Now Hiring: Full-Time Conservation Specialist

OLT is Hiring a Conservation Specialist

Ozark Regional Land Trust (dba Ozark Land Trust or OLT) is seeking a Conservation Specialist.

Conservation Specialist Salary & Job Description

This position is a full-time, salaried, remote position located and with travel within or proximate to the Ozark region.

The Conservation Specialist will primarily report to the Conservation Programs Manager with some cross-reporting to other team members. The position will pay in the $40,000-$47,000 range, dependent on experience and skills.

OLT is a nonprofit land trust, a type of conservation organization that protects and restores private and public lands and water for conservation, agricultural, open space, natural, cultural and/or community values. OLT operates throughout the Ozark region, primarily in Arkansas and Missouri, and currently permanently protect over 31,000 acres of forests, farms, ranches, open space, community spaces, watersheds and more.

OLT has been in continuous operation since 1984. OLT is a nationally accredited land trust, meeting rigorous standards and practices to determine compliance with performance expectations in a number of areas, including conservation transactions, governance, and finance.

OLT’s conservation work generally falls into three categories:

  • Protect and manage lands, which have typically been acquired by donation (about 20% of OLT’s protected properties). OLT manages these lands for natural resource value, climate resilience, and several are open to the public.
  • Acquire and steward conservation easements, which are voluntary and perpetual restrictions landowners agree to place on their land. These lands comprise about 80% of OLT’s protected properties. Landowners retain ownership and continue to utilize such lands for a variety of work, home, and recreational purposes but land development is largely prohibited. OLT visits and monitors these lands on an annual basis and has frequent communication with the landowners.
  • Restoration of lands, which OLT works on with various agency and nonprofit partners to protect critical waterways from erosion, waste, and climate degradation.

This position will engage in OLT’s conservation work in a variety of ways. About half of the work will be devoted to OLT’s conservation efforts in the Meramec River watersheds. OLT and its partners perform substantial conservation work in these areas, and in the Huzzah Creek watershed in particular.

OLT holds seven conservation easements comprising over 1,000 acres of easements on lands in this area essential to farming, ranching and recreational activities in Missouri. Stewardship of these easements, landowner relations, assisting in new easements and working with partners on restoration efforts comprise a significant portion of this work.

The other half of the work will comprise similar conservation activities in the remainder of the Ozark region.

Conservation Experience & Education

OLT is seeking a candidate with 2-5 years of experience in the conservation sector. Previous land trust work is a plus, but other kinds of work in conservation may be suitable to the position as well. Examples include a background and/or education in natural resources or science; land protection and restoration; and mapping/planning, with knowledge of and practice in GIS. An undergraduate degree is highly recommended for this position.

Useful skills and experience include, but are not limited to:

  • Using and managing GIS software and associated databases
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Using handheld GPS devices
  • Reading, mapping and interpreting surveys and real property legal descriptions
  • Real estate knowledge
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills

Among the tasks the position will assume include, without limitation:

  • Stewardship of OLT and easement lands, including monitoring of property condition; relations with landowners; identification of violations of easements; and compliance with management plans on OLT-owned properties; and entering reports/data in our dedicated stewardship application.
  • Assistance in new conservation transactions, including site visits; preparation of baseline documentation for conservation easements; and other due diligence relative to such transactions.
  • Assistance in managing OLT’s participation in restoration projects on easement and owned lands.
  • Learning the elements of conservation easement transactions with the intent of having project management duties for new easement transactions in the future.
  • Cultivating relationships with prospective landowner partners and building relationships with agency, nonprofit, and other land trust partners.

Conservation Specialist Job Location & Travel Requirements

This position would be a virtual, home-based position but the employee is subject to significant travel for conservation-related work. Travel is likely to comprise of 1-2 day trips.

About a quarter of the work may require travel, but that work will vary seasonally and in consultation with the Conservation Program Manager. The Conservation Specialist should live in, or be willing to relocate to, the central to northern portion of OLT’s service area. This requirement can be phased in over time.

Office equipment and materials are provided as needed. While OLT provides rental cars for much of its travel, there may be a need for use of a personal vehicle from time to time.

Job Requirements, Policies, & How To Apply

Lifting of items may be a requirement for this position, as it may require carrying equipment or marketing materials to and from meetings and events.

It is the policy of the Ozark Regional 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 for this position, please email a cover letter and resume to Larry Levin, Executive Director, at larry.levin@ozarklandtrust.org, with the Subject line “Conservation Specialist”.

You may also email Larry under the same subject line with questions about the position. For more information about OLT, visit ozarklandtrust.org or our Facebook page.

For more information about land trusts, visit landtrustalliance.org or missourilandtrusts.org.

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