Policy Associate – Pacific Forest Trust

PFT’s small-yet-mighty, collaborative, creative, and deadline-oriented policy team requires a nimble staff member who can manage multiple and frequently competing priorities, and produce creatively under pressure—with grace and humor. 

The Policy Associate role is crucial to helping understand simply and tangibly the complex, often technical issues that confront forest landowners and stakeholders alike in our rapidly changing world. This is a diverse, hands-on position that requires initiative, critical thinking, and playing well with others. The Associate must balance research, analysis, advocacy, communication and organizational tasks with complex, deadline-driven projects.  The overarching job goals are:

  • Research and analyze key factors affecting PFT’s priority policy initiatives;
  • Communicate these simply and effectively;
  • Help formulate positions and;
  • Advocate PFT’s solutions-oriented approach to advancing them.

The right candidate will be a team player in advancing and helping shape PFT ‘s policy initiatives.


The Policy Associate will provide support to PFT’s policy programs developing and implementing incentives for forest conservation and sustainable management.  The position’s primary focus is research, analysis and supporting policy development for private forestland conservation incentives in California and federal policy. A secondary focus is on state policy in the Pacific Northwest.

Duties include research and analysis of climate change policies, forest energy policies, forest watershed service programs, conservation tax policy, and state and federal conservation funding programs. The Policy Associate will also support PFT advocacy efforts by drafting letters, memos, representing PFT at meetings and providing support to PFT–organized coalitions.

Tasks and Responsibilities

1. Research, analyze and report on state and federal legislation and regulations regarding forests, land use, climate change initiatives, tax incentives, and other policy issues related to private forestland management and conservation (e.g., watershed, fish and wildlife, habitat, etc.)
2. Represent PFT in designated meetings and regulatory proceedings and advocate PFT positions as required. Current examples include California’s Biomass Working Group and proceedings at the California Energy and Public Utilities Commissions related to incentivizing energy from forest restoration.
3. Summarize and report on new scientific studies and literature regarding climate change and forest conservation issues related to PFT’s initiatives.
4. Represent PFT in collaborative efforts to maintain and improve key state and federal conservation funding and support PFT coalitions in such efforts.
5. Facilitate state and federal legislative and agency support for PFT conservation projects.
6. Provide support for PFT efforts on climate change and renewable forest energy at state, regional, and federal levels.
7. Be the lead liaison to PFTs Communications Department, creating fact sheets, web content, and other educational materials.
8. Assist in other policy initiatives as needed and directed.  

Current 2014-2015 Foci

Activities in 2014-2015 include a significant focus on incentives for watershed functions, and incentives for endangered species protection as well as support for AB 32 implementation, and Western Climate Initiative.


Masters in relevant field of forest ecology, conservation biology, policy or economics preferred; Bachelors degree in similar field a must. Relevant job experience a plus. Excellent research, writing and analytical skills required. Ability to understand and assimilate complex environmental issues and policies effectively and quickly, convey them simply, and advocate effectively are desired attributes. Proficiency in Mac environment needed, with facility in standard computer programs essential. A commitment to creative conservation and the mission of The Pacific Forest Trust, along with humor and a positive, enthusiastic attitude, will distinguish the successful candidate.

More information here.