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Conservation Easement Stewardship Specialist

Employer
Land Conservancy of West Michigan
Location
Cascade, Michigan, US
Salary
Competitive
Closing date
Jul 13, 2022

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Sector
Consultancy/Private Sector
Field
Conservation science, Informatics / GIS
Discipline
Restoration
Salary Type
Salary
Employment Type
Full time
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Conservation Easement Stewardship Specialist

The mission of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan is to help people protect, enjoy, and care for natural land in West Michigan. A non-profit organization, the Land Conservancy is an accredited land trust dedicated to the permanent conservation of natural areas in West Michigan (including all or parts of eight counties: Allegan, Kent, Ottawa, Newaygo, Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, and Lake). With 40+ years of experience keeping nature nearby, the Land Conservancy has protected more than 12,000 acres with nature preserves, conservation easements, and project assistance to local communities. More information is available at www.naturenearby.org.

The Conservation Easement Stewardship Specialist will support land protection and stewardship staff in managing the Land Conservancy's network of 120+ conservation easement properties located throughout an eight-county service area.

Position Type: Full-time benefit eligible, Hourly/Non-exempt

Compensation: Commensurate with experience ($18 - $20 per hour)

Supervisor: Conservation Director

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conservation Easement Stewardship (approx. 70%)
  • Manage day-to-day stewardship activities for all conservation easement properties
  • Perform annual monitoring of all conservation easement properties
  • Maintain regular communication with conservation easement landowners, including providing annual monitoring reminders and reports and answering landowner questions
  • Work with landowners, community partners, and granting agencies to facilitate sustainable forest management and ecological restoration projects on conservation easement properties
  • Respond to requests from landowners and others for clarification of conservation easement restrictions with assistance from land protection staff as needed
  • Respond to potential easement violations following established policies, procedures, and guidelines with assistance from land protection staff as appropriate
  • Work with land protection staff to review conservation easement projects and documents for stewardship implications prior to closing
  • Complete baseline documentation reports and current conditions reports with assistance from Land Protection Specialist as needed
  • Assist with updating policies and procedures related to conservation easement stewardship
  • Review and assist with the improvement of conservation easement stewardship communications
Data Management (approx. 20%)
  • Maintain paper and electronic records related to conservation easement stewardship, including baseline documentation, monitoring reports, current conditions reports, documentation of violations, and landowner communications
  • Use GIS software to maintain appropriate spatial records of monitoring visits, notable property features, photo locations, and other spatial data, and prepare maps as necessary to support conservation easement stewardship activities
  • Other Duties (approx. 10%)
    • Participate as a member of the LCWM team by providing input, contributing to discussion, assisting in decision-making, and helping drive strategic conservation initiatives
    • Assist with other land protection and stewardship activities as needed, including assisting with prescribed burns, invasive species management, and other land management activities
    • Assist with engagement and cultivation of LCWM supporters as needed
    • Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor


Requirements

Required Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree in Biology, Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, or a related field, plus at least one year of relevant work experience
  • Ability to identify West Michigan natural communities, plants, and animals, including non-native and invasive species
  • Working knowledge of natural resource management issues and ecological restoration strategies
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to build and maintain strong working relationships with landowners, staff, supervisors, board members, community partners, donors, volunteers, and other stakeholders
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to work independently with minimal supervision, and collaboratively with a diverse range of partners, on outdoor and indoor tasks
  • Strong organization skills with a commitment to follow-through and particular attention to detail
  • Ability to take initiative and be flexible in approach to work schedule and assigned tasks
  • Basic proficiency in Microsoft Office, ArcGIS, and GPS technology
  • Ability and willingness to walk and do strenuous physical work (lift and carry 40 pounds) in remote areas, on rough terrain, and in inclement weather for the duration of an 8-hour shift
  • Valid driver's license and reliable transportation

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Understanding of land trusts and their conservation mission
  • Working knowledge of conservation easements and real estate transactions
  • Familiarity with grant sources and other assistance programs for conducting habitat improvement projects on private lands
  • Ability to resolve conflicts and negotiate effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds
  • More than one year of relevant work experience

Terms of Employment: This is a full-time, hourly, non-exempt position. Competitive benefits package, including the option for some remote work, is available for eligible employees. Some evening and weekend work will be required. The Land Conservancy is an at-will employer. Employment is dependent on performance and budget, and can be terminated with or without cause or notice.

The Land Conservancy of West Michigan does not discriminate in its employment practices. All aspects of employment, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, promotions, compensation, benefits, discipline, training, and any other opportunities, will be made on the basis of individual abilities and qualifications and without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, veteran status, marital status, height, weight, handicap, genetic information, gender orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other legally protected category.

Application deadline is May 29, 2022.

Benefits

Health Insurance, 401(k) Plan, Paid Time Off (PTO), continuing professional development opportunities and more.
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