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Classification & Qualifications Appeal Decisions

Washington, DC

U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Classification Appeal Decision
Under section 5112 of title 5, United States Code

Rosemary R. Johnson
Walker Ranger District
Chippewa National Forest
Region 9
U.S. Forest Service
U. S. Department of Agriculture
Walker, Minnesota


Robert D. Hendler
Classification and Pay Claims
Program Manager
Agency Compliance and Evaluation
Merit System Audit and Compliance



As provided in section 511.612 of title 5, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), this decision constitutes a classification certificate, which is mandatory and binding on all administrative, certifying, payroll, disbursing, and accounting officials of the Government.  The agency is responsible for reviewing its classification decisions for identical, similar, or related positions to ensure consistency with this decision.  There is no right of further appeal.  This decision is subject to discretionary review only under conditions and time limits specified in 5 CFR 511.605, 511.613, and 511.614, as cited in the Introduction to the Position Classification Standards (Introduction), appendix 4, section G (address provided in appendix 4, section H).


On February 8, 2013, OPM’s Chicago Oversight accepted a classification appeal from Ms. Rosemary R. Johnson and on June 20, 2013, it was transferred to Philadelphia Oversight for adjudication.  The appellant’s position is currently classified as a Forester, GS-460-9, and is located in the Walker Ranger District, Chippewa National Forest, Region 9, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in Walker, Minnesota.  The appellant believes her position should be upgraded to the GS-11 grade level.  We received the complete agency administrative report on April 24, 2013, and have accepted and decided this appeal under section 5112(b) of title 5, United States Code (U.S.C.).

To help us decide the appeal, we conducted telephone interviews with the appellant on September 13, 2013, her immediate supervisor on September 16, 2013, and the Forest silviculturist on September 17, 2013.  In reaching our classification decision, we have carefully considered all of the information obtained from the interviews, as well as all other information of record provided by the appellant and her agency.

General issues

The appellant raises concerns about the agency’s classification review process.  She alludes to classification inconsistency by providing a copy of a job opportunity announcement for a silviculture Forester position located in another district within the same forest with promotion potential to the GS-11 level.

By law, we must make our decision solely by comparing the appellant’s current duties and responsibilities to OPM position classification standards (PCSs) and guidelines (5 U.S.C. 5106, 5107, and 5112).  Since comparison to OPM PCSs and guidelines is the exclusive method for classifying positions, we cannot compare the appellant’s current duties to other positions, which may or may not be classified properly, as a basis for deciding her appeal.  In adjudicating this appeal, our responsibility is to make our own independent decision on the proper classification of her position.  Because our decision sets aside all previous agency decisions, the agency’s classification review process is not germane to this decision.

Like OPM, the appellant’s agency must classify positions based on comparison to OPM standards and guidelines.  However, the agency also has primary responsibility for ensuring that its positions are classified consistently with OPM appeal decisions.  If the appellant considers her position so similar to others that they all warrant the same classification, she may pursue the matter by writing to her agency’s human resources headquarters.  In so doing, she should specify the precise organizational location, classification, duties, and responsibilities of the positions in question.  If the positions are found to be basically the same as hers, the agency must correct their classification to be consistent with this appeal decision.  Otherwise, the agency should explain to the appellant the differences between her position and the others.

Although the appellant questioned the accuracy of her PD of record, number 169316, her immediate supervisor signed a statement attesting to its accuracy.  A position description (PD) is the official record of the major duties and responsibilities assigned to a position or job by an official with the authority to assign work.  A position is the duties and responsibilities which make up the work performed by the employee.  Classification appeal regulations permit OPM to investigate or audit a position and decide an appeal based on the actual duties and responsibilities currently assigned by management and performed by the employee.  An OPM appeal decision classifies a real operating position and not simply the PD.  This decision is based on the work currently assigned to and performed by the appellant.  After careful review, we find the appellant’s PD meets the standards of adequacy for classification purposes as discussed in section III.E of the Introduction and we incorporate it by reference into our decision.  However, the appellant’s PD includes a statement that she makes recommendations to the Timber Management Assistant regarding which harvesting technique to use on a stand, i.e. a grouping of trees of the same species and usually age, which she does not perform, and the agency should remove it.

