Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2020

Athens Land Trust

Athens, GA, USA
Full Time
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Conservation Director

Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2020
 Full Time
 Natural Resource Management
 Other
 Large scale
 Agronomy & services

Position Description

Athens Land Trust conserves, empowers and sustains communities through responsible and visionary land use. Athens Land Trust (ALT) was founded in 1994 by Skipper Stipe Maas and Nancy Stangle. At the time, the two women were involved in the development of the Kenney Ridge community, a single-family neighborhood located on 139 acres on Tallassee Road in Athens-Clarke County.

In the course of that project, StipeMaas and Stangle discovered an apparent conflict between their two goals: to protect open spaces, and to keep the housing lots affordable. Believing that both problems required an integrated solution, ALT’s founders created one of the few organizations in the country that is both a conservation and community land trust. In collaboration with the Athens community, we approach sustainable development with a look toward addressing environmental, economic, and community needs. We aim to combine the tools of conservation land trusts with those of community land trusts to create healthy neighborhoods across Athens and the state of Georgia.

Athens Land Trust is recruiting a dynamic Conservation Director who is willing to continue to grow our complex and conservation program. The following outlines some of the the details of who we are looking for: 

About the Role:

The Conservation Director represents and leads Athens Land Trust’s conservation strategy. They oversee all aspects of outreach, land protection, stewardship, farmer support, and external relations, implementing strategic plans and policies approved by the Board of Directors. Leading the team on overall programmatic priorities the Conservation Director also motivates the team to meet strategic outputs and ultimately outcomes. The Director is adept at navigating and negotiating complex relationships, which result in addressing social justice in the context of conservation in Georgia.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Be a statewide leader in conservation and agriculture, particularly regarding tools to achieve healthy communities and farmland protection in Georgia, including farmer technical support, farmland access, and implementing NRCS programming through RCPP, ALE, and outreach program agreements.
  • Work with ALT staff to successfully facilitate new easement projects, transfer acquired lands to appropriate partners, steward protected properties, and advocate for effective conservation policies. Negotiate complex and innovative acquisitions and other conservation solutions with landowners and government agencies.
  • Use farmland access and farmer support tools to break down historic financial and land ownership barriers which have prevented underserved groups in Georgia from fair access to land and resources. Locate and develop sources of funding for conservation projects, especially funding to support Black land ownership and tenure across Georgia.
  • Implement the strategic direction and conservation priorities to position the organization as a major conservation and social justice partner in the state. Includes development and implementation of government relations, speaking at events and meetings, presenting at conferences, participating in working groups at the local, regional and state levels, building partnerships, developing funding strategies, and developing and implementing an annual work plan in support of the conservation program.
  • Maintain and grow the organization’s network of partners and allies, forming coalitions to support creative social justice and environmental solutions.
  • Manage project deliverables and budgets related to grant funding, including reporting and budgeting for numerous funding streams. This requires managing multiple complex grants including government grants, while keeping abreast of multiple ongoing conservation easement projects.
  • Support the organization to identify and recruit future members of the Conservation Committee and Board of Directors.
  • Establish policies and procedures in compliance with Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Standards.
  • Support and foster success of conservation program staff to ensure a safe and fair environment that encourages collaboration, new ideas, and provides a respectful and supportive workspace.
  • Manage relationships with staff, interns, volunteers, landowners, clients and consultants to execute the projects and initiatives of the Conservation Program.

Additional Requirements Applicable To All ALT Employees:

  • Maintain regular in-office hours to answer email and phone inquiries, contribute to emerging projects, and coordinate with fellow staff, etc. 
  • Contribute to newsletters, monthly and annual reports, brochures and other educational materials as related to program(s) of primary responsibility as well as overall organization
  • Assist with fundraising (including, but not limited to, grant applications, special events, and meeting with potential donors)
  • Attend weekly staff meetings and prepare detailed timesheets
  • Be part of a team—provide support for all staff members in their respective duties

Qualifications:

  • The Conservation Director is an individual with high ethical standards, excellent strategic planning skills, and the ability to connect with people from all walks of life. They actively seek opportunities to build relationships with new partners and give public talks, and have a track record of engaging diverse groups—public, private, and nonprofit—in delivering on-the-ground conservation results. They have the ability to focus in on details and simultaneously see the 30,000-foot view, and can clearly communicate the importance of both. They have successfully negotiated complex transactions, including securing public and private funding.
  • A background of achieving social justice in the context of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, Planning, or a related field is preferred. They have a demonstrated ability to successfully prioritize and execute multiple projects with varying timelines and degrees of difficulty. They are comfortable with a fast-paced environment and adjusting on the fly to accommodate emerging projects and needs. Superb communication (verbal, written and visual) and time management skills are essential to success in this role. They have a strong history of working as a member of a team, effectively collaborating with outside partners as well as colleagues. 

Find more information about Athens Land Trust at: https://athenslandtrust.org/about/  Interested candidates should email their resume and cover letter to Athens Land Trust Operations Director, Daun Fest (daun@athenslandtrust.org).

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