The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, a nonprofit organization that has made substantial headway in environmental conservation by helping to protect more than 14,000 acres of various habitats and farmland over the last 45 years, is seeking an individual familiar with agricultural operations for the new position of Working Lands Coordinator.
The Working Lands Coordinator coordinates working lands operations and assists with natural resource management on ~5,000 acres of lands held or managed by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. The Coordinator serves as the lead on several properties with agricultural operations including row crops, livestock grazing, and timber. The Working Lands Coordinator is responsible for ranch management, which entails collaborating with growers and operators, partners, and overseeing contractors and volunteers working on those properties. In addition, the position will assist with planning and implementing natural resource and ecological restoration projects, and other duties as assigned.
The Working Lands Coordinator is a full-time, exempt position with excellent benefits and a great work environment. The Working Lands Coordinator is part of the Stewardship Team, reporting to the Director of Land Stewardship. The Land Trust offers a green commute stipend, professional development opportunities, staff events with great food and fun, and a kid & dog-friendly office. Work hours total 40 hours per week generally between 8 am-5 pm, Monday - Friday, with occasional early, late, or weekend work required. This position works in the field and office. It is not a remote position. Starting pay ranges from $65,000 - $75,000/year.
Working Lands Operations
- Coordinate with growers, timber operators, and grazing operators for environmentally sustainable and commercially successful working lands
- Act as the primary contact for tenant growers; support their operations and ensure conservation practices are implemented
- Coordinate on-farm and farm edge restoration and conservation projects to improve natural resource management such as water quality improvement projects
- Lead and encourage development, adoption, and sharing of innovative farmland conservation approaches and technologies
- Represent the Land Trust in a professional manner in the agricultural community and at meetings and events and assist with interpretive walks, tours and field practicums
- Inspect, maintain, and repair facilities and infrastructure (roads, gates, fences, buildings, culverts)
- Develop clear scopes of work, solicit bids, and oversee contractors for capital projects and routine work
Natural Resource Management and Habitat Restoration
- Execute and coordinate activities for habitat management and restoration, erosion control, water quality protection, and wildlife protection
- Manage contracts and contractors for natural resource projects
- Develop and implement integrated pest management of invasive species including the use of herbicides when and where appropriate
- Collaborate with staff, technical advisors, neighbors, partners, regulators, and volunteers
- Work with the Director of Land Stewardship on prioritization of projects and activities
- Assist with maintaining and implementing property Annual Management Plans
- Maintain equipment, vehicles, and facilities in good working order and supplies stocked
- Collaborate with others on public access, engagement events, trespass and security
- Other duties as assigned
Required Knowledge, Skills, Ability & Experience
- BS or equivalent experience related to Agriculture, Natural Resource Management, Forestry
- Valid driver’s license and capable of driving safely in city, rural and 4‐wheel drive conditions
- Physically capable of extended walking in adverse terrain (steep, muddy, heavily vegetated, sandy), and extended outdoor labor such as digging, reaching, lifting up to 40 lbs, squatting, pulling, etc.
- Ability to maintain clear and accurate records
Preferred Knowledge, Skills, Ability & Experience
- Fluency in conversational Spanish (highly preferred)
- Experience supervising and working with contractors to develop work scopes and budgets
- Experience with ranch and farm management including row crops, grazing and/or forestry
- Experience with ranch and forest road maintenance, erosion control, and weed management
- Knowledge of agricultural industry drivers along with local ecosystem functions and ability to work collaboratively to realize successful co-management outcomes
- Knowledge of local ecosystems and management issues
- A collaborative mindset especially related to managing natural resources on working lands (agriculture, grazing, logging) and with recreation (hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing)
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with a diverse audience
- Strong prioritization and time management skills
- Safe use of manual and power tools, including off‐road vehicles and chainsaws
- Capable of interpreting legal documents (e.g. contracts, leases)
- Proficient with technical tools: Microsoft Office, GIS, GPS, maps, compass, and cameras
The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County operates in an ecologically and demographically diverse region of central California. We recognize that our organization does not represent the human diversity of our region that will enhance our work and impact.
The Land Trust aspires to be an organization representative of the communities we serve. We are looking for people with a passion for nature, land protection, and teamwork. We encourage everyone to apply for our available positions, even if they don’t meet all the hiring criteria listed in the job description.
Interested applicants are encouraged to apply before September 15, 2023 when review of applications will begin. Position open until filled.
To apply, send your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org