Santa Fe Conservation Trust (SFCT) seeks a detail-oriented, creative, collaborative, and experienced professional to manage the acquisition of lands and conservation easements and to assist with the stewardship of those already in SFCT’s portfolio. The Conservation Specialist tasks include conservation easement and fee title negotiation and acquisition, budgeting and financial reporting, and project management consistent with SFCT’s policies and procedures. This full-time position will also work with a stewardship team to monitor, care for and maintain records on fee title lands and lands under conservation easement. The position will engage in landowner outreach, represent SFCT to key constituencies, and help identify funding sources and build collaborative partnerships. The Conservation Specialist will work directly with the Executive Director and Land Program Manager. The position reports to the Executive Director and is based in SFCT’s office in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Land Protection Project Identification, Development and Transaction Management (40%)
Work with the staff and board to implement SFCT’s Strategic Conservation Plan.
Implement SFCT’s conservation priorities through active outreach, relationship building, and responding to potential landowner inquiries.
Evaluate the conservation values of a project through SFCT’s project selection criteria. Determine conservation strategies for projects and prepare project summaries for staff and board review. Coordinate with local partners, governments and stakeholders to ensure project success.
In coordination with the Executive Director, Land Program Manager and legal counsel, lead all aspects of fee simple and conservation easement projects including contract negotiation and easement drafting. The candidate must be skilled in evaluating real estate appraisals, property surveys and legal descriptions, title work (and other due diligence documentation) and preparing Baseline Documentation Reports. Work includes managing project-related records in compliance with SFCT’s policies and Land Trust Alliance Standards & Practices.
Land Stewardship (35%)
Assist Land Program Manager in conservation easement monitoring and enforcement. Use Upstream Tech to conduct aerial monitoring of properties and prepare reports. Map monitoring visits and photo points using ARC GIS. Conduct on the ground monitoring as requested by the Land Program Manager. Prepare Baseline and Current Condition Reports for new and existing conservation easements as appropriate. Assist with Fee Title Management Plans and stewardship activities. Ensure a high standard in recordkeeping.
Outreach and Fundraising (20%)
Represent SFCT’s Land Program in stakeholder meetings and other forums; e.g., assist city and counties with land protection planning and implementation.
Write promotional materials related to conservation and stewardship work as needed for newsletters, social media posts, etc.
Assist in identifying funding sources as well as writing proposals and reports.
Work with the Executive Director to identify prospects, cultivate relationships and promote the work of SFCT with landowners and partners.
Work with E.D., board and staff to develop annual goals and work plans.
Other duties as requested by the E.D.
- Minimum bachelor’s degree, or equivalent professional training in natural resource management, conservation real estate and/or law – or at least four years of experience with a land trust
- Experience in conservation easement drafting, monitoring and enforcement
- Experience in ARC GIS, GPS and easement monitoring software for data collection and record-keeping
- A track record of negotiating and managing fee and conservation easement acquisitions
- Excellent communication and listening skills to engage potential and existing partners, including farmers, forest owners, agencies & communities (Spanish language skills a plus)
- Experience building long-term partnerships with stakeholders to develop successful projects
- Experience obtaining funds from public and private sources for land and conservation easement acquisitions, with fulfillment of funding requirements, including reporting
- Experience working effectively both unsupervised and with teams
- Strong commitment to personal accountability and upholding the highest ethical standards
- Ability to travel throughout northern New Mexico and occasionally within/outside of New Mexico. Some evening and weekend work is required
Benefits and Compensation
SFCT pays 75% of employee healthcare premium. SFCT pays 3% of employee salary into retirement fund. Generous vacation.
DOE. $40,000 to $55,000 plus benefits
About the Santa Fe Conservation Trust
The Santa Fe Conservation Trust partners with our community to keep northern New Mexico’s living lands and people flourishing together. We protect culturally and environmentally significant landscapes, ignite people’s passion for nature and enable the continual regeneration of our healthy place.
Founded in 1993, SFCT currently holds 95 donated conservation easements totaling 42,315 acres. SFCT also owns three properties totaling over 300 acres. While we will always be responsive to landowners who want to donate their development rights, this model is reactive and has created a patchwork of conservation easements in northern New Mexico. To be more proactive, inclusive and impactful in our conservation work, our Strategic Conservation Plan (SCP) focuses on areas with high conservation values throughout Santa Fe, San Miguel and Rio Arriba Counties where many of our existing conservation easements are clustered to work with surrounding landowners to create larger, “landscape” sized conservation areas. The connectivity proposed in the SCP will increase open lands for better carbon stewardship for climate change, will protect/expand/connect migration corridors to lessen habitat fragmentation (the biggest threat to biodiversity), and create more recreational opportunities to provide greater conservation benefits to the public. Pursuing connectivity requires us to expand our business model to include purchasing all or part of a landowner’s development rights and/or covering the upfront costs of conservation easements for landowners who cannot afford it, or buying important conservation properties. This will make our services more equitable and inclusive, helping landowners who might be struggling to retain their lands and pay property taxes.
In addition to our conservation work, SFCT also helped create over 75-miles of trails in Santa Fe County and coordinates volunteers to maintain 50-miles of trails for the City of Santa Fe. Our community conservation programs are designed to connect people to nature to inspire the next generation of conservationists and to ensure equitable access for everyone in our community to the benefits of being in nature. SFCT community programs annually serve all who use Santa Fe’s trails (tens of thousands), 500 kids and up to 500 urban walkers. Hundreds of volunteers help maintain SF’s dirt trails, providing safe access to these resources. Field trips target south-side schools to introduce underserved kids/families to trail resources. Urban walks on the ADA accessible City trails target elders, the infirm, and people who might be afraid to walk alone.
See sfct.org for more information.
HOW TO APPLY
Send cover letter and resume to
or mail to
PO Box 23985
Santa Fe, NM 87502
No phone calls, please.