Land Protection Coordinator
The mission of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan is to help people protect, enjoy, and care for natural land in West Michigan. A non-profit organization, the Land Conservancy is an accredited land trust dedicated to the permanent conservation of natural areas in West Michigan (including all or parts of eight counties: Allegan, Kent, Ottawa, Newaygo, Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, and Lake). With 40+ years of experience keeping nature nearby, the Land Conservancy has protected more than 11,450 acres with nature preserves, conservation easements, and partnership projects with local communities. www.naturenearby.org
Within the mission of the Land Conservancy, the Land Protection Coordinator works with the Land Protection Director to lead land protection efforts including acquisition of conservation easements and fee simple nature preserves, coordinate with other organization and government entities on community projects, and to work with the Conservation Easement Stewardship Specialist to manage issues related to conservation easement properties.
- Work in collaboration with the Land Protection Director, Executive Director, Land Conservancy staff and Board of Directors to set land protection goals for the organization, including participation in the strategic planning of the organization
- Develop innovative strategies to complete land protection goals of the organization
- Collaborate with partner organizations and governmental organizations to help achieve land protection goals throughout our West Michigan service area
- In concert with Land Protection Director, Executive Director, and development staff, write, secure and manage grants to support land protection projects
- Assist the Land Protection Director with the management of the Land Protection Committee
- Prepare, communicate, and present land protection projects to the Land Protection Committee and the Board of Directors
- Learn and stay current with Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices, Land Trust Accreditation Commission requirements, and IRC 501(c)3 and 170(h) requirements to secure and maintain Accreditation and non-profit status of the Land Conservancy
- Develop and complete land protection projects with a variety of partners including private landowners, governmental organizations, and partner and non-partner organizations
- Create, maintain, and update hard copy and digital documentation for all land projects, coordinating with the Conservation Easement Stewardship Specialist, as appropriate
- Collaborate with grantors of land protection projects including state and federal partners and partner organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and The Conservation Fund
- Solicit contributions from individual landowners for the Conservation Easement Stewardship Fund and assist development staff in identifying and soliciting other potential project related funds or major gifts
- Develop new programs that help achieve strategic land conservation goals of the organization
- Maintain pool of reliable, cost-effective contractors including appraisers, surveyors, title agency representatives, foresters, and natural resource managers
- Communicate with attorneys that assist in land protection projects, and maintain a collaborative relationship to maintain their pro-bono assistance in future projects
- Collaborate with the Conservation Easement Stewardship Specialist to ensure annual monitoring of conservation easement properties, and maintaining solid, working relationships with land donors and successive generations of conservation easement landowners
- Work with Stewardship Staff to evaluate and grow the nature preserve portfolio
- Develop and maintain knowledge and expertise in real estate, tax, environmental assessment, and resource policy issues.
- Maintain outreach to local assessors to encourage advantages for conservation easement landowners
- With other Land Conservancy staff, serve as the face of the Land Conservancy to garner public support for public land protection projects
- Perform other duties as assigned by the Land Protection and Executive Director
This position requires approximately 65 percent indoor work and 35 percent outdoor work. Actual indoor/outdoor time allocation depends on season and assigned tasks. Indoor work occurs mainly in a clerical office setting. Outdoor work often requires working in remote areas, on rough terrain, and/or in inclement weather in all seasons.
This position requires the ability to work a full day outdoors on rough terrain and in inclement weather.
Position type/Expected Hours of Work
This position is Full-time salaried, Administrative Exempt, and works approximately 40 hours per week. Office hours are 8:30am-5pm Monday through Friday. Some evening and weekend work required to perform essential functions.
This position requires frequent day trips to lands within an 8-county service area. Mileage will be reimbursed based on the Land Conservancy’s policies.
The Land Conservancy of West Michigan does not discriminate in its employment practices. All aspects of employment, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, promotions, compensation, benefits, discipline, training, and any other opportunities, will be made on the basis of individual abilities and qualifications and without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, veteran status, marital status, height, weight, handicap, genetic information, gender orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other legally protected category.
Required Education, Experience & Qualifications
Qualified persons will be intelligent and effective planners and organizers, demonstrating mature judgment, and knowledgeable and experienced with a full range of conservation responsibilities. Specifically:
- Bachelor’s degree required/Master’s degree preferred, in natural or environmental sciences, natural resources policy/management, real estate, law, or related field
- Minimum of three years of experience in natural land protection, natural resource policy, real estate, law, or related field
- Excellent verbal, written and oral presentation skills
- Knowledge of Microsoft Office; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook.
- Ability to read and understand legal documents, such as deeds, state and federal laws, and policy documents, and to identify issues relating to land protection work
- Ability to effectively interpret and use maps, aerial photos, a compass, and land conservation software
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively with partners, volunteers, and the public
- Solid work ethic, able to take initiative and to work effectively alone or collaboratively in groups
- Flexible and adaptive approach to work and hours, including weekends, and attend a variety of meetings and functions
- Responsive to supervision, eager to learn and committed to development on the job
- Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation
Preferred Education, Experience & Qualifications
- Graduate degree
- Understanding of land trusts and their conservation mission
- Experience working with board, committees and/or volunteers
- Ability to manage multiple priorities and deadlines
- Strong interpersonal skills; friendly and considerate
- Enthusiasm for work and mission
- Ability to utilize GPS, GIS and mapping systems
Competitive benefit package including: Health insurance, Long Term Disability insurance, 401(k), Paid Time Off (PTO), Holidays, Continuing Education