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August 4, 2009
In Reply Refer To:
8300 (250) P
Information Bulletin No. 2009-093
To:                   All Field Officials and Director, National Landscape Conservation System and 
                        Community Partnerships
                        Attn: Human Resource Officers, Recreation Planners, Travel Managers, and Park
From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject:            Model Position Descriptions (GS-0401 Series) for Recreation Program Vacancies
The purpose of this Information Bulletin (IB) is to provide Field Offices the option of using the attached GS-0401 standardized position descriptions (PDs) when recruiting recreation planners, travel management specialists, park rangers, district and/or state program leads. Positions in the GS-0401 occupational series require a four year degree in resource recreation management or other social science professional fields. They may be used in recruitment efforts for GS-5 to GS-12 positions. 
Presently, most outdoor recreation planning positions in the Bureau of Land Management are within the GS-0023 administrative occupational series but recent changes in classification standards allow the use of the 401 professional occupational series for social sciences as well as its historical use for biological sciences positions.  Care must be taken when selecting between the two types of occupations after considering the paramount qualifications, background knowledge and level of skills required for the position; the sources of recruitment and expected line of progression; and the complexity, range of duties and the reason for establishing the position.
The Outdoor Recreation Planning Series, GS-0023, includes positions performing work involving assessing the demand for, planning and managing outdoor recreation. These positions require application of general or working knowledge of economics, sociology, and other social sciences and natural resources conservation sufficient to oversee most outdoor recreation resources positions. However, as the issues and field of resource recreation has grown more complex, a need for professional level of training in the social sciences, especially in may be needed or preferred for some positions.  


The Natural Resources Management Series, GS-0401, includes recreation management involving advising on, directing, administering, supervising, or performing complex and professional recreation and other social science work. Recreation management activities cover a broad range of duties including:  
  • Forecasting and assessing demand, evaluating social and economic impacts, conducting visitor and social surveys, and implementing public involvement strategies 
  • Assessing the effect of recreation on environmental, natural and cultural resources including wilderness, vegetation, soils, water, or wildlife; 
  • Evaluating recreational use compatibility with and visual resource effects of other land use activities, including mining, surface excavation, energy development, forest management or grazing; 
  • Managing special use authorizations, overseeing and accounting for business practices, fees or contracts, balancing competing public and private goals for recreational development, commercial development, and commercial uses or competitive special events; 
  • Planning and managing appropriate public access, transportation and other developed facilities for recreation opportunities, while sustaining and protecting resources; 
  • Designing allocation systems, developing and interpreting policies, responding to public or official inquires and public speaking; 
  • Mitigating or restoring resources affected by human use and recreation; 
  • Leading interdisciplinary teams, overseeing or supervising staff, directing seasonal positions or managing volunteer programs, and: 
  • Informing, educating and interpreting for visitors the natural and cultural resources values of the public lands and promoting responsibility for land stewardship. 
The attached position descriptions are provided as models. These models were prepared by personnel specialists at the National Operations Center in coordination with the National Recreation Program. Provided you do not make significant changes to the duties outlined in the models, the descriptions will streamline the classification of the position with your servicing human resources office. 
Efforts are underway to provide standardized PDs for the GS-0023 Series in similar graded positions. Use of the GS-0401 Series is not mandatory but should be used where professional planning, professional or technical skills are desired, especially for district or state program lead positions.
This IB was coordinated with the National Landscape Conservation System and Community Partnerships Directorate (WO-170) and the National Operations Center.  Questions concerning the use of model position descriptions should be directed to the Division of Human Resources, National Operations Center (OC200), at 303-236-6503.  Questions related to recreation policies or programs should be addressed to Robert Ratcliffe, Division Chief, Recreation and Visitor Services at 202-452-5040.
Signed by:                                                                    Authenticated by:
Edwin L. Roberson                                                        Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                         Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning
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Last updated: 10-21-2009