Employer: Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust

Job Title: Land Protection Specialist

Supervisor: Deputy Director

Location: Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust Service Area

Compensation: $45,000 to $65,000 per year, commensurate with experience, plus benefits         

Application Deadline: November 10, 2023

Start Date: To be determined with the successful candidate


Conservation easements are at the heart of Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust’s (SSLT) mission. The Land Protection Specialist plays an essential role in developing and coordinating conservation easement agreements and fee title acquisitions for permanent land and water protection. This position is located in SSLT’s Service Area and requires knowledge and experience with project management, land conservation, budget tracking, report writing, building relationships with landowners, and partnership collaboration. Attention to detail, building and maintaining relationships, and strong written and verbal communication skills are required.

 Duties and Responsibilities:

The Land Protection Specialist is supervised by the Deputy Director and works closely with the Bear River Watershed Coordinator, SSLT staff, and the Board Transaction Committee to ensure the highest standards and practices for conservation easement delivery. The successful candidate will demonstrate aptitude and drive to accelerate the pace of land conservation through creative thinking, problem solving, and successful partnership building. Demonstrated ability to work with and communicate effectively with landowners and partners while pursuing opportunities to streamline process will be essential.

The Land Protection Specialist is responsible for identifying willing private landowners, collaborating with conservation organizations, federal, state, and local agencies, and other partners to acquire conservation easements and fee title lands to ensure the conservation values of these lands are protected in perpetuity.

  1. Land Protection: The Land Protection Specialist is responsible for coordinating and negotiating conservation easement and fee title
    acquisitions within SSLT’s Service Area. Conservation easement projects are managed in accordance with SSLT’s policies and procedures, Land Trust Alliance (LTA) Standards and Practices, and Accreditation requirements.  

Job responsibilities in this category include participation in conservation planning and assessments; creating GIS maps, navigating complex easement program and funding requirements; initiating, advancing, and closing conservation easements and fee title acquisitions; conducting landowner interviews; developing and maintaining landowner relationships; developing and maintaining project partner relationships; developing and managing project budgets and contracts in coordination with the Deputy Director and Office Manager; coordinating project due diligence; developing stewardship calculations, coordinating with the Bear River Watershed Coordinator; co-facilitating the Transaction Committee; writing grants and grant reports in coordination with the Deputy Director and Office Manager; managing multiple projects simultaneously; developing project scoping reports and easement evaluation criteria in coordination with the Stewardship Manager; tracking and maintaining project development checklists; and maintaining all conservation easement records and documentation, including LANDSCAPE database record keeping.

  1. Other Duties: Job responsibilities in this category include actively participating in monthly staff meetings; actively participating in organization planning and strategic planning; participating in Board meetings and Committee meetings as needed; providing presentations for public outreach and education related to Land Protection; contributing to SSLT newsletters and outreach materials; developing press releases for conservation easement projects; participation in fundraising and community building events; administrative details such as annual work planning, performance evaluations, accurate time accounting, and coordination with other staff; and other duties as assigned.

Essential Job Functions and Abilities:

  • Ability to engage with private landowners in effective ways to support landowner needs and communicate conservation objectives.
  • Ability to traverse 400+ acre sites on foot, through steep, rugged terrain in remote areas all four seasons of the year.
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and work under tight timeframes.
  • Ability to work independently and to set and adhere to priorities.
  • Ability to be flexible in work schedules and changing priorities.
  • Ability and willingness to travel frequently within Southeastern Idaho and other areas as needed.
  • Experience and knowledge identifying local habitat types, species and natural communities, and an awareness of general ecosystem principles, habitat management techniques, and farming and ranching practices.
  • Desire and demonstrated ability to identify and address personal knowledge gaps; to learn on the job; and to cultivate sources of knowledge, expertise, and skill.
  • Passion for conservation.


  • Possess valid driver’s license.
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in social science, natural resources, law, conservation planning, non-profit management, or related field.
  • Knowledge of current tax and conservation easement laws.
  • Demonstrated ability to track project budgets and independently initiate, structure, negotiate, manage, and close complex projects.
  • Experience negotiating and relationship building with landowners, private partners, federal and state agencies, and other partners.
  • Experience developing and managing grants and grant reporting.
  • Knowledge of natural resources, geography of the landscape, and the economy and people of Southeastern Idaho.
  • Commitment to the vision, values, and conservation goals of the Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust.
  • The successful candidate will be self-directed, highly motivated, flexible, and detail oriented.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office.

Strong preference will be given to candidates with experience in land or water conservation transactions, grant writing & administration, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), database management, conservation easement negotiations, and real estate transaction law in a land trust, agency, or comparable setting.

Hiring Entity: Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust (SSLT) is a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 conservation organization incorporated in 2004 and is a qualified organization within the meaning of section 170 (h)(3) of the IRS Code. Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust is accredited through the Land Trust Accreditation Commission and serves the 7 counties of Southeastern Idaho: Bannock, Bingham, Power, Oneida, Bear Lake, Caribou and Franklin.  To learn more, please visit: www.sagebrushlandtrust.org

Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer and supports a culture of professional excellence through adaptive leadership, best management practices, diverse representation, equitable policies and procedures, and inclusive approaches to conservation. All qualified applicants are welcome and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, veteran status, or disability. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, or to perform essential job functions, please contact SSLT Office (208.240.6045).

Our Mission: The mission of Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust is to protect, connect, and enhance wildlife habitat, working lands, and community spaces in Southeast Idaho, now and for future generations.

Office Culture: The Land Protection Specialist is an important part of the Land Trust team and will actively engage in building an organizational culture of integrity, trust, respect, strong collaboration and teamwork, personal and professional growth, outstanding service, diversity, equity, and inclusiveness.

SSLT Vision: We envision southeast Idaho as a place where people from all walks of life can connect with, support, and appreciate the spectacular landscapes of our region; a landscape with healthy people, waters and wildlife; a region of farms and ranches that work in partnership with surrounding wildlife goals and community heritage; a quality of life that allows our small towns and cities to balance development and economic opportunities with a lasting foundation of lands and waters, for both public recreation and private ownership, which give our region its unique identity and sense of place.

Benefits: Paid vacation time and holidays; matching retirement contribution; paid medical leave; health care stipend; and sabbatical opportunity after 5 years of employment as indicated in Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust’s Personnel Policy, available upon request.

Vehicle Use: A vehicle will be provided for work-related travel.

Office Location: The Land Protection Specialist’s office is located at 109 N Arthur Ave., Suite 300, Pocatello, Idaho 83204.

Work Schedule: This is a full-time position. Some evening and weekend work and travel will be required.

How to Apply: Please email the following to amme@sagebrushlandtrust.org with the Subject Line titled, “Land Protection Specialist”.

  1. A letter of interest that describes how you heard of this open position, why you’re interested in the position and in the mission of Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust, and your specific qualifications for this position.
  2. A resume/curriculum vitae that includes your contact information.
  3. Names and contact information for three relevant professional references.

Interviews will be scheduled and conducted with qualified applicants as they are received. You will be assigned a topic related to conservation easements 2 weeks before your interview that you will present to the Hiring Committee. You are encouraged to submit your application early; we may extend an offer prior to the application deadline.