Forest Health Program Manager

Peninsula Open Space Trust

Palo Alto, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $126,450-$140,500
Deadline Jul 31, 2024
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Wouldn’t it be exciting to lead initiatives that have long term positive impact on the health and wildfire resilience of our iconic, magnificent redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains?

Bring your exceptional forestry knowledge, project management, and relationship building skills to help us make this critical work a reality for the long term.

The Forest Health Program Manager is responsible for leading POST’s forest health work, playing a pivotal role in developing and executing strategies to promote climate resilience of forests in POST’s working region. Building Climate Resilience, Preserving Biodiversity, and Creating Equitable Access are POST’s strategic pillars. A programmatic focus on forest health is an evolution of POST’s Redwood Program to meet the needs of our time.

The Program Manager is responsible for the program's vision, strategy, and budget, as well as managing the implementation of diverse projects aimed at enhancing regional forest health. Collaborating closely with internal and external stakeholders, the Program Manager fosters partnerships and drives innovative, regional initiatives that contribute to the long-term sustainability of forest ecosystems in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

POST is currently a hybrid workplace, and our policy regarding hybrid work schedules continues to evolve. We expect to maintain flexibility regarding schedules and hybrid working arrangements.

The successful candidate for this job must live within a reasonable driving distance to the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is important to effectively provide the strong presence needed to facilitate consistent regional efforts for in person meetings, site visits, and relationship building. This role also requires some in person work and meeting attendance at our Palo Alto office.

Job Responsibilities:

Strategy and Planning (20%)

  • In coordination with Director of Landscape Conservation and Director of Conservation Science, manage all aspects of POST’s Forest Health Program including the evolution and refinement of the program vision, goals, strategy, and corresponding implementation plan in alignment with POST’s mission, vision, and strategic pillars.
  • Identify and prioritize redwood protection opportunities through both fee simple and conservation easement acquisitions to meet Program goals for forest protection, restoration, and management, leveraging POST’s Conservation Prioritization Framework to guide decision-making.
  • Lead efforts to address key issues in landscape scale forest health, including the development of effective restoration treatments, wildlife habitat conservation, and strategies for climate resilience.
  • Present regularly to staff, the Executive Team, and the Board on program updates, progress toward goals, and special opportunities that will help the achieve the program vision.

Partnerships and Collaboration (20%)

  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with partner organizations, including non-profits, public agencies, forestland owners, and industry stakeholders, to advance shared goals in forest conservation and stewardship.
  • Assume a thought leadership role and facilitate cross-sector collaborations and regional partnerships to maximize the impact of forest health initiatives and achieve landscape-scale outcomes.
  • Serve as a liaison between POST and external stakeholders, representing the organization at conferences, workshops, and community events to promote awareness and collaboration in forest conservation efforts.

Project Management and Implementation (50%)

  • Oversee all aspects of project implementation within the Forest Health Program, ensuring alignment with program goals, timelines, and budgetary constraints.
  • Coordinate with Transaction and Stewardship project managers to execute forest-related transactions and stewardship projects, including acquisition and transfer processes, supporting grant applications, contract management, and monitoring and reporting activities.
  • In collaboration with Stewardship project manager(s), leverage POST’s on-the-ground actions and provide leadership on select forest health-related stewardship projects to drive broader innovation and best practices in forest management and restoration.
  • Support POST’s regional forest health goals by reviewing and commenting on relevant statewide and regional planning documents and notices.

Communications and Outreach (10%)

  • Collaborate with the Marketing and Development teams to develop and execute targeted communication and fundraising strategies for the Forest Health Program    
  • Work with Development staff to develop and implement a fundraising strategy, track sources, and solicit grants of public and private funds. 
  • Serve as a spokesperson and subject matter expert on forest health issues, delivering presentations to internal and external audiences and engaging with donors, policymakers, and community members to garner support for program initiatives.
  • Work closely with communication staff to ensure consistent messaging and branding around the Forest Health Program, maximizing visibility and impact.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

This position may supervise interns, as needed.


  • Minimum of five years experience in natural resource management, conservation biology, landscape ecology, forestry or a related field, with a focus on forest ecosystems.
  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant field is required.
  • Candidates can be distinguished by holding either a graduate degree in a related field, or combined work and life experience that demonstrates a similar depth of subject matter expertise, critical thinking, and philosophy, and the ability to write persuasively on the topics at hand.
  • Creative problem solving and big-picture thinking to drive innovation on a regional scale.
  • Demonstrated expertise in the strategic development and implementation of program strategies, budgets, and work plans.
  • Strong project management skills, including the ability to coordinate multiple projects simultaneously and demonstrated success driving results within established timelines and resource constraints.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to effectively collaborate with diverse stakeholders and build consensus around shared goals.
  • Direct experience with planning, design, permitting, and implementation of forest management projects.
  • Knowledge of commercial forestry is preferred.
  • Experience successfully working with development staff to secure program funding.
  • Experience effectively managing contractors and contracts.
  • Highly self motivated with the ability to work well independently and with teams.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Creating and delivering effective presentations to a wide variety of audiences using multiple mediums.
  • Knowledge of land transactions procedures, conservation easements, and land trust practices would be very useful in this role.

Physical requirements:

  • Regular and accurate communication with others in a hybrid work setting, and completion of work tasks involving the use of phone, computer, web, and video technology, the ability to interact effectively with digital and printed materials, and to operate required job-related equipment.
  • Mobility to traverse uneven or rough terrain, and ability to tolerate exposure to outdoor elements and varying weather conditions.
  • Ability to lift and carry materials weighing up to 20 pounds.
  • Ability to drive a 4WD vehicle on unpaved roads in forest and open space terrains.
  • There are occasional duties that occur outside regular working hours.
  • Reasonable accommodations will be made to allow a person to perform essential functions

To apply:

Please write a cover letter to accompany your resume telling us why you are a great match for this role. Your story about this is important to us; we will not be able to give the same level of consideration to applications submitted without a cover letter.

$126,450-$140,500 depending upon level of skills and experience, plus excellent benefits including healthcare, retirement account contribution & matching, generous time off, paid maternity/paternity/family medical leave, excellent learning and mental/physical wellness programs, personal mobile/internet usage stipend, commuter benefits, and many more!

POST’s Core Values:

  • Nature Connects Us All: We believe that we are part of an interconnected web of life and that diversity of all types creates strength and resilience. In our work, we strive to protect and heal the ecosystems that support our collective well-being.
  • Act Today for the Long-Term: We take action today in ways that support our bold, long-term vision. We accept and balance the tension between the present and the future while staying true to our purpose.
  • Commit to Learning and Growth: We are creative, curious and courageous in our approaches and willing to change course when necessary. We learn from our successes and mistakes.
  • Care About How We Work: We believe all living things should be treated with dignity. We acknowledge the many injustices against people and nature. We are dedicated to strive for equity in our actions.
  • Honor Our Collective Strengths: We have the most positive impact when we work together toward a shared vision. We catalyze, collaborate and complement to support the best outcomes for all.

POST is an equal opportunity employer. We believe diversity and equity is central to our mission to protect open space in our region for the benefit of all. We are committed to creating an inclusive, values-driven workplace where all employees can thrive. Come join us!

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

Category Forestry, General / Stewardship, Land Trust