Land Protection and Stewardship Manager

North Branch Land Trust

Reports To: Executive Director

Summary of Position

The Land Protection and Stewardship Coordinator is an integral member of the team at North Branch Land Trust, reporting to the Executive Director. The Land Protection and Stewardship Coordinator has two distinct responsibilities: Implementation of the Trust’s land conservation program and stewardship of all conservation easements and fee lands (preserves).

The Land Protection and Stewardship Coordinator will proactively engage landowners to identify opportunities to permanently protect properties in the service area or areas designated in the Trust’s strategic plan. This may be done with either a conservation easement or acquisition of these properties in fee. The Land Protection and Stewardship Coordinator will oversee the conservation process from initial inquiries with landowners to final filings. The Land Protection and Stewardship Coordinator will also be responsible for the monitoring of all conserved lands and preserves annually, as well as the maintenance of records pertaining to those lands; implementation of the management plans for and maintenance of the Land Trust’s preserves; and working collaboratively with Land Trust staff to activate visitor and educational opportunities at our preserves. Our preserves are featured on our website at www.nblt.org.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Implementation of the Trust’s land conservation program in coordination with the Board, fellow staff, and volunteers, as appropriate.
  • Help develop the Trust’s overall Strategic Plan and specifically the Strategic Conservation and Preserve Plans. Acts as Project Manager on strategic projects.
  • Work within the Trust’s regional service area (Northeastern Pennsylvania) or specifically identified corridors outlined in the Strategic Plan to proactively contact and correspond with landowners whose land meets the Land Trust’s protection or fee acquisition criteria.
  • Develop and implement practical, creative land protection solutions for specific projects or areas. Inform landowners in the project area of the Land Trust’s mission and efforts in accordance with a work plan developed for that area, in cooperation with the Land Committee and the Trust’s strategic plan.
  • Using GIS, GPS, and other software to document and maintain the Trust’s strategic conservation plan, projects, and land conservation projects in process.
  • Carry out community and preserve education and outreach through meetings, events, written materials, and digital presentations. Discuss the Land Trust and its mission and point out the benefits of land conservation, specifically conservation easements and sound natural resource stewardship. Be an overall ambassador for the Land Trust and its mission.
  • Participate in government land protection projects when appropriate, such as county agricultural land preservation programs and state and federal programs.
  • Maintain a database of all land protection projects under consideration and in development.
  • Maintain complete digital and physical files on active and completed projects to document activities, intentions, and actions in conformance with project file procedures.
  • Identify and pursue project-specific funding sources; prepare grant proposals, such as but not limited to PA DCNR conservation grants.
  • Coordinate with the Chair of the Land Committee meetings and submit a monthly written report on conservation projects and the preserves to the Land Committee and then to the Board of Directors for review and action. Attend and present as needed at all Land Committee and Board of Directors meetings.
  • Negotiate and assist in drafting easement language for potential easement donations and oversee the review of the draft easement by the potential grantee(s) and their counsel.
  • Solicit stewardship and legal defense endowment gifts in connection with easements or gifts of land to enable the Land Trust to provide perpetual care for these resources.
  • Work with attorneys, appraisers, surveyors, and project-related consultants.
  • Do field work for and prepare all baseline documentation reports for projects.

Implementation of the Trust’s Stewardship Program

  • Coordinate the monitoring of all eased land and preserves on an annual basis in accordance with Land Trust Alliance standards.
  • Using GIS and GPS, coordinate the documenting, mapping, and monitoring of the Land Trust’s conservation easement properties and preserves. This includes all aspects of data collection and compilation for baseline documentation and monitoring reports. Ensure all reports are filed in a timely manner.
  • Maintain complete digital and physical files on active and completed projects to document activities, intentions, and actions in conformance with project file procedures.
  • Coordinate volunteers in land protection projects whenever possible, including monitoring and preserve stewardship and education, and maintain a volunteer database.
  • Communicate with landowners regarding stewardship issues, easement enforcement and conflict resolution as needed.

Management & Activation of NBLT Preserves

  • Oversee development and implementation of management plans for the preserves. (For example, manage and conduct invasive vegetation removal operations, plant native plants, and establish trails, visitor amenities, etc.)
  • Coordinate the maintenance of preserves as needed to include, monitoring, posting of signs and general property maintenance. This includes regular visits to each preserve to monitor usage.
  • Plan and coordinate property stewardship and ecological restoration projects. This includes developing close working partnerships with Preserve committees.
  • Establish relationships with neighbors, local officials, educational institutions, and community groups.
  • Manage overall property security and supervises routine property maintenance and safety operations at the preserves.
  • Assist with budgeting and manages program/project expenditures consistent with adopted budget.
  • Stay current with land management techniques and Best Management Practices for natural resources.
  • Contribute to Land Trust public relations and marketing through educational opportunities with civic, governmental, and other groups and organizations and through articles in Land Trust publications in coordination with the Director of Marketing and Development.
  • Educate visitors to the preserves about the Land Trust’s management philosophy, policies, and procedures.

Essential Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated enthusiasm for and personal commitment to land conservation. Experience with a land trust or other conservation organization strongly preferred.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university preferred, or compelling evidence of commensurate experience.
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills. Natural ability to communicate clearly and authentically with a wide range of stakeholders including landowners, volunteers and fellow staff. Public speaking experience is a plus.
  • Self-motivated coordinator who possesses superior problem-solving skills and works independently.
  • Ability to think both strategically long-term and short-term for optimum operational effectiveness.
  • Willingness to learn and adapt. Ability to accept feedback constructively.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and timelines with a positive attitude, flexibility, and attention to detail and establish clear priorities for themselves.
  • Demonstrated ability to comprehend and interpret legal documents and maps.
  • Working knowledge of MS Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, handheld GPS devices, GIS, and ArcView computer programs.
  • Willingness to devote such time as necessary to complete job assignments, including frequent weekend or after-hours work.
  • Ability to provide personal transportation to work area.
  • Experience and physical strength to use and operate land management equipment in a safe and proper manner.
  • Ability to work outdoors in all seasons and weather conditions.

Preferred (not required) Experience and Skills:

  • Familiarity with Northeastern Pennsylvania region.
  • Familiarity with and knowledge of the tools and techniques of land conservation Experience engaging with a Board of Directors.
  • Non-profit experience.

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Be available on occasional evenings and weekends.
  • Be available for Trust development and community engagement events as needed
  • Be available to travel to attend regional, state and national meetings and conferences.
  • Be available to attend job-related workshops and trainings.
  • Work on special projects and complete other tasks as required by the Executive Director.

Compensation & Benefits:

  • This is a full-time salaried (Exempt) position. The salary offered to the successful candidate will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.
  • The following are included in the standard benefits package: healthcare, vision, dental, disability, and life insurance; retirement plan and paid time-off.
  • Flexible work schedule required. Some evening and weekend work required.
  • Location: NBLT’s office is in Dallas, PA. May occasionally work remotely as appropriate when giving permission by the Executive Director while ensuring adequate coverage in the office. Must have access to transportation and possess valid PA driver’s license as regional travel is required to visit easement and acquisitions sites, meet with landowners, visit preserves, and attend events as needed.
  • This position requires sitting or standing at a desk, using a computer, and talking on the phone. Walking on uneven terrain and participating in events and activities in various outdoor conditions is required.

How to Apply

Interested candidates can apply by visiting www.nblt.org or download a PDF of this Position here.

For consideration, submit cover letter and resume to [email protected]. Cover letter should include salary expectations. All documents should be in PDF format. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Position will remain open until filled.

Please do not inquire about this position by phone directly.