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Hansi Johnson

Conservation Program Manager | Project Coordinator – Restoration | Associate Staff Attorney

Conservation Program Manager

Summary of Position:

The Minnesota Land Trust works statewide in 11 Conservation Program Areas to achieve its conservation goals as outlined in its 2017-2027 Conservation Agenda. In furtherance of this goal, Land Trust staff complete 40-50 conservation easements annually.

The Conservation Program Manager is responsible for leading – in concert with other Land Protection and Legal staff – the Land Trust’s land protection goals within the Alexandria Moraine and Agassiz Beach Ridges conservation program areas. The Conservation Program Manager sets the stage for program success by: 1) crafting conservation plans that prioritize and target the Land Trust’s conservation work, 2) building effective partnerships that enable the Land Trust to maximize its impact and harness the contributions of others, and 3) procuring resources to achieve the Land Trust’s land protection goals in these program areas.

The Program Manager works closely with other Land Trust staff as a member of the conservation team, landowners, and our program partners – local units of government, state and federal agencies and non-governmental conservation organizations. In addition, the Program Manager represents the Land Trust in various public settings and participates in fundraising and easement stewardship activities.

The Land Protection Manager reports to the Director of Land Protection and does not supervise other staff; however, the Land Protection Manager may award contracts and coordinate with contractors and volunteers. Travel, including some overnight travel, is required for this position.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ)

All employees of the Minnesota Land Trust are expected to embrace the ideals of our DEIJ plan and incorporate our DEIJ goals into their ongoing work. All employees should be familiar with the current DEIJ plan.

Duties and Responsibilities:

Project management:  70%

The Conservation Program Manager manages all aspects of conservation easement projects undertaken within assigned program areas to achieve land protection goals of respective grants.

  • Assess the merits of and prioritize individual conservation projects.
  • Negotiate conservation easement terms with landowners; draft conservation easement documents.
  • Draft Requests for Proposals, solicit contractors and execute contracts for work associated with the conservation easement process (e.g., Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments, surveys, and habitat management plans), following Land Trust and MN DNR contracting protocols; prepare amendments to contracts, as necessary.
  • Facilitate completion of appraisals and baseline documentation reports working through the Land Protection Manager and Land Protection Coordinator.
  • Coordinate with Legal staff and landowners to resolve title issues and otherwise position a project for closing.
  • Prepare and present projects for approval to the Conservation Committee and Board.

Program development and management: 15%

The Conservation Program Manager builds and maintains effective Alexandria Moraine and Agassiz Beach Ridges programs, forging strong partnerships with governmental and non-governmental partners to implement the Land Trust’s 2017-2027 Conservation Agenda.

  • In concert with the Restoration Team, complete the Alexandria Moraine and Agassiz Beach Ridges program conservation plans that provide focus for the Land Trust’s work within each program area.
  • Assist in the procurement of grants – Outdoor Heritage Fund, etc. – to fund conservation strategies prioritized for these program areas.
  • Implement effective conservation strategies to achieve the goals identified in the respective conservation plans.
  • Build program awareness with partners, landowners, and key stakeholders.
  • Work effectively with the Director of Land Protection, Stewardship Director, Director of Restoration, Staff Attorneys, and other Land Trust staff to facilitate Land Trust’s ongoing work in the Alexandria Moraine and Agassiz Beach Ridges program areas.

Grant management: 10%

The Conservation Program Manager monitors agreements with subcontractors to ensure they meet the procurement compliance requirements of grant awards.

  • Contract templates: work with department leaders to create standard contract templates to ensure consistency and minimize risk.
  • Contract review: Serve as quality review for contracts developed by Program Managers prior to attaining signature.
  • Budget Review: Ensure expenses do not exceed grant budget. Regularly review financial report to prevent over-spending on budget lines; confirm there are adequate funds before signing subcontractor agreements; proactively seek budget amendment if actual expenses will exceed budget line.

Other program administration: 5%

Provide assistance to the Land Protection Department and Land Trust as assigned.

Position Requirements:

  1. Master’s degree or law degree and three years of experience in natural resources, land management or other related conservation field OR bachelor’s degree and similar combination of education and experience.
  2. Familiarity with land protection real estate transactions.
  3. Demonstrated experience with and knowledge of Minnesota’s landscapes and natural resources, particularly pertaining to western and northwestern Minnesota.
  4. Three years of demonstrated experience managing complex projects and/or conservation real estate transactions.
  5. Excellent communication skills; ability to work effectively in a team environment with a wide variety of individuals – landowners, stakeholders, partners, staff and board members – in achieving organizational goals.
  6. Well-organized, self-motivated and self-directed. Highly attentive to details and follow-through essential for conservation real estate transactions.
  7. Ability to work independently and lead internal projects.
  8. Experience and proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, email and calendar programs.
  9. Professional demeanor and excellent communication and communication skills.
  10. Valid driver’s license.

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Experience with Minnesota’s land and water conservation programs and state/federal grant programs, including the Outdoor Heritage Fund and Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
  2. Proficiency in the understanding and generation of maps, natural resource information, and other spatial data. Proficiency with GIS programs.

Physical Demands:

This position is physically demanding:

  1. Willingness to travel throughout Minnesota, including periodic solo, overnight trips.
  2. Ability to drive long distances of 300-800 miles round trip. Air flights may be an option to northwest Minnesota.
  3. Ability to navigate in remote settings and traverse up to 5 miles over uneven terrain at all times of the year, carrying up to 10 pounds of gear.

