Founded in 1993, Potomac Conservancy believes the foundation of healthy, sustainable, and vibrant communities starts with clean water. As the region’s leading clean water advocate, we ensure the Potomac River boasts clean drinking water, healthy lands, and connected communities. You will be joining a small but growing team who works every day to fight for clean water through building a local, inclusive movement of impassioned safe water advocates.
Potomac Conservancy’s Land Conservation Program, accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, focuses on the protection of high-quality lands and waterways in the headwaters of the Potomac River. We work one-on-one with private landowners to conserve forested, agricultural, streamside, and open space lands, focusing on Frederick County, Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. We also connect landowners with resources for land management and cost-share programs to ensure working lands are both productive and river-friendly.
The Stewardship Manager reports to and works closely with the Director of Land Conservation and advances the Conservancy’s land protection goals, namely stewarding the Conservancy’s portfolio of nearly 80 conservation easements and assisting with the closing of conservation easements in target watersheds. The Stewardship Manager is responsible for building effective working relationships with private landowners, government agencies, and non-profit partners that will advance the Conservancy’s land protection goals and clean water mission. In addition to being a strong relationship builder, the ideal candidate will be familiar with the ecosystems and communities of the Potomac Headwaters region and relevant agricultural and forest Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the area.
Conservation Easement Stewardship (50%)
- Annually monitor the Conservancy’s growing portfolio of 78 conservation easements.
- Duties: review project documents, schedule meetings with landowners, navigate to and around properties, acquire photographs and GPS points, and prepare reports.
- Monitoring may be conducted by vehicle, on foot in rough terrain, by sight and GPS from small aircraft, and by review of aerial or satellite images.
- With support from the Director of Land Conservation and the Conservancy’s attorney, interpret easement language, make judgments on whether activities comply with easement terms, address easement violations and correspond with landowner.
- Build and maintain positive relationships with easement landowners wherever possible.
- Maintain organized records of stewardship visits and landowner communications, in compliance with Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.
- Assist Director of Land Conservation in drafting easement amendments, when justified, to improve conservation values.
Land Protection (30%):
- Utilizing existing landowner relationships, identify potential projects within priority conservation areas and initiate outreach to target landowners.
- Under the direction of the Director of Land Conservation, work one-on-one with private landowners to craft simple conservation easements that protect properties’ natural resources and conservation values, meet landowner’s needs, and further the Conservancy’s mission.
- Develop, or manage contractors to develop, baseline documentation on easement properties, including photo and GPS documentation and GIS mapping of land management zones and other areas of interest.
- Promote land protection opportunities to priority landowners and occasionally present at local community groups and landowner events, discussing the benefits and limitations of conservation easements and the basic financial implications and tax benefits available to landowners in VA and WV.
- Serve on special collaborative committees or workgroups as needed.
Grants and Fundraising (10%):
- Assist Director of Land Conservation with developing funding proposals for land protection projects and personnel costs, tracking project deliverables and expenditures, and writing grant reports.
- Assist in preparing Land Conservation program-promoting materials for donors.
- Assist the Director of Land Conservation with:
- Developing an annual work plan and budget for the Lands program,
- Preparing materials for quarterly meetings with members of the Conservancy board.
- Participate in quarterly Conservation Committee meetings, occasional Conservancy outreach events, and Board cultivation events relevant to the Lands program.
- Contribute to the organization wide Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice work
- Contribute to program and organization-wide planning, as needed.
- Participate in staff meetings, trainings, and activities.
- Bachelor’s degree in relevant area of study or equivalent experience
- 2-3 years experience and/ or education in land management, conservation, or a related field
- Friendly and diplomatic personality with the ability to quickly establish rapport and develop trust-based relationships with people from diverse backgrounds and world views.
- Ability to understand and anticipate the needs and perspectives of landowners and partners and work to find creative, mutually satisfying solutions to conflict.
- Strong understanding of the power of language to advance or hinder progress. Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing with landowners, funders, professional colleagues, governmental entities, and the public.
- Proven organizational skills and strong attention to and interest in detail. Ability to meet deadlines and juggle multiple and diverse tasks.
- Physical requirements: ability to walk up to two miles over rough terrain and navigate in remote areas.
- Preferred: Ability to travel in your own vehicle, with mileage reimbursement, and work occasional evenings and weekends.
- Preferred: knowledge of conservation easement basics and Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.
- Preferred: Experience using GIS to log GPS points and create basic maps.
*This position uses a wide variety of skills. We encourage you to apply if you think you would be a good fit, even if you don’t meet 100% of the qualifications.
- Salary range is $45,000-50,000 depending on experience;
- Benefits include medical and dental coverage, with 80% of premiums covered by the Conservancy;
- 18 days paid time off, 11 holidays, and 3 floating personal holidays per year;
- Half-day Friday’s in July and August and one week end-of-year break;
- Flexible work schedule after onboarding period; • 403 (b) matching and flex spending accounts;
- Working with bright, fun coworkers; and interacting with a supportive board of directors.
- The Conservancy follows a hybrid remote- in-person work environment. The ideal candidate will be based in or around Frederick County, VA, with options to work primarily remote, primarily in our Winchester office, or somewhere in between. Quarterly in-person gatherings are required.
Email a cover letter and resume to Avery Siler at firstname.lastname@example.org with Stewardship Manager in the subject line. Applications are only accepted electronically. Priority consideration will be provided to those who apply before November 30, 2022. Potomac Conservancy is an equal opportunity employer.
We recognize the environmental movement has not been an inclusive one and has a history of excluding historically discriminated communities — including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), people from working class backgrounds, women, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. We believe that these communities must be centered in the work we do. Because of this, we strongly encourage applications from people with these identities or who are members of other communities that have been historically excluded from the environmental movement.
For the health and safety of our employees, their families, and our community, all Potomac Conservancy staff are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This mandatory vaccine requirement applies to all staff working remotely, in a hybrid work arrangement, and on-site. Effective June 2, 2022, new hires will be required to provide proof of full vaccination with a government-approved vaccine as a condition for employment. Requests for reasonable accommodations or exceptions related to medical or religious reasons will be considered. Candidates are NOT required to state their COVID-19 vaccine status in their application.