Colorado Open Lands

Employment at Colorado Open Lands


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





Position summary

The Fellow will develop professional land protection and conservation easement stewardship skills with Colorado Open Lands (COL) for the two-year Fellowship term.  This “dual track” Fellowship—working with landowners to conserve additional land and managing a growing portfolio of protected lands—will provide the Fellow with comprehensive exposure to Colorado land conservation in practice.  The Fellow will also serve as an active teammate for other organizational activities, including development, community engagement and outreach, and Board relations.  The position involves periodic partnering with local, state and national land conservation groups and will help the Fellow develop a strong working knowledge of conservation priorities, industry trends, and challenges specific to land conservation work in Colorado.

COL anticipates that the Fellowship will:

  • Give the Fellow a “state-of-the-art” working knowledge of the tasks necessary to successfully conserve and steward a property in Colorado in compliance with industry standards and applicable Federal, state and local requirements;


  • Increase the number of high-quality conservation projects that COL completes each year during the Fellow’s term; and
  • Enhance COL’s ability to steward its conserved properties each year, including annual monitoring, landowner requests to exercise certain rights they have reserved under their conservation easement (e.g. the right to build a new structure on their property), any enforcement or legal defense issues that may arise, any new resource enhancement projects on conserved properties (e.g. stream improvements, noxious weed abatement, etc.), and updating a number of conserved property management plans.


Specific duties

The Fellow will assist with and, where appropriate, take a leadership role in:

  • Land conservation projects, including landowner relations, due diligence (title review, appraisal review, environmental assessment review, mineral report review, baseline report review, and water rights review), conservation easement drafting, project funding (grant writing, tax compliance) and other duties as necessary.


  • Stewardship activities, including landowner relations, annual monitoring visits, monitoring report preparation, recordkeeping, conserved property management plan updates, resource enhancement projects, conservation easement amendments, reserved right requests and other duties as necessary.
  • Development and community engagement activities, including public presentations, event planning and execution, donor relations and other duties as necessary.


  • Board relations, including presentations, meeting preparation and follow up, and other duties as necessary.

In addition, the Fellow will research and present on various topics that advance COL’s mission and strategic goals, as well as attend various conferences and meetings with other industry groups and professionals related to COL’s conservation work.

Minimum qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree.  Emphasis in natural or environmental sciences, land use and planning, geography, business or related field is preferred.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong organizational, time management, research and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Competent with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
  • Entry-level skills using ESRI’s ArcGIS computer mapping software.
  • A commitment to COL’s mission and the conservation of Colorado’s natural landscapes.


Helpful qualifications

  • Fundraising, community engagement/relations, and/or grant writing experience.
  • Nonprofit experience.
  • Graduate or professional degree in natural resource management, environmental sciences, geography, law, business or related field.


Salary, benefits and target start date

Salary depends on experience and history.  Health insurance, paid vacation and generous professional development stipend provided.  Target start date is November 1, 2014.

Application instructions

Please email a cover letter, resume and three (3) relevant references to Jordan Vana, Director of Programs, at  Applications must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Mountain Time on Friday, October 3, 2014.  No phone calls, please.

Equal Opportunity Employer

COL is an equal opportunity employer.  We support diversity in the land conservation industry and encourage applications from women, minorities, members of the LGBT community, people with disabilities and veterans.


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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