Careers at Colorado Open Lands

Colorado Open Lands currently has three openings for conservation professionals:

Restoration Program Manager

Community Conservation Fellow

San Luis Valley Conservation Associate

Read below for more information on each of these positions.

About Colorado Open Lands – Colorado Open Lands (COL) is an accredited and certified, statewide land trust based in Lakewood, Colorado. Our mission is to preserve the significant open lands and diminishing natural heritage of Colorado through private and public partnerships, innovative land conservation techniques, and strategic leadership. Since 1981, we have helped to protect over 581,000 acres of native prairies, forests, wetlands, rangelands, and working lands.

RESTORATION PROGRAM MANAGER

Location: Lakewood, Colorado
Salary Range: $58,000 –$62,000
Preferred Start Date: August 9th, 2021 (Flexible)

SUMMARY OF POSITION

The Restoration Program Manager will continue to build upon COL’s successful habitat restoration program.  Our goal is to expand our restoration program to include restoration projects in prairie, rangeland, and forested habitats, in addition to our current projects that are focused on restoring streams and wetlands. The Program Manager will lead complex natural resource restoration projects that are underway and will be expected to secure new funding for future projects by drawing on COL’s track record of writing successful grant proposals.  Because grant writing and administration is a key component of the position, the Program Manager should possess excellent writing and organizational skills.   In addition to the strong ecological background that will enable them to manage restoration projects, the Program Manager should have demonstrated experience in collaborating with landowners and partners and effectively communicating projects to funders and stakeholders.  To be successful in this role the Program Manager should have restoration project management experience, including writing successful grant applications, developing and reporting on complex budgets with multiple projects and multiple funders, securing contractors, and working with project partners, stakeholders, and landowners to implement projects.

The Restoration Program Manager will be a member of COL’s Stewardship Team which includes a Director of Stewardship, Stewardship Program Manager, Landowner Liaison, Land Stewardship Specialist, and Land Stewardship Fellow. This position reports directly to the Director of Stewardship.

PRIMARY DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

Ecological Restoration and Habitat Improvement (85%) –

  • – Develop, plan and implement projects to restore habitat and ecological processes by preparing contracts, proposals, permits, budgets, and deliverables.
    – Work with private landowners, natural resource government agencies, academic institutions, and other stakeholders to identify prospective habitat restoration opportunities and develop restoration concepts.
    – Actively pursue funding opportunities to expand the restoration program vision.
    – Secure restoration project funding by writing successful grant proposals.
    – Collaborate with funders to develop grant agreements, scopes of work, deliverables, timelines, and budgets for potential projects.
    – Manage multiple grant budgets and contract requirements.
    – Facilitate communication and coordination among partners and stakeholders.
    – Coordinate technical reporting of project accomplishments to funding organizations and other partners.
    – Conduct outreach to partners and stakeholders.
    – Track project activities and accomplishments and coordinate receipt of deliverables.
    – Provide project oversight to contractors and partners.
    – Collaborate and assist landowners to ensure effective habitat management.
    – Assist in developing a 5-year Strategic Plan for the Restoration Program

Conservation Easement Stewardship (10%) –

  • – Assist with annual conservation easement compliance monitoring:
    • – Monitor 20+ conservation easements annually to ensure compliance, including engaging with landowners, conducting property site visits, and preparing reports.
    • – Collect GPS field data and create GIS maps of properties.
  • – Be a resource for landowners, helping direct them to best practices for land, resource, and habitat management.
    – Attend site visits when a resource specialist is needed.
    – Develop resource management plans for conserved properties.

Organizational (5%) –

  • – Assist COL staff with fundraising, events, and general operations as needed.
    – Participate in organizational planning initiatives, trainings, and COL Board meetings.

QUALIFICATIONS

Minimum Qualifications –

  • – Bachelor’s degree in natural resource management, agriculture, environmental science, land use planning, biology, ecology, geography, or a related field.
    – At least three years of work experience in conservation, environmental science, or a related field.
    – Experience coordinating and managing ecological restoration projects, including managing budgets, coordinating with partners, stakeholders, and landowners, and successfully implementing projects.
    – Proven track record of writing successful grant proposals, managing, and reporting on project grants.
    – Experience coordinating and managing contractors and scientists to implement projects.
    – Competency with ESRI ArcGIS computer mapping software and GPS.
    – Strong organizational, time management, and problem-solving skills.
    – Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
    – Excellent written and oral communication skills.
    – Willingness to travel across Colorado (travel comprises approximately 10% of time).
    – Ability to work in occasionally challenging field conditions.
    – A valid driver’s license and good driving record (vehicle provided).
    – A positive attitude and sense of humor.
    – A commitment to land conservation.

Preferred Qualifications –

  • – Master’s or other advanced degree in one of the above-mentioned fields.
    – Experience working with agricultural producers and an understanding of the agricultural industry in Colorado or the western United States.
    – Experience working with a land trust or similar land conservation organization.

 COMPENSATION

  • – This position is a permanent, full-time (40 hours/week) position.
    – Start date is flexible, but ideally August 9th, 2021.
    – The salary range is $58,000 –$62,000 commensurate with skills and experience.
    – Colorado Open Lands offers a competitive compensation package, health insurance (medical, dental, vision, and HSA), including 401k plan with company match, life and disability insurance, paid time off (sick leave, vacation, and holidays) and a collaborative, flexible work environment.

