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Conservation Project Associate

Lakewood CO

Preferred Start Date: October 2019


Colorado Open Lands (COL) is a dynamic statewide land trust that has worked to conserve over half a million acres of critical land and water resources across Colorado. We focus our work in priority landscapes and take pride in our community-based approach. We are large enough to be a highly professional team with incredible support and resources, but small enough to be flexible and efficient. COL seeks a motivated Conservation Project Associate to support our conservation project managers in working with landowners and public entities to achieve our goal of protecting 800,000 acres by 2025.

Position Summary: As a member of the acquisition team, the Conservation Project Associate will report to the Director of Conservation and will work closely with the team’s four project managers to support conservation easement projects throughout Colorado. Primary responsibilities include drafting conservation easements, performing project due diligence, complying with record-keeping standards, and managing other tasks essential to complete conservation easement transactions. Each project manager will be responsible for landowner outreach and initial project development, while this position will be responsible for supporting the project manager and transitioning the landowner relationship to manage project implementation. The position is based in our Lakewood, Colorado office and will involve occasional statewide travel and regular communication with landowners and team members in rural areas. If you are passionate about private land/water conservation, can communicate with a variety of people, have an eye for detail, possess the fortitude for project management, and can tolerate a supervisor with a penchant for puns, this is the job for you.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

– Manage specific aspects of conservation easement projects assigned by project managers (which may be jointly or independently managed, depending on the need). Activities include evaluating water rights and reviewing appraisals, baseline reports, title exceptions, legal descriptions, and other documents as needed.

– Coordinate correspondence between COL and project partners/contractors including appraisers, baseline preparers, attorneys, tax credit brokers, and funders.

– Prepare and negotiate conservation documents (e.g., purchase/option agreements, agricultural conservation easements, subordination agreements, title documents, closing instructions, invoices, etc.) in close collaboration with the Director of Conservation, project managers, and outside legal counsel.

– Maintain consistent record-keeping and archiving for assigned projects.

– As a member of the conservation team, contribute to ensuring that policies and practices meet current professional standards.

– Assist with preparation of acquisition team strategic plans, annual work plans, and budgets.

– Participate in organizational decision-making, communications, fundraising, and outreach efforts. – Build cooperative, effective working relationships with partner agencies, landowners, funding agencies and foundations, local government, conservationists, policy makers, and planners.




– A minimum of two years’ demonstrated experience in project management and/or conservation real estate transactions or water projects.

– Demonstrated knowledge of real estate transactions, including appraisals, title work, due diligence, escrow instructions, closing principles.

– Strong interpersonal skills including the ability to exercise initiative, good judgment and tact.

– Ability to work independently and as a team and manage multiple concurrent complex projects.

– Competency with Microsoft Office Suite.

– A four-year degree in natural resources management, law, or a related field strongly preferred.



– Experience with ESRI ArcGIS computer mapping software and GPS

– Knowledge of Colorado communities.

– A basic understanding of Colorado water law.

– Experience working with agricultural producers or rural communities.

– Experience with securing and/or managing grant funding and with contract management.

– Experience in developing and fostering relationships with diverse communities and organizations that support the development and advancement of equity and inclusion.

– Collaborative experience with non-profit organizations, community groups and government agencies.

– Understanding of emerging public policy issues affecting land use and land preservation, including habitat protection, water quality and quantity, sustainable agricultural, and forest land management and climate change


Schedule, Salary and Benefits:

This is a full-time permanent position with salary range of $40,000-48,000 commensurate with skills and experience. Colorado Open Lands offers a competitive compensation package including 401k plan with match, health insurance (medical, dental, vision, and HSA), life and disability insurance, paid time off (sick leave, vacation, and holidays) and a collaborative, flexible work environment. Work schedule will include very occasional evenings and weekends and limited statewide travel.


To Apply:

Please send a résumé, cover letter, and three relevant references to Applications must be received no later than midnight (MDT) on Sunday, September 1, 2019. The anticipated interview schedule includes phone interviews conducted 9/9-9/12 and in-person or video call interviews conducted the weeks of 9/16 and 9/23.

Posted August 1, 2019

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