Land Stewardship Manager

Posted Date: October 27, 2021
Position Closing Date: Open until filled, early applications encouraged
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Employment Status: Full-time, Exempt
Salary Hiring Range: $50,000 – $58,000

Position Summary

Join the dynamic, fun team at Palmer Land Conservancy and contribute to meaningful work including the long-term stewardship of land and building a stronger community through conservation. The Palmer work environment attracts independent, savvy individuals who enjoy its work flexibility, generous benefits, strong values, and inspiring culture.

Palmer seeks a motivated individual to manage the organization’s Land Stewardship Program. The successful candidate will guide the implementation of land conservation strategies on over 130,000 acres of conservation easements and fee-owned lands in southern Colorado. 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. In addition to the specific responsibilities, skills, and qualifications outlined below, the candidate should be able to work effectively in a small staff environment that is focused on achieving high conservation impact and should possess the enthusiasm and flexibility to help a fast-growing organization thrive.

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 palmerland.org.

Core Responsibilities

Property Monitoring & Management (50%)

  • Lead annual compliance activities for Palmer’s portfolio of conserved properties while ensuring adherence to internal policies and industry standards and practices.

Conservation Easement Defense (20%)

  • Serve as Palmer’s main point of contact for landowner inquiries and conservation easement defense.
  • 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 (20%)

  • Ensure 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.
  • Build and maintain strong, working relationships with landowners, land managers, and other stakeholders to advance Palmer’s conservation objectives by providing the technical, financial, and human resources necessary to advance exemplary stewardship practices throughout southeastern Colorado.
  • 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.

Administrative & Other (10%)

  • Abide by and uphold all policies and procedures, LTA Standards and Practices, and any other industry best management practices.
  • Assist the CSD with annual budgeting activities, grant writing, and fundraising for the Stewardship Program.
  • Oversee all record keeping activities for the Stewardship Program including keeping up-to-date the stewardship database.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Three years of demonstrated relevant experience
  • Ability to prioritize and manage a high volume of projects and tasks in a fast-paced environment 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, databases)
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license and 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

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field (land conservation, natural resource planning/management, environmental law, real estate, etc)
  • 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 $50,000 – $58,000 DOE. Palmer offers full time employees excellent benefits including: employer paid health, dental, and vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, paid parental leave, generous paid time off, and flexible work arrangements. 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 experience relevant to the position’s core responsibilities.
  3. Why are you interested in working for Palmer and where do you see yourself in 5 years?