COSA SE Colorado District Manager for State Land Board

Hi all,

Please consider joining the Land Board team in our Lamar office!


District Manager, Southeast Colorado

Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners

CLOSING DATE: March 1, 2022

LOCATION: your office is in Lamar, and your vast territory is Southeast Colorado

Do you have a passion for ranching and wildlife? Range management and ecosystem conservation? Wildlife habitat management? Working with an awesome small team?

We want you!

The Colorado State Land Board is looking for a Southeast District Manager to join our field operations team. You’ll use your knowledge of natural resources and agriculture to help oversee and steward 2.8 million acres of surface and 4 million acres of subsurface trust land in Colorado. On any given day you might be presenting to our Governor-appointed Commissioners, inventorying millions of acres of trust land, liaising with ranchers, or 4-wheeling on rugged terrain to inspect our leased properties.

What is the State Land Board?

The State Land Board is a constitutionally created agency that manages a $4 billion endowment of assets for the intergenerational benefit of Colorado’s K-12 schoolchildren and public institutions. The agency is the second-largest landowner in Colorado and generates revenue on behalf of beneficiaries by leasing nearly three million surface acres and four million subsurface acres for assorted purposes, including agriculture. Unlike public lands, trust lands are not open to the public unless a property has been leased for public access. We are entirely self-funded and receive no tax dollars.

Though we are a 145-year old, constitutionally chartered agency, we take pride in being entrepreneurial and business-savvy. We compete in private sector markets daily and generate more than $100 million in revenue annually.

What kind of land do we have and how do we manage it?

Our 15-person field operations team is responsible for overseeing 2.8 million acres of surface land. We currently have about 1,800 agriculture leases that generate $14 million annually. We have seven offices throughout the state. This job manages our Southeast District, which spans 6 counties with 366,000 acres of trust land via 375 agriculture leases.

While we own and lease the assets, we are not operators. Lessees are responsible for all ranching operations. That said, we partner with our lessees to ensure that the land is well managed and that the agency’s stewardship objectives are met. Our job is to raise money for Colorado public schools while ensuring that the land is well cared for in order to benefit future generations.

The job opportunity

This isn’t your typical government job.

We want you to share in our excitement over intergenerational stewardship of natural assets and share in our pride of providing significant financial support to Colorado’s public schools. Your work will be a model across the country for massive-scale (2.8 million acres) of land management.

The District Manager supervises one staff member in the Lamar office and oversees leasing activities on 366,000 acres of Southeastern state trust lands where agriculture (grazing, irrigated or dry crop) is the predominant use. Here’s a more detailed look at your day-to-day:

1) Get your boots dirty doing field inspections at hundreds of properties.

  • Evaluate existing and proposed land uses. You’ll be out on your own a lot in the field.

  • Verify compliance with lease terms, particularly stewardship stipulations. Determine the proper course of action if lease violations are identified.

  • Decide how to address noxious weed infestations.

  • Determine the agriculture carrying capacity on specific state trust properties.

  • Decide whether the acquisition and/or disposition of water rights is in our agency’s best interest.

  • Determine whether to approve a Temporary Access Permit or a Right of Way agreement.

  • Decide when infrastructure investment may be merited.

  • Resolve property use conflicts between lessees and determine the best approach to manage and avoid future conflict.

  • Develop acquisition strategies for ranch properties located throughout eastern Colorado.

2) Be business savvy to pursue opportunities that will increase the value of trust assets.

  • You will manage a large portfolio of real property assets, and you must understand our agency’s long-term mission and vision.

  • Devise and implement the agency’s strategic business plan to accomplish specific district level goals for revenue, revenue growth, and the development of various lines of business, such as agriculture, recreation, mineral development, renewable energy development and more. Determine the proper balance of uses on a property (number and type of overlapping leases for uses) in a manner that produces reasonable and consistent revenue over time. Ensure that the land values improve with sound stewardship and management practices. Partner closely with colleagues who are subject matter experts in those lines of business.

  • Be an expert on wildlife issues because you’ll work closely with lessees, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), representatives of NGO’s and sportsman’s groups to maintain and improve recreational opportunities on state grazing leases and optimize opportunities for habitat enhancement and recreation leasing in areas where wildlife values are high.

