Land & Water Protection Manager

Tucson, AZ, United States 🇺🇸

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in 69 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit to learn more.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.


The Land and Water Protection Manager works with the Director of Land and Water Protection to implement a comprehensive program in Arizona to protect natural areas and habitat for rare and endangered plants, animals and natural communities using the full range of protection tools, including gift, easement, purchase, lease registry, conservation brokerage and cooperative projects with federal, state, and local government, conservation organizations and other partners as appropriate.


The Land and Water Protection Manager is responsible for implementing and achieving the Conservancy’s conservation priorities by initiating and completing real estate transactions in priority areas across Southern Arizona, with a focus on transfers to conservation partners. The Protection Manager represents the Conservancy in relationships and negotiations with land owners, government agencies, public and private funders, land trust partners and community-based organizations. S/he assists in securing public and private funds for land protection and in creatively structuring individual transactions. The Protection Manager acquires and maintains local market knowledge of real estate transactions; conducts ongoing research of land ownership information for tracts identified as potential acquisition projects; explores potential projects by contacting owners, nonprofit organizations and public agency officials; and prepares project packages for internal approval.


  • Geographic size and scope is Southern Arizona.
  • Negotiates complex multi-party real estate transactions, which can bind the Conservancy legally and financially.
  • Assumes primary responsibility for documenting and closing real estate transactions, with the assistance of legal and finance staff. Under general supervision of the staff attorney, uses templates to draft legal documents related to property acquisitions (may include legal correspondence, real estate documents, business and financial documents).
  • Communicates with all internal and external partners throughout the transaction process, ranging from land owners, public and private funders, finance and legal teams, and consultants.
  • Develops funding proposals and collaborates with Conservancy staff and external partners to secure funding. Assumes primary responsibility for managing project fund sources (budgeting, contracting, reporting).
  • Manages the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program, including contract management with Fort Huachuca and transaction negotiation with land owners in the ACUB program area.
  • Collaborates with Director of Protection, Chapter leadership and conservation staff to periodically evaluate and revise land and water protection priorities in alignment with Chapter and Global conservation goals.
  • Collaborates with Director and Preserve/community-based Program Managers to develop public-private partnerships for TNC property management or transfer that will leverage landscape-scale conservation.
  • Advises on legal aspects of property and water rights transfers, agricultural and residential leases, and management agreements.
  • Conducts annual Conservation Easement and Fee Land (Conservancy-owned property) monitoring and reporting and semi-annual Trade Lands monitoring and reporting.
  • Responds to land protection inquiries and opportunities. May recruit and supervise staff and interns as needed or as funding is available; responsible for performance management, training, and development.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently and on short notice, sometimes on weekends. May require working extended and/or varied work hours.


  • Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree and 3 or more years of work experience in natural resources management, community relations, real estate, land use planning, and/or project management; or equivalent combination of education or experience.
  • Successful experience in developing, directing and managing multiple projects and timelines.
  • Experience negotiating complex agreements.
  • Politically savvy and experienced in developing partnerships (partners, community, government).
  • Knowledge of current trends and strategies in conservation and land protection.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet deadlines, with flexibility due to shifting priorities and changing circumstances.
  • Experience working with computers.
  • Valid Driver’s License required.


  • At least 5-7 years of related work experience in conservation, real estate, fundraising or other related experience. Equivalent combination of education and experience is acceptable.
  • Graduate degree in natural resources, law, or business
  • Excellent relationship building skills and experience working on diverse teams, with internal and external partners, to coordinate resources and achieve goals.
  • Successful experience with grant writing, securing funding, and managing project fund sources (budgeting, contracting, reporting); experience with use of federal conservation funding for land protection is preferred.
  • Experience in successfully negotiating and conducting real estate transactions
  • Thorough knowledge of land protection tools including conservation easements, fee-title acquisitions, donations, deed restrictions, facilitated land purchases; and also a working knowledge of land leases, conservation easement monitoring, and conservation easement violation resolution.
  • Familiarity with western real estate and water law (experience in Arizona law preferred)
  • Familiarity with Arizona natural history and conservation issues
  • Proven organizational skills.


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 on the How to Apply page 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 44816, 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 November 28, 2016.

Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration.

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The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of *The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.*

Job Title: Land & Water Protection Manager – Southern Arizona

Location: Arizona

Job ID: 44816

Regular/Temporary: Regular

Full/Part Time: Full-Time