Director of Stewardship
WESTCHESTER LAND TRUST
DIRECTOR OF STEWARDSHIP
Office Location: Bedford Hills, NY
Status: Fulltime, permanent, exempt
Reports to: President
Oversees staff: WLT Land Steward ,WLT Preserve Manager, and outside contractors.
Salary: $60,000-$65,000, plus eligibility for annual performance bonus
Benefits: Competitive benefits, including health insurance, retirement plan/employer match, generous PTO
Start Date: Early-mid July 2018
Westchester Land Trust (WLT), a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization, works with partners to preserve land in perpetuity, and to protect and enhance our natural resources. Since our founding in 1988, WLT has preserved 8,000 acres through conservation easements and fee-title acquisition. WLT is the only conservation organization prioritizing all of Westchester County and eastern Putnam County, a service area comprising over 1 million people, and a diverse array of urban, suburban and rural ecological communities. Our conservation efforts benefit the residents of over 50 municipalities, by preserving drinking water, air quality, wildlife habitats, local food supply, and outdoor recreation opportunities. WLT is accredited by the Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission, and currently has a professional staff of ten.
WLT is looking for a passionate and engaging conservation professional to lead its Stewardship Department. The ideal candidate will be excited to lead an effort to conserve and manage natural resources in a populous, but ecologically diverse region of New York State, and to engage the public on the important role that land conservation plays in such a setting. The Director of Stewardship is responsible for overseeing the department that monitors and enforces WLT’s conservation easements, and manages WLT’s fee-owned properties. This multifaceted position requires a well-rounded, detail-oriented individual capable of overseeing multiple concurrent projects, and comfortable with engaging routinely with the public (including municipal officials, conservation partners and neighbors). This position is approximately 35-50% field-based, with the balance office-based. Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
Stewardship of WLT-owned properties (50%)
- Set strategic objectives for the long term management and stewardship of WLT’s portfolio of 29 nature preserves and its headquarters site, totaling 750 acres;
- Develop/oversee implementation of natural resource protection projects, including habitat enhancement, forest health improvement, invasive species management, and trail construction/maintenance. Projects should incorporate sound science and BMPs;
- Ensure a safe and positive visitor experience;
- Plan and manage small projects, e.g. creation of interpretive signage, fences, kiosks, bog bridges;
- Oversee Preserve Manager’s monitoring/recordkeeping of all properties in accordance with Land Trust Alliance standards, and work with President to enforce against trespass and encroachment;
- Conduct site visits with WLT’s land conservation staff to new properties under consideration for acquisition, and provide input on consistency with WLT’s conservation priorities;
- Create and update Management Plans for all fee-owned preserves on as-needed basis;
- Oversee the care/procurement of WLT’s stewardship vehicle and equipment;
- Oversee the build-out of WLT’s fledgling native plant nursery.
Stewardship of WLT Conservation Easements (50%)
- Oversee the field activities and associated recordkeeping of WLT’s Land Steward in the annual monitoring and enforcement of WLT’s portfolio of 205 conservation easements (5,600 acres);
- Work with President on issues of violation, amendment and execution of reserved rights;
- Conduct site visits with WLT’s land conservation staff to new properties under consideration for conservation easement, and provide input on consistency with WLT’s conservation priorities;
- Assist land conservation staff with baseline documentation reports.
- Work with WLT staff to determine opportunities for outreach, programs, and communication and to implement those opportunities as needed, with Preserve Manager. This may include educational talks, workshops, field walks for adults and children, as well as input on grant submissions;
- Recruit/supervise volunteers, interns and community partners responsible for carrying out stewardship activities;
- Collaborate with WLT President to further develop the strategic direction of the department, incorporating BMPs and current scientific research. This may involve researching, creating and presenting “white papers”, strategic plans;
- Represent WLT as a visible thought leader in the conservation community;
- Use Arc GIS frequently. Manage WLT’s GIS database;
- Develop and manage the annual Stewardship Department budget in collaboration with President.
- Master’s degree in a related field (environmental science, ecology, botany, forestry, natural resources)
- At least 5 years of leadership experience in managing conservation projects
- Knowledgeable about the biota and natural resources of the Northeastern US, particularly in suburban settings; experience managing invasive species
- Strong written and oral communication skills; enjoyment and facility with regular public engagement
- Proficiency with field equipment such as GPS units, digital cameras, compass, maps
- Proficiency in ArcGIS (basic mapping), Microsoft Office, Adobe
- Experience working at a land trust or in a similar non-profit environment
- Experience managing full time employees
- Experience interpreting conservation easements, deeds, surveys, and building plans
- Proficient in Auto CAD; InDesign
- Experience handling equipment such as brush mower, chain saw, pole saws
- Experience with herbicide application. Willingness to obtain NY State pesticide license necessary.
Additional Requirements: Ability to work some evenings and weekends. Ability to walk several miles per day over rough terrain, lift heavy materials, work outside in all weather conditions. Must have personal vehicle to use for WLT business, ability to drive WLT’s stewardship vehicle, a valid driver’s license and personal auto insurance. Travel expenses/mileage is reimbursed.
To apply: Please send cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. No phone calls please.
Westchester Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer and acts in accordance with applicable law in all of our hiring and employment practices.