JOB DESCRIPTION – Director of Land Conservation
Background: The Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) is a regional community-based nonprofit organization founded in 1984 and incorporated as an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization in 1985.
TILT’s mission is to conserve the natural beauty, wildlife habitats, and recreational opportunities of the Thousand Islands region, for present and future generations.
TILT works with private landowners, community and government leaders, and various conservation partners to conserve flora and fauna, water and air quality, and our region’s important environmental features. The goal of TILT’s work is a greater quality of life, an improved foundation for the economy, and an enhanced environment.
Since 1984, TILT has helped lead land conservation efforts in the Thousand Islands. Today, TILT protects over 8,200 acres of sensitive habitats that support the overall health of the St. Lawrence River ecosystem.
TILT was awarded National Accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in 2009.
The Director of Land Conservation of the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT) is an exempt position that is appointed by and reports to the Executive Director.
The Director of Land Conservation assists the Executive Director with the development and implementation of land protection policies and goals, landowner outreach and support of the lands program. The Director of Land Conservation helps carry out fee-owned land and conservation easement acquisitions, adhering to high professional standards, current best management practices, and in particular the Standards and Practices of the Land Trust Alliance. In addition, the Director of Land Conservation is responsible for the implementation of TILT’s Strategic Conservation Plan.
Public education and engagement is also an important part of TILT’s mission. The Director of Land Conservation works with the Executive Director and Coordinator of Education & Outreach in developing and leading education and membership programs, while maintaining contact with the public through press releases, media outlets, and TILT activities.
The responsibilities of the Director of Land Conservation include, but are not limited to the following –
I. Land Conservation
1. Assist the Executive Director with the implementation of TILT’s Strategic Conservation Plan.
2. Collaborate with the Executive Director and Easement & Property Acquisition (EPA) Committee to establish annual program goals and specific conservation projects.
3. Prepare and implement property protection strategies, negotiate donations and purchases of conservation easements, draft conservation easements, landowner outreach and correspondence, and assist in easement monitoring as necessary.
4. Draft conservation easement language in collaboration with the Executive Director.
5. Ensure all documentation is gathered and/or prepared for each new fee-owned land and conservation easement. Oversee and maintain complete files on fee-owned lands and conservation easements as they move through TILT’s acquisition process.
6. Work with stewardship staff on the evaluation/assessment of site features and conditions, current land uses, and conservation values as related to project selection criteria for each property being considered for conservation.
7. Work with private land owners, TILT’s attorney, and local/state/federal agencies in developing conservation initiatives.
8. Develop and maintain working relationships with state/federal agencies or other conservation partners.
II. Land Management and Stewardship
1. Work with stewardship staff and outside agencies to design and implement effective baseline reports and land management plans for conserved lands.
2. Oversee and monitor each land management project to be sure it is being completed on time and within budget.
3. Assist stewardship staff with the management of TILT’s fee-owned lands/conservation monitoring program and volunteer steward program.
4. Collaborate with stewardship staff to implement the land trust’s fee-owned and conservation easement stewardship policies.
I. Administration and Board Support
1. Work with the Executive Director to identify and develop grant proposals for land conservation activities (to include acquisition and management activities).
2. Assist TILT with Renewal of Accreditation and adhering to the Land Trust Alliances Standards & Practices.
3. Maintain current knowledge regarding the legal, financial, and conservation implications of land protection methods and conservation easements.
4. Develop and maintain contact with land-related professionals in the community (e.g., realtors, real estate attorneys, accountants, etc.).
5. Sit on EPA Committee, Easement & Property Stewardship Committee and any other relevant board committees.
6. Cultivate landowners and solicit charitable gifts of conservation easements, land, appreciated assets and money in coordination with other staff; work with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to enhance program funding and overall organizational effectiveness.
Knowledge and Skills:
Ability to work and think on both a micro (site specific) and macro (regional or multi-property) scale, while positioning TILT to achieve its short-term and long-term goals.
- Demonstrated experience in land conservation project development and conservation easement stewardship.
- Clear passion for working landscapes, broadening the organization’s constituency, and connecting people to the land. TILT is a growing organization which necessitates this person to ensure smooth operations as the program grows.
· A record of accomplishment in an entrepreneurial, problem-solving, service-oriented environment, preferably in a growing land trust.
· Ability to communicate about highly sensitive and confidential information with respect, ease and compassion. Outstanding oral, written, listening, and interpersonal communications skills. A demonstrated ability to customize outreach to meet different constituencies. Organizational fundraising and related outreach experience.
· Demonstrated desire to learn new tasks and skills, as well as experience in strategic relationship building within the landowner community.
· Proven ability to research, innovatively create solutions, and produce concise reports for various audiences. Excellent ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a limited budget while incorporating problem solving, creative and strategic resourcefulness skills.
· A commitment to rural people, working landscapes, and serving the greater public interest via conservation is a must. Demonstrated ability to listen to landowners, community members and partners and to devise responsive, thoughtful, solutions to funding, programmatic, and conservation needs.
· Ability to travel throughout Thousand Islands region, and occasionally within/outside of New York State. Some weekend and evening work is required. Candidates should be accustomed to working 40-45 hour work weeks.
The successful candidate will possess an advanced degree in natural resources, land planning, landscape design, agriculture or forestry. At least 4 years of direct conservation project design, easement drafting, and implementation is preferred. Strong computer skills required, including Excel, Microsoft Office, PowerPoint and ARCVIEW GIS. Excellent presentation, written and verbal skills are critical. Current drivers license and own vehicle is necessary. Ability to walk over sometimes rough terrain, lift up to 50 pounds, and handle a variety of equipment and materials in the field (GPS, GIS, and maps) is required.
Applications are due by November 1st, 2013, but will be reviewed as received. Applications (which will not be reviewed without a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and three references) should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org , or Thousand Islands Land Trust, P.O. Box 238, Clayton NY 13624. In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please write your name (Last, First-Application) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail. No phone calls or faxes, please.
Salary – Competitive salary ($38,000 - $44,000), benefits (limited health and retirement), up to four weeks paid vacation.
Administrative Support – Very limited. The individual in this position must be prepared to handle his/her own correspondence, filing, and record keeping.
Location – TILT’s office in Clayton, New York – 135 John Street