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Associate Director

Watertown NY

Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust (THTLT) is a regional, private, nonprofit organization founded in 1990 by a group of Tug Hill residents, and incorporated as an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization in 1991. Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust serves the portions of Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, and Oswego counties that fall within the boundaries of the Tug Hill region in northern New York State. THTLT was formed for two purposes: to help increase awareness and appreciation of the Tug Hill region through educational efforts; and to help retain the forest, farm, recreation and wild lands of the region through voluntary, private land protection efforts.

For 26 years THTLT has worked in and around the region to protect nearly 20,000 acres through both donated and purchased conservation easements. THTLT is a small, regional land trust with five staff, with offices located at the NYS Zoo at Thompson Park in Watertown. THTLT earned national accreditation in 2011 which was renewed in 2016.


Position Description

The Associate Director will be responsible for oversight and general management of our land conservation programs including: the organization’s purchase of development rights programs, conservation easement stewardship and administration, renewal of national accreditation efforts. Fundraising responsibilities include grant writing and compliance, donation of properties and other assets and direct cultivation of donors. This full-time position reports to the Executive Director. Tasks include, but are not limited to:


Land Protection Responsibilities:

Prepares and implements property protection strategies, negotiate donations and purchases of conservation easements, drafts conservation easements, develops baseline documentation, landowner outreach and correspondence, and assists in easement monitoring as necessary.

Oversees all aspects of program development and administration for purchase of development rights projects including working with, and communication to, partner organizations, Fort Drum Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) Program, New York State’s Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program (FPIG), other land protection grant programs and private individuals.

Assisting towns and counties with agriculture and farmland protection planning efforts and implementation of programs.

Oversees all aspects of the conservation easement stewardship and administration program, including the link between conservation easement language, organizational capacity, and the long-term conservation goals of THTLT.


Fundraising Responsibilities:

Writes grants for land protection projects. This will require writing multiple applications, and managing ongoing projects, simultaneously.

Oversee all grants to ensure compliance with terms and guide the ED in strategies for increasing outreach, programs, and grants/donor programs.

Cultivates landowners and donors and solicits charitable gifts of conservation easements, land, appreciated assets and money; works with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to enhance program funding and overall organizational effectiveness.

Other Duties: as assigned by the Executive Director.


Management Responsibilities:

Oversee land protection staff, contractors, and volunteers.

With ED, develop organizational policies and ensure organizational compliance with said policies.

Inspire and train land protection staff and volunteers.

Create budgets and systemic organizational thinking related to overall organizational goals and programs.

Oversee other staff and support the ED in her management efforts, including monitoring financial cash flow and budgeting.

Ensure compliance with national standards and practices for all aspects of the organization; reports possible problems with corresponding suggestions for improvements to ED on a quarterly basis.

Prepare and oversee THTLT for the land trust accreditation renewal process.



The successful candidate will be a visionary leader in project development and conservation easement stewardship, including growing a farmland/working landscape conservation program, with exceptional internal operations management skills. S/he will have a passion for working landscapes, broadening the organization’s constituency, and connecting people to the land. THTLT is a growing organization which necessitates this person to ensure smooth operations as the program grows. While no one person will likely embody all of the qualities enumerated below, the ideal candidate will possess a majority of the following professional and personal abilities, attributes, and experiences:

A record of accomplishment in an entrepreneurial, problem-solving, service-oriented environment, preferably in a growing land trust with program complexity and pressing land conservation needs. A proven track record effectively managing myriad operations and program needs including administrating purchase of development rights programs within New York State, and/or other state programs.

An understanding of the current agricultural and forestry needs, opportunities and challenges, as well as strategic thinking related to future issues and related program design. Demonstrated success both implementing and overseeing conservation easement projects and overall program development. Ability to communicate and respect highly sensitive and confidential information with ease and compassion.

Demonstrated experience in strategic relationship building within the farming, forestry, and landowner community.

Proven ability to research, innovatively create solutions, and produce concise reports for various audiences. Excellent ability to balance the delivery of programs against the realities of a limited budget while incorporating problem solving, creative and strategic resourcefulness skills..

A commitment to rural people, working landscapes, and serving the greater public interest via conservation is a must. Demonstrated ability to listen to farmers, landowners, community members and partners and to devise responsive, thoughtful, solutions to funding, programmatic, and conservation needs.

Outstanding oral, written, listening, and interpersonal communications skills. A demonstrated ability to customizing outreach to meet different constituencies. Organizational fundraising and related outreach experience very helpful.

Ability to travel throughout the Tug Hill region and Northern New York, and occasionally within/outside of New York State. Some weekend and evening work is required.


The successful candidate will possess an advanced degree in natural resources, landplaning, landscape design, agriculture or forestry, and a minimum of 4 years of direct conservation project design, easement drafting, and implementation. Strong computer skills required. Excellent presentation, written and verbal skills are critical. Candidates with a proven track record managing complex operations, projects and grants are encouraged to apply.


To Apply

Applications are due by March 31, 2018, but will be reviewed as received. Applications (which will not be reviewed without a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), two writing samples, and three references) should be sent to thtomorr@northnet.org, or Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust, PO Box 6063, Watertown, NY 13601. In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please write your name (Last, First-Application) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail. More information about Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust may be found at: http://www.tughilltomorrowlandtrust.org. No phone calls or faxes, please.

Posted March 5, 2018

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