Orca Unit District Manager

  • Washington Department of Natural Resources
  • Sedro-Woolley, WA, USA
  • Apr 30, 2019
Full time Advocacy and Policy Biology - Ecology Communication - Public Outreach Conservation/ Natural Resources Fisheries - Marine Science - Aquatic Biology Management Sustainability

Job Description

Come help us manage state-owned aquatic lands so that people and orcas thrive, businesses and eelgrass meadows grow, and waterfront public access and salmon are preserved in perpetuity. We are looking for a leader (District Manager) for a team of six professional staff who are based in beautiful and peaceful Skagit County, nestled between the Skagit Valley farmlands and the foothills of the North Cascades. This team's work focuses on the majestic rivers, lakes, and marine waters of northern Puget Sound including those in and around Whatcom, San Juan, Skagit, and Snohomish counties and Camano Island.
The District Manager will ensure that management of state-owned aquatic lands in in the Orca Unit of the Orca-Straits District is executed in a sustainable manner, ensuring environmental protection of aquatic lands. The District Manager works with individual citizens, private industry, Tribes, other governments, and other stakeholders to ensure resources are managed to preserve ecological and economic viability, including clean-up, pollution prevention, habitat conservation and protection, restoration, and assessment of proper use of state-owned aquatic lands. This is accomplished primarily through aquatic land leasing.

The District Manager's responsibilities include the following: 

  • Directly supervising four professional land managers and one office assistant.
  • Overseeing the supervision of one natural resource technician who reports to a land manager.
  • Setting expectations, providing feedback, prioritizing workload, and coaching staff.
  • Ensuring that the team achieves the DNR vision and mission and does so consistent with the DNR values and core competencies.
  • Playing a key role in the development of policy, procedures, and guidance for the district and the division.
  • Managing and negotiating the most complex and sensitive aquatic land management issues in Orca Unit's area of operations.
  • Ensuring the proper use of state-owned aquatic lands by reviewing all leases, easements, and license documents generated by staff.
  • Helping to support other division activities including management of Aquatic Reserves, review of local government Shoreline Master Programs, and environmental review of proposed projects affecting state-owned aquatic lands. 

If you are fascinated by and enjoy the following, you may be an ideal candidate: 

  • The DNR mission.
  • Helping your staff do their jobs well and to get better every year.
  • Mastering unusual, often technical topics such as property legal descriptions, property rights, and environmental protection statutes and rules.
  • Drafting strong contracts that meet the goals of the state (which include ensuring environmental protection, promoting public use and access, and minimizing risk) and our business partners (lessees/grantees/licensees).
  • Helping your staff, colleagues, and senior managers solve complex public policy, environmental, and real property management problems.
  • Non-routine work; even experienced staff learn something new nearly every day.
  • Providing excellent customer service both internally and externally.



  • A Bachelor's Degree in natural resource management, forestry, geography, marine science, environmental science, other science, land use or environmental planning, public policy, engineering, real estate, business, or other relevant field.
  • Two years of related professional work experience in one of the aforementioned specialties.
  • Knowledge of and/or experience with contracts, business or property management.
  • Experience interpreting and implementing guidelines, regulations, and laws.
  • Demonstrated ability to provide good customer service.
  • Experience negotiating contentious issues in a respectful, responsive and informed manner.
  • Effective relationship- and team-building skills.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent prioritization skills.
  • Proficient with the Microsoft suite of computer programs (Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint). 


  • Three years of supervisory experience of professional staff including hiring, setting expectations, training, providing feedback, and coaching.
  • Experience working with natural resource management/environmental protection issues.
  • Experience with real estate management, including commercial real estate practices, appraisal, and lease/contract management and development
  • Experience working with governments at the local, state, tribal, and/or federal level.
  • Knowledge of Puget Sound (Pacific Northwest) riverine, estuarine, and marine nearshore ecosystem processes and habitats.
  • Experience operating small motorboats.
  • A natural curiosity – someone who appreciates the how and the why, and who embraces new challenges and new technologies. 


  • The incumbent in this position is required to travel.
  • Must have a valid driver's license and have two years of driving experience. This position requires driving as an essential function.  Employees who drive for state business, whether in a state or privately-owned vehicle, are required to possess a valid license as defined in policy PO02-006 and abide by all other driver responsibility requirements.

Remember to say you found this opportunity at EnvironmentalCareer.com


Government- State/Provincial


$63,684.00 - $73,728.00 Annually