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On Deadline: Nationwide search for 'urban forester' left no leaf unturned

Original post made on Apr 13, 2012

After an exhaustive nationwide search for someone to fill Palo Alto's new "urban forester" position, city officials have found their forester.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 13, 2012, 12:00 AM

Comments (5)

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Posted by Ray Morneau
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Congratulations, Palo Alto!
Congratulations, Walter Passmore!

Palo Alto can now continue forward without missing a beat in the continuity of the urban forest. Yes, Mr. Passmore, as Mr. Thorwaldson has said in his well-researched well-written article, you "will have large footprints to fill"!

Some early arborists were mentioned, many other names remained trapped inside the pen ... additional important ones in my mind include Dave Sandage, Eric Krebs, Steve Scott, and Deanne Ecklund.

Plus, you have the opportunity to bask in the glow of many arboricultural consultancies which/who have also left their marks on this fair city ... including: HortScience, Inc. (many prominent arborists on staff), Dryad, LLC (Torrey Young), Barrie Coate & Associates (including Barrie D. Coate, Michael Bench, et alii), Arbor Resources (David Babby), Walter Levison (Consulting Arborist), Walter Fujii (Fujii Trees), Oaktopia (David Muffly), S. P. McClenahan Co. (James & John McClenahan), and Tree Management Experts (Roy C. Leggitt, III). These guys have been worth their weight in gold and will continue to benefit the City of Palo Alto!

Meanwhile, Palo Alto's residents will continue to thrive in one of the most magnificent, really incomparable, urban forests. In fact, the entire Bay Area (& beyond) stands to benefit from Palo Alto's urban forest program under Mr. Passmore's guidance. And, that's why I selected the category "Issues Beyond Palo Alto"!

Again, congratulations to all!
Best regards,
Ray Morneau

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 13, 2012 at 8:51 pm

These are the " arborists" who destroyed California Ave by chopping down all the trees and who have allowed Palo Alto oak trees to be be 35 to 50% fatally infected by their incompetence.

What we need are agricultural scientists not " aborists"

We need someone with a PhD in science

Like this comment
Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Apr 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Good Luck.

You'll need it

Like this comment
Posted by Herb Borock
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 14, 2012 at 10:41 am


Established Date: Jul 1, 2011
Revision Date: Jul 28, 2011
$38.90 - $51.86 Hourly
$6,742.67 - $8,989.07 Monthly
$80,912.00 - $107,868.80 Annually

Reports To: Asst. Dir. Public Services
Supervises: Yes

Purpose of Classification

This management position will be responsible for implementing the City's Urban Forest Master Plan and provide key oversight to the coordination and management of the City’s tree resources. Under minimum direction, the Urban Forester manages the development, implementation and ongoing management activities of the Urban Forest Management Master Plan program involving trees located in City parks, public rights-of-way and on private properties. Acts as liaison between the City and the Community; represents the city/department on issues concerning the various Urban Forestry programs managed. The position involves the preparation of written reports and making presentations before City Council, citizens groups, and appointed boards and commissions and other government agencies. Supervises a staff of arborists and maintenance personnel involved in planning, engineering and operations activities associated with tree protection and enhancement projects.

Distinguishing Characteristics

This classification is at the section management level. The Urban Forester is responsible for the direction of the entire Urban Forestry Master Plan program and exercises a broad range of authority that is central to the maintenance and sustainability of the City's urban forest. Incumbents plan and assess operational goals and objectives related all Urban Forest programs. Responsibilities include developing budgets and allocating resources. Incumbents supervise professional, supervisory, technical, and clerical staff. The Incumbent makes hiring/firing recommendations and evaluates performance including disciplinary recommendations.

Essential and other important responsibilities and duties may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Plan, schedule, direct, and coordinate the activities of the Urban Forestry program section; develop and implement long-range plans, goals, policies, and procedures for the section; participate in the planning and implementation of complex city wide or multi-agency projects.
Provide professional and technical guidance to staff engaged in the supervision of field operations. Develop and direct the dissemination of rules, regulations, policies, and procedures and ensure compliance.
Develop and monitor operating budgets for the section; negotiate contracts and agreements.
Prepare and present reports to community groups and city council; respond to questions and concerns.
Coordinate activities of the section with other City departments and outside agencies; meet with various community groups and representatives of other departments to coordinate programs and projects; represent the City on committees, project teams and to the community.
Supervise staff to include: prioritizing and assigning work; conducting performance evaluations; ensuring staff are trained; and making hiring, termination and disciplinary recommendations.
Develop staffing, analyze and appraise results, and develop innovations to accomplish objectives and improve performance; assure that employee development programs meet division and employee needs.
Develop and monitor permitting requirements and processes
Assess safety risks
Perform other duties of a similar nature or level.

Sufficient education, training and/or work experience to demonstrate possession of the following knowledge and skills, which would typically be acquired through a minimum of:

Bachelor's degree in Arboricultural Sciences or Urban Forestry and seven years of directly related experience, including two years of prior supervisory experience; or, an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job such as those listed above.

Licensing Requirements:

• Valid California Driver’s License.

• Certified Arborist Certificate from the International Society of Arborculture.

Qualification to enter this position requires knowledge of the following:

Managerial principles and practices;
Principles of supervision and ability to plan, direct and coordinate the work of others.
Ability to read landscape and architectural plans, and familiarity with tree protection measures on construction sites
Understanding of CEQA and environmental permit planning processes and requirements

Qualification to enter this position requires skill in:

Establishing and maintaining cooperative relations with the public;
Communicating effectively verbally and in writing;
Analyzing operating procedures and recommending improved programs for administering Urban Forestry Master Plan activities;
Writing reports and preparing budgets;
Using a computer and related software applications;
Communicating with others, making sound decisions, assimilating and understanding information, in a manner consistent with the essential job functions;
Operating assigned equipment;
Communication and interpersonal relations as applied to interaction with coworkers, supervisor, the general public, and others, sufficient to exchange or convey information and to receive work direction.

Positions in this class typically require: reaching, standing, walking, lifting, fingering, grasping, talking, hearing, seeing and repetitive motions.

Light Work: Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. If the use of arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most of the time, the job is rated for Light Work.

Like this comment
Posted by Jay Thorwaldson
editor emeritus
on Apr 15, 2012 at 8:02 am

Jay Thorwaldson is a registered user.

Thanks, Herb, for rounding out the "urban forester" information. -jay

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