WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday unanimously passed legislation introduced by Alaskan Congressman Don Young, Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Rob Bishop (R-UT) to provide long-serving temporary seasonal wild land firefighters and other seasonal employees with the same career-advancement opportunities available to other federal employees.
H.R. 1351, the Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA), would authorize federal employees serving under time-limited appointments at land management agencies, such as the temporary seasonal “1039” employees of the United States Forest Service, to compete for vacant permanent positions under internal merit promotion procedures at federal agencies, just as any permanent Federal employee is eligible to do today.
“H.R. 1531 is common-sense legislation that removes needless bureaucratic barriers currently preventing some of our experienced temporary employees from competing for permanent seasonal positions,” said Congressman Young. “This legislation would significantly reduce the costs associated with the high attrition rate in our nation’s temporary seasonal workforce, and enhance the pool of highly qualified applicants that compete for permanent seasonal positions. It truly is a win-win situation for our federal land management agencies.”
“Many federal land management employees, including wild land firefighters, work on a seasonal basis on time-limited appointments as temporary seasonal employees,” Congressman Connolly said. “These seasonal employees are terminated each season and often re-hired in subsequent seasons. Because of their status, benefits and career advancement opportunities are limited. Our bipartisan legislation would put them on equal footing with other Federal employees with respect to competing for vacant jobs in the civil service, including, typically, permanent seasonal jobs.”
The legislation would not adversely impact veterans’ preference. The bill applies to an individual serving under a temporary appointment or a term appointment at the following agencies of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture or Interior: Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Bureau of Reclamation.