Coastal Watershed Land Conservation Manager

Southeast Land Trust (SELT) of New Hampshire

Opening posted: 03/17/2023 | Expires: 04/14/2023

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The Coastal Watershed Land Conservation Manager (Manager) is a new, full-time position created to increase the rate of conservation within New Hampshire’s Coastal Watershed with a focus on strategic conservation of priority lands identified in the NH Coastal Watershed Conservation Plan (2021). As part of the broader Great Bay 2030 initiative, a multi-organizational effort to safeguard the water quality and ecology of the Great Bay estuary, the Manager supports the permanent protection of the Coastal Watershed’s high-value natural resources, including wildlife habitat, lands critical for ecological services, public drinking water resources and productive agricultural resources.

The Manager will work collaboratively with other nonprofit and agency members of the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership (GBRPP) to develop effective working relationships and conservation projects with private landowners, partner organizations, and government agencies/towns. The Manager proactively contacts landowners within priority areas of the Coastal Conservation Plan and as identified as priorities by the GBRPP, builds and maintains relationships with community partners, responds to land protection inquiries, and prepares local, state and federal grants and foundation proposals. The Manager negotiates land acquisition and conservation easement projects using a full range of conservation tools and coordinates the land acquisition process, grant administration, conservation easement drafting (as applicable), due diligence and closing of these projects, based on the needs and processes of the holder of the conservation interest. In addition to SELT, holders of the conservation interest that the Manager may manage projects on behalf of include, but is not limited to, the Society for the Protection of NH Forests, The Nature Conservancy, and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.

The Manager must have excellent communication skills, experience in and a passion for land conservation, a demonstrated ability to manage projects over an extended period of time, a commitment to developing practical solutions to conservation challenges, the ability to collaborate with different partners, the ability to work within a variety of land conservation procedures/protocols and the desire to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.

Full-time, exempt
Reports to:
Land Conservation Director

Land Conservation Responsibilities
1. Manages existing and new conservation transactions from start to finish, including coordination with the GBRPP, field evaluations, project assessments, coordination with partner to hold the legal interest, and landowner negotiations.
2. Develops effective working relationships with private landowners and negotiates gifts or purchases of land and conservation easements.
3. Responds to and conducts preliminary evaluations of potential conservation projects.
4. Contacts and cultivates targeted landowners within priority focus areas through mailings, phone calls, programs, and other means.
5. Establishes and manages project budgets.
6. Drafts conservation easements to meet requirements of landowner, funding partner, and easement holder.
7. Manages work and contracts for outside services with surveyors, appraisers, lawyers, and governmental officials.
8. Writes, manages, and administers grants for selected conservation projects from a variety of local, state, and federal funding programs, and private foundations.

Outreach and Community Relations Responsibilities
1. Attends meetings of Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership and other stakeholder groups.
2. As may be needed, represents SELT and the GBRPP at public meetings.
3. Work cooperatively with communities, government agencies, and other stakeholders to achieve shared goals.
4. Participate in or lead outreach events and field trips related to conservation projects.

General and Administrative Responsibilities
1. Maintain records consistent with SELT’s internal policies and practices, including LOCATE database to track land management infrastructure, activities, and tasks.
2. Participate in the review/updating of policies and procedures to ensure consistency with applicable Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices and requirements of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
3. Participate in organization-wide events (such as Film Festival, Annual Meeting, & TrailFest) and SELT committees as assigned.
4. Complete other tasks as may be assigned to support the organization’s mission.

Education and Experience Preferred
SELT seeks the best candidate for the job. Research has shown that people of color and women are less likely to apply for jobs if they don’t believe they meet every one of the qualifications described in a job description. We
encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of our described qualifications or have a less traditional background. We are looking for applicants with the following:

1. Bachelor’s degree and two years of experience, or Master’s degree in natural resources (wildlife, ecology, forestry, conservation biology, environmental/land use planning, land use law or related fields).
2. Minimum of five years’ experience negotiating and managing conservation easements, fee simple land acquisitions, other land conservation techniques, or similar real estate transactions.

Required Qualifications and Skills
1. Excellent written and verbal communication skills and careful attention to detail.
2. Flexibility in approach to problems and/or changing expectations
3. Ability to manage multiple projects that require different processes and requirements of collaborating partners.
4. Good judgment, independent initiative, sensitivity to situations, and a mature and friendly manner are critical.
5. Empathetic and observant listener able to work with a wide range of personalities and opinions to reach a common goal.
6. Ability to remain calm during difficult negotiations and to be patient but tenacious.
7. Committed to making things happen and demonstrated initiative.
8. Ability to interpret and understand legal documents, maps, survey plans, natural resource inventories, and other related materials.
9. Proficient with Microsoft Office suite
10. Familiarity using ArcGIS and related mapping tools

Working Conditions & Physical Demands
This position will be completed in both an office environment (The Mathey Center) and the outdoors. After a period of initial onboarding, this position is eligible for a hybrid remote/office work model. The work performed
in a normal office environment is not subject to extremes of noise, temperature, odor, etc. Operates a computer, printer, scanner and other office equipment. Work requires extended sitting and repetitive motion in the use of a computer, keyboard, and mouse at a height-adjustable desk. Fieldwork is performed outdoors in all weather conditions and may be physically demanding, including walking/hiking several miles over rugged terrain. Regular travel is required with occasional night meetings and weekend assignments.

Candidate must have a valid driver’s license, safe driving record, and a reliable personal vehicle for transportation to and from work, meetings, field visits and events.

Competitive salary commensurate with level of directly relevant experience with a starting salary range of $65,000 to $75,000. Competitive benefits package including health insurance plan, long-term and short-term disability insurance, employee match to 403(b)(7) retirement plan, and paid vacation, sick time, and holidays.

To Apply
We welcome all interested candidates. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and considered as received, with a final deadline of 5:00 pm on Friday, April 14, 2023. Please email a cover letter and resume (both in PDF format) to Duane Hyde, Land Conservation Director, at with “Coastal Watershed Manager” and your name in the subject line.

More About SELT
SELT protects and sustains the significant lands in our communities for clean water, outdoor recreation, fresh food, wildlife, and healthy forests. Founded in 1980, SELT has partnered with landowners and communities throughout our 52-town region to conserve more than 26,000 acres of land through conservation easements and fee ownerships. These lands include more than 10,000 acres owned by SELT with 60+ miles of woods roads and trails, all open for public recreation. SELT has active programs in land conservation, easement stewardship, land management, community outreach, and nature-based education. SELT is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

SELT’s offices are located at the beautiful, net-zero Nan and George Mathey Center for People and Nature, built in 2023 on Burley Farms in Epping, NH and within a complex of lands owned by SELT totaling 525+ acres along the Wild & Scenic Lamprey River. Staff have access to miles of trails for hiking, skiing, birdwatching, and more. The Mathey Center also features a locker room and showers to facilitate staff recreation and alternative transportation use. EV chargers are also onsite for staff use.

SELT is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment for our employees, volunteers, and members, and are actively engaged in ensuring our properties, activities, and events are welcoming and accessible to all.