TO APPLY

Please send a résumé, cover letter, and three references to Cheryl Cufre, Director of Land Stewardship at jobs@coloradoopenlands.org with “Restoration Program Manager” in the subject line. Applications must be received no later than midnight (MDT) on June 27, 2021.

Your application will be assessed based on your strengths in the following categories, so please specifically address these points in your application:

  1. People skills. Your ability to work cooperatively with diverse partners to achieve shared goals.
  2. Your ability to write successful grant proposals, reports, and communications materials.
  3. Project Management. Your experience developing and managing complex habitat restoration projects.

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

 

COMMUNITY CONSERVATION FELLOW

Location: Salida, Colorado
Hiring Salary: $40,000
Preferred Start Date: July 2021

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 the Community Conservation Program Manager.  The Fellow will support a variety of land conservation projects across Colorado, concentrating on creating new protected lands with a community focus.  This position reports to the Community Conservation Program Manager, provides technical and administrative support, and participates in community engagement activities.  COL’s main office is in Lakewood, CO but this position will be based in Salida.  This fellowship is supported by Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) and this fellow will be one of four in different organizations across the state; the cohort of the four fellows will have opportunities for group professional development and connection through GOCO.

PRIMARY DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • – Supports conservation easement acquisitions across the state. Examples include conservation easements on a large ranch in NW Colorado with important sage grouse habitat and facilitating a new public open space in Park 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.
  • – Supports other community conservation efforts, such as attending meetings on planning future use of a park or helping coordinate watershed planning meetings.
    – Participates as an engaged member of the COL staff, including attending meetings of the conservation team and full staff.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • – Bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, pre-law, land-use planning, geography, social sciences, business, or related fields; OR two 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 overnight).
    – Comfortable working with the Microsoft Office Suite software

 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 two-year position will be based in Salida, CO, primarily as an office position, but with some travel. The Conservation team, which is managed by the Director of Conservation, frequently connects virtually, but there will be occasional travel to Lakewood to meet with other staff.
    – Physical demands may involve, frequent sitting and standing, occasional bending, lifting up-to 25lbs, and occasional driving.
    – This is a two-year, full-time position with a starting salary of $40,000.
    – 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. Mileage is reimbursed at the standard federal rate.

TO APPLY

Please email a cover letter, resume, and three references to Ben Lenth, Community Conservation Program Manager at jobs@coloradoopenlands.org, by June 27, 2021. In your cover letter, please let us know where you learned about this position.

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

 

SAN LUIS VALLEY CONSERVATION ASSOCIATE

Location: Alamosa, Colorado
Hiring Salary: $38,000 – $42,000
Preferred Start Date: July/August 2021

SUMMARY OF POSITION

As a member of the acquisition team, the San Luis Valley Conservation Associate will report to the San Luis Valley Project Manager. Primary responsibilities include drafting conservation easements, performing project due diligence, complying with record-keeping standards, budgeting, grant-management, and other tasks essential to complete conservation easement transactions.

The work of this position will be concentrated in Colorado Open Lands’ San Luis Valley priority landscape.   The work will be focused on conservation easements that support COL’s mission, including the development of groundwater-focused easements and those that protect water rights and cultural heritage in the acequia-based communities.  COL has a robust community conservation presence and a broad spectrum of partners to ensure that our work is aligned with local priorities.

The position is based in our Alamosa, Colorado office and will involve regular travel throughout the San Luis Valley and occasional statewide travel.

PRIMARY DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Manage specific aspects of conservation easement projects assigned by Project Manager. Activities include evaluating water rights and reviewing appraisals, baseline reports, title exceptions, legal descriptions, and other documents as needed.
  • Coordinate correspondence between COL and 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 close collaboration with the Project Manager, Director of Conservation, and outside legal counsel.
  • Maintain consistent record-keeping and archiving for assigned projects.
  • Assist with grant writing and project budget development and track successful grants, together with staff finance team.
  • As a member of the conservation team, contribute to ensuring that policies and practices meet current professional standards.
  • Participate in organizational decision-making, communications, fundraising, and outreach.
  • 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; OR 2 years previous experience in project management with demonstrated critical thinking skills.
  • A love of land, a 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.
  • Appreciation and interest to learn more about negotiation, facilitation, and fundraising.
  • Strong organizational and critical thinking skills.
  • Proven track record in clear communication, both written and verbal.
  • Ability and willingness to travel within Colorado (see location requirements below).
  • Comfortable working with the Microsoft Office Suite software.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Familiarity with land conservation efforts, agriculture, or real estate.
  • 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. Mileage is reimbursed at the IRS standard rate.
  • There will be occasional travel out of the SLV that requires overnight stays.

OTHER REQUIREMENTS

  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Physical demands may involve, frequent sitting and standing, occasional bending, lifting up to 25lbs, and occasional driving.

 COMPENSATION

This is a full-time position with a starting salary of $38,000-$42,000.

Colorado Open Lands offers a competitive benefits 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.

TO APPLY

Please email a cover letter, resume, and three references to Judy Lopez, Community Conservation Program Manager at jobs@coloradoopenlands.org, by July 9, 2021. In your cover letter, please let us know where you learned about this position.

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

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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