Conservation Easement Steward
The non-profit Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests seeks a self-motivated individual for the position of Conservation Easement Steward. The successful candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field related to conservation or natural resources, 1 to 2 years’ experience in land conservation or a natural resources field, and functional knowledge of GIS mapping and GPS field data collection.
This is a full time position based at the Conservation Center in Concord, NH (with potential to be based out of the Forest Society’s North Country Education Center once constructed). The Conservation Easement Steward is responsible for ensuring that the Forest Society fulfills its perpetual stewardship responsibilities for over 750 conservation easements and deed restrictions covering more than 135,000 acres. The Conservation Easement Steward works directly with owners of protected lands and other Forest Society staff to ensure compliance with easement terms, cultivate cooperative relationships with landowners, and resolve potential compliance issues.
The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is a statewide land conservation organization with 10,000 members that was founded in 1901 to protect New Hampshire’s most important landscapes and promote wise use of its renewable natural resources. Today, the Forest Society owns 189 reservations in communities across the state, stewards more than 750 conservation easements and deed restrictions, and conducts ongoing programs in advocacy, land protection, sustainable forest management, and environmental education.
The Forest Society offers benefits and a unique office environment in our award-winning, energy-efficient building overlooking the Merrimack River Conservation Area.
Applications are due Monday October 25, 2021. The position has a desired start date of Monday, December 6th. Please email a resume and cover letter (both in PDF format) to Naomi Brattlof, Easement Stewardship Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “Conservation Easement Steward Position” in the email subject line. The Forest Society is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.
Full Job Description:
Conservation Easement Steward
Department: Easement Stewardship
Reports to: Director of Easement Stewardship
Starting Salary: $40,000 Full Time / Non-Exempt
Equity, Inclusion & Collaboration
The Forest Society is an equity-based employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. We value staff that work for the good of the whole; that can effectively collaborate to achieve shared goals of their department, as well as the organization. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status or and other protected status as required by applicable law.
The Conservation Easement Steward is primarily responsible for ensuring that the Forest Society fulfills its perpetual stewardship responsibilities for over 750 conservation easements and deed restrictions covering more than 135,000 acres. The Conservation Easement Steward works directly with owners of protected lands and a team of Forest Society staff to ensure compliance with easement terms, cultivate supportive cooperative relationships with landowners, and resolve potential compliance issues. This position is responsible for the North Country region (see Stewardship Region map on our website). Due to the travel requirements to monitor these properties, living within the North Country region is preferred. While currently based at the Conservation Center in Concord, NH, the North Country Steward will have the opportunity to work out of Forest Society’s North Country Education Center at the Rocks in Bethlehem, NH once construction is complete.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Easement and Deed Restriction Monitoring
- Perform ground monitoring visits, including meeting with landowners and walking properties, to ensure compliance with easement terms and restrictions.
- Meet annual monitoring obligations by reviewing and analyzing aerial imagery of conservation easements and deed restricted properties.
- Communicate with grantee land trusts and communities where the Forest Society holds an executory interest behind them or vice versa.
- Work with Reservations staff to ensure proper monitoring of our own Fee Reservations as needed.
- Landowner Guidance
- Communicate with landowners, foresters, and land managers with respect to management activities.
- Initiate and respond in a timely manner to landowner inquiries, including requests for reserved rights, withdrawals, subdivisions, and interpretation of deeds.
- Provide landowners with information on foresters (including Forest Society foresters), natural resource professionals, and others who can assist with making sound land management decisions.
- Compliance and Enforcement
- Work with Easement Stewardship Director to resolve potential and actual violations and disagreements with landowners effectively and efficiently.
- Follow established procedures in addressing potential violations, including assessing the situation and recommending courses of action to other staff.
- Discuss potential amendments with landowners and Forest Society staff.
- Information Management and Administrative
- Update baseline documentation reports as needed.
- Record and manage information promptly, accurately, and consistent with documented procedures and Land Trust Accreditation standards.
- Work effectively with the stewardship database to document activities and communications.
- Work effectively with ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro in support of program activities.
- Update Easement Stewardship technology as necessary to improve efficiency.
- Work with and supervise easement stewardship volunteer(s) or intern(s).
- Update Forest Society social media, blogs and Forest Notes magazine with information relevant to the department with assistance from the Digital Outreach Manager.
- Other duties as required, including administrative tasks shared by all within the department.
- Communication and Conduct
- Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships and open lines of communication with landowners, colleagues, and the public.
- Communicate with others in a positive manner with respect and openness to new ideas.
- Work independently and follow through on commitments with minimal supervision.
- Prioritize tasks to complete work in a timely and accurate manner.
- Take initiative to solve problems and identify potentially more efficient methods of operation.
- Act as an advocate for the Forest Society in all interactions – treat every interaction as an opportunity to add a new member or thank an existing member.
- Work with Reservation Department to conduct basic management activities on an as needed basis.
- Further the Forest Society’s mission by ensuring monitoring obligations.
- Cultivate and reinforce positive relationships with landowners, colleagues and others.
- Ensure compliance with easement terms and deed restrictions by landowners and resolve potential and actual easement violations efficiently and effectively.
- Record all critical communications and transactions in accordance with Forest Society procedures and Land Trust Accreditation standards.
Qualifications and Skills Required:
- Bachelor’s degree in appropriate field related to conservation or natural resources and 1 to 2 year’s experience in land conservation or natural resources field.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills and attention to detail.
- Self-motivated, willing to accept a challenge, and able to handle multiple priorities.
- Ability to communicate effectively with people of various backgrounds and interests.
- Functional knowledge of GIS mapping and GPS data collection.
- Familiarity with the Microsoft Office suite of applications.
- Functional knowledge of forestry operations and best management practices.
- Ability to navigate in the forest alone with a map and compass, sometimes in remote locations.
- Valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and access to a reliable vehicle.
- Familiarity with New Hampshire’s natural history and ecology preferred.
- Able to reside in/near region assigned (not required but strongly encouraged).
The position includes a combination of office work, fieldwork, and travel. Fieldwork may be in inclement weather. Tele-commute and in office work possible. Environmentally sustainable office within walking distance of wooded trails.
Ability to move over rough terrain for extended distances and navigate alone in remote areas. Safe driving record.
Possible supervision of intern(s) or volunteer(s).