Land Steward

Willowsford Conservancy, Inc.

Ashburn , Virginia

Introduction

Willowsford Conservancy, Inc., a Virginia non-profit, seeks a broadly trained, hands-on land stewardship professional with an emphasis in forest management.  Located in Aldie and Ashburn, VA, the Conservancy is the long-term steward of 2,000 acres of open space progressively dedicated to the Conservancy as the community develops.  Conservancy lands comprise woodlands, meadows, wetlands, agricultural land, and over 40 miles of multi-surface trails in Willowsford’s four villages.  Our mission is to “… protect, maintain, and promote the viable, long-term use of the land, integrating farming, recreation, conservation and education to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Willowsford and the greater community.”

The Land Steward is a full-time, exempt position that reports to the Executive Director.  Working alongside two full-time Conservancy Rangers in a collaborative decision-making environment, the position requires comprehensive field experience in forest, meadow and grassland management, invasive and native species management, habitat restoration, trail maintenance, and related outreach and education. 

Responsibilities

Land Management

  • Develop and implement land stewardship plans and projects to meet ecological, recreational and economic objectives.
  • Perform day-to-day land management activities focused on improving the ecological health of Conservancy open space and providing residents with quality outdoor education and recreation experiences. Perform routine maintenance such as tree health assessments, removal of downed and hazardous trees, habitat restoration, trail trimming and mowing, and installation and maintenance of infrastructure (kiosks, signage, fencing, minor construction work, etc.).
  • Safely operate and maintain equipment
  • Supervise contractors, volunteers, interns and front-line staff
  • Help develop and manage budgets, and assist with grant applications
  • Monitor and manage conservation threats such as overgrazing by deer; invasive plants, pests and diseases; and harmful practices like dumping or off-road vehicle use.

Community Outreach

  • Develop and lead education and outreach activities for residents and visitors
  • Engage residents and volunteers in open space and wildlife conservation
  • Assist with developing education and wayfinding tools and materials
  • Represent the Conservancy to stakeholders; develop effective partnerships with relevant agencies and organizations

Qualifications:

  • BS degree in Forestry, Natural Resources Management or a related field and 5 years’ professional experience in natural resource management. Certified Arborist credential preferred.
  • Significant experience in all aspects of land stewardship planning
  • Current on relevant issues and methods such as sustainable forestry, meadow and grassland management and restoration, wetland and water resources, wildlife management, and outdoor recreation management
  • Hands-on experience in land management, arboriculture, trail maintenance, and native and invasive species management; VA Certified Pesticide Applicator’s license or willingness to obtain license
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work effectively in a small team environment to develop strategies, set goals, resolve problems, and implement plans. Ability to work independently and manage work schedules, projects, budgets and contracts. 
  • Knowledge of NOVA flora and fauna, ecological communities and processes; strong field ID skills for native and invasive species
  • Proficiency in safely operating equipment and tools, including chain saws, mowers, tractors, hand tools and common forestry tools
  • Some experience supervising staff and volunteers
  • Proficiency with MS Office, data and records management, GIS/GPS software and equipment; basic skills using ArcGIS software
  • Good driving record and valid Virginia driver’s license
  • SAF Forester certification preferred.

Work Environment and Physical Demands

  • This position predominantly works in the field in all weather conditions and all times of the year, and requires heaving lifting and physical exertion, driving and hiking in uneven terrain, operating land management equipment, and working comfortably for extended periods in rugged outdoor conditions. Occasional evening and weekend work required.

Salary and Benefits

Salary commensurate with experience.  Benefits include health and dental insurance, 401(k) retirement plan, paid vacation and sick leave. 

HOW TO APPLY

Please submit a resume, cover letter and salary requirements to info@willowsfordconservancy.org by November 24, 2017.