Conservation Director

This position will be a key senior staff person on Saratoga PLAN’s team, with primary duties including strategic implementation of Saratoga PLAN’s conservation plan; management of land transactions and supervision of land protection and stewardship staff; consulting with landowners and advising communities on conservation options and tools; fundraising and grant writing; representing conservation interests and serving as a resource for open space community planning initiatives with partners.

Guided by the Conservation Plan and Business Blueprint, the Conservation Director serves on the leadership team for Saratoga PLAN by working closely with the Executive Director, staff, the Board of Directors, volunteers, donors, interns, and community partners to advance:

Land Protection

Identify and evaluate new high priority conservation opportunities and consult with landowners, municipalities and other organizations regarding conservation options for natural areas, farms, and trails.
Structure and oversee land conservation and trail projects including mapping and analysis, negotiating terms of easements, acquisitions and partnerships, complete pre-acquisition due diligence, including contractual services by surveyors, appraisers, attorneys, title companies, and environmental inspectors.
Supervise conservation team (of 3 other staff).

Develop and implement annual program work plan and budget. Track and report on land conservation and stewardship initiatives, projects, and budgets.
Implement and secure resources for strategic initiatives of the organization, and prepare grant applications and manage funds awarded for conservation projects.
Play a supporting role in donor relations and community engagement programs, including providing content for external communications about land projects.

Community Planning

Represent conservation interests and serve as a resource for communities developing conservation plans and municipal land use plans to accomplish their goals for natural resource protection.
Serve as staff liaison to the Conservation Committee, Countywide Trails Committee, and other relevant groups advancing conservation, open space protection, recreation, and farmland conservation.

Stewardship

Oversee stewardship and monitoring of conservation lands and conservation easements, facilitate the development of baseline documentation reports and updates, and supervise stewardship staff.
Interpret easements, resolve violations, and evaluate requests for easement amendments, consulting as needed with the Stewardship Manager, Executive Director, legal counsel, and Board of Directors.
Develop long term stewardship plan or disposition plan for conservation projects.

Qualifications

Minimum of 5 years’ successful experience in real estate transactions for undeveloped land and conservation easements.
Relevant natural resource non-profit or conservation experience, including managing internal and external collaborative projects, programs, and staff teams.
Experience with grant writing and grants management, preferably familiar with private foundations and government conservation funding programs.
Undergraduate degree in related field (conservation, environment, natural resources management, ecology, land planning, etc.). Advanced degree preferred.

Skills and Competencies

Demonstrated experience and track record in land conservation project development and conservation easement stewardship.
Proven leadership skills and ability to motivate, manage and train colleagues and volunteers.
Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing strategic plans, programs, systems, policies, and record-keeping.
Strong skills in project planning, financing, management, implementation, and evaluation.
Demonstrated ability to assess conservation values of a property.
Excellent interpersonal skills including the ability to develop and maintain diplomatic relationships at all levels including with landowners, communities, government agencies and the not-for-profit sector, and the ability to work both as a team player and independently.
Ability to use GIS and GPS to display and analyze spatial information.
Proficiency with a variety of software including Microsoft Office online suite of products.
Ability to demonstrate ethical behaviors consistent with policies and values of Saratoga PLAN and the Land Trust Alliance, and adherence to land trust standards and practices.
Ability to perform strenuous physical activities such as hiking in steep terrain as well as long hours at a computer.

PLAN has a highly motivated, small team. We’re looking for someone who is flexible and is willing to fill in the gaps when needed. Job responsibilities, workload, and hours may vary. This position reports to and at times works closely with the Executive Director.  This is a full-time position at 40 hours per week, and occasionally requires weekend and evening work. The salary range is in the mid-70s. Health, dental, vacation, holiday, and retirement benefits offered.