Alberta Public Lands Coordinator

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

Position: Alberta Public Lands Coordinator

Location: Western Alberta, Canada

Reports to: Conservation Director

Organizational Background

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) is a North American nonprofit organization with chapters throughout Canada and the United States. BHA seeks to ensure North America’s outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.

Now, more than ever before, we need wild lands: places to rekindle the fire at the heart of the human soul. BHA is a nonpartisan group of sportsmen and women who are standing up for these places and for the outdoor opportunities they represent. We are the nation’s leading sportsmen’s conservation organization dedicated to our public lands legacy and the waters, wildlife, and traditions they sustain.

Background

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to engage in efforts that will conserve our wild public lands, waters, wildlife and hunting and fishing traditions. By permanently protecting iconic backcountry landscapes in places like the Bighorn Wildland, we can work in concert with our chapters in North America to defend our outdoor heritage and advance policies that safeguard our wild places for the generations that follow us.

The Bighorn Wildland, a rugged expanse of roadless lands on Alberta’s eastern slopes, may be the most pristine and ecologically intact backcountry in the entire province that has yet to be protected from development. Encompassing 8,000 square kilometers and most of the North Saskatchewan River headwaters, the Bighorn Wildland not only supports robust populations of elk, grizzly, bull trout, and migratory waterfowl, it supplies 90% of the drinking water for the city of Edmonton. A proposal that would designate 5,000 square kilometer of wilderness as a Wildland Provincial Park, an important designation that will protect these lands, waters and wildlife for future generations of Canadians, is an important step towards ensuring that outdoor traditions like hunting and fishing remain woven into our legacy of stewardship.

Nestled between Banff and Jasper National parks, this iconic landscape represents a unique circumstance that history has neglected more than once. Originally withdrawn from protection during World War One, the Bighorn Wildland has largely avoided degradation through a series of wildlife centric management polices adopted in 1977 that safeguarded backcountry habitat by placing most of these lands off limits to major development and OHV use. Acknowledging the importance of migratory corridors, traditions like hunting and fishing, and the unspoiled ecological integrity of this incredible backcountry landscape, Alberta’s people were once again promised protective designations by provincial government in 1986. Unfortunately legislation never advanced and in 2002, the 1977 Eastern Slopes Policy become partially unraveled by the 2002 Bighorn Backcountry Access Management Plan (AMP), which gave access to OHVs.

The ideal candidate for this position should be able to work with little supervision and be flexible and organized in a fast-paced work environment. This position requires the ability to exercise good judgment, make responsible decisions, analyze problems, evaluate strategies, accurately document activities, prepare Page 2 of 2 timely and complete reports, adhere to standards of confidentiality, and communicate effectively. They will adhere to BHA’s mission and philosophy.

This position will be contracted at 20 hours per week for 12 months.

Primary Responsibilities

  • The Alberta Public Lands Coordinator will work with local chapter leaders and members to establish a collaborative sportsmen working group and grassroots base to work with other stakeholders focused on protecting the Bighorn Wildland, an area deserving of the highest protections for fish and wildlife.
  • Enhance BHA’s relationships with provincial land and wildlife management agencies and other important stakeholders in order to integrate hunters and anglers into planning processes and existing efforts to advance legislation or policies related to the potential establishment of a Provincial Park.
  • Initiate outreach to and engage in conversations with hunters, anglers, motorized groups, businesses and other diverse stakeholders to develop understanding of concerns around potential designations and to build community trust.
  • Work with BHA’s communications director to engage media at the provincial and national level that provides education and exposure to our efforts to protect public lands such as the Bighorn Wildland.
  • Assist the conservation director and development coordinator with writing grant proposals and funder reports.
  • Develop a work plan with the conservation director that is reflective of professional and personal goals and objectives.
  • Perform other duties as determined by the conservation director

Qualifications

  • Must be a hunter and/or angler with a willingness to work flexible hours and travel to outlying communities.
  • Self-motivated with the initiative and ability to work independently.
  • Ability to communicate with diverse audiences (i.e., land owners, livestock producers, professionals from provincial and federal natural resource management agencies, industry groups, conservation and nongovernmental organizations).
  • Ability to work cooperatively in a team environment and coordinate with other sportsmen and conservation organizations.
  • Conduct work with integrity, good humor and a focus on developing partnerships, building trust in local communities and strengthening professional relationships.
  • Knowledge of public lands planning issues, local economies, wildlife science, and familiarity with the landscape and the historical challenges there.
  • Experience providing comments on and engaging in legal processes and environmental analysis a plus.
  • Related undergraduate or graduate degree with relevant experience and strong writing skills.

Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to Frisbie@backcountryhunters.org with the email subject line “Alberta Public Lands Coordinator.” BHA is an equal opportunity employer.