Riparian Rangeland Specialist

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)
Belle Fourche, SD, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Junior (3-4 Years)
Degree Required: 
Bachelor's (Or Equivalent)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


The Nature Conservancy seeks a Riparian Rangeland Specialist to advance riparian health and sustainable grazing programs in western SD. Riparian areas provide important habitat for over 80% of the species on the prairie, and for ranchers whose livelihoods depend on them to produce forage and water. The ecological function of many of these systems across western SD are impaired or challenged  This position will develop, manage and advance conservation programs, plans and methods around riparian health across western SD. The position will be based in Belle Fourche, SD with frequent local travel. This is a full-time position with competitive salary and excellent benefits. Funding is in place for 3 years.

The Riparian Rangeland Specialist (RRS) will work closely with researchers, public and private land managers to implement, test and demonstrate the effectiveness of low-cost, low-tech riparian restoration practices in western SD; these practices include but are not limited to beaver dam analogs (BDAs) and zeedyk structures. The RRS will coordinate with partners and researchers to monitor these practices and build evidence regarding the costs and benefits that they provide.  The position will work to increase community awareness of the value of riparian systems and work with land managers on restoration and management options available.  The RRS will host a variety of field tours, workshops, trainings, and conduct landowner outreach across western SD. This educational outreach will focus on low-cost, low-tech riparian restoration practices, benefits derived, and overall best management practices that improve or sustain riparian health. The RRS will work with partners, ranchers and land managers to incorporate riparian health practices into ranch management plans and will coordinate with and help inform The Nature Conservancy’s North American Sustainable Grazing strategy. The RRS will coordinate collaborative watershed-scale efforts across multiple ownerships and will design, plan and implement multiple projects, set deadlines and manage completion.  This position requires a valid driver’s license, a good driving record and the ability to work some evenings and weekends. This is a full-time regular position with benefits including health and dental insurance, paid time off, flexible schedules and more.


  • Performs tasks with minimal supervision and makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience and context.
  • Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.
  • Will need to gain cooperation from outside parties to accomplish program goals.
  • Financial responsibility may include working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating and contracting with vendors, assisting with budget development.
  • Coordinates multiple projects with several variables, setting realistic deadlines and managing timeframes.
  • Interprets guidelines, evaluates information and modifies processes to adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Compiles data, resolves disparities, and modifies processes to generate watershed and site-specific plans.
  • Cultivates and develops creative ideas to improve conservation strategies.
  • Applies diversified knowledge of scientific principles and practices to a variety of assignments.
  • Identifies and disseminates lessons learned, best practices and methods, tools, consistencies and inconsistences across plans.
  • Networks with diverse groups, including land owners, conservation partners, government officials, and the general public to recruit support for the Conservancy and riparian health efforts.
  • Provide a variety of information to staff and others, contributing to conservation projects and assisting workflow throughout the organization.
  • Work and communicate effectively with a diverse group of people including scientists, ranchers and land managers, staff and others – providing and obtaining needed information.
  • Identifies necessary management practices such as prescribed grazing that can accelerate and ensure the success of restoration efforts.


  • Bachelor’s degree and 3 years’ experience in natural resource management or similar field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience building relationships with a variety of partners, i.e., landowners, Conservancy staff and federal, state and local agency partners.
  • Experience completing tasks independently while meeting deadlines.
  • Experience with communication via written, spoken and other means in English.
  • Experience using common software applications such as Word, Excel, web browsers, etc.
  • Experience in training.                


  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Education or experience working with the principles of range management and/or hydrology/geomorphology.
  • Experience managing restoration, enhancement and/or protection projects of soil and water resources.
  • Experience with site level and landscape scale conservation planning.
  • Experience with ArcMap software for basic GIS analysis and map production.
  • Experience with public and private proposal writing and fundraising.
  • Experience explaining the principles of science and practices to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Experience with Federal, State and Local water resource agency policy practices, programs and funding mechanisms.
  • Experience managing staff or volunteers.


This position requires a valid driver's license and compliance with the Conservancy's Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered "high risk drivers." Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee's motor vehicle record.


To apply to position number 47885, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 30, 2019.

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