Land Stewardship Manager

Posted Date: Novemer 9
Position Closing Date: 
Open until filled
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, but due to COVID-19, this is temporarily a remote position until Palmer’s physical office re-opens.
Employment Status: Full-time, Exempt

Position Summary

Palmer seeks a qualified and motivated individual to join our team to manage the Land Stewardship Program at Palmer. The Land Stewardship Manager (LSM) builds and maintains positive relationships with landowners, ensures annual fulfillment of Palmer’s legal obligations for conserved properties, provides interpretation of conservation easement terms for landowners, identifies and responds to potential concerns and violations on conserved properties, and completes regular maintenance of stewardship records. The LSM is vital to the organization’s ability to meet our long-term stewardship commitments and the requirements of the LTA Standards and Practices and accreditation. The LSM reports to the Conservation and Stewardship Director (CSD) and works as a part of a team to ensure Palmer’s mission is fulfilled to the highest standards. Palmer holds over 135 conservation easements on nearly 140,000 acres of land, in addition to 3 deed restricted properties and 2 properties owned in fee.


Palmer’s Stewardship Program is built on two primary pillars – Core and Strategic Stewardship. Together, these pillars create a comprehensive program dedicated to creating strong, long-lasting partnerships with, and fulfilling our commitments to, our landowner partners; upholding the public trust; and preserving the integrity of our conserved properties forever. Core Stewardship includes activities that directly support the protection and enforcement of Palmer’s conserved properties, and Strategic Stewardship includes activities that enhance the long-term sustainability of Palmer’s stewardship program. The LSM leads all Core Stewardship activities and works closely with the CSD to ensure robust and industry-leading Strategic Stewardship activities guide the future of the program. Our preferred candidate has acute attention to detail and organization skills, can work within strict regulatory boundaries, but is also a self-starter who has the creativity and desire to further develop and grow an existing program.

Core Responsibilities

Property Monitoring & Management (60%)
  • The LSM is responsible for all activities related to and all record-keeping activities for conserved properties post-acquisition.
  • The LSM leads annual compliance activities for Palmer’s portfolio of conserved properties while ensuring adherence to internal policies and industry standards and practices. They will formulate and implement an annual monitoring plan including outreach to landowners; hiring, scheduling, and overseeing contractors and student interns; and proper documentation of all compliance activities.
  • The LSM works to build positive relationships with current and successor landowners.
Conservation Easement Defense (15%)
  • The LSM serves as Palmer’s main point of contact for landowner inquiries and conservation easement defense. They provide timely interpretation of conservation easement terms, as requested by landowners and land managers, including requests for discretionary approval and exercise of reserved rights. The LSM takes the lead on finding a resolution for all identified management concerns and violations on conserved properties. Working with the CSD and the legal team, they manage a successful resolution or defense for each issue identified.
Program Development & Landowner Engagement (15%)
  • Working with the CSD, the LSM ensures Palmer’s Stewardship Program is at the forefront of the industry by staying informed on best management practices in the industry, and by assisting in the identification of efficiencies and technological advances that streamline monitoring, record-keeping, etc.
  • The LSM builds and maintains strong, working relationships with landowners and other stakeholders to advance Palmer conservation objectives by providing landowners with the technical, financial, and human resources necessary to advance exemplary stewardship practices throughout southeastern Colorado through the Stewardship Services Program.
  • The LSM will visit conserved properties as needed to facilitate better communication with landowners and to better understand management concerns, violations, reserved rights requests, and other property management issues.
  • The LSM will participate in applicable public open space master and management plan processes throughout the region.
Administrative & Other (10%)
  • The LSM abides by and upholds all Palmer policies and procedures, LTA Standards and Practices, and any other industry best management practices.
  • The LSM contributes to the development of Palmer print and online materials for the public, the board, and other stakeholders as necessary.
  • The LSM will assists the CSD with annual budgeting activities, grant writing, and fundraising for the Stewardship Program.
  • The LSM may perform other duties and special projects related to Core and Strategic Stewardship activities as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field (land conservation, natural resource planning/management, environmental law, real estate, etc)
  • Minimum 3 years of project or program development or management experience and implementation
  • Organized, systems-thinker who can effectively manage multiple projects at once while meeting established goals and deadlines
  • Demonstrated problem-solving and critical thinking skills with the ability to make decisions based on analysis, experience, and sound judgement
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and a strong team ethic combined with the ability to work autonomously in a self-directed environment
  • Must possess strong written and oral communication, diplomacy, and negotiation skills
  • Passion for natural resource conservation and a commitment to developing strong working relationships with landowners and partners
  • Ability to use and manage databases and other industry-specific computer software (Microsoft Word and Excel, Adobe, CiviCRM)
  • Must be willing to travel and use personal vehicle, as necessary, in the performance of work-related activities – travel expenses will be reimbursed
  • Physical ability to hike through the varied landscapes of southern Colorado and to travel via vehicle over rough terrain including narrow and winding natural surface roads, ranch roads, and high elevation sites, sometimes in remote locations and in varying weather conditions

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree or Juris Doctorate
  • Experience working with conservation easements, land trusts, or familiarity and comfort working with legal documents and operating in a legal setting
  • Experience developing and interpreting complex legal documents, and experience with conflict resolution and/or guiding difficult situations toward positive outcomes
  • Ability to use and manage GIS software and datasets preferred (handheld GPS, ESRI)
  • Familiarity with southern Colorado landscapes and communities is preferred
  • Proven experience working through identified issues with a diverse set of stakeholders including public land managers, working lands producers, and the general public

Salary & Benefits

Salary range is $48,000 – $56,000 DOE. Palmer offers full time employees excellent benefits including: employer paid health, dental, and vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability, and generous paid time off and holiday observances. The position is based out of Palmer’s Colorado Springs office located in beautiful downtown, and in close proximity to ample recreation and open space opportunities.

How to Apply

The position is open until filled. Early applications are strongly recommended. Applicants should submit 1) a cover letter, 2) resume, 3) list of three references, and 4) answers to the questions below (all as a single pdf) by e-mail to: [email protected] with the subject line: Land Stewardship Manager. References will not be contacted unless you are selected for a final interview. Please limit responses to no more than 200 words per question:

  1. Why does conserving land, water, and nature in southern Colorado matter to you?
  2. Please describe your program management experience.
  3. Why are you interested in working for Palmer Land Conservancy and where do you see yourself in 3 years?

If selected for an interview, there will be a 3-step interview process held remotely by Zoom (with the potential for a socially-distanced, in-person meeting following the Zoom interviews). It may include:

  1. A screening interview by Zoom conducted by the Conservation and Stewardship Director (20 minutes)
  2. A second interview with the Conservation and Stewardship Director. (60 minutes)
  3. A possible third interview with the CEO. (30-45 minutes)

About Palmer Land Conservancy

Since 1977, Palmer Land Conservancy has worked with individuals, private and public partners, and various communities to protect land forever including 20 of your favorite public parks and open spaces, important working farms and ranches, and iconic scenic views. We passionately promote the conservation and enjoyment of our region’s most important natural assets that define why we love Colorado: its natural beauty, locally grown food, and outdoor recreation.