Forest Service hiring process changes?

I heard from a colleague that the USFS is moving away from USA Jobs as its job announcement/application web site, but he didn’t have any other info. Today I found this article, but didn’t move past the “pay wall.” Anyone know what’s going on?

Forest Service hiring process changes

NCW — The Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and other national forests in the Pacific Northwest will use a new system to hire temporary or seasonal workers, including firefighters, next year.

The process will allow the agency to expedite the review and selection process for thousands of positions expected to be filled in Washington and Oregon this summer.

4 Comments

  1. This cannot be a good thing for temps, as they will now have to re-do their resumes and learn how to navigate through a new and untried system. One good thing for temps is that they are now eligible for Federal health plans. No, the Forest Service did not willingly give them those important benefits, which employees still have to pay for.

    Here in the Sierra Nevada, it is unclear whether there will be ANY timber-related temporary jobs, due to the pullback of rules, laws and policies. I’ll bet that some of those experienced temps will finally give up on Forest Service employment, altogether. It is also unclear what Region 5 will do with the projects in process, or already completed, but not sold. Every cutting unit will have to be re-visited, re-marked and re-cruised, to meet the old guidelines and 20″ dbh diameter limits. It is also unclear whether SPI will even bid on such projects.

    So many people like to talk about forest jobs but, it is not Forest Service jobs they are talking about. Again, both extremes agree that they don’t want a more expensive Forest Service that treats more acres.

    • I’m going to laugh like hell when the Forest Service complains that they didn’t have enough time to get their crews hired. I guess they are going back to the inflexibility of yesteryear. I remember being only able to apply to one National Forest, each year. Another thing that Forests often fail to do is recruiting. The last crew I worked on, only two of us out of six had any forestry experience. AND, only six applied!

      I’m curious about what people would think if the Forest Service did announce plans to outsource for their timber sale prep needs. Of course, the Forest Service would need formal contract inspections but, with today’s complex marking prescriptions and management desires, such “extra” tasks cannot be easily put into contract language. I’m sure that someone in the Forest Service will say that such outsourcing would be a better deal for the American public, without saying exactly why.

      I was once part of an “internal outsourcing” Enterprise group, and my contracted cost to client was about $66 per hour. Yes, I was an actual Forest Service employee, too. That might give one an idea of how much “external” outsourcing might cost. While the Forest Service might be willing to pay the extra money, getting a “better product” (and less bureaucratic constraints), I wonder if Congress would fund such a plan. I tend to think that Congress would say hell no. Remember, temporaries can only work 1039 hours per year, plus some training time. Currently, the Forest Service continues to abuse those OPM rules, simply because no one at OPM is watching.

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