Associate Director

San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA)

Durango, Colorado

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $57,000 - 62,000
Required Experience 7+ years

Associate Director

SJMA empowers visitors and locals to explore, learn about, and protect the spectacular public lands of southwest Colorado.  Founded in 1988, SJMA is a nonprofit cooperating (or interpretive) association for several federal land management agencies, including the San Juan National Forest, Rio Grande and Uncompahgre National Forests, the BLM Gunnison, Tres Rios, and Uncompahgre Field Offices and the BLM Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.  SJMA’s core programs include Visitor Information Services, Stewardship, Conservation Education and complimentary Volunteer Programs.

JOB SUMMARY:  With a passion for conservation education and stewardship, a proven record in nonprofit management and fundraising, and background in managing and motivating people, the Associate Director is a key leader in the success of SJMA.  The Associate Director works to sustain current stewardship programs but is also empowered to develop new programs with the goal of strategically achieving tangible conservation outcomes.  The Associate Director will also work closely with public land management agencies and other partners to sustain and continue to strengthen our partnership..

LOCATION:  The position is based out of SJMA’s offices within the San Juan National Forest Headquarters in Durango, Colorado, with a hybrid work from home option.  

HOURS:  The position is classified as “Exempt, Regular Full-Time.” While we strive for work-life balance, the individual best suited for this job will understand the need for and be willing to flex work time to accommodate periodic, irregular and extended hours; including weekends and holidays as needed.


Organizational Leadership (66%)

  • Contribute informed and visionary leadership to the organization, including engagement with the Board of Directors and the implementation of SJMA’s strategic plan
  • As a member of the executive team, provide support on the operation, design, marketing, delivery, and quality of all SJMA programs, products and services, including retail outlets throughout the landscape  
  • Ensure quality internal and external communications, including Annual Report development, volunteer and partner messaging
  • Participate in annual budget development, operational systems management, and assessment
  • Actively participate in selecting, training, developing, and supporting all SJMA employees
  • Actively participate in various fundraising activities, membership recruitment and in expanding our support base
  • Model a high-level of professionalism and accountability throughout SJMA and with partners

Stewardship Program Management (33%)

  • Work with the key Agency personnel to maintain and develop the U.S. Forest Service/BLM programs and projects while managing delegations to SJMA program staff 
  • Manage an array of federal agreements and necessary implementation and reporting in support our stewardship and volunteer programs
  • Directly supervise staff overseeing the stewardship and volunteer programs, working closely on training, logistics, data collection, and seasonal staff management 
  • Serve as an effective spokesperson for SJMA’s Stewardship Program, maintaining and developing new mission-aligned partnerships
  • Lead fundraising and marketing efforts to support SJMA’s stewardship and volunteer program. This includes but is not limited to: taking a lead role in coordinating SJMA’s Christmas Trees for Conservation fundraiser, working with the Executive Director on grant writing, major donor solicitation, and corporate partnership requests


The successful candidate will possess some combination of the following skills/qualifications:

  • Passion for and knowledge of public lands, especially in Southwest Colorado
  • Knowledge of federal land management laws, regulations, and practices
  • Demonstrated success in grant writing and fundraising
  • Experience managing non-profit conservation programs 
  • 2–3 years of experience organizing and implementing restoration, trail maintenance or other stewardship projects
  • The ability to build and maintain relationships with Agency partners, board members, and other key partners
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, a kind and compassionate leader
  • Enjoy working with a diverse group of individuals
  • Great organizational skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Computer literacy, especially with Google and Microsoft Suites; very comfortable with spreadsheets used for budgets, managing staff and tracking data
  • Reliable
  • Team player

Educational Requirements

B.S. or B.A. degree required, graduate degree preferred.  

A valid Colorado Driver’s License is required as well as a good driving record.  A personal vehicle will be used on occasion, with mileage reimbursement consistent with SJMA policy.


Salary will start between $57,000 - $62,000 annually, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include Paid Time Off, health insurance, and a Simple IRA plan.


Interested candidates should email a cover letter, resume, and references in one pdf to jobs@sjma.org. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, but review will begin October 3 so candidates are encouraged to apply early.  Telephone inquiries are not accepted.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership, Environmental Education, Outdoor Recreation
Tags Outreach