The Housatonic Valley Association (HVA) seeks an experienced and committed land protection specialist to advance the conservation goals of a dynamic and groundbreaking regional conservation partnership in western New England and Eastern New York. This is an exciting opportunity to be on the cutting edge of strategic and collaborative land protection in the service of a shared conservation vision – Follow the Forest – along one of the most significant wildlife corridors in North America that extends from the lower Hudson Valley in New York through Western New England to Canada.
This is a full-time position with competitive salary and benefits. The Land Protection Specialist reports directly to HVA’s Regional Land Conservation & Greenprint Director and plays a key role in all aspects of collaborative land protection within the Housatonic Valley Watershed. The ideal candidate will be familiar with a suite of land protection tools and methods (fee simple purchase, conservation easements and conservation restrictions, term easements and deed restrictions) especially as practiced in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. S/He will be a skilled facilitator, with a keen appreciation for the challenges and opportunities of working successfully with landowners, land trusts, municipalities, state and federal agencies, and conservation finance and philanthropy, as well as sensitivity to regional and local differences in law, custom and identity.
Excellent project management skills, as well as demonstrated interactive problem solving, are essential. Outstanding communication skills both oral and written, and the ability to be a catalyst and provider of key information and resources even when not directly a party to the transaction are vital to this position.
Across the 1.4 million acre Housatonic Valley watershed, HVA is a knowledgeable, trusted partner and environmental leader. HVA is both a regional watershed organization and an accredited Land Trust.
Rather than adding to its own conservation holdings, HVA facilitates significant, complex land protection transactions by and with numerous partner organizations in several states. As sponsor of the Litchfield Hills Greenprint Collaborative, a highly regarded partnership of nearly 30 local and regional land trusts and like-minded organizations and entities in Northwest Connecticut, HVA provides a wealth of experience, project facilitation, GIS capacity, fundraising and policy advocacy to this robust alliance.
Follow the Forest
Follow the Forest is an outgrowth of strategic conservation planning pioneered through the Litchfield Hills Greenprint. It builds on data initially proposed and developed independently by The Nature Conservancy, The University of Massachusetts, and the University of Connecticut and further refined by HVA and its local and regional conservation partners. Follow the Forest recognizes the extensive areas of upland forest that are emblematic of our region and the places in between that provide critical wildlife habitat linkages for hundreds of miles between Westchester County, New York and the forests of Southern Quebec. To conserve this resilient landscape and its capacity to mitigate some of the effects of a warming climate and ensure that plant and animal species are able to adapt their ranges in response to changing conditions and development pressure, Follow the Forest calls for the permanent protection of at least 50% of the large interior forest habitats and the lands that connect them all along this nationally significant wildlife corridor. Within the Housatonic watershed, this will mean saving at least 75,000 strategic acres. We are committed to helping our partners achieve this vision in the next 25 years.
Qualifications and Experience
4-year degree and 5 years direct experience in land protection or related strategic conservation work at local and regional levels; experience with real estate transactions’ conservation finance; conservation area planing are preferred. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse partners and interests, including governmental, private and non-profit sectors. Experience with land protection inNew York, Connecticut and/or Massachusetts strongly desired.
Please send a letter of interest, resume and three references to:
Tim Abbott, Regional Conservation & Greenprint Director