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Driftless Area Land Conservancy (DALC) is a strong, growing, and nationally accredited organization that serves the Driftless region of southwest Wisconsin. We have permanently protected over 8,000 acres of forests, savannas, prairies, farms and cultural resources by working with private landowners and conservation partners.
We deliver educational workshops and events that connect people to the natural world. We also coordinate three diverse partnerships of landowners and conservation agencies/organizations: the Lowery Creek Watershed Initiative, the Southern Driftless Grasslands, and the Driftless Trail project.
Our mission is to maintain and enhance the health, diversity and beauty of Southwest Wisconsin’s natural and agricultural landscape through permanent land protection and restoration, and to improve people’s lives by connecting them to the land and to each other.
- Learn more about us on our website.
The Conservation Coordinator provides administrative, communications, and technical support to our growing Land Team at the Driftless Area Land Conservancy. Primary responsibilities include assisting the Conservation Director in executing real estate projects including conservation easement and fee title transactions, managing existing DALC conservation easements, and administering grant funding and contracts associated with land management and restoration projects.
Additional responsibilities may include GIS mapping, support of ongoing conservation projects and partnerships, managing conservation data according to Land Trust Alliance standards and practices, and leading or assisting with outreach, field days or other projects as assigned.
This is a new position at DALC, and as such, there is exciting room for growth, particularly if the successful candidate desires to deepen their knowledge in an area of work such as conservation real estate or land restoration and management. While this position’s duties are currently conceptualized as being suitable for someone relatively new to this type of work, there is substantial flexibility to move into more advanced projects and responsibilities if the successful candidate already has a strong background in this field or is a quick learner.
Land Conservation Due Diligence & Project Support – 60%
- Provide overall support and assistance to ensure that DALC’s work within our service area is undertaken with integrity, accuracy, and timeliness.
- Assist in all aspects of executing conservation real estate transactions, including but not limited to:
- Responding to, documenting, and tracking inquiries from prospective landowners in a timely and accurate manner to help determine the best course of action for DALC
- Researching the conservation values of specific geographic areas and ownerships as part of selecting and documenting conservation projects
- Creating GIS maps to illustrate a property’s landscape context and associated conservation values
- Drafting conservation easement language within a formatted template
- Photographing the baseline condition of properties with pending easements and writing associated descriptive captions
- Writing conservation easement baseline documentation reports within a formatted template
- Compiling information required to order title commitments and taking actions to remove certain title exceptions from pending title insurance policies
- Conducting environmental hazard assessments on properties pending real estate transactions, including but not limited to ordering database searches of potentially contaminated sites, evaluating resulting reports, interviewing landowners and managers about a property’s status and completing forms to document all findings.
- Ordering surveys and appraisals and drafting contracts as needed to govern related work o Preparing grant applications
- Preparing materials to keep the Board of Directors informed about DALC real estate activities
- Assist in administering land management and restoration projects with responsibilities including but not limited to:
- Writing scopes of work and creating GIS maps to describe and illustrate the projects DALC wishes to contract out to local restoration firms
- Preparing and administering land restoration grants and reporting out on associated project results o Preparing materials to inform the Board of Directors about ongoing restoration activities and management of DALC nature preserves
- Assisting in assuring land management volunteers are recognized for their efforts and that their contributions are well documented.
- Assisting in managing DALC’s hunting program.
- Manage conservation information including appropriate documentation and filing of real estate project records to meet Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Standards and Practices. This job component will include managing all digital records using the Landscape software platform to track DALC conservation interests.
Conservation Easement Stewardship, Monitoring and Landowner Relationship Management (30%)
- Assist in conducting annual monitoring of more than fifty conservation easement-encumbered properties in the field across all types of habitat and landscapes. This work includes but is not limited to:
- Regularly communicating with landowners whose properties are encumbered by easements
- Timely scheduling of property monitoring visits that will not only look for easement compliance, but will also seek to build relationships with landowners by identifying issues of mutual concern such as the presence of invasive species
- Provision of information on land management, cost-share programs and other resources that landowners can use to improve habitat on their land
- Completion and filing of monitoring visit reports and follow-up on any outstanding issues.
- Assist in identifying situations where easement violations may occur or have occurred and working through their prevention or resolution in concert with the Conservation Director
- Evaluate existing baseline documentation reports and land management plans for DALC conservation easement properties and update as needed
- Develop positive relationships with Driftless Trail hosts, communicate with these hosts regularly, and act as a liaison to help address potential issues as they arise
Other Duties as assigned by the Conservation Director (10%)
- This may include preparing for and hosting events, proofing copy, taking photos for social media, organizing files, drafting correspondence and other tasks to continually help DALC advance our mission.
- A bachelor’s or associate’s degree in natural resources, forestry, ecology, environmental science, real-estate, law, land management, landscape architecture or other field related to conservation is preferred. Applicable work experience may be a substitute for an academic degree.
- Excellent oral and written communications skills
- Well organized, self-directed, attentive to details, and responsive to deadlines
- Ability to manage and track multiple projects concurrently
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office and demonstrated expertise in data management
- The ability to work effectively with diverse communities, partners, landowners/users, and Land Trust staff.
- Familiarity with Midwest natural communities, flora, and fauna or a strong interest in learning
- Familiarity with invasive species threatening Wisconsin or a strong interest in learning
- Familiarity with land trusts and land restoration practice or a strong interest in learning
- Familiarity in creating descriptive and informative maps in ArcGIS or a strong interest in learning
Additional experience desired but not required includes:
- Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices
- Background in grant writing or technical/persuasive writing
- Familiarity with various local, state, and federal programs for financial and technical assistance available to private landowners in Wisconsin.
- Familiarity with agricultural practices for protecting and improving soil and water quality (e.g. cover cropping, no till, pollinator plantings)
- Experience with Landscape Conservation Software package
- Ability to manage budgets
- Thorough knowledge of the natural communities and habitats of the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin.
- Thorough knowledge of ecological restoration practice and principles of adaptive land management.
- Thorough knowledge of real estate transactions
Salary and Benefits
This is a full time (40 hours/week), salaried position located at our office at 206 S. Iowa Street in Dodgeville, Wisconsin or remote from another location in or near DALC’s service area of Iowa, Lafayette, Richland, Sauk, southwestern Dane, and northwestern Green Counties.
- The salary range is $40,000 - $50,000 annually depending on qualifications.
- Benefits include a generous leave policy, including up to 3 weeks paid vacation in the first year; medical benefits and retirement.
- This position requires an ability to travel (expenses reimbursed) throughout Southwest Wisconsin and to work occasional evenings and weekends.
- The successful applicant must provide a current driver’s license and their own vehicle.
- DALC believes that continual growth through experiential learning, peer-peer networks and relevant training makes for a happier and more effective team. Staff prepare professional development goals annually with their supervisors.
- Professional development opportunities include attendance at conferences, participation in region-wide peer networks organized by Gathering Waters (the coalition for Wisconsin land trusts – DALC is a member), and myriad online trainings and seminars offered by the Land Trust Alliance (DALC is accredited). DALC staff also have access to local skills workshops such as chainsaw training, prescribed fire management, and trail building.
- Please direct questions about the position to Stephanie Judge, Conservation Director.
- To apply please click "Apply" below to email a cover letter and resume to Natasha Rank, Operations Manager.
- Note: Please put the words “Conservation Coordinator” in the subject line of your email. This helps us to filter your email from the spam! The position will remain open until filled.
DALC prides itself on being a supportive, collaborative, and flexible work environment and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.