Two U.S. Forest Service positions are available on Prince of Wales Island. That’s not really news. What IS news is that these jobs have a local hiring preference, with an opportunity for long-term employment with the federal agency.

Until now, local residents have been preferred for certain positions, because of their local knowledge. But they weren’t able to transition into permanent jobs with the U.S. Forest Service.

Julie Beall, a human resources specialist with the Forest Service’s Sitka office, said that the jobs affected are those available through the Alaska National Interest Land Conservation Act hiring authority.

ANILCA was reworded a few years ago to allow a transition to a permanent Forest Service job.

Beall said different federal agencies had to coordinate efforts to implement that change, which is happening now.

“We’re really looking at how we can use this authority in a strategic manner,” she said. “We know we can only use it for certain types of positions. Definitely the traditional technician positions that work out in the field: Forestry technician, biological technician, archaeological technician. It’s really for any position that requires knowledge of natural or cultural resources, except for professional positions.”

“Professional” positions are generally those that require a degree.

The Forest Service usually fills the ANILCA jobs early in the year, said Beall, but some positions, like the two on Prince of Wales, open up mid-year.

“I think you’re going to see a bigger number of ANILCA positions at the beginning of next year,” she said.

The POW jobs are both forestry technician positions with the Thorne Bay Ranger District. They are open to anyone who has lived or worked on Prince of Wales Island.

For more details, here’s a copy of the job notice:

POW forestry technician outreach notice