Position information

The USDA Forest Service sustains the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.  The mission of the Chippewa National Forest is to support the natural resources management work of the forest, which encompasses three districts – Walker Ranger District, Blackduck Ranger District, and the Deer River District.  The appellant serves as a Forester for the Walker Ranger District performing silviculture functions, i.e. controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of the forest to meet diverse needs.  More specifically, she works to improve the vegetation management of the district with the goals of regenerating the forest and re-establishing the forest by developing silvicultural prescriptions and serving as a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) team member.  The appellant’s position reports directly to the district’s Land Management Planner and NEPA Team Leader. 

Each fiscal year two large-scale NEPA projects are conducted within the forest.  The 10-year planning cycle, which identifies the NEPA projects to take place and the 20-year forest plan, which states the management objectives for the forest determine which projects will run and within which districts.  Prior to starting NEPA projects, a contractor performs a stand inventory encompassing approximately 30,000 acres surrounding the project area.  The Forest silviculturist serves as the Contracting Officials Representative (COR) for the contract.   The appellant develops a list of stands, which she provides to the Forest silviculturist, for which the contractor will develop, examine and annotate data, e.g. tree species, height, and diameter, based on the project area, forest plan objectives which the appellant uses to develop silvicultural prescriptions for district NEPA projects.  .   The appellant reviews. the data collected against the contract requirements and informs the Forest silviculturist of the results.  If the data is unusable, the Forest silviculturist directs the contractor to re-collect the data.

Once she receives usable data, the appellant enters it into the Field Sampled Vegetation (FSVeg) information system and then links the data to the FSVeg Spatial Natural Resource information system.  , The appellant runs queries against the FSVeg database, e.g., how many pine trees exist in the project area, checks for missing stand inventory data, updates data, and archives existing data when new data is received.  The queries she runs in the FSVeg Spatial Natural Resource information system produces results that can be displayed visually on the screen.

As the district NEPA Team Leader, the appellant’s supervisor gathers the required team members, referred to as resource managers, based on the NEPA project, and guides them throughout the project.  The appellant serves as the resource manager for vegetation for all district projects.  Team members for other resources include soil, wildlife, and recreation.  She uses the stand inventory data, forest plan objectives, and her silviculture knowledge to identify the treatment needs of the project area and develops project area prescriptions in order to move the forest toward the desired condition identified in the forest plan.  The resource managers and the Team Leader then discuss the prescriptions to determine whether they meet the requirements of their respective specialties and the forest plan objectives, and make any necessary adjustments.  The result of the discussion(s) is a broad proposal, called the Proposed Action, assembled by the NEPA Team Leader describing prescriptions for each of the stands for the project area.  Each prescription includes information such as a site description (e.g. soils and elevation) stand description, (e.g. location and age/year of origin), stand objectives (e.g. stocking/density and growth rate), implementation/treatments (e.g. harvest and stand establishment), and monitoring and evaluation (e.g. survival/stocking exams and sale administration).

The Proposed Action, with a 30-day comment period, is mailed to individuals and groups having an interest in forest projects, e.g. environmental groups, and local residents near the NEPA project area, and a notification is placed in the local newspaper.  Once the comment period ends, the resource managers and the NEPA Team Leader review the comments received.  If comments raise any issues, e.g. requesting the building of a road, or not harvesting a stand, the team discusses alternatives to the prescriptions in the Proposed Action in an attempt to accommodate the interested parties.

Each resource manager reviews each prescription alternative in light of his or her specialty.  For example, the appellant takes the objectives listed in the forest plan and compares them against each alternative to see which ones best meet the forest plan objectives for vegetation, which is her specialty.  Each resource manager submits a written report to the NEPA Team Leader, who combines them into a NEPA Document.  The NEPA Document, with a 30-day comment period, is mailed to those who provided comments and a notification is placed in the local newspaper.  Once the comment period ends, the resource manager(s) handling the specialty any comment(s) falls under formulates a response.  The response is submitted to the team leader for review and placement in the NEPA Document under the Appendix for Comment Response.

The final detailed prescription is completed once the District Ranger selects which prescription alternative to the Proposed Action to implement..  He or she writes up a Decision Notice, which is placed in the local newspaper and the public is given 45-days to appeal the decision of the District Ranger.  At the end of the waiting period, if no one appeals, which is typically the case, steps are taken to implement the vegetative treatment actions and activities in the sequence and in the timing listed in the prescription.  Contractors perform the vegetative treatment actions stated in the prescription and either the appellant or the Reforestation Technician serve as the COR for the contract, which lists the functions the contactor is to perform.  The appellant works with the Reforestation Technician on any problems or issues that arise.

