Local recruitment: San Luis Valley Conservation Project Manager (Groundwater focus)

Colorado Open Lands

Alamosa, CO, USA 🇺🇸

Colorado Open Lands is hiring the following position:

San Luis Valley Conservation Project Manager – Groundwater focus

Position Summary: As a member of the conservation team, the San Luis Valley Conservation Project Manager is based in COL’s Alamosa office and reports to the Director of Conservation. Primary responsibilities include maintaining strong community relations, drafting conservation easements, performing project due diligence, complying with record-keeping standards, budgeting and grant management. A core component of this position will be working with the Rio Grande Water Conservation District to support aquifer sustainability.  This work is the first of its kind and is supported through a federal Regional Conservation Partnership Program award, together with funding through the Colorado Water Plan.

The work of this position is focused on the development of groundwater-focused easements and other community-driven projects that support the resources, heritage, and recreation opportunities of the San Luis Valley.  COL has a robust community conservation presence and a broad spectrum of partners to ensure that our work is aligned with local priorities. While groundwater conservation easements will be a critical focus of this position, the position will also work on traditional conservation easements in the San Luis Valley and will be officed with another Project Manager, with whom workload will be collaboratively determined.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
– Represent Colorado Open Lands in the San Luis Valley as a primary point of contact for landowner or partner inquiries. Attend regular meetings of community and landowner organizations, such as the Rio Grande Basin Roundtable.
– Conduct targeted outreach and explore and implement groundwater conservation easements with landowners in coordination with the Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust, Rio Grande Water Conservation District and Subdistricts, San Luis Valley Conservation District, and Conejos Water Conservancy District.
– Manage the Regional Conservation Partnership Program funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, together with other funding as available and applicable.
– Manage all aspects of conservation easement acquisition, including but not limited to landowner correspondence and easement drafting, due diligence review, and closing.
– Coordinate correspondence with project partners/contractors, including appraisers, baseline preparers, attorneys, tax credit brokers, and funders.
– Prepare and negotiate conservation documents (e.g., purchase/option agreements, agricultural conservation easements, subordination agreements, title documents, closing instructions, invoices, etc.) in collaboration with the Director of Conservation and outside legal counsel.
– Develop project budgets and fundraise as needed, in coordination and collaboration with the Director of Conservation.
– Build cooperative, effective working relationships with partner agencies, landowners, funding agencies and foundations, local government, conservationists, policy makers, and planners.

Minimum Qualifications:
– Bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, pre-law, land-use planning, geography, social sciences, business, or related fields.
– A minimum of two years’ experience and a working understanding of the mechanics of voluntary land protection techniques, including conservation easements and fee-simple acquisitions, related tax issues, and availability of funding sources.
– A love of land, a respect for community, and an eagerness to learn.
– Ability to build key relationships.
– Strong organizational and critical thinking skills.
– Proven track record in clear communication, both written and verbal.
– The ability to complete assigned projects within deadline and established budget.

Preferred Qualifications:
– Previous experience with conservation easement transactions funded by NRCS OR specific personal or professional knowledge of the communities and issues in this landscape.
– Previous real estate, negotiating, and land trust experience.
– Experience with Western water rights transactions (ability to understand decrees, ditch systems, etc.).
– Project fundraising skills, including grant writing.
– Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Location Requirements:
– This position is based in our San Luis Valley office, and the successful candidate will be expected to live within reasonable driving distance.  Expect travel within the San Luis Valley approximately 2-3 times a week, along with occasional evening and weekend meetings. A fleet vehicle is provided to be shared with other employees based in that office.
– There will be occasional travel out of the SLV that requires overnight stays.

Compensation and Benefits:
– This position is a permanent, full-time (40 hours/week) position.
– Start date is flexible, ideally on or before August 1, 2022
– The salary range is $50,000-$70,000 commensurate with skills and experience.
– Colorado Open Lands offers a competitive compensation package, including 401k plan with match, health insurance (medical, dental, vision, and HSA), life and disability insurance, paid time off (sick leave, vacation, and holidays) and a collaborative, flexible work environment.

Application Instructions:
– Please send a résumé and cover letter to Sarah Parmar, Director of Land Conservation, at [email protected]. Please note where you saw the job posting.
– Position open until filled.

EEO Statement:
Colorado Open Lands provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, or other protected status. For information about Colorado Open Lands, please visit our website at www.coloradoopenlands.org.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development