappie. The Habitat specialist would be in involved in the planning and establishing food plots, prescribed burns, noxious weed control and removal of cedar trees.