Position Summary: Reporting to the Conservation Director, the Pueblo-based Community Conservation Manager will advance conservation, agricultural, and community-building projects that are of local, state, and national importance. Primary objectives are based in our strategic plan and focus on enhancing outdoor recreation, maintaining robust working farms and ranches, and protecting inspiring scenic vistas. This position will bring conservation, community-building, and project development expertise to the organization’s agricultural land conservation projects in Pueblo County, as well as throughout the Colorado’s Lower Arkansas Valley.
The position is the result of a multi-year effort to conserve a critical mass of farmland in target farming communities in the lower Arkansas Valley. Palmer’s core efforts are currently focused on the communities of Pueblo County, including Pueblo, St. Charles Mesa, Vineland, and Avondale. In the wake of the municipal acquisition of one-third of the water on the Bessemer Ditch, the Bessemer Farmland Conservation Project seeks to maintain a critical mass of productive agricultural lands while still providing for Pueblo’s municipal water needs. Palmer’s approach is a multi-faceted, community-based solution reliant upon voluntary methods of water and land conservation. Conservation easements, water exchanges, and other land protection methods will be utilized with interested landowners to continue the effort to conserve important irrigated farmland in the region. Land protection in the area will ensure water remains on the land, but is flexible enough to allow for transfer mechanisms that support municipal and agricultural sharing.
The Community Conservation Manager will serve as the face of Palmer Land Trust in the Pueblo community and will be the first employee based in the organization’s soon-to-be-opened Pueblo office. The position will support the Conservation Director in advancing all aspects the Bessemer Project, while also proactively building Palmer’s local presence in Pueblo County.
Overview: The Community Conservation Manager serves as a representative to conservation stakeholders in Palmer’s service territory of Pueblo County and the Lower Arkansas Valley. Based out of the Pueblo office, the Community Conservation Manager’s primary responsibilities will include: growing community partnerships; conducting outreach with local leaders; increasing awareness through media coverage and storytelling of local food; being a local point of contact for farmers; and providing support for aspects of the project including due diligence, conservation easement transactions, and water exchanges. At the core of the position is managing relationships with a wide array of landowners, conservation partners, and community stakeholders. The position will be responsible for managing multiple outreach and community development aspects of the Bessemer Farmland Conservation Project and expanding and deepening Palmer’s presence in the community of Pueblo.
• Bachelor’s degree in field relevant to land and water conservation.
• 3 years successful, related work experience.
• Ability to manage several diverse projects simultaneously; establish priorities and meet deadlines; independently pursue organization objectives and solutions to complex problems.
• Highly organized and efficient; hard-working with superb attention to detail and nuance; a good aptitude for due diligence and compliance matters.
• Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with an ability to convey complex information clearly.
• A critical thinker, self-directed, strongly motivated.
• Passion for natural resource conservation—especially the conservation of working agricultural lands—and a commitment to developing strong working relationships with farmers, landowners, business leaders, government officials, and other partners.
• Master’s degree and minimum of 5 years strong conservation experience, including conservation easement and conservation project development experience.
• Deep understanding of agriculture and the agricultural community of Pueblo County.
• Measurable past successes building community-based programs that encompass a wide array of stakeholders with varying interests.
• Extensive project management experience including ability to motivate, lead, set objectives, and manage large stakeholder groups. Proven experience producing results and meeting program goals.
• Proven technical skills, analytical ability, good judgment, and strong operational focus.
• Desire to seek out additional education to stay up-to-date in the fast-developing industry.
• Demonstrated commitment to conservation in southern Colorado.
Position is open until filled. Please see our website for information on how to apply for this position. https://www.palmerlandtrust.org/community-conservation-manager