Careers at Colorado Open Lands

Colorado Open Lands is hiring the following positions:
San Luis Valley Conservation Project Manager – Groundwater focus
Morgridge Family Foundation Land Stewardship Fellow
Northeast Colorado Conservation Fellowship

San Luis Valley Conservation Project Manager – Groundwater focus

Position Summary: As a member of the conservation team, the San Luis Valley Conservation Project Manager is based in COL’s Alamosa office and reports to the Director of Conservation. Primary responsibilities include maintaining strong community relations, drafting conservation easements, performing project due diligence, complying with record-keeping standards, budgeting and grant management. A core component of this position will be working with the Rio Grande Water Conservation District to support aquifer sustainability.  This work is the first of its kind and is supported through a federal Regional Conservation Partnership Program award, together with funding through the Colorado Water Plan.

The work of this position is focused on the development of groundwater-focused easements and other community-driven projects that support the resources, heritage, and recreation opportunities of the San Luis Valley.  COL has a robust community conservation presence and a broad spectrum of partners to ensure that our work is aligned with local priorities. While groundwater conservation easements will be a critical focus of this position, the position will also work on traditional conservation easements in the San Luis Valley and will be officed with another Project Manager, with whom workload will be collaboratively determined.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
– Represent Colorado Open Lands in the San Luis Valley as a primary point of contact for landowner or partner inquiries. Attend regular meetings of community and landowner organizations, such as the Rio Grande Basin Roundtable.
– Conduct targeted outreach and explore and implement groundwater conservation easements with landowners in coordination with the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust, Rio Grande Water Conservation District and Subdistricts, San Luis Valley Conservation District, and Conejos Water Conservancy District.
– Manage the Regional Conservation Partnership Program funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, together with other funding as available and applicable.
– Manage all aspects of conservation easement acquisition, including but not limited to landowner correspondence and easement drafting, due diligence review, and closing.
– Coordinate correspondence with project partners/contractors, including appraisers, baseline preparers, attorneys, tax credit brokers, and funders.
– Prepare and negotiate conservation documents (e.g., purchase/option agreements, agricultural conservation easements, subordination agreements, title documents, closing instructions, invoices, etc.) in collaboration with the Director of Conservation and outside legal counsel.
– Develop project budgets and fundraise as needed, in coordination and collaboration with the Director of Conservation.
– Build cooperative, effective working relationships with partner agencies, landowners, funding agencies and foundations, local government, conservationists, policy makers, and planners.

Minimum Qualifications:
– Bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, pre-law, land-use planning, geography, social sciences, business, or related fields.
– 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, and availability of funding sources.
– A love of land, a respect for community, and an eagerness to learn.
– Ability to build key relationships.
– Strong organizational and critical thinking skills.
– Proven track record in clear communication, both written and verbal.
– The ability to complete assigned projects within deadline and established budget.

Preferred Qualifications:
– Previous experience with conservation easement transactions funded by NRCS OR 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.).
– Project fundraising skills, including grant writing.
– Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Location Requirements:
– This position is based in our San Luis Valley office, and the successful candidate will be expected to live within reasonable driving distance.  Expect travel within the San Luis Valley approximately 2-3 times a week, along with occasional evening and weekend meetings. A fleet vehicle is provided to be shared with other employees based in that office.
– There will be occasional travel out of the SLV that requires overnight stays.

Compensation and Benefits:
– This position is a permanent, full-time (40 hours/week) position.
– Start date is flexible, ideally on or before August 1, 2022
– The salary range is $50,000-$70,000 commensurate with skills and experience.
– Colorado Open Lands offers a competitive compensation package, including 401k plan with match, health insurance (medical, dental, vision, and HSA), life and disability insurance, paid time off (sick leave, vacation, and holidays) and a collaborative, flexible work environment.

Application Instructions:
– Please send a résumé and cover letter to Sarah Parmar, Director of Land Conservation, at jobs@coloradoopenlands.org. Please note where you saw the job posting.
– Position open until filled.

