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Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests

Land Protection Specialist

Overview

The non-profit Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests seeks a self-motivated individual for the position of Land Protection Specialist (Land Agent). The successful candidate will have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an appropriate field related to conservation or natural resources, experience in land conservation or a natural resources field, and functional knowledge of GIS mapping and GPS data collection. Ideally, candidates will have 1 to 2 years of experience with land transaction and grant writing.

This is a full-time position based at the Conservation Center in Concord, NH. The Land Protection Specialist (Land Agent) helps to initiate and implements land conservation activities throughout the state, often in partnership with other conservation groups and agencies. The Land Agent negotiates and manages Forest Society acquisitions, by gift or purchase, of conservation easements and fee interests from private landowners, governmental entities, and other conservation groups. S/he represents the organization in conservation partnerships or coalitions. Occasionally, the Land Agent will assist with the Forest Society’s sale or other transfers of real estate.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is a statewide land conservation organization with 10,000 members that was founded in 1901 to protect New Hampshire’s most important landscapes and promote wise use of its renewable natural resources. Today, the Forest Society owns 185 reservations in communities across the state, stewards more than 750 conservation easements and deed restrictions, and conducts ongoing programs in advocacy, land protection, sustainable forest management, and environmental education.

The Forest Society offers an excellent benefits package and a unique office environment in our award-winning, energy-efficient building overlooking the Merrimack River Conservation Area.

Position Summary

The Land Protection Specialist (Land Agent) helps to initiate and implements land conservation activities throughout the state, often in partnership with other conservation groups and agencies. The Land Agent negotiates and manages Forest Society acquisitions, by gift or purchase, of conservation easements and fee interests from private landowners, governmental entities, and other conservation groups. S/he represents the organization in conservation partnerships or coalitions. Occasionally, the Land Agent will assist with the Forest Society’s sale or other transfers of real estate.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Conduct real estate transactions across the state or within a defined service area:
  • Acquisition by gift or purchase of conservation easements, fee interests, rights-of-way, and other interests;
  • Occasional sales or other out conveyances of real estate interests;
  • Facilitation of acquisitions or out conveyances on behalf of partners.
  1. Conduct and/or coordinate all transactional steps through closing in accordance with prescribed checklists, procedures, and policies, including:
  • Identify and meet with landowners considering gifting or selling land and/or conservation easements;
  • Assess conservation attributes of land in the field and through regional conservation plans and the state wildlife action plan and/or other GIS mapping layers;
  • Screen project opportunities per the Forest Society’s acquisition and stewardship objectives;
  • Design transactional structure in consultation with other staff and/or legal counsel;
  • Prepare, update, and assume accountability for detailed project budgets;
  • Prepare and present potential projects to staff, committees, and the Board of Trustees;
  • Draft purchase & sale agreements, options, conservation easements, deeds, and other legal documents from templates, for review by legal counsel;
  • Conduct hazardous waste assessments and other due diligence steps;
  • Engage and oversee work by contractors, e.g. appraisers, surveyors, etc.; and
  • Coordinate closings.
  1. Generate revenue to cover project-specific acquisition and stewardship/management costs via:
  • Explanation of billing protocols to landowners and/or other funders;
  • Solicitation of landowners, Conservation Commissions, and/or others; and
  • Preparation of grant applications.
  1. Contribute to the identification of new sources of income to support the Forest Society's programs;
  1. Provide technical land conservation assistance and information to landowners, conservation commissions, natural resource professionals, attorneys, real estate brokers, accountants, and others, via activities such as workshops, seminars, field trips, written articles, etc.
  1. Represent the Forest Society on external committees and at external meetings, as appropriate;
  1. Develop and maintain cooperative working relationships and open lines of communication with landowners, colleagues, and the public. Communicate with others in a positive manner with respect for differing opinions and openness to new ideas.
  1. Collaborate with staff in other departments and/or serve on project-related teams, as appropriate;
  1. Participate in full staff, land protection staff, annual membership, and other regular meetings;
  1. Other related duties and tasks, as directed.

Contributions/Outcomes

The Land Protection Specialist is one of the principal persons responsible for accomplishing real estate transactions for the organization. The Specialist may work throughout the state or within a defined service area. Land projects should be completed within predefined budgets and be handled efficiently and accurately. The land acquisition process and documentation shall adhere to Forest Society and LTA accreditation standards.

Qualifications and Skills required

  • Bachelor’s or higher degree in forestry, natural resources, environmental sciences, or related field
  • Work experience in land conservation or a natural resources field
  • 1-2 years of experience in land transactions and grant writing preferred
  • Basic knowledge of natural history, ecology, and/or biology
  • Strong interpersonal skills, esp. in: connecting with strangers, cultivating relationships, diplomacy, oral and written communication with individuals and groups, and results-oriented negotiation
  • Attention to detail and ability to master technical information
  • Ability to work as team player and also independently with minimal supervision
  • Functional knowledge of GIS mapping and GPS data collection
  • Facility with the Microsoft Office suite of applications
  • Ability to navigate in the forest alone with map, GPS and/or compass, sometimes in remote locations
  • NH driver’s license, working vehicle, proof of insurance, and reliable vehicle
  • Familiarity with New Hampshire’s natural history and ecology preferred

Working Conditions

  • Meetings and site visits alone with landowners, sometimes in remote locations, anywhere in NH
  • Some work required nights and weekends
  • Office and position based at the Conservation Center in Concord, NH, in an environmentally sustainable office building within walking distance of wooded trails

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to hike safely and comfortably alone, off-trail, in remote, rugged terrain for up to a full day with full daypack

To Apply

Applications are due by Monday, June 25, 2018. The position has a desired start date of Monday, August 13. Please email a resume and cover letter (both in PDF format) to Connie Colton, Land Protection and Stewardship Coordinator, at ccolton@forestsociety.org. Please write “Land Protection Specialist Position” in the email subject line. The Forest Society is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.