Conservation Director

Posted Date: 11/13/22
Position Closing Date: Open until filled
Location: Colorado Springs, Denver, or Pueblo
Job Type: Full-time, exempt position
Salary Hiring Range: $70,000-$90,000

Position Summary

Palmer Land Conservancy seeks a Conservation Director who is responsible for advancing land and water conservation projects that are of local, state, and national importance. Priorities are based in Palmer’s 5-year strategic plan and focus on leading a historic western water initiative; safeguarding the conservation and access of critical parks, open spaces, and trails; protecting vital habitat and resilient landscapes; and ensuring Colorado maintains a strong local food supply and agricultural heritage. Candidates should possess strong real estate transaction expertise, project management skills, and experience working with a variety of partners and stakeholders. The Conservation Director oversees a portfolio of conservation projects utilizing conservations easements, fee title acquisitions, and other conservations tools. The position is responsible for managing due diligence, negotiating and drafting conservation agreements, and managing all other elements of the transaction process. At the core of the position is managing relationships with a diversity of conservation partners and stakeholders, including landowners, conservation partners, funders, and community stakeholders.


Palmer offers full-time employees top tier benefits including: robust employer-sponsored health care package which includes medical, dental, and vision benefits; retirement plan with company contribution; short-term and long-term disability; generous paid parental leave; paid sabbatical leave; and an innovative open paid time off policy for senior staff.

Company Culture

Palmer was recently named one of the 2022 Best Workplaces in Colorado Springs by the Gazette! Palmer leadership values a culture of generosity, trust, and dedication to conservation. The work environment is goal-based, and work plans and performance are focused on identifying and achieving attainable, but ambitious objectives on a quarterly timeline. This is not a micro-managing environment, and instead, employees are trusted to get their work done with a high level of personal responsibility. 

Palmer’s employees are hardworking high performers and in exchange they are supported in pursuing work-life flexibility with policies such as open paid time off, sabbatical leave, and remote work. 

About Palmer Land Conservancy

Palmer Land Conservancy is one of the leading nonprofit land conservation organizations in Colorado. Since its incorporation in 1977, the organization has protected more than 136,000 acres including 20 public parks and open spaces, working farms and ranches, wildlife habitat, and scenic views. Palmer is one of the twenty largest local land trusts in the country based upon conserved acreage holdings (there are approximately 1,700 land trusts in the United States), and it is one of the country’s first 100 nationally accredited land trusts. Its main office is located in downtown Colorado Springs and has staff located throughout its service area. More info at

Core Duties and Responsibilities
Conservation Transactions
  • Supervise a team of conservation managers, providing project leadership and strategy; project excellence and adherence to industry best standards and practices; project budget oversight; and project fundraising.
  • Maintain a portfolio of conservation projects and manage all aspects of conservation transactions. Create and maintain an effective project management process. Ensure transaction excellence while coordinating the due diligence and closing of projects collaboratively with other staff, partners, and legal counsel.
  • Participate in the Bessemer Farmland Conservation Project core project team to establish a water exchange framework to protect irrigated agriculture on the Bessemer Ditch in Pueblo County, establish a community-based administrative entity to manage the project in the long-term, launch pilot projects to vet exchange solutions, and establish broad community support for local farmland.
  • Participate in the strategic development of recreation, trail connectivity, and public open space projects.
  • Conduct regular strategic outreach with existing and potential stakeholders and landowners within the region. Develop a pipeline of conservation projects with prospective landowners and other partners  by proactively seeking and developing conservation projects that contribute to Palmer’s mission. Evaluate and respond to land protection inquiries to determine if they meet current objectives.
  • Participate in project fundraising, including private, state, and federal grants, as well as requests to individual donors.

Conservation Finance Modeling
  • Elevate the organization’s use of financial modeling in order to undertake more sophisticated and complex land conservation projects.
  • Conduct financial modeling for conservation easement and fee acquisition projects, as well as effective, largescale conservation frameworks.

Industry and Stakeholder Relations
  • Build and maintain relationships with industry and community partners.
  • Participate in projects/committees/working groups as necessary to advance Palmer’s conservation goals.

Administrative & Other
  • Abide by and uphold all Palmer Land Trust policies.
  • Maintain strict confidentiality regarding sensitive and emotionally charged information.
  • Enter relevant project data and maintain clean project records in CiviCRM and other project management software as necessary.
  • Participate in staff meetings, Land Committee, and board meetings.
  • Assist with e-news, print, and other outreach materials such as annual reports and newsletters.
  • Other duties and special projects as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree in field relevant to land and water conservation.
  • 5 years successful, related work experience.
  • Ability to manage numerous projects simultaneously; establish priorities and meet deadlines; independently pursue organization objectives and solutions to complex problems.
  • Highly organized and efficient; hard-working with superb attention to detail and nuance; a good aptitude for due diligence and compliance matters.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with an ability to convey complex information clearly.
  • A critical thinker, self-directed, strongly motivated.
  • Passion for natural resource conservation—especially the conservation of working agricultural lands—and a commitment to developing strong working relationships with landowners and partners. A commitment to furthering Palmer Land Conservancy’s mission to protect southern Colorado’s lands for present and future generations

Preferred Skills, Knowledge, & Experience
  • Master’s or J.D. degree and minimum of 5 years strong conservation experience, including conservation easement transaction experience.
  • Extensive project management experience including ability to motivate, lead, set objectives, and manage large stakeholder groups. Proven experience producing results and meeting program goals.

Other Requirements
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Physical demands may involve:
    • Lifting materials and equipment – including, but not limited to, office supplies, event supplies, and boxes of swag – up to 25 pounds.
    • Working in variable weather conditions at remote locations on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances

How to Apply: Please apply through Indeed.