Land Protection Specialist (posted June 23, 2014)
The Land Protection Specialist plays an important role within the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire as a staff member responsible for completing land protection projects, including projects in a new service area created through the merger underway with Strafford Rivers Conservancy. Cultivates and develops effective working relationships and conservation projects with private landowners, partner organizations, and government agencies/towns. Proactively contacts landowners in the Land Trust’s priority conservation areas, builds and maintains relationships with community partners, responds to land protection inquiries, and prepares state and federal grants and foundation proposals. Negotiates land acquisition and conservation easement projects using a full range of conservation tools, and coordinates the due diligence and closing of these projects.
The successful candidate will have excellent communication skills, experience in and a passion for land conservation, a demonstrated ability to manage projects over an extended period of time, a commitment to developing practical solutions to conservation challenges, the ability to work with effectively with partners and the desire to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment with limited supervision. The Land Protection Specialist will occupy a full-time position and will report to the Land Protection Director.
Develops effective working relationships with private landowners and negotiates gifts or purchases of land and conservation easements from private landowners. Manage existing and new land conservation transactions from start to finish, including field evaluations, project assessments, landowner negotiations, developing and managing project budgets, drafting easement terms, Committee and Board review, grant writing, and interactions with and management of contracts with other professionals such as surveyors, appraisers, lawyers, governmental officials.
Responds to and conducts preliminary evaluations of land protection inquiries.
Contact and cultivate targeted landowners within priority focus areas through mailings, phone calls, programs, and other means.
Tracks projects and regularly communicates status with Land Protection Director and staff as appropriate. Ensures that project files are well organized and completed to Accreditation Standards. Manages the preparation of project approval packages for the Land Trust’s internal review process.
Develops and maintains strong working relationships with local communities, and with agency and conservation organization partners. Represents the Land Trust at public meetings, conferences, and workshops. Periodically makes public presentations and leads field trips.
Bachelor’s degree and two years of experience or Master’s degree in natural resources (wildlife, ecology, forestry, conservation biology, environmental/land use planning, land use law) or related fields.
Familiarity and experience with conservation easements, fee simple land acquisitions, and other land conservation techniques.
Excellent written and verbal communication skills and careful attention to detail.
Flexibility in approach to problems and/or changing expectations. Good judgment, independent initiative, sensitivity to situations, and a mature and friendly manner are critical. Demonstrated ability to sell ideas, negotiate, build consensus, solve problems and produce tangible results.
Ability to work and communicate effectively with a wide range of people from various backgrounds, including community members and local government officials whose perspectives may vary widely.
Ability to remain calm during difficult negotiations and to be patient but tenacious.
Committed to making things happen and demonstrated initiative.
Excellent listening, writing, presentation and oral communications skills.
Physical ability to do field work, including walking long distances.
Ability to read and interpret legal documents, maps, survey plans, natural resource inventories, and other related materials.
Proficiency with Microsoft Word, Outlook, and Excel.
Ability to make maps with and do basic analysis with Arc 9 or 10.
Valid driver’s license, safe driving record, and reliable personal vehicle available for work use.
Knowledge of southeastern New Hampshire geography (Strafford and Rockingham Counties).
Municipal planning, land use or conservation experience.
Experience in land conservation and/or real estate transactions desirable.
Competitive salary commensurate with level of directly relevant experience and consistent with the salary ranges identified for the Northeast within the Land Trust Alliance’s 2013 Wage Study. Competitive benefits package including health insurance plan, employee match to 403(b)(7) retirement plan, and paid vacation, sick time, and holidays.
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