Most NEPA projects require reforestation and most of the work occurs in the spring and summer, e.g. exposing the mineral soil prior to planting, and cutting vegetation within three feet of seedlings to provide sunlight.  Tending activities, such as fencing off seedlings so they are not eaten by the deer, and ensuring the seedlings’ soil contains the proper nutrients, occur as needed.  The appellant and the Reforestation Technician attend monthly meetings with the Forest silviculturist to discuss the reforestation projects to ensure they are following the prescription plan and address problems and issues as they occur.

The appellant monitors and evaluates the vegetative treatment actions to ensure they are implemented according to the specifications in the prescription and compares the treated stand with the stand objectives.  The monitoring process includes clear and, where possible, measurement guidelines to determine if actual results are within acceptable limits at one, three, and five year intervals.  To ensure the seedlings regenerate, adjustments are made if conditions change due to natural events or human activities.  Once the seedlings reach five years in age, the appellant certifies they are well established and free to grow with no further tending, in accordance with the National Forest Management Act (NFMA).

Series, title and standard determination

The appellant does not question the series or title of her position or the use of the Job Family Standard (JFS) for Professional Work in the Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences Group, 400 to evaluate her position and, based on a review of the record, we concur.  Based on the mandatory titling requirements of the 400 JFS, the appellant’s position is allocated as Forester, GS-460.

Grade determination

The 400 JFS uses the Factor Evaluation System (FES), which employs nine factors.  Under the FES, each factor level description in a standard describes the minimum characteristics needed to receive credit for the described level.  Therefore, if a position fails to meet the criteria in a factor level description in any significant aspect, it must be credited at a lower level, unless an equally important aspect that meets a higher level balances the deficiency.  Conversely, the position may exceed those criteria in some aspects and still not be credited at a higher level.  Each factor level has a corresponding point value.  The total points assigned are converted to a grade by use of the grade conversion table in the standard.

The appellant disagrees with the agency’s evaluation of Factors 1, and 3.  After careful review, we concur with the agency’s evaluation of Factors 4, 5, 6, and 7; however, we disagree with the agency’s evaluation of Factor 2 and, based on discrepancies in the record, we will also address Factors 8 and 9.  Therefore, we have confined our analysis to Factors 1, 2, 3, 8, and 9.

Factor 1, Knowledge Required by the Position

This factor measures the nature and extent of information or facts a worker must understand in order to do acceptable work and the nature and extent of skills needed to apply that knowledge.

In her rationale, the appellant states her position meets Level 1-7 based upon the knowledge required by her position to manage complex vegetative systems.  She included as an example, her diversifying forest species in response to climate change by adding species from seed zones adjacent to the affected stands.  She also states the Chippewa National Forest has experienced many significant and complex events, such as the widespread storm damage received during the summer of 2012, which required management actions that do not follow established procedures.  In addition, the appellant stated she must give forethought to future climate change and sustainability issues when determining the best vegetative treatment and those require implementing complex management practices.

At Level 1-6, employees have knowledge of and skill in applying concepts, principles, practices, and methodology of the field; the organization’s programs and their governing laws and regulations; related mathematical and/or biological disciplines; and Federal, state, local, and/or tribal laws and regulations; and/or recognized reference standards; medical and legal requirements; and regulatory agency requirements.  This knowledge must be sufficient to independently perform recurring, well-precedented projects using standard methods and techniques, identify and resolve problems, provide technical advice to laymen, and prepare routine reports.

The Forester illustration at Level 1-6 in the JFS describes work requiring knowledge of and skill in applying principles, concepts, and practices of forestry and related disciplines, such as entomology; agency programs, policies, and resource management objectives; engineering construction and maintenance practices; and contract and legal provisions and content requirements.  This knowledge must be sufficient to analyze conditions in areas affected by drought, insects, disease, wind damage, or fire; recommend silviculture prescriptions to treat or salvage timber through sales; analyze environmental impact and prepare environmental assessment reports, inspect contractor operations for contract compliance; and prepare reports on findings and recommendations.  

