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WILDERNESS AND BACKCOUNTRY MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST

Essential Competencies

ENTRY LEVEL - Wilderness/Backcountry Specialist

I. Wilderness Philosophy, Law, and Policy

Description: This competency includes the knowledge required to understand the purpose and values of wilderness.

A.History
B.Law
C.Policy
D.Philosophy

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of landmarks in the evolution of the wilderness movement.

Knowledge and understanding of the Wilderness Act of 1964, its relationship with the NPS Organic Act, and differences in interpretation between the four agencies with wilderness management responsibilities.

Knowledge of the values of wilderness.

Knowledge of NPS policy guidelines.

A general understanding of major philosophical issues, such as anthropocentric vs. biocentric.

II. Wilderness/backcountry planning

Description: This competency includes an overview of the NPS wilderness/backcountry planning process.

A. Management plans
B.Wilderness management principles
C. Wilderness/backcountry management concepts

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

A general understanding of the NPS planning process, including the range of visitor/resource management plans common in parks, the relationship between plans, and the process by which plans are developed and implemented.

A general knowledge of the wilderness management principles.

An awareness and understanding of common management tools.

III. Wilderness/Backcountry Field Skills

Description: This competency includes the ability to perform in a wide variety of backcountry and wilderness settings.

A. Backcountry skills and practices
B. Backcountry inventory and monitoring skills.
C. Wilderness emergency response and prevention
D. Basic maintenance and repair of vessels and vehicles
E. Interpersonal skills
F. Backcountry facilities management

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Ability to handle a wide variety of wilderness health and safety issues.

Thorough knowledge of "Leave No Trace" principles and ethics and ability to communicate those principles effectively to visitors and other park employees.

Ability to safely navigate in a backcountry/wilderness setting.

Knowledge of wilderness EMS, SAR, and fire management principles.

Knowledge of backcountry/wilderness rules, regulations, and policies.

Ability to handle routine maintenance of vessels and vehicles in a backcountry setting.

Knowledge of wilderness and backcountry travel methods.

Skill in gaining trust and respect from, and for, park neighbors, inholders, other divisions, and other agencies.

Ability to establish positive rapport with boundary neighbors and inholders.

Ability to perform minor maintenance on backcountry facilities.

IV. Managing the Wilderness Resource

Description: This competency includes the knowledge of various uses and values of Wilderness/backcountry and the ability to recognize resource changes and unacceptable impacts.

A. Resources
B. Wilderness Management Principles
C. Inventory and Monitoring
D. Mitigation and Restoration of Recreation Impacts
E. Recreation Use Management, including commercial use

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Basic knowledge of natural history and ecological principles.

Knowledge of the important role that natural processes play in Wilderness.

Ability to work with resource management specialists to determine monitoring needs for that specialty.

Knowledge of recreational use and management techniques sufficient to prevent, mitigate, and restore impacts.

Basic knowledge of the Wilderness/backcountry plan.

Basic knowledge of Wilderness management principles.

FULL PERFORMANCE LEVEL - Wilderness/Backcountry Specialist

I. Wilderness Philosophy, Law, and Policy

Description: This competency includes the knowledge required to fully incorporate the purpose and values of wilderness in daily work activities.

A. Philosophy and history
B. Law
C. Policy

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of the evolution of wilderness philosophy.

Understanding of the growth of the wilderness movement.

An understanding of the difference between anthropocentric and biocentric philosophies.

An in-depth knowledge of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Knowledge of the relationship between the Wilderness Act and the NPS Organic Act.

A general knowledge of other legislation affecting the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Knowledge of NPS wilderness policy

An understanding of differences in policy between the four wilderness management agencies.

II. Wilderness/Backcountry Planning

Description: This competency includes the knowledge required to fully implement wilderness/backcountry plans.

A. Management plans
B.Wilderness management principles
C. Wilderness/backcountry management concepts

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of the NPS planning process, including the types and relationships of plans.

Knowledge of the wilderness management principles, including the legal and philosophical basis for each principle.

Knowledge of the application of various management tools.

III. Wilderness/Backcountry Field Skills

Description: This competency includes the ability to manage non-complex wilderness/backcountry situations.

A. Backcountry skills and practices
B. Backcountry inventory and monitoring skills
C. Wilderness emergency response and prevention
D. Working with park neighbors and inholders
E. Backcountry facilities management

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Ability to direct backcountry/wilderness monitoring programs.

