Management Assistant (Blue Ridge Parkway)

GS 12

A. Duties

Maintains contact with local, state, regional and federal planning and/or land use management agencies and officially represents the park in presenting positions in political forums. Incumbent works with these agencies to develop a coordinated approach to protecting the Blue Ridge Parkway corridor and viewshed values.

Prepares special planning studies, reports, and presentations; drafts land use regulations; develops enforcement policies and procedures; and works with a variety of groups and agencies to provide an understanding of the need for such policies and regulations and works for their implementation.

Collects and analyzes information and makes professional recommendations regarding the interrelationships among the physical, social, economic and political elements of development projects adjacent to the Parkway or in regional heritage tourism projects encompassing the Parkway. Assesses the dynamics of change within these elements. Identifies needs, resources and problems. Assists Parkway staff, Parkway partners and community leaders in making sound decisions on goals, policy priorities, and project selection. Prescribes realistic methods of implementation in order to balance competing values.

Coordinates activities and provides guidance and technical assistance to Parkway partners involved in projects which support the management and protection of lands and resources within or adjacent to the Parkway.

Directs interns, civic volunteers, and others in accomplishing technical work related to Parkway issues and other kinds of community planning projects or tasks.

Prepares grant proposals (independently or jointly with other organizations) to gain funding for projects that support protection and management of Parkway resource and scenic values. Upon receiving funding, works directly or indirectly with others to implement proposals.

Serves as liaison to SAMAB, the National Park Foundation, Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the National Parks and Conservation Association. Has delegated authority to make commitments on the Parkway's behalf within reasonable limits. Works with these groups identify prospective donors and to increase public awareness of the Parkway's needs for alternative funding. Also serves as conduit to tourism and promotion entities in Tennessee and North Carolina.

Serves as Parkway's GPRA coordinator, ensuring that efforts are made to update goals and respond to the National Park Service's requests in a timely and accurate fashion.

Serves as coordinator for the Parkway in contacts with cluster/regional superintendents to assure information flow and response to calls as needed.

B. Factors

Knowledge Required by Position

Broad and detailed practical knowledge of current NPS and Park philosophy, goals, objectives, management policies, procedures, administrative processes and regulations is essential for incumbent to make and effectively convey park decisions and positions and to allow him/her to respond independently to unexpected situations.

Extensive knowledge of the Park's natural and cultural resources is needed to convey the significance and importance of these resources and to guide the incumbent in decision-making.

Detailed knowledge of the political and economic concerns and sensitivities of various surrounding communities and organizations is needed for incumbent to know where to seek support, expect opposition, and avoid pitfalls.

Knowledge of public relations skills, including tact, diplomacy, good written and personal communications skills, and knowledge of the needs and concerns of various print or electronic media is necessary to allow incumbent to function effectively in widely diverse situations.

Supervisory Controls

Incumbent's work is performed independently. Incumbent sets priorities and develops methodology. Review is based upon results and/or compliance with guidelines and Park policies.

The Superintendent assigns new projects by identifying the problem/issue or by outlining terms of expected results. Incumbent is responsible for independently determining means for accomplishment. The Superintendent is often, but not always, available for guidance or consultation during task performance. Work is judged based upon results and the appropriate application of guidelines.


Written agency, Park, and Departmental guidelines are available in some cases, but the incumbent must know which to consult and to exercise substantial judgment to apply them to changing situations.

Much advice and counsel for actions and decision-making must be solicited from other park or agency managers or subject experts (e.g. biologists, law enforcement specialists), in order to assess the impact of various alternatives and recommend appropriate courses of action.


The incumbent's responsibilities and functions range from pure public relations, such as TV interviews and hosting receptions, to managing partnership groups. This diversity requires the capacity to organize, prioritize and interpret different data in a coherent and practical manner. The biological diversity and geographical expanse of the Park, widely varying Park-local relationships, and the diverse range of management issues contribute to the complexity. The incumbent is often in "uncharted waters" in dealing with external groups and must constantly adapt, applying personal judgment to new situations.

Scope and Effect

A major purpose of the incumbent's position is to educate the public and influence public opinion regarding the Park's resources, problems, and issues. This position is of critical importance in shaping the public's opinion of the NPS, the Park, and its activities, and in gaining acceptance and support of Park management plans and programs. This support ranges from not protesting park decisions to active support, either monetarily, or through the political process.

Incumbent participates on an important level in the overall management and decision-making of the Park that guides planning and program development, and impacts upon the long and short-term protection of Park resources and the experience of its visitors.

Through contacts with the local and national media, the incumbent localizes national issues and helps to generate increased understanding and support for national initiatives.

Personal Contacts

Has frequent contact with all levels of Park employees and officials in the Departmental, Regional, and Washington Offices including the Secretary, Directorates and their staffs.

Contacts include officials of other government agencies, U.S. and local elected officials and their staffs, and foreign government officials. Also meets and deals with key people in the private sector, including corporate heads, local business owners, and a wide diversity of citizen's groups interested in conservation, agriculture, hunting and tourism. Through off-site presentations and media coverage, the incumbent communicates, directly or indirectly, with a large cross-section of the public.

Purpose of Contacts

Contacts with government agencies serve to plan, implement, and administer projects and programs. Contacts with external agencies, groups and the media are for the purpose of gathering and/or exchanging information and generating approval and cooperation.

Physical Demands

Work is mainly sedentary in an office setting but involves some hiking to inspect facilities or escort visitors and sometimes extensive travel.

Working Conditions

Work is performed in an office setting, and also in any part of the Park where required to accomplish assignments. Must be able to travel on short notice to represent the National Park Service and the Superintendent.