EEO Statement:
Colorado Open Lands provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, or other protected status. For information about Colorado Open Lands, please visit our website at www.coloradoopenlands.org.

 

Morgridge Family Foundation Land Stewardship Fellow

Colorado Open Lands (COL) is pleased to announce the acceptance of applications for a two-year Morgridge Family Foundation Land Stewardship Fellow. The goal of COL’s Fellowship Program is to provide a recent graduate with hands-on land conservation experience working for one of Colorado’s premier land conservation organizations. The Fellow will assist COL’s land stewardship staff in developing lasting relationships with landowners, ensuring conservation easement compliance, and promoting exceptional land stewardship. At the end of the two-year term, the Fellow will be well-positioned to pursue a career in land preservation in Colorado, whether with a land trust, a public agency, or another conservation organization.

Learning Objectives
The two-year Fellowship Program is designed to provide comprehensive exposure to the components of successful land stewardship, the techniques available for land preservation in Colorado, and an introduction to the agencies and people active in this arena. The Fellow will learn professional conservation easement stewardship skills from COL’s experienced staff and will be part of a 7-person Stewardship team. This position involves working with landowners, including ranchers and farmers, across Colorado to support their stewardship of protected lands and to develop strong landowner relationships with COL.

In addition, the Fellow will receive broad exposure to other organizational activities, including conservation, philanthropy, and community engagement. The Fellow will also develop a strong working knowledge of conservation priorities, industry trends, and challenges specific to land conservation work in Colorado.

Primary Responsibilities:

Annual Conservation Easement Compliance Monitoring
– Monitor 50+ conservation easements annually, across Colorado, to ensure compliance. Properties range in size from 1-20,000+ acres.
– Monitoring includes hiking or driving around a conserved property using GPS to navigate and collect field data, documenting any changes to the property.
– Meet with landowners to discuss the conservation easement, any changes to the property within the last year, and their plans for the future.
– Complete thorough reporting of each monitoring visit.

Conservation Easement Stewardship
– Assist in the review and drafting of conservation easement reserved rights requests, amendments, and violations or other enforcement issues.

Organizational Involvement
– Participate in regular staff meetings, conservation easement project review, and events and community outreach activities.
– Help with the Stewardship department’s contribution to Communications and Development (social media, field trips, etc.).

Minimum Qualifications:
– Bachelor’s degree: emphasis in natural or environmental sciences, land use, planning, geography, or related field is preferred.
– Excellent written and oral communication skills.
– Strong organizational, time management, and problem-solving skills.
– Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
– Ability and willingness to travel across Colorado, including some overnights (approximately 30% of time from June-September; fleet vehicle provided). Valid driver’s license.
– Willingness and ability to work in sometimes challenging field conditions in remote locations. Ability to work outdoors and navigate large farms and ranches independently, often in remote settings.
– Ability to communicate with diverse stakeholders.
– Competent with Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, PowerPoint).
– A positive, engaging attitude, a sense of humor, and a commitment to COL’s mission and the conservation of Colorado’s natural landscapes.

Helpful qualifications:
– Land trust experience (volunteer, intern/extern, etc.).
– Experience with ESRI’s ArcGIS computer mapping software and familiarity using GPS equipment.
– Experience working with agricultural producers and an understanding of the agricultural industry in Colorado or the western United States.

Compensation and Benefits:
– This position is a 2-year full-time (40 hours/week) position.
– Start date is flexible, ideally Summer 2022
– The salary range is $42,000-$45,000 commensurate with skills and experience.
– Colorado Open Lands offers a competitive compensation package, including 401k plan with match, health insurance (medical, dental, vision, and HSA), life and disability insurance, paid time off (sick leave, vacation, and holidays) and a collaborative, flexible work environment.

Application Instructions:
– Please send a résumé and cover letter to Cheryl Cufre, Director of Land Stewardship at jobs@coloradoopenlands.org. Please note where you saw the job posting.
– The subject line should be in this format: “Last name, First name: Stewardship Fellow”
– This position is opened until filled.

EEO Statement:
Colorado Open Lands provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics or other protected status. For information about Colorado Open Lands, please visit our website at www.coloradoopenlands.org.