Ability to manage non-complex wilderness EMS, SAR, and fire incidents.

Knowledge of backcountry/wilderness rules, regulations, and policies.

Ability to establish positive rapport with park neighbors, inholders and other agencies.

Ability to direct a basic backcountry facilities maintenance program.

IV. Managing the Wilderness Resource

Description: This competency includes the ability to manage recreation use to reduce potential impacts and knowledge of techniques to address impacts.

A. Resources
B. Inventory and Monitoring
C. Mitigation and Restoration of Recreation and Resource Impacts
D. Recreation use Management
E. Wilderness Management Principles
F. Wilderness Education

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Knowledge of natural history and ecological principles.

Ability to recognize and monitor visitor use patterns and project implications/displacement from management activities.

In-depth working knowledge of the principles of wilderness management as applied to the day to day operations of managing the wilderness resource.

Ability to work with resource management specialists to determine monitoring needs for that specialty.

Current knowledge of national Wilderness recreation uses and future trends.

Knowledge of recreation ecology principles.

Ability to monitor recreation impact.

Knowledge of wilderness education programs and tools which can be used to educate the public and staff.

MANAGER/SUPERVISOR - Wilderness/Backcountry Specialist

I. Wilderness Philosophy, Law, and Policy

Description: This competency includes the level of knowledge required to integrate the purpose and values of wilderness with other NPS mandates and values.

A. Philosophy and history
B. Law
C. Policy

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Thorough knowledge of the evolution of wilderness philosophy, and the persons and events who have influenced this evolution.

Understanding of the growth of the wilderness movement.

The identification of a personal wilderness philosophy, and recognition of how it influences professional actions.

A thorough understanding of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

A thorough knowledge of the relationship between the Wilderness Act and the NPS Organic Act.

Knowledge of other legislation affecting the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Knowledge of NPS wilderness policy, including strengths, weaknesses, and needs.

Knowledge of future trends in wilderness, including an understanding of how changes in society and technology may influence direction.

A thorough understanding of differences in policy between the four wilderness management agencies.

II. Wilderness/Backcountry Planning

Description: This competency includes the knowledge and skills necessary to coordinate the development of wilderness/management plans.

A. Wilderness management principles
1. Thorough understanding
2. Relationship to NPS policies

B. Management plans
1. Components
2. Coordination and direction
3. Public involvement
4. Integrated planning process

C. Planning concepts
D. Cooperation and Partnerships
1. Obtaining support
2. Partnerships

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Through understanding of the principles of wilderness management, and how these relate to NPS policies and philosophy.

Ability to identify the necessary components of a well conceived and comprehensive wilderness/backcountry management plan.

Ability to utilize public involvement in a positive and productive manner.

Knowledge of the importance of ensuring that wilderness/backcountry plans are inter-disciplinary, and integrated with and mutually complement to, other park planning documents.

Knowledge of the advantages and limitations of various management tools (such as Limits of Acceptable Change and Recreational Opportunity Spectrum).

Ability to generate support from government and private organizations.

Ability to develop successful partnerships.

III. Wilderness/Backcountry Field Skills

Description: This competency includes thorough knowledge of wilderness/backcountry hazards and management of wilderness emergencies.

A. Wilderness emergency management
B. Backcountry skills and practices
C. Coordination with others

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Ability to incorporate Wilderness principles in the management of wilderness emergencies.

Knowledge of skills necessary to ensure staff safety and competency in backcountry/wilderness settings.

Ability to coordinate with other divisions, parks, and agencies.

IV. Managing the Wilderness Resource

Description: This competency includes the ability to oversee the management of recreation use to reduce or address impacts.

A. Recreation Use Management
B. Wilderness Management Principles
C. Interdisciplinary Coordination

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

In-depth knowledge of the principles, practices, and concepts of natural and cultural resources and recreation management. Ability to coordinate, facilitate, monitor, advise and communicate Wilderness management practices.

Knowledge of data collection techniques and the ability to compile, analyze, and use data when making short and long-term program recommendations .

Knowledge of demographics and visitor related data for use in short and long term planning.

Thorough knowledge of the principles of Wilderness Management and the ability to apply them in decision making.

National Park Service
Training and Development Division
Essential Competencies
10wldspc.htm

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