Job Opening: Director of Land Protection

Sudbury Valley Trustees, a nonprofit regional land trust located west of Boston, MA, seeks a Director of Land Protection (DLP) to lead SVT’s work to protect natural areas and farmland for wildlife and people.  

 
About SVT

Sudbury Valley Trustees (SVT) conserves natural areas and farmland in 36 communities around the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers. We protect some of the region’s most important forests, wetlands, and grasslands—natural areas that support wildlife habitat, working farms, and recreational trails. SVT is accredited by the national Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

SVT cares for more than 5,000 acres on 181 properties, maintains more than 65 miles of hiking trails, and provides an array of public educational programs and recreational outings. We accomplish our work through three strategies: land protection, stewardship, and engagement.  We collaborate with numerous partner organizations, and our work is supported by 2,900 members and 200 volunteers. We accomplish our work through an all-volunteer Board of Directors and 14 staff members.

Our headquarters are located in a former farmhouse at the 52-acre Wolbach Farm in Sudbury, MA, where we enjoy views of scenic meadows and woodlands. Our dedicated staff enjoys a supportive, cooperative work environment in a hybrid in-office/remote setting.

 
Position Overview

The DLP is responsible for the land protection program at SVT.  S/he leads SVT’s work to develop and implement a comprehensive program to protect the region’s vulnerable lands using the full suite of protection tools, including purchase, bargain sales, conservation restrictions, gifts, and a wide variety of collaborations with municipalities, state and federal agencies, conservation organizations and private landowners.  

The DLP is part of SVT’s leadership team and reports to the Executive Director. S/he directly supervises a Land Protection Specialist, a Land Protection Associate, intern(s), and occasional consultants. S/he is the staff liaison and coordinator for the Land Protection Committee, which is comprised of Board members and other volunteers, and meets 6-7 times per year.  

This is a full-time position based at SVT’s headquarters, located at Wolbach Farm in Sudbury, MA.  

 
Responsibilities

Strategy & Policy 

1. Lead SVT’s land protection team and committee to identify and prioritize vulnerable lands in need of protection.

2. Assess new land protection opportunities for their conservation values in relation to SVT’s project selection criteria.

3. Maintain, and where needed, develop policies and best practices to ensure that SVT’s land protection work complies with the Standards & Practices of the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

4. As opportunities or needs arise, participate in initiatives, both internal and external, to advance the pace and improve the practice of land protection in Massachusetts. 

5. Stay up to date on innovations and advances in conservation data, finance, and practices. 

   
Operations and Project Management

1. Directly supervise two staff members, interns, and consultants; coordinate the work of all other staff, and volunteers who participate in SVT’s land protection work.

2. Hire and manage consultants with a range of expertise (such as attorneys, appraisers, realtors, environmental scientists, and surveyors) and oversee project due diligence. 

3. With support from SVT’s Director of Finance and Administration, manage and track all aspects of land protection program finances, including

  • Prepare and administer a Land Protection Program Operating Budget 
  • Monitor detailed budgets of all open projects
  • Oversee tracking and reporting for all land protection-related grants

4.    Ensure that all land conservation prospects and transactions are adequately documented in SVT’s Locate database with reports, property attributes, legal document tracking, contact information and notes.

5.    Ensure that all land conservation transaction recordkeeping is carried out in accordance with accredication guidelines. 

6.    Manage a portion of SVT’s land conservation projects, including budgeting, contracting, and negotiating all aspects of multi-party conservation real estate transactions.

7.    Coordinate all land protection activities with other SVT staff in fundraising, stewardship planning, and communications.

8.    Ensure adequate review of all legal documents relating to land transactions and ensure that all transactions are carried out in accordance with accreditation guidelines.

9.    Serve as the staff liaison to SVT’s Land Protection Committee which is made up of a variety of individuals with expertise in law, finance, real estate, and/or non-profit management. 

   
Outreach & Fundraising

1.    Provide outreach and education to local communities, conservation partners, and landowners regarding the benefits of land conservation.

2.    Initiate and cultivate relationships with priority landowners and conservation partners to identify potential land conservation projects. Respond to inquiries from landowners and discuss conservation options, costs and benefits of conservation projects, and basic financial considerations. 

3.    Actively participate in the fundraising necessary to complete projects and in support of the organizational land protection objectives. 

4.    Together with the Executive Director, serves as a primary spokesperson in regard to land protection issues. 

5.    Maintain good relationships with nonprofit and government partners, funders, and colleagues in the greater land trust community. 

6.    Provide oversight of SVT’s targeted advocacy work.

 
Qualifications

1.    At least 7 years of successful, results-oriented experience in land conservation or real estate development, including direct experience in negotiating and managing real estate transactions.

2.    A team player and leader who inspires collaboration and provides clear, timely direction. 

3.    Proven understanding of land conservation methods and financing

4.    Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

5.    Strong computer skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Office suite and GIS. Experience with Salesforce a plus.

6.    Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and a commitment to SVT’s mission.

7.    Willingness to adjust work hours according to the needs of the organization and to occasionally work in a variety of terrains and weather.

8.    Must be willing to perform other duties as assigned.


Compensation

  • This position’s base salary range is $80,000 to $100,000. Actual salary will reflect the level of experience and qualifications relative to the position requirements.  

 
To Apply: 

  • Please email resume, cover letter, and three references to [email protected].
  • Emailed submissions should include the subject line: “DLP_[last name]” 

No phone calls, please. The job will remain open until filled. Anticipated start date: September 2022.

As an Equal Opportunity Employer, Sudbury Valley Trustees aims to create a thriving, inclusive workplace that values each member of our team and reflects and effectively serves the diverse communities of Boston’s metrowest region. SVT is committed to fairness and equity throughout our internal operations. Equity and inclusion are priorities as we strengthen and continue to diversify our team so that we can serve and expand the region in all aspects of our work.

Updated August 2022