Northeast Colorado Conservation Fellowship

Position: Northeast Colorado Conservation Fellow
Location: Northern Front Range, Colorado
Hiring Salary: $42,000-$45,000
Preferred Start Date: July 2022

Colorado Open Lands (COL) is a dynamic statewide land trust that has worked to conserve over half a million acres of critical land and water resources across Colorado.  We focus our work in priority landscapes and take pride in our community-based approach.  We are large enough to be a highly professional team with great support and resources, and small enough to be flexible and efficient with a positive culture. COL seeks a motivated Conservation Fellow to support our goal of protecting 800,000 acres by 2025.

Summary of Position:
The Community Conservation Fellowship is a two-year position that will participate in the full process of private land protection in Colorado by learning on the job with mentorship from a Senior Conservation Project Manager.  The Fellow will support a variety of land conservation projects across Northeast Colorado, concentrating on creating new protected lands along the rapidly growing I-25 Corridor and valuable water rights along the South Platte River and its tributaries.  This position reports to the Senior Conservation Project Manager for this landscape and provides technical and administrative support to the Manager to complete conservation easements.  COL’s main office is in Lakewood, Colorado, but there is flexibility as to where this position can be located.  This fellowship is one of three within COL, and the cohort of three fellows will have opportunities for group professional development and staff engagement.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities:
Supports conservation easement acquisitions within COL’s Northern Front Range and Lower South Platte landscape (Northeast Colorado). Examples include conservation easements on a barley farm near Loveland and a new public open space in Weld County.
– Assists with project management and landowner relations, including phone calls and meetings with landowners and consultants to advance new conservation easements.
– Assists with the writing and submission of grant proposals.
– Assists with review of due diligence documentation, including title documents, appraisals, and biological assessments.
– Performs property site visits and other field-based activities.

Learns about broader community conservation efforts via shadowing and mentorship from Senior Project Manager, such as opportunities to shadow Senior Project Manager in watershed and habitat meetings.

Participates as an engaged member of the COL staff, including attending meetings of the conservation team and full staff.

Additional duties, responsibilities, and activities as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:
– Bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, pre-law, land-use planning, geography, social sciences, business, or related fields; or 2 years previous experience in project management with demonstrated critical thinking skills.
– Proven track record in clear communication, both written and verbal.
– Driver’s license and the ability and willingness to travel within Colorado 2-3 times per month (day trips and occasional overnight).
– Comfortable working with Microsoft Office Suite.

Skills and Attributes Desired:
– A love of land, respect for community, and an eagerness to learn.
– Attention to detail, self-motivation, and the ability to research and find solutions.
– Ability to build key relationships.
– Strong organizational and critical thinking skills.
– Appreciation and interest to learn more about negotiation, facilitation, and fundraising.
– Experience with land conservation efforts, agriculture, or real estate.
– Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Structure and Compensation:
– This is a two-year, full-time position with a starting salary of $42,000-$45,000, commensurate with qualifications.
– Colorado Open Lands offers a competitive compensation package, including health insurance (medical, dental, vision, and HSA), life and disability insurance, 401(k) plan with company match, paid time off (sick leave, vacation, and holidays) and a collaborative, flexible work environment.
– This position will be based in the northern Front Range, with some flexibility on location, some opportunity for remote work, and some travel. Mileage is reimbursed at the standard federal rate.
– Physical demands may involve, frequent sitting and standing, occasional bending, lifting up-to 25lbs, and occasional driving.

To apply:
Please email a cover letter, resume, and three references to Carmen Farmer, Senior Conservation Project Manager at jobs@coloradoopenlands.org. In your cover letter, please let us know where you learned about this position.

EOE Statement:
Colorado Open Lands provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, or other protected status. For information about Colorado Open Lands, please visit our website at www.ColoradoOpenLands.org

 

Colorado Open Lands StaffFor a list of job opportunities in the conservation field, please visit the Land Trust Alliance Careers Page or the Keep it Colorado Jobs Board.

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