Range Technician - Prairie Coteau

  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Clear Lake, South Dakota, USA
  • Jan 30, 2020
Full time Government/Nonprofit Land Use

Job Description


The RT will participate in prescribed fire activities like preparing fire lines, maintaining equipment, post-burn monitoring and other tasks. Their duties will include daily conversations with supervisor to receive assignments and efficient and concise communication of assignments to the land management crew.  Personal organization and excellent communication skills are a must for this position.  The Range Technician will be expected to travel individually or with a crew to perform various grazing program and habitat maintenance duties on TNC preserves throughout the Prairie Coteau in northeast South Dakota and southwest Minnesota.  All duties listed under the Responsibilities & Scope section will be part of the position. The RT position also may include a variety of outreach activities including meeting with local landowners, assisting with field trips, and leading volunteers. Occasional overnight or extended periods away from base office may be required. This position is based on a 40-hour work week, but may require irregular hours, long days, and travel on short notice.

Housing facilities will be provided for the full term of employment.   Employees are required to live in TNC provided housing due to the remote setting of this work location and the need to report to duty on short notice.  If an employee already lives in the area or is able to obtain housing within a close proximity to this work location, and the employee is able to report for duty within 30 minutes, then the employee may live offsite.  Transportation from TNC office to the various preserves will be provided by TNC.



  • Assist with maintaining TNC land as well as public lands including state-owned Wildlife Management Areas (WMA's) and federally-owned Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA's), as well as other protected lands. 
  • Prescribed burn preparation, implementation with TNC, MN Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR), and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) staff.
  • Assist with fireline construction, preparation for and implementation of prescribed burns and mop-up activities.
  • Mow firebreaks and clear trees where necessary for prescribed burn management.  Repair and organize burn equipment.
  • Will perform other preserve management duties when conditions are not conducive to prescribed fire as assigned.
  • Ability to perform heavy physical work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.
  • Repair and organize burn equipment.
  • Use safety equipment and maintain safety conscious attitude at all times.
  • Maintain and install barbed wire and electric fencing for grazing programs
  • Control of exotic species by biocontrol measures or through herbicide application (e.g. Tordon 22K, Krenite S, Roundup, Plateau, 2,4-D) with back-pack and ATV type sprayers, mowing, hand cutting with machetes, chainsaws, brush cutters, and other tools.
  • Maintain accurate records and maps of herbicide use, biocontrol releases, mowed areas, and species managed.
  • Assist on prairie reconstruction projects including seed harvest, post seeding mowing management and spot treatment of noxious weed patches.
  • Install and maintain preserve boundary signs.
  • Works in a high stress team environment.
  • Identify observed management needs in and communicate information to supervisor verbally or in writing.
  • Maintain daily journal and work log, summarizing daily work completed.
  • Discuss calendar of proposed activities with supervisor daily.



  • High school diploma and 6 months of related experience.   
  • Must be qualified, or able to become qualified, as a Fire Fighter Type 2 (FFT2), including Introduction to ICS (I-100), Human Factors on the Fire line (L-180), Introduction to Wild Land Fire Behavior (S-190), Firefighting Training (S-130), and one training burn serving under the supervision of a qualified FFT2.  See http://www.tncfiremanual.org/firefighter.htm     
  • Must achieve physical fitness standard as determined by local Fire Program Manager and the TNC Fire Manual.
  • Experience operating various types of equipment.                        
  • Must be able to obtain related licenses or certifications as required. (e.g. First Aid, CPR, and driver’s license).
  • Multi-lingual skills and multicultural or cross cultural experience appreciated.
  • 6 months -1 year of related experience.
  • Experience working with natural systems. 
  • Experience recognizing plant and animal species in Northern Tallgrass Prairie is preferred
  • Ability to operate and maintain various types of equipment in a safe and efficient manner (e.g. engine, pumps, ATV, brush-cutter, chainsaw, two-way radio).
  • Qualified or able to obtain SD Pesticide Applicator license.
  • Must have valid driver’s license and good driving record.
  • Ability and willingness to follow instructions from colleagues.