Director of Land Stewardship

Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy Published: May 31, 2023
Kent, Connecticut
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
CEO/ Senior Mgmt/ Exec Director / Natural Resources/ Restoration / Planning / Land Use

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Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy (NCLC) is a nonprofit, regional conservation organization working with the communities of Litchfield and northern Fairfield Counties to safeguard natural and working lands, public recreation areas, and drinking water resources forever. Founded in 1965, NCLC is the largest land trust in Connecticut, protecting 13,000 acres (and growing) of vast, connected natural areas. NCLC’s conserved lands include 21 public hiking preserves, 48 working farms, and over 3,000 acres of habitat for rare and endangered species.

NCLC believes in connecting people to nature through public access to wildlands and free educational programming for all ages. NCLC is also a dedicated conservation partner and service provider, assisting the work of local land trusts and regional partners through funding and technical assistance for acquisitions and stewardship, as well as providing shared staff. To strengthen the region’s capacity to conserve high-quality conservation lands and ensure the permanence of those conserved lands for the future, NCLC merged with Brookfield Open Space Legacy in 2019 and Naromi Land Trust in

In recognition of its exceptional work, NCLC is a nationally accredited land trust, and has received the state’s highest land trust award for land preservation from the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, an EPA Environmental Merit Award for its outstanding commitment to protecting the natural environment, and a Working Lands Alliance Pathfinder Award for its significant contributions to educating the public about the importance of farmland preservation.

Position Overview

The Director of Land Stewardship is a strategic leader on NCLC’s stewardship team, responsible for the management of NCLC’s portfolio of protected lands. The Director of Land Stewardship is responsible for all aspects of the effective management and oversight of more than 13,000 acres of natural lands and waters, including working lands, and rare, threatened, and endangered species habitat. The Director of Land Stewardship responsibilities also include supervising NCLC’s stewardship team, coordinating the work of the Acquisition and Stewardship Committee, and working closely with the land trust staff, Board of Directors, its members, partners, key stakeholders, and prospective supporters to build a welcoming, successful, and respected community institution.

Reports to: Executive Director
Location: This is an equal opportunity, full- time, non-exempt position located in Kent, CT.

Duties and Responsibilities

Stewardship Program:

  • Direct the stewardship and management of NCLC’s growing conservation land portfolio.
  • Supervise all stewardship staff including providing timely feedback and ongoing support.
  • Ensure the integrity of NCLC’s conservation easements and fee-owned preserves through annual inspection program, positive landowner interactions, and defense and enforcement in compliance with NCLC’s policies and procedures and LTA Standards and Practices.
  • Oversee all aspects of NCLC’s agricultural land management, including maintaining relationships with farmers and landowners, lease renewals and compliance, and climate-smart agricultural improvements.
  • Oversee and coordinate rare, threatened, and endangered species inventory, study, management, and restoration.
  • Oversee and ensure the care and maintenance of NCLC’s 21 public hiking preserves.
  • Ensure timely and thorough response to all enforcement activities.
  • Ensure smooth transition of newly conserved lands from acquisition to stewardship.
  • Respond to and manage any land-based emergencies.
  • Direct NCLC’s organizational implementation of GIS, GPS, ArcGIS online, and other technology, and maintenance of GIS files and records.
  • Provide support to partner organizations as part of NCLC’s partnership program.
  • Work within a budget to complete projects, negotiate and contract with vendors and contractors, and assist with budget development.
  • Prepare high-quality and accurate written and visual materials for NCLC’s board of directors and committee meetings.
  • Take a lead role in identifying funding opportunities and drafting grant proposals for financial support of stewardship projects. Implement, track, and report on awarded funding.
  • Ensure program compliance with internal policies and external requirements, including Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.

Outreach and Partnerships:

  • Present and represent NCLC at public events, partner meetings, and trainings.
  • Work in partnership with colleagues, partner organizations, members, and the community at large to build a welcoming, successful, and respected community institution.
  • Support the organization’s philanthropic efforts by participating in member events, visits, communications, and gift solicitations.
  • Support the promotion and communication of land stewardship projects by assisting with the creation of press releases, outreach, and development materials.

Organizational Sustainability:

  • Make recommendations for policy and procedure improvements.
  • NCLC’s staff operates as a close-knit team and the Director of Land Stewardship will be expected to perform other duties as needed or assigned.
  • Maintain familiarity with the organization’s governing documents (mission, bylaws, strategic plan, policies, etc.).
  • Keep current on all aspects of Land Trust Standards and Practices as they apply to job function.
  • Travel (primarily within Connecticut) as well as some evening and weekend hours is required.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Masters’ degree or higher-level degree in related field (natural resource management, science, etc.)
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation, land management, and natural resource preservation.
  • Experience supervising a team of professionals.
  • Excellence with Arc GIS desktop and online, GPS, and related hardware and software to create and enhance maps, including digitizing property boundaries from surveys and editing shapefiles.
  • Experience managing public recreation lands.
  • Experience overseeing the resolution of encroachments on land trust properties and easements.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • BA/BS and 5 years of experience in natural resource management and public preserve management, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Solid familiarity with principles of land management conservation practice and conservation science with hands- on experience, including ability to identify northeastern plants, trees, and habitat types.
  • Experience developing, directing, and managing multiple projects and budgets and implementing strategic program goals.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills, including public speaking.
    Supervisory experience.
  • Familiarity with aerial photos, deeds, surveys, topographic maps, and ability to navigate properties in the field.
  • Proficiency with Arc GIS desktop and online, GPS, and related hardware and software to create and enhance maps, including digitizing property boundaries from surveys and editing shapefiles. Ability to create presentation quality maps.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of natural resources issues (related to land management, recreation, agriculture, and forestry, etc.) and ability to communicate with landowners.
  • Familiarity with trail maintenance equipment including brush hog, chainsaw, weed whacker, shovel, loppers.
  • Strong sense of ethics, integrity, discretion, and ability to maintain confidentiality of donor and project information.
  • Ability to explain conservation practices to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • High level of computer skills required, including demonstrated competency with MS Office, Powerpoint, Word, and Excel.
  • Be in good physical condition and able to work outdoors in all types of weather, and able to lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Ability to work some non-standard hours, including evenings and weekends.
  • Valid Drivers’ License.

Salary and Benefits

NCLC is a collaborative and supportive work environment that encourages and inspires professional growth. NCLC offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package. The annual salary range for this position is $70,000-80,000 depending on experience. NCLC offers full-time employees paid vacation, holidays, personal, and sick leave. NCLC pays 95% of health, life, vision, and dental insurance for full-time employees and contributes to a retirement plan.

To Apply

Please click "Apply" below to email a resume and cover letter in one pdf.  We hope you will join us at NCLC!


NCLC is a collaborative and supportive work environment that encourages and inspires professional growth. NCLC welcomes people of all backgrounds, identities, and beliefs to join us in achieving our mission to protect the lands and waters of Northwest Connecticut forever. We strive to build a diverse and inclusive culture of mutual respect, equal treatment, and opportunities for success.


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