At Level 1-7, employees have knowledge of and skill in applying a wide range of concepts, principles, and practices, and methodology of the field; agency regulations, policies, and procedures; applicable Federal statutes and legislation governing individual programs; related disciplines, and state, local, and/or tribal laws, customs, mores, and economic interests.  This knowledge must be sufficient to resolve complex problems involving matters such as developing and implementing multiple-use resource management plans or covering diverse resource management issues, modify or adapt standard processes and procedures, assess, select, and apply remedies suited to the assigned problem or situation, recommend and justify appropriate resource management strategies, and evaluate the economic impact of exploiting natural resources, and/or to perform complex tests and/or procedures that require using highly specialized methods or techniques, recognize and identify unusual and diverse entities, occurrences, or investigative outcomes relevant to the program area, modify or adapt established protocols and procedures in response to test or study findings, plan studies that require making significant departures from previous approaches, revise standard methods to improve or extend test and study systems, and prepare and present scientific and technical reports.

A Forestry illustration at Level 1-7 in the JFS describes work requiring knowledge of and skill in applying a wide range of concepts, principles, and practices of forestry land management; related disciplines of biological, physical, or mathematical sciences, or engineering; silvics, dendrology, reforestation methods, timber stand improvement, timber harvesting, and forest mensuration; the interrelationship of physical and biological factors, such as climate characteristics, plant and animal association, soil microorganisms, and their influences on the kind and time of silvicultural treatment necessary and appropriate to achieve multiple use land management policies and procedures.  This knowledge must be sufficient to develop, review, implement, and resolve complex problems on multiple use, sustained yield ecosystem management, and biodiversity programs; develop programs and provide solutions to complex problems covering an array of environmental conditions on varied forest units and successional stages; ensure that silvicultural plans and programs are consistent with agency and state policies and procedures; develop new long-term natural resources management plans; evaluate new scientific theories and technical practices and developments to determine their applicability and cost effectiveness; review scientific literature and technical publications; and assess the environmental impact of various natural resources management plans.

Level 1-6 is met.  Similar to this level and the illustration in the JFS, the appellant’s position requires knowledge and skill sufficient to perform recurring vegetation management projects using established methods and techniques.  As discussed  in the Position information section above, the appellant uses the stand inventory data compiled by a contractor, the forest plan objectives, and her silviculture knowledge to identify the treatment needs of the project area in order to move the forest toward the desired condition identified in the forest plan by developing NEPA project area prescriptions, e.g. harvesting, stand regeneration, and thinning.  She works with the other resource managers to ensure the prescriptions also meet the requirements of their specialty and, thus do not create adverse forest conditions.  Changes to the treatment plans and/or methodology are made as needed.

While NEPA project sites and stands assessed may not all be identical and may have varying combinations of conditions, the appellant’s work examples do not show that they are so unique that they require significant deviation from established practices versus consideration and selection from different approaches or alternative actions in recommending treatment for conditions that have been previously encountered.  Similar to Level 1-6, the record shows the appellant requests assistance from her supervisor or the Forest silviculturist when she encounters a situation with no established precedent or protocol, e.g. using methods that are non-toxic to forest species in order to eradicate a non-native insect infestation.  The work examples the appellant provides to show her position meets Level 1-7, meet Level 1-6.  As previously stated, the appellant requests assistance when she encounters a situation with no established precedent or protocol and the prescriptions need to move the forest toward the desired condition identified in the forest plan.  Therefore, like Level 1-6, the appellant performs her regular and recurring work assignments within the established goals of the forest.

Level 1-7 is not met.  The operational scope of the appellant’s position does not require or permit the application of comparable knowledge.  The types of problems typically encountered by the appellant do involve making assessments of conditions, making decisions on methods to best meet the forest plan objectives, and developing prescriptions for stands in the NEPA project area.  However, the examples of areas reviewed and problems encountered do not reflect the range envisioned at Level 1-7, and the recommended prescriptions do not reflect the need to address situations that require the application of this level of knowledge to adapt or modify practices to deal with complex problems, as intended in this JFS, versus consideration and selection of well-established approaches for dealing with problems typically encountered by foresters.  Unlike Level 1-7, she does not develop new long-term natural resources management plans, evaluate new scientific theories and technical practices and developments to determine their applicability and cost effectiveness, review scientific literature and technical publications for those and equivalent purposes, or assess the environmental impact of various natural resources management plans.  These responsibilities are vested in the appellant’s supervisor who has the authority to modify or adapt standard techniques, processes, and procedures, and to assess and apply precedents to devise strategies and plans to overcome significant scientific problems.  Similarly, the Forest silviculturist is responsible for ensuring locally developed silviculture plans and programs are consistent with Forest Service and state policies and procedures.  Like Level 1-6, the appellant uses standard methods and techniques to perform her regular and recurring work assignments.

