Stewardship Director

Skagit Land Trust Published: January 22, 2024
Location
Mt Vernon, WA
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
Full-time
Categories
CEO/ Senior Mgmt/ Exec Director

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Description

Skagit Land Trust (SLT) is a nationally accredited non-profit organization that conserves wildlife habitat, wetlands, agricultural and forest lands, scenic open space and shorelines for the benefit of our community and as a legacy for future generations, throughout Skagit County, WA.

Our core values are sound ecosystems, sustainable stewardship, engaged volunteers, involved community, effective collaboration, and integrity. The Skagit area is renowned for its stunning natural lands and resources. Our conservation lands stretch from the islands of the Salish Sea through the Skagit and Samish watersheds to the edge of the North Cascades Mountains. Over more than 30 years, the Trust has protected 11,200 acres and 49 miles of shoreline directly and by assisting partners.

Position Description

As the Stewardship Director, you will manage the Stewardship Department and be responsible for planning, monitoring and ensuring protection of the incredible lands Skagit Land Trust has acquired through ownership or conservation easements. Currently, the Stewardship Department manages 45 conservation areas totaling 3,564 acres and monitors and defends 41 conservation easements totaling 4,006 acres. This job involves managing and working with a dynamic Stewardship team comprising staff, committee, board members and key volunteers.

Although the majority of lands are managed for fish and wildlife, some properties have public access or other infrastructure which the Stewardship Department oversees. You will lead the development and implementation of stewardship plans to protect habitat, conduct ecological restoration and manage public access. You will collaborate with other staff, landowners, partners, volunteers and public agencies to achieve these goals.

You will develop an annual plan and budget for the Stewardship Department. You are a key leader who will work  with other staff directors routinely in identifying opportunities and problem-solving issues affecting the organization. Additionally, the Stewardship Director helps SLT develop long-range strategies that include an assessment of evolving stewardship needs and how to meet these within available resources. The Stewardship Director will feel equally comfortable working in the field in a variety of conditions, spending time in the office, and communicating with a wide variety of volunteers and the public.

  • Location: Office is based in Mt Vernon, Skagit County, WA. The job requires regular work at Skagit Land Trust’s office in Mount Vernon as well as travel to all parts of Skagit County.
  • Schedule: 40 hours/week exempt salaried position; general work hours Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00 pm with some weekend hours and occasional evenings. Some remote work is negotiable however majority of time is in office and field.
    Reports to: Executive Director. This is a collaborative work environment with a highly supportive team of board, staff, volunteers and partners that you will work closely with.

Responsibilities

Duties of the job include but are not limited to:

Management

  • Supervise (hire, train, mentor, support) and evaluate the performance of Stewardship staff (currently two staff plus AmeriCorps and temporary or seasonal interns and crews). Create a positive team culture.
  • Serve as staff lead of Stewardship Committee: work with the Stewardship Chair to plan and execute property management goals and issues, stewardship procedures and policies and advance motions to the Trust’s board of directors.
  • Ensure SLT’s stewardship program meets Land Trust Alliance (LTA) Standards and Practices.
  • Develop annual work plans and budgets for the department and assist with SLT’s long-term planning.
  • Advise board and staff on stewardship considerations for possible land and conservation easement acquisitions. Assist Land Conservation staff with on-boarding new properties, including developing baselines, budgets, and interim management plans.
  • Lead grant writing and partnership agreements to fund stewardship activities.
  • Ensure sound planning, contracting and project management for stewardship projects, including site clean ups, access infrastructure development, and ecological restoration.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of SLT’s Conservation Strategy.
  • Participate in cross-departmental collaboration, meetings and special events.

Stewardship of Trust-owned Lands and Conservation Easements

  • Plan, develop, and implement stewardship projects for SLT-owned lands. Projects range widely, but include habitat restoration, protecting rare or sensitive species, taking measures for living with wildlife, structure demolition and property clean-up, forestry-related tasks, farm contracts, marine shoreline management, public access, trail building, and more.
  • Monitor conservation easements annually, respond to landowner inquiries, and investigate and manage potential violations.
  • Respond to and manage incidents involving SLT lands, including encroachments and access issues, on both fee and conservation easement lands.
  • Coordinate the development and updating of conservation area Management Plans.
  • Work with ED, staff and board, counsel, communities, and partners to solve challenging problems around limiting resource damage and public hazards.
  • Cooperate with partners to facilitate ecological restoration activities involving SLT lands.
  • Maintain ArcGIS map products for use by both the stewardship department and other staff as needed.
  • Prepare and maintain the Trust’s land and easement records.

Partnership and Outreach

  • Work with the Development and Outreach Department to implement a volunteer field stewardship program, including a land steward program.
  • Represent SLT on designated external committees.
  • Prepare newsletter articles, presentations, and other educational materials for programs about SLT conservation lands and easements.
  • Oversee scientific research requests on SLT properties.

Qualifications

  • You should have at least five years of management experience in conservation, natural resources, or a similar field. It is essential to demonstrate your experience successfully managing staff and multiple projects with varying deadlines and resources.
  • Strong project and people management skills are needed for success in this role. This position requires an individual with strong situational judgment, risk and hazard assessment skills, creativity, and diplomatic communications skills.
  • This position requires someone who enjoys working with volunteers and community members.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Comfort working in a variety of environments including field, office and public events.
  • This position requires a physically fit individual capable of regular outdoor fieldwork year-round in a variety of conditions. Must be able to navigate off trail and carry at least 25 lbs. of tools and field equipment on uneven, cross-country terrain of up to five miles. Occasionally will need to lift heavier items for short time periods.
  • Proficiency in the use of databases (SLT uses Salesforce platforms), GIS (ESRI ArcPro and related ESRI mapping products such as ArcOnline and FieldMaps), and general-use office software.
  • Familiarity with the tools and equipment used in conservation work.
  • Completed a BA/BS in ecology, biology, natural resources, environmental science or a related field, or equivalent experience.

Desired:

  • Familiarity with invasive species (plant) management using both physical and chemical control
    methods.
  • Familiarity with Pacific Northwest flora and fauna.

Compensation

  • Salary is $65,000 - $82,000 depending on experience
  • Benefits: 
    • 17 days of vacation annually increasing with tenure; 11 holidays annually; 12 family and medical leave days per year in addition to WA Family Leave benefit; 5% of salary 403-b benefit; health insurance stipend; cell phone stipend; leave of absence policy; paid professional development.

To Apply

Please click "Apply" below to email your resume, cover letter, and at least three references, with "Stewardship Director Job Application" and your name in your email subject line. In your cover letter, please answer the following questions:

  1. Why are you interested in this position?
  2. What is your relevant management experience and experience supervising professional staff?
  3. What is your experience in planning and executing land management, conservation or restoration projects?

We look forward to reviewing your application and potentially welcoming you to the Skagit Land Trust team!

At Skagit Land Trust, we value diversity, equity, and inclusion and strive to create a positive team
environment where all team members feel comfortable expressing their views and opinions. Our focus is on employee satisfaction, engagement, and fostering a culture of trust, respect, and inclusiveness.

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

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