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Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (NH)

Conservation Easement Steward (full time)

Conservation Easement Steward

Position Announcement: Conservation Easement Steward

The non-profit Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests seeks a self-motivated individual for the position of Conservation Easement Steward. The successful candidate will have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in an appropriate field related to conservation or natural resources, 1 to 2 years’ experience in land conservation or a natural resources field, and functional knowledge of GIS mapping and GPS data collection.

This is a full time position based at the Conservation Center in Concord, NH.  The Conservation Easement Steward is responsible for ensuring that the Forest Society fulfills its perpetual stewardship responsibilities for over 750 conservation easements and deed restrictions covering more than 130,000 acres.  The Conservation Easement Steward works directly with owners of protected lands and other Forest Society staff to ensure compliance with easement terms, cultivate cooperative relationships with landowners, and resolve potential compliance issues.     

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.    

Benefits & Compensation

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. The position is nonexempt, full-time and regular. The starting salary is $36,500.

Position Summary

The Conservation Easement Steward is primarily responsible for ensuring that the Forest Society fulfills its perpetual stewardship responsibilities for over 750 conservation easements and deed restrictions covering more than 130,000 acres. The Conservation Easement Steward works directly with owners of protected lands and a small team of Forest Society staff to ensure compliance with easement terms, cultivate supportive cooperative relationships with landowners, and resolve potential compliance issues. This position is based at the Conservation Center in Concord, NH.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Easement and Deed Restriction Monitoring
    • Perform ground monitoring visits, including meeting with landowners and walking properties, to ensure compliance with easement terms and restrictions.
    • Meet annual monitoring obligations by reviewing and analyzing aerial imagery of conservation easements and deed restricted properties.
    • Communicate with grantee land trusts and communities where the Forest Society holds an executory interest behind them or vice versa.
  2. Landowner Guidance
    • Communicate with landowners, foresters, and land managers and provide guidance on management activities.
    • Initiate and respond in a timely manner to landowner inquiries, including requests for reserved rights, withdrawals, subdivisions, and interpretation of deeds.
    • Provide landowners with information on foresters, natural resource professionals, and others who can assist with making sound land management decisions.
  3. Compliance and Enforcement
    • Resolve potential and actual violations and disagreements with landowners effectively and efficiently.
    • Follow established procedures in addressing potential violations, including assessing the situation and recommending courses of action to other staff.
    • Discuss potential amendments with landowners and Forest Society staff.
  4. Information Management and Administrative
    • Update baseline documentation reports as needed.
    • Record and manage information promptly, accurately, and consistent with documented procedures and Land Trust Accreditation standards.
    • Work effectively with the stewardship database to document activities and communications.
    • Work effectively with GIS mapping program in support of program activities.
    • Work with and supervise easement stewardship volunteer(s) or intern(s).
    • Other duties as required, including administrative tasks that are shared by all within the department.
  5. Communication and Conduct
    • 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.
    • Work independently and follow through on commitments with minimal supervision.
    • Prioritize tasks to complete work in a timely and accurate manner.
    • Take initiative to solve problems and identify potentially more efficient methods of operation.

Contributions/Outcomes

  • Meet the Forest Society’s easement and deed restriction monitoring obligations.
  • Cultivate and reinforce positive relationships with landowners, colleagues and others.
  • Ensure compliance with easement terms and deed restrictions by landowners and resolve potential and actual easement violations efficiently and effectively.
  • Record all critical communications and transactions in accordance with Forest Society procedures and Land Trust Accreditation standards.

Qualifications and Skills Required

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in appropriate field related to conservation or natural resources and 1 to 2 year’s experience in land conservation or natural resources field.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and attention to detail.
  • Self-motivated, willing to accept a challenge, and able to handle multiple priorities.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with people of various backgrounds and interests.
  • 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 and compass, sometimes in remote locations.
  • Valid driver’s license, proof of insurance, and access to a reliable vehicle.
  • Familiarity with New Hampshire’s natural history and ecology preferred.

Working Conditions

The position includes a combination of office work, field work, and travel. Field work may be in inclement weather on occasion. Possible tele-commuting on a limited basis. Environmentally sustainable office building within walking distance of wooded trails. 

Physical Requirements:

Ability to move over rough terrain for extended distances and to navigate alone in remote areas.  Ability to drive a car.

Direct Reports

Possible supervision of intern(s) or volunteer(s). Reports to Sr. Director of Easement Stewardship & Counsel   

To Apply

Applications are due Wednesday, May 29th, 2019.  The position has a desired start date of Monday, July 15th.  Please email a resume and cover letter (both in PDF format) to Reagan Bissonnette, Senior Director of Easement Stewardship & Counsel, at rbissonnette@forestsociety.org.  Please write “Conservation Easement Steward Position” in the email subject line. The Forest Society is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.