This factor is evaluated at Level 1-6 and 950 points are assigned.

Factor 2, Supervisory Controls

This factor covers the nature and extent of direct or indirect controls exercised by the supervisor, the employee’s responsibility, and the review of completed work.

At Level 2-3, the supervisor outlines or discusses possible problem areas and defines objectives, plans, priorities, and deadlines.  Assignments have clear precedents requiring successive steps in planning and execution.  The employee independently plans and carries out the assignments in conformance with accepted policies and practices, adheres to instructions, policies, and guidelines to resolve commonly encountered work problems and deviations, and brings controversial information or findings to the supervisor’s attention for direction.  The supervisor provides assistance on controversial or unusual situations that do not have clear precedents, reviews completed work for conformity with policy, the effectiveness of the employee’s approach to the problem, technical soundness, adherence to deadlines, accomplishment of objectives, and performs a limited review of the methods used to complete the assignment. 

At Level 2-4, the supervisor outlines overall objectives and available resources and the employee and supervisor, in consultation, discuss the scope, timeframes, stages and approaches.  The employee plans and carries out the assignment, resolves most conflicts that arise, coordinates work with others as necessary, interprets policy and regulatory requirements, keeps the supervisor informed of progress and potentially controversial problems and issues, develops changes to plans, and recommends improvements to meet program objectives.  Completed work is reviewed for soundness of overall approach, effectiveness in meeting requirements or producing expected results, the feasibility of recommendations, and adherence to requirements.  The supervisor does not usually review the methods used by the employee to complete assignments.

Level 2-3 is met.  Similar to this level, the appellant’s supervisor and the Forest silviculturist define objectives, plans, priorities, and deadlines since they have overall responsibility for their NEPA and the forest silviculture programs, respectively.  The appellant independently plans and carries out her work assignments according to accepted forest policy, precedent, and/or regulations.  She resolves most problems encountered by application of established policies and precedents or contacts her supervisor or the Forest silviculturist for assistance.  The appellant uses the objectives in the forest plan to perform her silviculture work assignments, e.g. developing a list of stands for which a contractor performs a stand inventory, and identifying vegetative treatment needs and developing detailed prescriptions for the district NEPA project area.  The appellant’s supervisor reviews completed work for adherence to deadlines and clarity, ensuring written products are written so the general public can understand them.  The Forest silviculturist reviews completed work for conformity with established policy and technical soundness.  He monitors the appellant’s accomplishments throughout the year to ensure she meets her objectives.

Level 2-4 is not fully met.  Although the appellant independently performs her duties, the assignments are limited in scope and are not so complex as to require her to work with her supervisor to outline project objectives and available resources.  These responsibilities are vested in the appellant’s supervisor and the Forest silviculturist.  Similar to this level, the appellant develops changes to prescriptions because of natural events or human activity, e.g. mitigating the effects of invasive insects, pathogens, or fire damage from a site in such a way that allows stand regeneration.  However, like Level 2-3, the prescription must be in accordance with the forest plan.  Unlike Level 2-4, the appellant does not interpret policy and regulatory requirements; nor does she apply new methods to resolve complex, intricate, unique, or controversial issues.  These responsibilities are vested in the appellant’s supervisor and the Forest silviculturist.  Similar to Level 2-3, the appellant requests guidance when no established policy exists.

This factor is evaluated at Level 2-3 and 275 points are assigned.

Factor 3, Guidelines

This factor covers the nature of guidelines and the judgment needed to apply them.  Guides used in GS occupations include, for example, desk manuals, established procedures, policies, and traditional practices, and general reference materials such as dictionaries, style manuals, engineering handbooks, and the pharmacopeia.

In her rationale, the appellant states she meets Level 3-4 because she applies a substantial amount of judgment when adjusting stand boundaries, maintaining the correlating data, and determining reforestation methods that will best meet the NFMA requirements.

At Level 3-3, the employee uses a wide variety of reference materials and manuals  However, they are not always directly applicable to the work or have gaps in specificity.  Available precedents outline existing approaches to more general problems or issues.  The employee uses judgment in selecting, interpreting, and applying available guidelines for adaptation to specific problems or issues.

