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Energy Specialist

Yakama Nation Tribal School
Toppenish, Washington, US
Closing date
Jul 21, 2024

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Academic / Research
Informatics / GIS
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Closing Date:


Energy Specialist

Fisheries Resource Management (FRM)

Department of Natural Resources

Hourly Wage: $34.39/Regular/Full-Time

Location: Toppenish

The employee is primarily responsible for working to ensure the preservation, protection and enhancement of Treaty reserved fishery and natural resources in relation to energy planning and projects in the Columbia Basin. The employee will work with the Yakama Nation Fisheries, Wildlife, Water Resources, Cultural Resources, Office of Legal Counsel, and Lobbyist to evaluate energy legislation, planning, permitting and coordination of meetings between the programs and State and local governments and industrial energy projects that are proposed on Yakama Nation Ceded Lands, Open and Unclaimed lands, and Usual Accustomed lands.

The employee will need to be familiar with regional energy and climate change planning documents such as the Yakama Nation Climate Action Plan (CAP) and CRITFC's Energy Vision. The employee will need to understand how these plans apply to the Yakama Nation's treaty reserved rights including fishing, hunting, and gathering. The employee must be knowledgeable in the theory, concepts, and principles of climate change and understanding the impacts of climate change on natural resources with emphasis on impacts to the Yakama Nation's cultural and natural resources.

The employee must also be able to conduct an independent analysis of moderately complex situations to review and evaluate real-time and future combined effects of energy projects (i.e. hydropower, nuclear, and other "green/alternative energy") and climate change on local and regional hydrology and environmental metrics important to fish, wildlife, and culturally significant plant species.

Work requires high-level skills in data and statistical analysis, process modeling, communication, and collaboration within groups having diverse resource interests. Incumbent participates in developing tribal member access, protection and mitigation plans for managing the tribe's natural resources with full consideration of an evolving national energy demand and industry.

This position requires the individual to track and monitor existing and proposed energy legislation, including development, storage and transmission, that will affect tribal resources on and off reservation in all usual and Accustomed lands and waters where there are reserved treaty rights.

Examples of Work Performed:

Evaluate and address impacts of current energy projects on Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation cultural and natural resources.

Assist in the development and distribution of annual fisheries management reports.

Build off the exiting Yakama Nation Climate Adaption Plan to conduct vulnerability, planning, and mitigating for climate change to assist the Climate Change Biologist to develop the Yakama Nation Climate Implementation Plan.

Evaluate new proposed transmission and alternative energy projects impact on Yakama Nation's cultural and natural resources. Track current and proposed alternative energy project through the EFSEC or county permitting process.

Coordinate with Yakama Nation DNR, Office of Legal Counsel, and Cultural Resource programs to evaluate alternative energy projects proposed and planned on Yakama Nation Ceded Lands and Usual and Accustomed Lands.

Attend meetings with United States governmental, state, and local agencies in regards to planning and permitting of alternative energy projects. Attend legislative, agency and planning hearings at the State and local level that will affect the sitting and permitting of alternative energy projects.

Evaluate the impacts of federal, public utility, and investor-owned hydroelectric power projects on tribal trust aquatic resources.

Evaluate hydroelectric power project settlement agreements and FERC licenses to ensure that their terms and conditions are sufficiently protective of trust resources and adequately mitigate for unavoidable project impacts in a changing climate.

Provide technical assistance to the Environmental Coordinator, legal staff and policy leadership in evaluating the merits of proposed HCPs, BOs, settlement agreements, and FERC licensees for hydroelectric projects that affect fishery resources reserved by the Yakama Nation through the treaty of 1855. Prepare memos, briefings, reports and affidavits accordingly.

Provide relevant and timely information to the Environmental Coordinator and Yakama Tribal Council concerning the status of current and proposed alternative energy and transmissions line projects.

As directed, conduct presentations with the Environmental Coordinator to Tribal Council, staff, and public or professional interest groups.

Provide assistance as needed in the development of annual Budgets.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Knowledge of tribal history within the Columbia River Basin and familiarity with the Treaty of 1855.

Knowledge of the traditions, culture and natural resource policies of the Yakama Nation.

Knowledge of the Columbia River hydroelectric system and other alternative energy systems and their effect of the ecology of affected aquatic resources, water quality, and cultural resources.

Knowledge of State and Federal environmental laws and process such as NEPA, SEPA, ESA, NAGPRA and Washington's Climate Commitment and other Carbon/Greenhouse Gas laws, Energy Facility Site Evaluation process, the HEAL Act and local government permit processes, the processes at which alternative energy project proceed for permitting.

Knowledge of the Endangered Species Act and provisions related to the taking of listed species.

Knowledge of ArcGIS and its applications to track energy and transmission line projects.

Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Ability to work collaboratively in groups while effectively representing the treaty reserved rights and fishery interests of the Yakama Nation.

Ability to give oral presentations to scientific and policy groups regarding the results of ongoing programs, studies and analyses associated with hydroelectric dam operations and alternative energy impacts to Yakama Nation's cultural and natural resources.

Ability to travel extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest and operate a Tribal GSA vehicle in a safe and appropriate manner.

Minimum Requirements:

Bachelors Degree in Fisheries Science, Biology, Environmental Science or closely related field and four years of professional experience.

Must demonstrate and express a self-motivated and positive approach to identifying and completing the activities necessary to perform the work associated with this positon.

Required to pass pre-employment drug test.

Must possess a valid Washington State Driver's License with the Ability to obtain a Yakama Nation Driving Permit.

Enrolled Yakama Preference, but all qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

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