Land Stewardship Director

Job Description 

Location: Colorado Springs

Job Type: Full-time, exempt position 

Salary Hiring Range: $60,000-$75,000

Position Summary 

Reporting to the Vice President of Conservation, the Land Stewardship Director will ensure excellence within the organization’s robust land stewardship program which includes a portfolio of both public and private conserved lands across southern Colorado. Palmer Land Conservancy holds over 130 conservation easements on 137,000 acres of conserved land, in addition to 3 deed restricted properties and 2 properties owned in fee. Palmer seeks a candidate who is deeply committed to its mission of protecting land and water for the health and wellbeing of nature and people.

Primary position responsibilities for ensuring excellence of Palmer’s land stewardship program include:

  • Management and oversight of a comprehensive portfolio of conserved lands;
  • Oversight, management, and mentorship of stewardship staff including the stewardship manager, contract monitors, and internship and fellowship positions;
  • Developing a new landowner stewardship services program for healthy and resilient landscapes;
  • Building and maintaining strong landowner partner relationships for the perpetual protection, guardianship, and defense of conserved properties.

Resilient, Healthy, and Protected Landscapes 

Since 1977, Palmer has been committed to supporting our landowner partners long after the conservation easement is signed. Our annual monitoring and stewardship program is at the core of our work and we stand behind our lasting commitments. From forest health and wildfire mitigation to habitat and watershed restoration, Palmer works with our landowner partners to ensure the vision they have for their property is realized, forever. 

Palmer’s land stewardship program includes the following key components: supporting private landowners with requisite resources or expertise for land management activities, landowner partner relationship management, conservation easement monitoring, conservation easement reserved rights response, and conservation easement violations response. The Land Stewardship Director also plays an integral role in all new conservation easement and fee title conservation acquisitions through a comprehensive stewardship review of all projects. 

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 137,000 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 it has staff located throughout its service area. More info at

Core Responsibilities 

Property Monitoring & Management 
  • Manage Palmer’s conserved properties portfolio. 
  • Respond to easement violations, land management issues, requests to activate reserved rights, amendment requests, and landowner easement interpretation inquiries. 
  • Develop and manage master or management plans as necessary on conserved properties.
  • Oversee the annual monitoring of all properties, working closely with the stewardship manager to ensure all properties are monitored in compliance with industry and accreditation standards.  
    • Ensure accurate reporting and documentation requirements are achieved for all property monitoring. 
  • Responsible for researching, identifying and implementing new technologies that seek to create and enhance efficiencies within Palmer’s monitoring program. 
  • Oversee land management of fee-title properties including management planning and management activities such as ecological restoration, wildfire mitigation, etc.
  • Ensure the stewardship team tracks and manages easement property ownership changes, and builds positive relationships with successor landowners. 
  • Manage TerraFirma legal defense insurance and state re-certification processes. Participate in Land Trust Alliance accreditation renewal as necessary.
Property Acquisition 
  • Provide internal review of transaction documents in partnership with land acquisition staff. Serve as Stewardship Reviewer and perform all duties outlined in Palmer’s conservation easement acquisition policies and procedures. 
  • Review baseline reports and other acquisition due diligence as necessary for stewardship purposes. 
Program Development & Landowner Engagement 
  • Ensure strong, working relationships with landowners. 
  • Build out Palmer’s Land Stewardship Services as identified in the new 5-year strategic plan to enhance the health of conserved lands and water. 
Conservation Easement Audit 
  • Conduct audits of existing Palmer’s conservation easements as needed (e.g. water rights, mineral rights, etc.). Create a framework for evaluating existing rights. 
Administrative & Other 
  • Abide by and uphold all Palmer Land Conservancy policies. 
  • Participate in staff meetings, Land Committee meetings, events, and board meetings when required 
  • Other duties and special projects as assigned. 

Experience and Qualifications 

  • Passion for natural resource conservation and a strong appreciation for private lands conservation.
  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental law, natural sciences, planning, forestry, ecology, geography, real estate, or other relevant field, and minimum three years of experience in conservation leadership. Master’s degree or Juris Doctorate and five years relevant experience preferred. 
  • Extensive project management experience including the ability to motivate, lead, set objectives, and manage individuals and stakeholder groups. Proven experience producing results and meeting program goals. 
  • Familiarity and comfort working with legal documents and operating in a legal setting including interpreting complex legal documents, experience with conflict resolution, and/or guiding difficult situations and experiences toward positive outcomes. Exceptional analytical skills and attention to detail. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and strong team ethic, combined with the ability to work autonomously in a self-directed environment. 
  • Strong writing, communication, and organizational skills. 
  • Proficiency with use of ArcGIS, GPS, and Microsoft Office applications.

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


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

Company Culture

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 hard working 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. 

How to Apply:

The position is open until filled. To apply, please send resume, cover letter, and answers to the following questions to:

[email protected] with subject line “Land Stewardship Director”

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 private lands conservation and land stewardship experience.
  3. Where do you see yourself in 3 years?