Conservation Easement Steward

Natural Lands

Natural Lands, a vibrant, regional, nonprofit organization and leader in land conservation, natural resource stewardship, and public engagement, seeks a Conservation Easement Steward as an addition to our Conservation Services department.

Since the early 1950s, Natural Lands has saved open space, cared for nature, and connected people to the outdoors in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. Today, the organization is one of the nation’s largest regional land conservancies and is widely respected for its record of success, technical expertise, respectful and creative approach to partnerships, fiscal strength, and integrity.

Over the course of its nearly 70-year history, Natural Lands has helped preserve more than 125,000 acres. It owns and stewards 43 nature preserves and one public garden across two states and 13 counties. These 23,000 acres include many of the most spectacular and diverse properties in the region, which are enjoyed by more than 125,000 visitors annually. Natural Lands also holds more than 400 conservation easements on 22,000 additional acres, and assists local communities and municipalities, individuals, and partner organizations in pursuing open space and conservation goals. As a result, nearly five million people live within five miles of lands under Natural Lands’ protection.

The Conservation Easement Steward is a full-time position that will work with Conservation Easement Program staff (Director, Manager and Real Estate Records Specialist) to assist with the annual easement monitoring program, maintaining relationships with easement landowners, as well as reviewing and tracking changes on easement properties. They will also provide assistance to project managers working on conservation easement acquisitions, amendments, and enforcement actions. They will assist with report and grant writing and compilation, easement drafting, review, interpretation and enforcement, GPS data collection, plant identification and ecological land management planning/assistance.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Easement Monitoring: support Manager with coordination of annual monitoring process, including easement landowner correspondence, compiling monitoring paperwork, and reviewing monitoring reports as needed. Conduct in-person visits (routine monitoring and enforcement-related follow-up). Review and analyze current aerial imagery of properties.
  • Easement Review/Enforcement: assist with review and approval/comments for architecture, engineering, and other plans detailing changes to easement properties. Communicate with easement landowners or architecture/engineering/planning professionals as needed. Assist Director and Manager in handling easement violations, waivers, and amendments. Assist in providing ecological land management planning and stewardship recommendations.
  • Baseline Updates: assist Manager with updates to baseline reports for existing easements.
  • Easement Acquisition: assist Land Protection staff in all aspects of easement acquisition, including grant applications, due diligence during the acquisition process, easement baseline reports, and closeout of completed projects.
  • Recordkeeping: assist Easement Program and Land Protection staff to maintain and update paper and electronic easement files pursuant to Natural Lands records policy and entries in the easement database.
  • Communications: both routine and enforcement-related, with landowners, government officials and staff, funders, prospective buyers, etc.
  • Assist other program managers as time and necessity warrants.
  • Provide administrative and clerical functions.
  • Work on special projects as assigned.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in ecology/biology. Planning/landscape architecture, or a related field, with two years’ work experience related to easements, or Master’s Degree with one year of experience;
  • Experience using Microsoft Office programs;
  • Experience using databases;
  • Working knowledge of common mid-Atlantic plant assemblages and ecological land planning/stewardship practices;
  • Field experience with GPS equipment;
  • Ability to successfully handle multiple projects simultaneously with good time management;
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • Willingness and ability to assist and work with a wide variety of people;
  • Self-starter capable of working independently with a minimum of supervision;
  • A demonstrated enthusiastic and positive attitude; and
  • A passion for land conservation and providing quality service

Additional skills a plus, but not required:

  • Experience using ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, and Google Earth/Maps
  • Experience with Salesforce

Natural Lands seeks to hire great people from a wide variety of backgrounds. We aim to build a workplace where employees feel empowered to be their full, authentic selves.

Natural Lands is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.
All qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status.

How to Apply

Please visit our website: www.natlands.org/everything-else/careers to complete the online application and upload your resume. All correspondence should be addressed to Jeni W. Albany, Director of Human Resources.