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11 Apr 2019

Full-Time City Forest Officer

City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works – Posted by CITY OF LOS ANGELES BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS Los Angeles, California, United States

Job Description




(Salary Range – $119,767 to $179,943)


Salary Commensurate With Experience and Qualifications

(Comprehensive Employee Benefits Package Provided)

This position will be filled as exempt from Civil Service*                                                                                


The City of Los Angeles (City) is seeking a dynamic and expert leader to become the City’s first City Forest Officer (Forest Officer). Los Angeles is home to the nation’s largest urban forest and largest urban park, is comprised of diverse watersheds, and is a unique global biodiversity hotspot. Despite the foundational challenge of an inequitably distributed tree canopy and more  recent stressors such as drought and pests, the City is making headway to regenerate, expand, and revitalize the state of our urban forest and the Forest Officer will be critical to the City’s success.

The City of Los Angeles, Board of Public Works (Board) is a five-member executive team that governs and administers the City’s Department of Public Works (DPW). DPW is comprised of five bureaus – Sanitation, Street Services, Street Lighting, Engineering, and Contract Administration – and Board Offices.

The Forest Officer will oversee all policies and programs related to the City’s urban forest with a focus on data-driven problem solving, transparency, accountability, sustainability, and resiliency. The Forest Officer will provide technical expertise on urban forestry related policy and programs to City staff and elected officials and also provide a unified voice for Los Angeles’s urban forest, spearheading public education on trees and coalescing urban forestry efforts among all City departments to meet a shared vision for LA’s trees. This position will report to the Board through its Executive Officer and advise the Mayor and City Council.

Working collaboratively and in partnership with various City departments (i.e., Bureau of Street Services, Department of Planning, Department of Recreation and Parks, and Department of Water and Power), their executive leadership, and external stakeholders (e.g., community based and non-profit organizations), the ideal candidate will have exceptional organizational, personnel, and financial management skills, excellent communication skills, familiarity with and experience forging effective relationships in or with governmental leadership, knowledge of and the ability to replicate world-class practices and technology, and the ability to bring together diverse viewpoints to work towards a common goal, operate under public scrutiny and excel in a complex, challenging, and rewarding public service environment. The Forest Officer will help position the City as a leader in urban forestry and execute the Mayor’s goals to grow a more sustainable, biodiverse, robust, and equitable urban forest for all Angelenos.


The filing period for this position has been extended from Friday, April 19, 2019 to Friday, May 3, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. (PST). The City reserves the right to adjust the filing deadline at its discretion beyond the extended filing period.


Management of Citywide Forest Program

  • Plans, develops, organizes and directs a Citywide Forest Program, carrying out adequate coordination, management, planning, and research across all City departments and in collaboration with outside stakeholders to maximize the use of resources and reach a common urban forestry vision.
  • Serves as the lead expert in developing, analyzing, and recommending policies, and general methods and procedures related to procuring, planting, maintaining, protecting, and expanding the City’s urban forest.
  • Provides annual reports on the City’s urban forest (i.e., canopy cover, tree health, urban forestry funding, etc.).

Policy and Strategic Planning

  • Serves as an advisor and technical expert to the Mayor, City Council, Board and its Executive Officer on urban forestry matters and prepares administrative studies and directives.
  • Researches, tracks, and advises on current and emerging urban forest legislation, best management practices, scientific inquiry, technology, and tree related issues such as climate change, storm water management, pest/disease management, soil management, treatment and removal, etc. to provide guidance and direction on policies, programs, and budgets.
  • Manages the funding, creation, and implementation of the City’s Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP), provides regular updates to the UFMP, and influences other relevant citywide plans to achieve a common urban forestry vision.                       

Stakeholder Engagement and Community Outreach

  • Serves as liaison to the various relevant national, state, regional and local organizations and agencies, including the Community Forest Advisory Committee.
  • Provides information on citywide tree programs and policies to community organizations, residents, businesses, builders/developers, volunteer groups and the media.
  • Develops and implements public informational and educational programs regarding the value of trees and citywide urban forestry goals, manages relevant media relations, and provides public presentations.

Fiscal and Grants Management

  • Assists with executing an urban forest financing study.
  • Formulates and administers program budget, oversees fund management, maintains administrative and financial records, and prepares budgetary reports and recommendations.
  • Identifies and pursues funding for urban forestry through City budget, grants, and non-traditional sources.
  • Prepares, writes, and secures alternative sources of funding, including grants.


This opportunity is open to all individuals who meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college/university; AND

2a) Two years of full-time paid experience at the level of Street Tree Superintendent with the City of Los Angeles,

supervising or managing urban forestry programs; OR

2b) Three years of full-time paid professional experience supervising or managing urban forestry programs.

Ideal candidates will have the following desired qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree and/or Master’s Degree in a related field such as Urban Forestry, Arboriculture, Forest Management, or Landscape Architecture is a plus.
  • A minimum of two years of recent urban forestry relevant experience in supervisory, management, or administrative responsibilities is a plus.
  • Registration and/or Certification as a Certified Arborist or Municipal Specialist by the International Society of Arboriculture is a plus.


The selection process will include an oral interview, and may include a written exercise, to determine the most qualified candidates for these positions. In the event that there is a large candidate pool, screening criteria will be used to bring the most qualified individuals forward to the interview process.

This appointment is subject to background review and clearance. The incumbent will not accrue any civil service tenure, contractual employment rights, or due process rights and may be removed, without any finding of cause, at any time and serves at the pleasure of the Board and its Executive Officer.

*The City Forest Officer is an exempt, at-will, management position. The incumbent will not accrue any civil service tenure or contractual employment rights in such position. The City Forest Officer is appointed by, and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Public Works and the Board’s Executive Officer.

How to Apply

HOW TO APPLY All interested candidates should submit a (1) letter of interest, (2) resume, (3) completed City application, and (4) at least three work-related references (include names, titles, affiliations and telephone numbers) by the filing deadline. The resume should reflect the candidate’s experience in working with organizations and portfolios of comparable size, scope, complexity, and should detail notable accomplishments.  The City Application can be downloaded at The application must be scanned as a single .pdf file and submitted electronically. Please submit your entire application pack via e-mail on or by the extended deadline of 5:00 p.m. (PST), Friday, May 3, 2019, to: City of Los Angeles, Personnel Department at [email protected]. E-mail subject line should read: "City Forest Officer”. Questions may be referred to Stephanie Barajas at (213) 978-1830.

Job Categories: Environmental. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 100,000 and above.

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