City Forest Officer (Forest Officer)


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 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 closes on Monday, December 31, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. (PST). The City reserves the right to adjust the filing deadline at its discretion beyond the initial filing period.


Urban Forestry Management

  • Directs and advises on urban forestry policy, programs, planning, and coordination across all City departments and outside stakeholders to maximize the use of resources and reach a common goal.
  • Leads in developing, analyzing, and implementing policies, and general methods and procedures related to procuring, planting, maintaining, protecting, and expanding the City’s urban forest.
  • Serves as an advisor and technical expert to the Mayor, City Council, Board and its Executive Officer on urban forestry matters.
  • Provides annual reports on the City’s urban forest (i.e., canopy cover, tree health, urban forestry funding, etc.).

Policy and Strategic Planning

  • 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.
  • Develops and monitors program budget, maintains administrative and financial records, and prepares reports.
  • Identifies and pursues funding for urban forestry through City budget, grants, and non-traditional sources.
  • Prepares, writes, and secures alternative sources of fund proposals, including grant applications, management, and reporting.


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

  • Two years of full-time paid experience as a Tree Surgeon Supervisor with the City of Los Angeles or equivalent outside experience in managing and administrating tree matters and supervising employees engaged in the planting, maintenance, and removal of trees.

Ideal candidates will have the following desired qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science Degree from an accredited four-year college/university in Urban Forestry, Arboriculture, Forest Management, Landscape Architecture, or a related field preferred. Master’s Degree a plus.
  • Five years of relevant professional experience. A minimum of two years of recent relevant experience in supervisory, management, or administrative responsibilities is a plus.
  • Registered and/or Certification as a Certified Arborist or Municipal Specialist by the International Society of Arboriculture is a plus.


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 Monday, December 31, 2018 to: City of Los Angeles, Personnel Department at E-mail subject line should read: “City Forest Officer”. Questions may be referred to Stephanie Barajas at (213) 978-1830.


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, which will be completed in early 2019. 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.


This is an emergency appointment. An emergency appointment is not a regular appointment. It is a temporary appointment which does not require that you successfully compete in the City of Los Angeles Civil Service examination process to be initially hired. No emergency appointment can exceed one year. The appointment must be terminated immediately when a regular appointment can be made from an eligible list. The candidate chosen will have the opportunity to compete in the Civil Service examination within one year from appointment and considered for regular appointment (City Charter Section 1013).

In order to receive an emergency appointment, you must submit a completed, signed City application form which will be provided to the Personnel Department along with the Emergency Nomination Form completed by the employing department. If you meet the minimum qualifications for the examination for the class to which you have been nominated for an emergency appointment, you will need to submit an application for the next administration of that examination. You will be required to complete and submit a new application to the Personnel Department when the examination is open for filing.

If you are a City employee (received a regular appointment) and you accept an emergency appointment, you will automatically be on “protective” leave. This means you may automatically return to your former position at the end of the emergency appointment. If you are not currently a regular employee of the City of Los Angeles when you accept the emergency appointment and you cannot be appointed from an eligible list at the termination of your emergency appointment (one year or establishment of an eligible list, whichever comes first), you will be terminated from City employment.

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