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Jan 31 / BARD CEP

Land Conservation Specialist, Kestrel Land Trust – Massachusetts

Organization: Kestrel Land Trust

Position Title: Land Conservation Specialist

Location: Amherst, Massachusetts

Dates and compensation: Salary commensurate with experience. Includes health care and other benefits.

Application Deadline: February 14, 2015

Description: Kestrel Land Trust is an ambitious, nationally accredited land trust serving the heart of the Connecticut River Valley in western Massachusetts. Kestrel is seeking a Land Conservation Specialist to play a leading role in permanently conserving woodlands, farmland, and wildlands in a 19-town region surrounding Amherst, Northampton, and Holyoke. This is a great opportunity for an experienced land conservation professional to join a growing staff of five to increase the pace of land conservation in our region. The Land Conservation Specialist is responsible for managing and completing land conservation projects under the supervision of the Executive Director and in collaboration with Kestrel’s attorney, Stewardship Manager, Development Director, and Outreach Specialist. Projects will be prioritized and approved by Kestrel’s Lands Committee to fulfill the organization’s strategic conservation goals. This position has the potential to become a senior level position as the organization grows.


Land Conservation Deals • Identify and evaluate potential land conservation projects, including through field assessments. • Provide landowners with guidance and information about conservation options, including Conservation Restrictions (CRs), Agricultural Preservation Restrictions (APRs), fee sales, and charitable donations of land or interests in land. • Negotiate donations and bargain sales to facilitate conservation projects. • Collaborate closely with partners at municipal, state, and federal agencies as each project requires. • Draft conservation restrictions, cost-sharing and reimbursement agreements, option agreements, right of first refusal agreements, and other legal real estate contracts in consultation with Kestrel’s attorney. • Manage project budgets according to Kestrel standards and protocols, covering all projects costs, including the purchase price, due diligence expenses, stewardship funds, and staff time. • Prepare and implement fundraising strategies for conservation projects, including writing grant applications and fundraising appeals in collaboration with the Development Director. • Arrange for due diligence on all projects, including appraisals, site assessments, natural resource inventory and baseline information, and soil analysis as needed. • Prepare resource maps using ArcGIS 10.x in support of land protection projects. • Prepare conservation reports, budgets, and presentations for Kestrel’s Lands Committee and Board of Trustees. • Recruit and train interns from the 5-College Area to support land conservation and planning work.

Responsibilities: Partnerships and Outreach • Serve on conservation partnership committees including the Forever Farmland Initiative, Mass-Conn Sustainable Forest Partnership, North Quabbin Regional Landscape Partnership, Friends of Conte Refuge, and the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition. • Participate in public presentations, landowner outreach events, and respond to public inquiries on land conservation issues.


  • Strong personal commitment to land conservation, wildlife habitat protection, forest stewardship, and local agriculture; • Masters degree or equivalent experience preferred in environmental studies, natural resource management, environmental law, or land use and regional planning; • 3 years professional experience managing land conservation projects or comparable projectmanagement experience. • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including an ability to connect with people from all walks of life, good sense of humor, a flexible approach, and a positive attitude. • Demonstrated ability to negotiate with multiple parties about complex financial issues; attention to detail; ability to manage multiple projects; and an aptitude for creative problem solving. • Strong writing and computer skills. • Ability to locate and physically walk remote land parcels. • Cartographic skills, including proficiency using GIS and GPS

How to Apply: Send cover letter with salary requirements, résumé, and two letters of reference in PDF format to [email protected]. No phone calls or snail mail, please.

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