COSA Seeking a Resource Specialist for Southern Colorado

Happy Friday, COSA community!

The Colorado State Land Board is seeking a Resource Specialist for the southern region of our state.

Apply now!

CLOSING DATE: Open continuously until filled

LOCATION: your main office can be in Lamar OR Pueblo

Do you know the difference between bristlecone pine and limber pine? Do you know that ‘PJ’ refers to pajamas as well as pinon/juniper? How about the difference between wild caraway and carum carvi? Oh wait, you know that last one was a trick question, don’t ya?

We want you!

The Colorado State Land Board is looking for a Resource Specialist 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 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.

We are a 147-year old, constitutionally chartered agency, and we take pride in being entrepreneurial and business-savvy. We compete in private sector markets daily and generate more than $200 million in revenue annually.

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

Our 18-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. 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 stewarded well. Our job is to steward the land in order to raise money from it for Colorado public schools.

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 Resource Specialist supports all of Southern Colorado spanning three of our districts: the South Central, the Southeast, and the Southwest districts. You’ll help inspect large ranches, perform field inspections, prepare reports, resolve land disputes and provide direct support to District Managers.

A more detailed look at your day-to-day:

Get your boots dirty a lot because you’ll do field inspections on 400+ properties.

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

  • Verify compliance with lease terms and determine the proper course of action if lease violations are identified.

  • Make recommendations for changes required to bring uses into compliance with agency policies.

  • Decide how to address noxious weed infestations.

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

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

  • Oversee very large properties (<25,000 acres), including preparation of infrastructure development plans and budgets, construction projects, and prioritizing maintenance needs.

Sit at a desk. Sometimes.

  • Produce a lot of reports, contracts, and presentations. Even though this a field position, you’ll also be indoors typing at a computer some of the time. (And FYI you’ll be part of an office that supports each other, but be prepared to make your own photocopies.)

  • Enter a lot of field data into our huge and complex database and mapping system.

Be a salesperson.

  • Help implement the agency’s strategic business plan to accomplish specific district level goals for revenue, revenue growth, and the development of particular lines of business such as grazing, farming, recreation, property acquisition and disposal, water development, renewable energy, solid mineral and ecosystem services.

  • Develop and maintain relationships with existing and potential customers and market the agency’s products to private landowners, lessees, private businesses, and other agencies in the district.

  • Balance multiple priorities associated with ranching, farming, energy development, recreation, and wildlife management.

  • Evaluate and make decisions regarding new business opportunities, such as enrollment of land into the Public Access Program with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Do outreach.

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

  • Implement strategies for outreach and communication with lessees and other external agencies regarding new and/or modified Land Board policies.

  • Work with State Land Board communications staff to effectively develop and deliver messaging related to SLB initiatives, such as the emergency drought relief program, trust land hunting tag program and implementation of new lease rates.

  • Provide your District Manager with clear and concise information regarding the status of current projects, programs and initiatives.

  • Identify issues that may impact the timely implementation of agency policies and procedures and recommend potential solutions.

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 Agricultural Sciences, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Resource Economics, Range or Forest Management or closely related field

  • Two (2) 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

  • Experience in Lean Process Improvement/Agile Project Management

  • Ranching and infrastructure systems

  • Range management practices and carrying capacity

  • Agricultural leasing

  • Noxious weeds and treatment strategies

  • Familiarity with the Southern Colorado landscape

  • 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.