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Land Stewardship Manager

Santa Lucia Conservancy

Carmel, CA

Nat. Resources/ Restoration
Planning/ Land Use

Skill Level: Mid Level

Position Type: Full Time

~ Established in 1995, the Santa Lucia Conservancy protects and manages over 18,000 contiguous acres of highly diverse native habitat including redwood forest, oak woodlands, grasslands and riparian habitat within an exurban conservation community called The Santa Lucia Preserve. ~

The Conservancy staff is a multidisciplinary team which works with landowners, agency and academic partners to study and sustain ecological diversity and cultural values on our conserved properties. 

Please check out our website to learn more about the Conservancy. 

Position Overview

The Santa Lucia Conservancy is seeking a Land Stewardship Manager to lead and implement natural lands stewardship and sensitive habitat restoration in the Santa Lucia Range near Carmel, California. This is a permanent, full time position that may supervise 1-3 staff and/or volunteer positions.

As one of several core strategies, the Conservancy has initiated an ambitious, science-guided Conservation Grazing program to pioneer sustainable techniques using cattle and other livestock to mimic natural processes and restore coastal prairie and oak savanna habitat on approximately 5,500 acres. In addition, we are currently experiencing the effects of the Soberanes Fire, and anticipate fire-related recovery planning and execution to be a programmatic priority over the next several years.

The Land Stewardship Manager reports to the Executive Director and is responsible for developing and implementing ecological management and restoration programs designed to sustain biodiversity on the Conservancy's protected lands.

The position also manages and contributes to monitoring and stewardship activities associated with our fee lands and conservation easements, consistent with Land Trust Alliance standards and practices, including supporting the resolution of property related issues such as easement violations and property encroachments.

Typical land management activities may include: establishing ecological goals for stewardship activities, planning and implementing restoration efforts, weed control, construction projects related to wetland restoration, and coordinating with landowners on habitat management, development and infrastructure maintenance activities adjacent to or within protected areas.

This position is best suited for an individual who is well-organized, energetic, comfortable working independently both in the office and in the field, and able to effectively prioritize and follow through on a wide variety of tasks. The ability to manage complexity, thrive in a dynamic environment and interact with team members and the public in a productive and positive manner is essential.

This position will coordinate closely with the Conservancy's Senior Wildlife Biologist and our Conservation Grazing Manager, and is typically the main point of contact for the Stewardship Program. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required. The position does not require frequent or extended off-site travel. 

Essential Duties

Ecological Goal Setting and Analysis (20%): 

  • With other senior staff, establishing ecological goals, monitoring strategies and strategic objectives for sustaining biodiversity, natural processes and ecosystem health of the Santa Lucia Preserve;
  • Supporting the Conservation Grazing program in establishing program-specific ecological goals and monitoring strategies, including baseline and performance monitoring, botanical assessments and adaptively managing seasonal and annual grazing plans; and
  • Analyzing and adapting conservation strategies based on monitoring results.

Land Stewardship Activities (40%): 

  • Working with staff, homeowners, contractors and volunteers to managing conservation lands;
  • Planning and implementing a wide range of site-specific management activities;
  • Directing and occasionally performing weed control using mechanical and chemical methods;
  • Serving on a Design Review Board to support ecologically compatible development design;
  • Working with landowners on development, restoration and easement compliance matters;
  • Tracking work performed through consistent documentation and GIS mapping;
  • Ensuring field equipment safety, maintenance, organization, and calibration; and
  • Assisting the Executive Director, as needed, with project development and goal setting. 

Ecological and Easement Monitoring and Documentation (25%): 

  • Conducting field-based habitat and weed population mapping;
  • Organizing and performing field data collection, including botanical surveys, vegetation responses to management treatments, hydrological processes, and erosion;
  • Supervising and performing ecological data management and GIS mapping;
  • Supervising and supporting field monitoring of conservation easements and fee-owned properties including photo documentation and condition descriptions; and
  • Documentation and reporting of monitoring results. 

Program Administrative Support (15%): 

  • Attending and presenting at regional and national conferences to learn and share best practices;
  • Supporting Conservancy staff on project planning, evaluations and documentation;
  • Supporting organizational compliance with Land Trust Alliance standards and practices;
  • Completing the administrative and maintenance needs of the position in a timely manner; and
  • Other duties as may be assigned by the Executive Director. 


The Land Stewardship Manager position is responsible for a high level of professionalism in field, office and community relations environments. As a member of a small, dedicated, multidisciplinary team, this essential position provides both expertise-based leadership and hands-on program implementation. This requires a high level of energy, productivity and durability. The qualified candidate will have: 

  • A natural resource background and a minimum of 5 years' experience in land stewardship, resource management or a related field;
  • Strong natural history and botanical field identification skills and a willingness and ability to develop expertise in California grassland ecology;
  • Knowledge and passion for ecological integrity, ideally with experience in habitat management and restoration strategies in Mediterranean-type ecosystems;
  • Strong organizational and professional skills, capable of prioritizing and managing diverse tasks independently and with direction and support from the Executive Director;
  • The ability to work and supervise others to work safely, responsibly and independently outdoors in inclement weather, and under physically or mentally demanding conditions;
  • Strong interpersonal skills with an ability to communicate and collaborate with diverse interests;
  • The ability to be self-starting and highly collaborative, and to inspire confidence and trust in others;
  • An ability to be flexible, adaptable, and to maintain a positive solutions-oriented attitude; and
  • A sense of humor and appreciation of the inherent quirkiness of both nature and people. 


  • The right candidate will be socially and culturally astute and have skills in identifying issues and promoting inclusion and responsiveness in all aspects of their work.
  • This position requires fluency in English, familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite, and a demonstrated ability to safely operate vehicles, trailers, and hand-held power equipment in challenging environments.
  • Experience using GPS and GIS software is highly desirable. 

Compensation: The salary range for this position will be $60,000 to $65,000 per year, depending on experience. The Santa Lucia Conservancy offers a very competitive benefits package including health and retirement benefits. 

To Apply 

  • For consideration, please click below: "Apply Now Online!" to email your resume, 3 references and a cover letter noting relevant experience and salary history.
  • Position open until filled.
  • No phone calls or recruiter solicitations, please. 

~ The Santa Lucia Conservancy is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and welcomes interest by military veterans, minorities and people with disabilities. ~

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!

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