At Level 3-4, the employee uses guidelines and precedents that are very general regarding agency policy statements and objectives.  Guidelines specific to assignments are often scarce, not applicable, or have gaps in specificity that require considerable interpretations and/or adaptation for application to issues and problems.  The employee uses judgment, initiative, and resourcefulness in deviating from established methods to deal with specific issues or problems; research trends and patterns; propose new policies and practices; develop new methods and criteria; and/or modify, adapt, and/or refine broader guidelines to resolve specific complex and/or intricate issues and problems.

Level 3-3 is met.  As at this level, the appellant uses state and federal laws, regulations, USDA and Forest Service policies, the forest plan, locally developed NEPA and silviculture procedures, etc.  Some judgment  is required in interpreting and selecting the right guideline in light of the specific issue, as in developing the list of stands for which a contractor will produce its’ inventory data, recommending which methods to use to clear a stand, etc.  In her rationale, the appellant states her position meets Level 3-4 because she applies a substantial amount of judgment when adjusting stand boundaries, maintaining the correlating data, and determining reforestation methods that will best meet the NFMA requirements.  However, these examples are illustrative of the guidelines interpretation and adaption typical of Level 3-3.

Level 3-4 is not met.  The appellant’s work is covered by procedures and guidelines which are developed and controlled at the Chippewa National Forest, Forest Service, and USDA levels.  These guidelines include state and federal regulations and the forest plan typical of Level 3-3 which goes into detail as to the methods and procedures to be used to accomplish the work.  Responsibility for guideline interpretation found at Level 3-4 is vested in higher level positions within the forest.  While the position’s guidelines require the use of judgment to apply, they are not so broad as the general administrative policies and management theories typical of Level 3-4.

This factor is evaluated at Level 3-3 and 275 points are assigned.

Factor 8, Physical Demands

This factor covers the requirements and physical demands placed on the employee by the work assignment.

Level 8-1 work is sedentary.  Some work requires periods of walking, standing, bending climbing, or driving a motor vehicle.  Employees occasionally carry light items, such as books, small instruments, or samples, and other materials.

Level 8-2 work requires long periods of standing, walking, or riding horses over rough terrain, recurring bending, crouching, stooping, reaching, or similar activities.  Work may also include frequent lifting of moderately heavy items, such as equipment and samples that weigh approximately 50 pounds.

Level 8-1 is met.  The appellant performs most of her work in an office setting requiring no special physical effort.Unlike Level 8-2, the appellant’s work does not require her to stand long periods of time, walk over rough terrain, bend, crouch, or stoop, or lift items weighing up to 50 pounds on a regular and recurring basis.  The record shows she occasionally works in the forest walking, climbing over uneven ground, or carrying small items.  These efforts do not reflect the demands found at Level 8-2.

This factor is evaluated at Level 8-1 and 5 points are assigned.

Factor 9, Work Environment

This factor considers the risks and discomforts in an employee’s physical surroundings, or the nature of the work assigned and the safety regulations required.

Level 9-1 work is usually performed in an office setting.  The work area normally involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of offices or may involve occasional exposure to a laboratory that involves risks or hazards that require safety precautions.

Level 9-2 work involves exposure to moderate risks and discomforts such as those due to adverse weather conditions, falling trees, hostile wildlife, and/or poisonous insects, plants, or snakes.

Level 9-1 is met.  The appellant performs most of her work in an office setting involving everyday risks or discomforts.  Unlike Level 9-2, the appellant’s work does not involve exposure to adverse weather conditions, falling trees, or hostile wildlife on a regular and recurring basis.  The record shows she occasionally encounters adverse weather conditions and falling trees while working in the forest.  This work is not regular and recurring as defined the position classification process and, thus, may not control the evaluation of this factor.

This factor is evaluated at Level 9-1 and 5 points are assigned.


Factor Level Points
1.  Knowledge required by the position 1-6 950
2.  Supervisory controls 2-3 275
3.  Guidelines 3-3 275
4.  Complexity 4-3 150
5.  Scope and effect 5-3 150
6. &7.  Personal contacts and 6-2
           Purpose of contacts 7-B 75
8.  Physical demands 8-1 5
9.  Work environment 9-1 5
Total Points 1885


The total points assigned to the appellants’ position equals 1885.  According to the 0400 JFS grade-conversion table, positions with total point values between 1855 and 2100 are properly graded at the GS-9 level. 


The appellant’s position is properly classified as Forester, GS-460-9.









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