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Stewards VISTA: USFS Francis Marion Y1

The United States Forest Service Southern Region Volunteers & Service Programs Center of Excellence (COE) is a pilot program to increase Forest Service capacity by engaging diverse populations in volunteer opportunities, and further supporting workforce development service programs in conservation careers. VISTA positions would allow for safe, productive, and sustainable partnerships and volunteer programs across the Forests by directly increasing capacity on the ground. VISTAs will foster buy-in and further develop a culture of community engagement and shared stewardship with partners and communities. VISTAs will be strategically positioned on high-opportunity Districts to leverage partnership opportunities and effectively support and expand funding opportunities. The COE anticipates revenue benefits to local rural communities from increases in forest visitation from ecotourism and voluntourism activities.

The VISTA Corps member will assist with recruiting a diverse and representative group of volunteers and supporting integrative projects for all resource areas in their assigned national forests throughout the Southern Region. Volunteers & Service Programs Coordinators VISTA positions will be mentored by the Sub-Regional Volunteers & Service Programs Specialists and will become integral members of region 8’s established Volunteers & Service Programs Community of Practice. Upon the completion of each VISTA project year, Districts and Forests can expect an increase of funds for projects, a solid volunteer management philosophy, a community engagement plan focused on increasing project partnerships, and a long-term, sustainability plan to carry the program beyond the VISTA project term. VISTA positions are reviewed annually for success and either partner can choose to exit the program to renew for up to three years.

Member Duties: 
support local economic & community development by providing workforce development opportunities and supporting sustainable recreation & tourism related to the national forest.
build capacity & create a legacy of long-term improvement and sustainability in the communities they serve by identifying fiscal support and community resources.
provide support & generate organizational interest through the engagement of community-based volunteers.
create the framework for a sustainable volunteers and service program that ensures the safety and effective engagement of all interested community members.
engage the community they serve to ensure awareness of organizational efforts and generate community commitment to impact-driven activities being performed.
support recruitment and management to ensure diverse, equitable, and inclusive practices are employed when engaging members of the public.

Required Skills

Community Organization, Fund raising/Grant Writing, Writing/Editing, Communications, Public Speaking, Non-Profit Management, Recruitment, Leadership, Teamwork, Conflict Resolution