COSA Montezuma Land Conservancy Seeks Conservation Director in SW Colorado

Dear Colleagues

The Montezuma Land Conservancy is hiring for a Conservation Director position for our organization, located in Cortez, CO. Please see below for position details and link.

Thank you everyone! We are hoping to get an amazing set of candidates.

With dedication and gratitude,

Travis Custer (He/him/his)

Executive Director

Phone970-565-1664 Mobile 719-250-0535


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“Changing lives through land conservation by connecting people to place, forever.”

Are you passionate for protecting natural resources and improving land stewardship? Do you enjoy working outdoors, working with people, and collaborating to improve the environment? Want to work for an innovative organization in beautiful Southwest Colorado?

The Montezuma Land Conservancy (MLC) is hiring a full-time Conservation Director to join our dynamic, fun, and caring team. Located in Cortez, Colorado, MLC is one of the state’s premier locally led conservation organizations working to change lives through land conservation, protect important lands in our region, and lead nationally recognized programs. Since 1998, MLC has worked with landowners on 90 conservation easements totaling over 46,000 acres throughout our community and is developing innovative community engagement programs alongside our local, statewide, and national partners.

Our seven person staff work together to ensure a deep culture of care within the organization, a healthy and safe working environment, and a curiosity for exploring ways to think differently about the work of a land trust. Still interested?

Summary of Position:

We seek a motivated, creative, and passionate person to join our small team with a big vision. The Conservation Director leads the development of new conservation easement and land stewardship projects, oversees MLC’s annual easement monitoring, maintains landowner relationships, and works alongside MLC’s staff to develop and advance creative ways to connect people to land stewardship and conservation.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities

Conservation Easement Stewardship

  • Manage the monitoring and stewardship of all easements held by the Conservancy.
  • Properly maintain all records necessary for easement stewardship and legal defense.
  • Build and maintain positive relationships between easement landowners and the Conservancy.
  • Work with the Executive Director to respond to landowner questions regarding easement interpretations, approvals, amendments, and possible violation issues,
  • Support communications and outreach about conservation and stewardship.
  • Assist in management and stewardship of MLC’s fee owned lands.
  • Maintain an up-to-date Stewardship Program including best practices and latest technology.

Land Protection and Community Engagement

  • Develops and expands conservation in the priority areas identified in the Conservation Plan through conservation planning, outreach, project development.
  • Make strategic landowner contacts.
  • Works with landowners, executive director, and partner organizations to complete conservation easement projects with the selected priorities, including:
    • Easement negotiation and drafting
    • Due diligence
    • Closing and completion
    • Develops capital resources to implement the above, focused primarily on foundation fundraising and grant-writing, but assisting with major donor fundraising as needed.
  • Assist the organization in developing land stewardship programs that address critical local issues such as severe drought, wildfire, and wildlife habitat restoration.

Minimum Qualifications

  • College degree with an emphasis in Stewardship, Environmental Management, GIS or similar field or, 2+ years of work experience in comparable field, as well as project management experience, with demonstrated critical thinking skills.
  • Enthusiasm for private land conservation and the Southwest Colorado landscape.
  • Valid Driver’s license and reliable transportation.
  • Proven track record in clear communication, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to read and understand Conservation Easements.
  • Experience with grant writing.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office, Excel, ArcGIS Desktop 10, and Landscape or similar land management software.
  • Comfort and ability to complete field work that may require navigating difficult or hazardous terrain, variable weather conditions, remote locations, and work environment that may include lifting up to 25 lbs or other physically demanding circumstances.

Skills and Attributes Desired

  • Creative thinker with a self-driven work ethic.
  • Commitment to and enthusiasm for land conservation and community engagement.
  • Ability to build key relationships.
  • Attention to detail and organizational skills.
  • Strong critical thinking skills.

Other expectations and duties

  • Grant writing (for land protection grants, stewardship projects, and position fundraising)
  • Attend weekly scheduled staff meetings.
  • Special Events (as needed).
  • Outreach Events and Materials Development (as needed, particularly as they pertain to land protection efforts, education, and landowner outreach).

Structure and Compensation

  • $48,000 starting salary
  • Flexible working schedule. Please note there will be some weekend and evening hours required for events.
  • Professional development opportunities .
  • MLC offers a competitive compensation package including the opportunity to participate in an Individual Health Coverage Reimbursement Account (ICHRA) often resulting in little-to-no out of pocket costs for individual coverage, 20 days of paid vacation, 10 days of paid sick leave, 11 paid holidays, professional development, and a Simple IRA with 3% matching retirement plan.

To apply, please send the following information to travis by 5pm Friday, August 6th*

  • Please email a cover letter and let us know where you learned about this position.
  • Resume.
  • Three professional references with contact information; please list at least one supervisor reference.

*Montezuma Land Conservancy reserves the right to close the position prior to the above date.

Montezuma Land Conservancy provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, or other protected status. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and others who identify as nonwhite, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community are encouraged to apply for this role.

For information about Montezuma Land Conservancy, please visit