  • Even though this is a field position, you’ll do plenty of office work seated at a computer to produce reports, contracts, and presentations.

3) Do public outreach.

  • Represent us at meetings with lessees, local and state level elected officials, community organizations, industry and trade associations, and Federal land management agencies.

  • Implement strategies for outreach and communication with lessees and other external agencies regarding new and/or modified Land Board policies and practices, such as improved grazing management strategies, the emergency drought relief program, hunting access, renewable energy opportunities, rights-of-ways, and new lease rates.

  • Resolve property use conflicts and determine the best approach to manage and avoid future conflicts.

4) Be a leader and a manager.

  • Supervise the District Assistant, manage consultants, and be a project manager on countless initiatives. Establish priorities and approve time keeping requests. Prepare performance plans and conduct performance reviews.

  • Ensure a positive work environment in the District office and identify opportunities to collaborate with staff in other State Land Board offices. Liaise with 45 team members and serve as a subject matter expert.

  • Provide the Field Operations Supervisor with clear and concise information regarding the status of current projects and be proactive in identifying issues that may impact the timely implementation of agency policies and procedures. Recommend potential solutions.

5) Be a jack of all trades, aka ‘other duties as assigned.’ No job description would be complete without this line, right? Don’t be surprised to fix a fence, write a report, settle a dispute between neighbors, and load your 4-wheeler onto your truck … all on the same day.

What can you expect from us in return for your hard work?

We are a lean team of 45 staff members that places significant emphasis on promoting and maintaining a positive work environment. We get our work done, and we have fun doing it. The qualities of our environment include transparent and open communication, work-life balance (we mean it), and a focus on training and development. You’ll regularly explore and travel our state on day trips or multi-day trips: be prepared for a few nights away from home during the field inspection season. Minimal out-of-state travel is required. As a state employee, you have access to a suite of HR benefits and holidays, including professional development funds and tuition reimbursement. And you can feel good knowing your work is directly supporting Colorado schools.

What attributes are we looking for?

At a minimum, you need all of the following:

  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources, Real Estate, Range Management, Land Planning, Environmental Science, or in another field of study directly related or closely related field

  • Three years of professional experience in the management of large working and/or production landscapes.

  • Proficient in Microsoft suite.


  • A combination of work experience in the occupational field or specialized subject area of the work assigned to the job, which provided the same kind, amount, and level of knowledge acquired in the required education, may be substituted on a year-for-year basis for the bachelor’s degree.

  • A master’s or doctorate degree from an accredited college or university in a field of study related to the work assignment may be substituted for the bachelor’s degree and one year of experience.

You get bonus points if you can demonstrate the following:

  • Additional years of professional experience

  • Comfort with public speaking and presenting

  • Experience using complex databases

  • Ranching and infrastructure systems

  • Wildlife and habitat management experience

  • Range management practices and carrying capacity

  • Agricultural leasing or sales experience

  • Knowledge of, and practical experience applying, Colorado water law

  • Experience with noxious weeds and treatment strategies

  • GIS experience

  • Familiarity with the Southern Colorado landscape

  • Familiarity with Google office products

To be successful as a member of this agency, you’ll have these professional traits and skills:

  • Good written and oral communication with the ability to convey information to others effectively and efficiently

  • Independent yet also a team player, proactively helps others

  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Customer-service mindset, respectful, helpful

  • Proactive, takes initiative, self motivated

  • Possesses good problem solving skills, seeks to understand alternatives, employs logic and good judgment

  • Self confident and self aware

  • Great work ethic: results oriented, disciplined, conscientious, thorough and diligent

  • Honest, trustworthy, dependable

  • Enthusiastic, energetic, optimistic, positive attitude

  • Organized and professional

  • Adaptable and open to change

We hope this sounds like you. Tell us why. Apply online through the state portal.

PS: We compete in the private-sector markets every day and operate largely independently from state government. But not from HR. So please follow the lengthy prompts to apply for this position through the state hiring portal. Only candidates who apply through the state portal will be considered. Think of it as an endurance test. We hope to see you at the finish line.