Conservation Restriction Stewardship Specialist

The Trustees of Reservations

Leominster, Massachusetts

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Salary, non-exempt with full bnefits
Deadline Oct 31, 2023
Required Experience 7+ years

The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) is dedicated to the protection of exceptional landscapes throughout Massachusetts. Perpetual conservation restrictions (CRs) are an important tool for accomplishing The Trustees’ land protection goals. CRs are legal agreements allowing landowners to retain ownership of their land, while permanently protecting the property in cooperation with The Trustees.  Starting in 1972 and continuing through today, The Trustees has come to hold approximately 340 conservation restrictions on 20,000+ acres of land statewide.

The Conservation Restriction Stewardship Specialist will work under the supervision of the Conservation Restriction Stewardship Director and cooperatively with other CR & Land Conservation Program staff members. The position is based at the Doyle Center in Leominster, MA (with remote work flexibility available) and requires frequent travel throughout Massachusetts. The primary responsibility is to assist with annual monitoring of conservation restrictions, timely completion of all site visit documentation including reporting of possible compliance issues and/or observed encroachments on CR properties.  Other responsibilities include assisting with fieldwork and compilation of Baseline Documentation Reports (BDRs) for new CR, creation to addendums for updating of existing BDRs, and other duties as assigned.  An ideal candidate will be highly motivated, organized, and resourceful, very attentive to detail, able to handle multiple responsibilities, and willing and able to work in an office setting and outdoors in various conditions. 

Essential Functions:

  • Schedules and performs 80+ annual CR monitoring site visits as assigned, conducted individually as well as with other CR stewardship staff, utilizing a combination of remote aerial imagery and boots on the ground, in-person site visits.
  • Assists with preparation of Baseline Documentation Reports (BDRs) for new Trustees-held CRs and BDR Updates/Addendums as needed in accordance with Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.
  • Create and update GIS maps as needed, ability to georeference surveys/site plans & COGO new boundary shapefiles, and improve GIS data analysis to better track issues and generate metrics resulting in improved programmatic efficiencies (e.g. ESRI CR Story Maps & boundary encroachment risk analysis). Stewardship Specialist will also work collaboratively with our CR Stewardship & Data Manager on geodata imports to LANDSCAPE.
  • Manages CR stewardship responsibilities, working to maintain the integrity of each CR, analyzing, and assisting with reserved right approvals, while also providing high-quality customer service and maintaining positive, cooperative landowner relations.
  • Prepares and maintains complete stewardship files in LANDSCAPE database, including monitoring reports, violation & compliance issue documentation, and approval records for all assigned CRs.
  • Maintain positive relationships with CR landowners and other members of the public while representing The Trustees in the field.
  • Follows all established protocols, policies, and processes for CR stewardship.
  • Work closely with CR Stewardship Director and CR stewardship staff to improve the overall program, including changes to systems and procedures.
  • Help improve CR landowner outreach materials and increase visibility of the CR Stewardship Program within The Trustees and to the public through assisting in creation of newsletters, CR landowner resource materials, website content, etc.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned, or as the situation dictates.

Preferred Experience, Education, and Skills

  • Knowledge equivalent or completion of bachelor’s degree in a Natural Resources, Ecology, Forestry, Regional Planning, Surveying, or related field and understanding of Massachusetts land protection guidelines and regulations (e.g. WPA, NHESP).
  • Familiarity with conservation restriction terms and stewardship procedures.
  • Proficiency with maps and map reading, ability to read and understand deeds, conservation restrictions, and related legal documents. Strong spatial, reading and writing skills.
  • High degree of skill and comfort navigating with map, compass, and GPS on a variety of properties (forest, fields, wetlands, estate properties, etc.)
  • Ability to regularly perform field work, sometimes in rugged conditions, and to work outside in all weather conditions.
  • Excellent organizational, analytical, and critical thinking skills and capacity to work on multiple projects simultaneously, maintain attention to details and demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
  • Ability to travel statewide to visit CR properties. Valid diver’s license and vehicle required.
  • Proficient with using ESRI ArcGIS 10.x for creating and editing spatial data, making maps, and performing all other GIS related tasks pertaining to CR stewardship.
  • Proficient using Microsoft Office suite including Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to effectively operate computers, mobile devices and assigned software while maintaining proficiency in use of existing and emerging technologies that support CR stewardship and land conservation project management.
  • Broad based knowledge relevant to ecology, natural resource management, forestry and land use planning including ability to identify native flora and fauna, and invasive plants, or willingness to learn.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively, and to engage in both independent and group problem solving as a contributing member of a team.
  • Contributes to the strengthening of a diverse and inclusive workplace and actively reinforces positive organizational culture.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, professionalism, and discretion when interacting with colleagues, landowners, and others, maintaining confidentiality as required. 
  • Experience that demonstrates problem solving, resourcefulness, creativity, strategic planning, execution/implementation, and an ability to anticipate needs.

Additional Information This is a salaried position that provides a competitive salary and benefits package, including health insurance, paid vacations and sick leave, life insurance, and an-employer-funded retirement plan.

About The Trustees 

The Trustees places are open to all, and we thrive by involving as many people as possible in what we do. Founded in 1891 by a group of visionary volunteers, we preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts.  We aim to protect special places for future generations to enjoy in perpetuity. We have helped protect more than 50,000 acres, including 27,000+ acres on more than 120 reservations that are open to the public. We are a non-profit conservation organization funded and supported entirely by our visitors, supporters, volunteers, and our 100,000 Member households.

The Trustees offers competitive compensation, as well as the opportunity to be part of a dedicated team across the Commonwealth who love the outdoors and the distinctive charms of New England, and who believe in celebrating and protecting our special places, for everyone, forever.

The Trustees is a proud equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any protected status including, but not limited to, age, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, nation of origin, religion, or disability status and strongly encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ applicants. We aspire to reflect and effectively serve the residents and communities of Massachusetts, who are at the core of our mission.  

Our commitment to advancing the organization’s vision for this work may be found here: Diversity, Belonging, Inclusion and Equity


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Category General / Stewardship
Tags GIS