Land Steward

Position Opening: LAND STEWARD
30-40 hours/week
Compensation Range: $40,000 TO $50,000 F/T Rate
Applications accepted until March 1, 2024

The Land Steward’s (LS) primary responsibility is to provide lasting care for the trails and conservation lands (CL) owned by Kestrel and key public partners by carrying out assigned field and office tasks, and engaging volunteers to grow a multi-generational community of land and trail stewards. We seek candidates who are interested in working 30-40 hours/week (salary and benefits pro-rated as needed). Use of personal vehicle will be necessary to access designated work locations.

• The LS conducts field work under the supervision of the Stewardship Manager (SM).
• The LS works solo and also supervises volunteers, interns and/or TerraCorps members.
• The LS works in cooperation with other staff, board, advisory council members, volunteers, project partners, and temporary contractors as needed.

Specific Responsibilities:

Trail Stewardship - Working solo, on teams, or leading volunteers:
• Conduct annual monitoring of all KLT-managed trails and identify maintenance needs.
• Repair/maintain trails and associated infrastructure: tread, corridor, drainage, bog bridges, boardwalks, parking areas, kiosks, signage etc.
• Plan and construct new trails and related infrastructure as new public CLs are developed.
• Coordinate monitoring and maintenance of key sections of the 42-mile Robert Frost Trail.

Land Management - Working solo, on teams, or leading volunteers, assist with management of CLs:
• Vegetation management (mowing, invasive plant control, etc.); design/install signs and boundary markers, clean up debris, etc.
• Conduct annual monitoring of lands as assigned.
• Address on-the-ground impacts of trespass or natural disturbance.
• Contribute to the development of land management plans, related documentation, wetland permitting, grant applications, etc.

Database & Mapping Management & Administration: In collaboration with Conserve/Care team:
• Log activities in the Landscape database and assist with database upkeep
• Assist with volunteer intake, communications and coordination
• Other recordkeeping as needed under the direction of SM.
• Create GIS maps for potential and ongoing projects, update GIS map data and templates as needed

General Responsibilities:
• Participate in staff, board and committee meetings as needed.
• Participate in occasional public presentations and events as needed (could involve evening and weekends).
• Draft or provide information for public relations material, online and in print, as assigned.
• Develop and sustain relationships with partner organizations, professional contractors, and community members.
• Respond to general public inquiries related to Kestrel and our mission.
• Along with other staff, assist with administrative tasks, as needed, such as answering phones, recordkeeping, copying, and mailings.
• Flexible work schedule including a willingness to work extended flex hours if needed, including occasional weekends.

Preferred Experience:
• 1+ season (6-12 months minimum ideal) conducting trail stewardship; knowledge of best practices for trail design, construction and maintenance.
• Participation in Student Conservation Association or a comparable program focused on trail work desirable.
• Experience and competence in the safe use and maintenance of tools & equipment (hand tools and assorted hand & electric powered tools, brush saw, etc.).
• Ability to work extensively outdoors in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult or hazardous terrain, and/or under physically demanding circumstances.
• Chain saw certification or willingness to seek within 6 months.
• Basic carpentry skills (e.g., build/maintain signage, kiosks, and other infrastructure) helpful.
• Plant and wildlife identification skills helpful, especially invasive species.
• Bachelor’s or associate degree in natural resources management or other relevant field desirable. Minimum of a high school diploma or GED required.
• Pesticide applicator license or willingness to seek within 6 months (optional).
• Competency and comfort with ArcGIS mapping software & GPS, word processing/spreadsheets. Some database/data entry experience desirable.

Kestrel Land Trust is a cross-functional land trust in which all employees are expected to perform tasks other than those for which they may be specifically hired to respond to new opportunities and challenges as they arise.

About Kestrel Land Trust
Kestrel Land Trust conserves and cares for forests, farms, and riverways in the Connecticut River Valley of Western Massachusetts, while nurturing an enduring love of the land. Kestrel has conserved more than 27,000 acres of wildlands, woodlands, farmland, and riverlands since 1970 in partnership with willing landowners, communities, the Commonwealth and federal agencies. Kestrel is accredited by the National Land Trust Alliance.

KLT offers eligible employees flextime, comp time and telecommuting options, health care benefits, holiday/vacation leave, personal/health/bereavement leave, a Term Life Insurance plan, participation in a 501(c)3 Retirement Savings Account with employer match, and a sabbatical after 7 consecutive years of employment.

Send resume and cover letter to Chris Volonte, Stewardship Director: