Colorado Open Lands

Employment at Colorado Open Lands


Please check the following websites for related job opportunities in land conservation:Ducks in the water



Conservation Project Manager – Northern Front Range and Lower South Platte


Summary of Position:

Conservation Project Managers are the foundation of Colorado Open Lands’ land protection programs and are responsible for diverse tasks spanning organizational departments. The work is both challenging and rewarding.  People skills, personal organization, attention to detail, quick thinking, and the ability to work independently are paramount.  The position requires the ability to maintain composure and a sense of humor in sometimes unique situations.

This is an opportunity to join a growing and dynamic organization dedicated to protecting Colorado’s most significant resources.  The Conservation Project Managers report to the Director of Conservation.  Ongoing professional development opportunities include attending occasional state, regional and national conferences and training programs. This position can be based in our Lakewood office or there may be an opportunity for a home office in the geography where this position will be focused.

The work of this position will be concentrated in Colorado Open Lands’ Northern Front Range and Lower South Platte landscape (see map).  This geographic area is under intense pressure – pressure for land conversion for residential development, but also conversion of water from agricultural to municipal use and pressure from significant oil and gas development.  Consequently, this is some of the highest priced land and water in the state.  This position will require particular creativity in dealing with unique conservation challenges and opportunities, particularly around water rights and oil and gas development. 



  • Develop and implement a strategic plan for this landscape that identifies a vision for long-term conservation success and includes a meaningful community presence.
  • Serve as Colorado Open Lands’ representative on specific conservation projects and in the Northern Front Range and Lower South Platte landscape, and promote Colorado Open Lands’ mission, reputation and services.
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with landowners, public figures, partners and stakeholders in this landscape.
  • Manage conservation easement, fee, and other conservation projects, including:
  • Schedule and conduct property site visits with landowners and define project parameters (conservation values, boundaries, reserved rights, time frame, costs).
  • Prepare and present project proposals at staff and Board project review meetings.
  • Negotiate and draft conservation easements, and obtain legal review.
  • Review project due diligence (title, minerals assessments, appraisals, baseline reports) and provide feedback/edits as appropriate.
  • Ensure compliance with Colorado Open Lands’ project policies and guidelines.
  • Prepare closing instructions and coordinate project closing with consultants, partners, title companies, and landowners.
  • Coordinate, participate in, or attend public meetings, workshops, and conferences.
  • Field inquiries from interested landowners and potential partners.
  • Write grant applications in support of conservation projects and conduct associated funding site visits.
  • Contribute to newsletter/website development, write articles as needed.
  • Help plan, coordinate, and participate in special events as needed.
  • Collaborate with other staff to develop Annual Plan and other strategic documents.
  • Participate in regular staff, planning, and project meetings.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree.
  • A minimum of two years’ experience and a working understanding of the mechanics of voluntary land protection techniques, including conservation easements and fee-simple acquisitions, related tax issues, availability of funding sources, and other financial considerations.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills. The ability to communicate effectively with people, organizations, and agencies. 
  • Experience with common software such as Word, Excel, Outlook, Web browsers, etc.
  • The ability to travel on short notice.
  • A valid driver’s license.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Specific personal or professional knowledge of the communities and issues in this landscape.
  • Previous real estate, negotiating, and land trust experience.
  • Experience with Western water rights transactions (ability to understand decrees, ditch systems, etc.).
  • Experience with oil and gas development (reviewing leases, surface use agreements, etc.).
  • Ability to work cooperatively with diverse types of people.   
  • Public speaking experience.
  • Project fundraising skills, including grant writing.
  • Basic competencies using GIS software and Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Demonstrated ability to produce tangible results.
  • Organizational, time management and project management skills.
  • Problem solving and conflict resolution skills.
  • Ability to work independently and handle pressure.
  • Persistence, sense of humor, and entrepreneurial spirit. The ability to complete assigned projects within deadline and established budget.
  • A demonstrated commitment to the mission of Colorado Open Lands and the preservation of significant open lands.


$45,000-$55,000 depending on relevant education and experience.


Colorado Open Lands offers competitive compensation, a 401k plan with corporate match, health, dental & disability insurance, Health Savings Account, and a collaborative, flexible work environment.

To apply:

Please email a cover letter, resume and three (3) relevant references to Sarah Parmar, Director of Conservation, at no later than 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time, Monday, June, 1 2015.  No phone calls, please.

EOE Statement:

Colorado Open Lands is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.  For information about Colorado Open Lands, please visit our website at




Interested in a Career in Land Conservation?

We receive calls periodically from individuals who would like to shift into a conservation career or get more in-depth experience in land conservation techniques. We are sometimes asked what set of qualifications might make a person more competitive as they prepare to make this transition. Click here for some resources and suggestions.

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