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E-M:/ Land Protection Specialist position open


POSITION AVAILABLE                                                                       

Land Protection Specialist

The Land Conservancy of West Michigan

Posted June 2007


Position Summary

The Land Conservancy of West Michigan seeks an outgoing, dynamic and self-motivated Land Protection Specialist to support the Land Conservancy’s mission of protecting important natural land in central West Michigan.  Lands that are a priority for conservation include the magnificent freshwater dune ecosystem along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Great Lakes marshes, numerous stream and river corridors, oak savannas, and lands that add to publicly-owned parks and trails. 


The Land Protection Specialist will work with landowners and local communities to identify, evaluate, and negotiate voluntary land protection strategies and manage easement and land acquisition projects.  This is a full-time position.


The Land Conservancy, a 30 year-old, member-based nonprofit, is central West Michigan’s regional land trust.  The Land Conservancy works with individuals and communities to meet its mission of “keeping nature nearby” through the permanent protection of natural and scenic lands in eight counties in West Michigan (northern half Allegan, Ottawa, Kent, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, and the southern halves of Mason and Lake).  The office is located in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  (For more information about the Land Conservancy, please visit: www.naturenearby.org)


Duties and Responsibilities:

The Land Protection Specialist will work with the Land Protection Director and the Land Protection Committee of the Board of Directors to develop proactive conservation strategies in priority areas and to respond to landowners seeking conservation assistance.  The following responsibilities are included in this job:

·                    Work with LCWM staff, volunteers, project partners, and contract employees to help identify, evaluate and prioritize properties for their conservation values and protection opportunities.

·                    Work with landowners to determine appropriate conservation solutions, negotiate conservation easements and other property acquisitions.  Preliminarily review legal documentation, and prepare office files and secure documentation for projects.

·                    For potential projects, identify appropriate conservation solutions and present an evaluation of land protection options to the Land Protection Committee. 

·                    Develop and implement landowner outreach efforts including workshops, direct mail, individual meetings, and other promotional work in local communities.

·                    With other staff assistance, produce informational articles, newsletters, fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations, and other educational materials for landowners.

·                    Maintain database and track landowner contacts.

·                    Consult and work with Land Conservancy members, community organizations, scientists, local government officials and other experts to ensure the success of land protection programs and to build outreach capacity.

·                    Identify and pursue potential funding sources for land and easement acquisition.


Necessary Qualifications & Skills:

·                    Minimum of three years of experience in land conservation techniques and property negotiation, including conservation easements and fee simple acquisitions.  Previous land trust experience preferred.

·        College degree required, graduate degree preferred with knowledge/experience in real estate, land use laws, and natural sciences or natural resource management.

·        Exceptional interpersonal, written, oral, presentation and negotiation skills.  Ability to communicate and work effectively with a variety of people including members, landowners, attorneys, realtors, local government officials and representatives of partner organizations and agencies.  Public speaking experience preferred.

·        Self-motivated and self-directed, capable of independent work as well as with others. High attention to details, with accuracy and organizing skills.

·        Outstanding planning and administration skills; ability to initiate, prioritize, and manage multiple and sometimes complex projects.

·        Competent computer skills using MS Word Office, including PowerPoint. Understanding of basic geographic information system and mapping programs preferred.

·        Ability to use maps, compass or geographic positioning system to locate and describe property.

·        Grant writing and grant management experience.

·        Reliable transportation.

·        Willingness to participate in evening and weekend events and meetings.

·        Commitment to the Land Conservancy’s mission.


Compensation and Application Procedures:


Full-time position, salary commensurate with experience; benefits available including major medical.  Some evening and weekend work will be required. Send cover letter, resume and three (3) references to Julie Stoneman, Executive Director, Land Conservancy of West Michigan, 1345 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 324, Grand Rapids, MI  49505.  Position is open until filled.



The Land Conservancy of West Michigan provides equal employment opportunities to all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex or age, or other status protected by law.  Employees are selected based on ability or assessed potential to meet the specific job requirements as stated in the job description as well as the needs of the Land Conservancy of West Michigan.