Land Protection Manager
About the McKenzie River Trust
The McKenzie River Trust (MRT) is an accredited land trust based in Eugene, Oregon with a mission to help people protect and care for the lands and rivers they cherish in western Oregon. Since 1989, we’ve acquired property and voluntary conservation easements to protect, in perpetuity, nearly 5000 acres of clean, free-flowing rivers, plentiful salmon runs, oak savannas, and vibrant farms and forests that provide livelihoods and habitat. Founded on the McKenzie River, we expanded our service area and now have projects in eight different watersheds from the Cascades to the coast.
Role of the Land Protection Manager
The Land Protection Manager (LPM) develops and manages land acquisition projects; including fee simple, conservation easement, and partner assist transactions throughout the McKenzie River Trust’s service area. The LPM negotiates and oversees the acquisition of conservation easements and properties through purchase and donation from willing landowners. The LPM participates in fundraising efforts to support land protection and stewardship, including securing private donations and grants from government and foundation sources. The position requires project management, landowner outreach, partnership facilitation, and close coordination with the Trust’s stewardship and development staff.
Essential Duties for the Land Protection Manager
- Negotiate and manage land transaction agreements.
- Asses new land protection opportunities for their conservation values in relation to the Trust’s project selection criteria.
- Develop and maintain contacts and relationships with landowners, public agencies, funders, and other partners.
- Respond to inquiries from landowners and discuss conservation options, costs and basic financial implications and benefits of conservation projects.
- Prepare and review acquisition and transfer documents (e.g., purchase agreements, conservation easements, appraisals, transfer agreements, title documents, escrow instructions, etc.).
- As necessary, negotiate grant agreement terms, Memoranda of Understanding/Agreement, and endowment funding terms with funding entities and other partners.
- Hire and manage consultants with a range of expertise (such as attorneys, appraisers, realtors, environmental scientists, and surveyors) and oversee property due diligence.
- Coordinate all land protection projects with other Trust staff in fundraising, stewardship planning and cost calculation, and outreach.
- Work with other staff to ensure that all land conservation transactions are adequately documented, including written reports, database management, GIS maps, and other means.
- Identify long-term property disposal scenarios for all new properties and manage disposal/sale of Trust properties.
- Support GIS capabilities of the Trust by securing spatial data in support of the land conservation work. Produce updated maps of protected lands for both internal and external audiences.
- Identify and develop funding strategies for conservation projects, which includes securing private donations and grants from government and foundation sources.
- Coordinate with Trust staff to track sources and solicit grants of public and private funds, and to create solicitation strategies for potential donors of land and easements.
- Consult with conservation staff to ensure proposed conservation easement terms and restoration scenarios are feasible for new acquisitions.
- Work with conservation staff to integrate new acquisitions into the Trust’s stewardship program.
- Assist with preparation of stewardship and management plans to protect conservation values, manage access, and address other management concerns on conservation properties.
- Administrative, Partner and Board Support
- Present to staff, board, and committees on project opportunities.
- Keep up to date on professional developments by participating in trainings offered through the Land Trust Alliance (LTA), Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT) and other sources.
- Keep abreast of policies that directly affect land conservation and funding for land conservation.
- Organize regular meetings of the Lands Committee in order to review potential and ongoing land conservation projects.
- Participate in Trust outreach and fundraising events and projects as needed.
- Participate in other activities which contribute to the mission of the Trust as needed.
- Represent the Trust on technical teams, advisory groups, working groups, and in other venues to further the Trust’s conservation work and the work of our partners.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Minimum BA/BS degree in natural resources management, conservation, law or another related field of study and at least 5 years’ experience in land conservation, real estate, or related field.
- Experience with land conservation real estate transactions and conservation easements.
- Experience with negotiation and relationship building.
- Strong speaking, writing, and listening skills. Ability to work with diverse people and develop positive working relationships, especially with co-workers, landowners, rural stakeholders, conservative communities, Indian tribes and government agencies.
- Ability to work under pressure with tight deadlines.
- Experience with project budgets, accounting, and fundraising.
- Comfortable working independently while managing multiple complex projects simultaneously.
- Practical problem-solving and organizational skills with attention to detail and record-keeping.
- Competent with standard computer software, including MS Word, MS Excel, ESRI ArcMap, internet and email.
- Familiarity with lands and waters of western Oregon.
- Knowledge of current tax and conservation laws.
- Knowledge of natural resources.
- Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends.
- Must be able to hike rough and varied terrain.
- Must have a valid driver’s license and be able to drive.
- Willingness to take on work outside of the immediate job description when in the best interest of the Trust.
Starting salary is $50,000 + DOE. MRT provides a group health care plan, retirement match, paid holidays, and vacation and sick leave. This is an exempt position. McKenzie River Trust is an equal opportunity employer.
Email a letter of interest and resume (PDF preferred), and contact information for minimum of three references to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Land Protection Manager” in the subject line. Address cover letter to Daniel Dietz, Associate Director for Conservation. Position is open until filled. Review of application materials will begin on: February 14, 2017.