OUTREACH & PARTNERSHIP MANAGER, Meramec River Land Protection

Posted May 24, 2023
Applications will be accepted through June 15, 2023.
A hiring decision is expected in July.

Ozark Land Trust (“OLT”) is seeking an Outreach and Partnership Manager to cultivate opportunities for perpetual, voluntary land protection on the Meramec River and its tributaries. This position will pay in the $57,000-$65,000 range based on experience, expertise and skills.

Thanks to a substantial multiyear funding commitment from a generous St. Louis-region family foundation, OLT is able to retain an experienced senior staffer to implement a strategic program to identify landowners who have an interest in long-term protection of their Meramec lands. By collaborating with partner agencies, local community groups, landowners, and performing creative and strategic outreach, OLT and its funder have a goal of adding substantial protected resources to the watershed in partnership with voluntary land transactions such as conservation easements, land donations or sales.

The Meramec River water system is an exceptional source of natural resources, water, food production and recreation for Missouri. The natural resources of the Meramec River provide important environmental and societal benefits.  A recreational use survey conducted several decades ago found that the Meramec received the most use of any stream in Missouri.  Other surveys focused on fishing also found the river to the among the most used streams.  The lower river is the source of drinking water for approximately 200,000 people in the St. Louis region and its extensive floodplains store, filter, and attenuate floodwaters.

The Meramec River also has significant ecological value, with one of the highest levels of biodiversity of any river in the mid-continental United States. 128 species of fish, 46 species of mussels, and 8 species of crayfish are found within the Meramec basin, including one fish and two crayfish species found nowhere else.

OLT has been extensively involved in protecting and restoring land in the Meramec and its tributaries for over 20 years. Most notably OLT and its partners have worked with numerous landowners in the Huzzah Creek watershed.  Huzzah Creek is notable for its value relating to water quality; agricultural production, scenic viewsheds, and numerous recreational opportunities.   OLT has permanently protected over 1,000 acres of land with frontage along the Huzzah, and with its agency and nonprofit partners, have engaged in substantial river restoration, protection and stabilization efforts to ensure the Huzzah’s value for this variety of conservation and related purposes.

Balancing the biological, habitat, and socio-economic needs of the Meramec Basin and its communities is no small task.  The Meramec Basin provides communities with jobs, homes, roads, building materials, clean water, healthy soils, forests, grasslands, food production, outdoor recreation, etc.  Future Meramec Basin communities depend upon the stewardship and collaborative actions we take today to ensure sustainable ecosystems/socio-economic systems exist to support those communities.

The Manager will cultivate new relationships with landowners, community groups, agency and funding/conservation partners that will facilitate a greater understanding of local landowners’ needs and more expedient potential for new conservation easements and other land protection projects in the Meramec River and its tributaries, with primary emphasis on the upper and middle regions of the river and secondary emphasis on the lower Meramec in a manner complementary to and supportive of our conservation partners working in the region. The Manager will utilize numerous resources to better understand and connect with landowners.  Resources include but are not limited to:

  • Landowner committees and existing protected landowner referrals;
  • Community groups (such as chambers, Rotaries, community foundations);
  • Agricultural groups and resources (such as University of Missouri Extension Service and Soil and Water Conservation Districts)
  • Real estate, financial and investment professionals;
  • Local, state and federal agencies associated with Meramec work, including, without limitation, Missouri Department of Conservation and Department of Natural Resources; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service.
  • Partners such as Open Space STL, The Nature Conservancy and other members of the Missouri Land Trust Coalition;
  • Existing coordination efforts such as the Resource Conservation Partnership Program in which OLT is a partner;
  • Meramec River Recreation Association; Big River Task Force; and any newly created structures to share information and collaborate on protection.

In addition to hiring the Outreach and Partnership Manager, the grant also includes the ability to add GIS consulting resources to support outreach, and training resources so that the successful applicant can receive professional education about land trusts and permanent protection through conservation easements and beyond.

The successful applicant will have substantial experience with agency, nonprofit or other outreach on behalf of conservation and the environment with a focus on land protection and restoration. The ability to work with all kinds of landowners, partner organizations, local community groups and others is essential. A working knowledge of Missouri natural resources is essential, and similar knowledge of the Meramec in particular is highly desirable. A four-year college degree is required for the position.

Candidate for this position should apply to: Larry Levin, Executive Director, Ozark Land Trust in an email to [email protected] with the subject line: Meramec Manager Position.

This is a home-based position but with travel across the Meramec region. Travel costs will be reimbursed pursuant to OLT policies. OLT utilizes both staff members’ vehicles and rental cars, depending on the situation. Participation in general OLT meetings, both virtual and in person, will be expected as part of the position.

Ozark Land Trust is the operating trade name of Ozark Regional Land Trust, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, that is incorporated in the State of Missouri and Arkansas. It is the policy of the Ozark Land Trust to provide equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, ethnicity, sex, age, disability, religion, national origin, sexual or affectional preference, or marital/civil union status.

To Apply

Applicants should submit a cover letter and a resume to: Larry Levin, Executive Director at [email protected] with the Subject Line: “Meramec Manager Position.”