Location:

St. Paul or Duluth MN; or Appropriate Field Location in Minnesota. Hybrid or remote work schedules may be considered.

Salary range:

$60,000-$75,000, commensurate with experience

Application:

Please provide a cover letter and resume saved as a single PDF to Sue Martinez at smartinez@mnland.org by October 23, 2022.

Minnesota Land Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Company will not discriminate because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, genetic information, sex, disability, age, or any other status protected by state or local law, for employees who fall within the jurisdiction of such law.


Project Coordinator – Restoration

Summary of Position:

The Minnesota Land Trust’s mission is the preservation and restoration of Minnesota’s natural heritage for future generations. The Land Trust’s Restoration Program works with private landowners and agency partners to restore and manage ecological restoration projects in many regions of the State. The Project Coordinator assists Restoration Program Managers to complete projects. The Project Coordinator collects field data, prepares scopes of work, completes vendor contracts and other procurement agreements and inspects key activities including work done by subcontractors. The Coordinator plays a key role in project tracking and reporting. The Coordinator interacts directly with the Land Trust’s partners including local units of government, tribal natural resource managers, state and federal agencies and other Land Trust staff.

The Land Trust and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Partners for Wildlife are restoring prairie and wetlands in the west central and southwest regions of Minnesota. A significant portion of the Coordinator’s work is assigned to assist USFWS design, bid, and complete these restoration projects. Extensive travel, including extended overnight, to Fergus Falls, Morris, and other areas in Minnesota required. The selected applicant will be expected to complete USFWS training modules as a part of their duties. Alternative office arrangements may be available at USFWS facilities at Fergus Falls or Morris, MN.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ)

All employees of the Minnesota Land Trust are expected to embrace the ideals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice and incorporate DEIJ principles throughout their work. All employees are required to be familiar with the Land Trust’s current DEIJ plan.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Assist restoration program managers with prairie and wetland restoration (80%)
  • Support survey and design for activities such as grading and earthwork, seeding, mowing, tree removal, and prescribed burning.
  • Prepare appropriate maps and GIS data.
  • Prepare scope of work, bid packages and vendor contracts.
  • Operate equipment and assist with field work such as seeding, mowing and erosion control.
  • Coordinate with landowners and contractors.
  • Handle invoices and other paperwork following procedure in a timely manner.
  • Ensure quality assurance and quality compliance for restoration projects including on-site inspections for contract compliance, documentation and project performance.
  1. Support Restoration Program administration (10%).
  • Maintain organizational record-keeping and project database.
  • Participate in DEIJ planning and initiatives.
  • Assist with grant applications and reporting.
  1. Participate in external communications. (10%)
  • Communicate the Land Trust’s work in this area with staff, board, partners, volunteers, and landowners.
  • Contribute to external outreach and communication efforts related to fundraising or marketing program areas.

Position Requirements:

  1. Three years experience in natural resource management or habitat restoration OR a bachelor’s degree in biological or environmental science.
  2. Experience, or willingness to undergo training to work unsupervised outdoors operating power equipment.
  3. Ability to understand and navigate using maps, and other spatial data.
  4. Experience in project management, record-keeping, and data collection.
  5. Well organized and self-directed, with attention to detail and follow-through.
  6. Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  7. Willingness to work with a wide variety of individuals, including landowners, agency partners, contractors, and volunteers.
  8. Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite; ESRI GIS programs desired.
  9. A valid MN driver’s license, or ability to obtain one.

Physical Demands:

This position is physically demanding and the following activities are necessary to fulfill the position.

  1. Ability to navigate in remote settings and traverse up to 3 miles over uneven terrain at all times of the year.
  2. Must be able to lift 40 pounds.
  3. Willingness to operate with training ATV, UTV, and other power equipment in off-road conditions.
  4. Ability to travel throughout Minnesota with a focus on western and southwestern regions. Overnight stays occasionally required.
  5. Office duties to be performed at a desk and at a computer.

Location:

Duluth or west-central MN. Hybrid remote work schedules may be considered.

Salary range:

$55,000 to $65,000 annually

Application:

Please provide a cover letter and resume saved as a single PDF to Sue Martinez at smartinez@mnland.org by October 13, 2022.

Minnesota Land Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Company will not discriminate because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, genetic information, sex, disability, age, or any other status protected by state or local law, for employees who fall within the jurisdiction of such law.


Associate Staff Attorney

Summary of Position:

The Associate Staff Attorney is responsible for providing the Minnesota Land Trust, a nonprofit Minnesota corporation, with legal services required to complete conservation easement projects, fee title real estate transactions, restoration projects, stewardship, and other projects connected with the mission of the Land Trust. This includes responsibility for drafting and/or reviewing transactional documents to ensure that the Land Trust maintains the highest standards in its work. The Associate Staff Attorney works closely with the Senior Staff Attorney, Staff Attorney, and Paralegals and reports to the Senior Staff Attorney. The Associate Staff Attorney also works closely with the Director of Land Protection, Program Managers, Restoration Managers, the Director of Conservation Stewardship and the Chief Executive Officer.

Responsibilities:

  1. Draft and/or review conservation easements, board resolutions, surveys, title work, options, purchase agreements, access easements, baseline documentation reports, subcontracts, restoration agreements, IRS appraisals and tax deduction documentation, and all other components of Land Trust transactions required to meet Minnesota Land Trust policies, Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices, State of Minnesota requirements, IRS requirements and other legal or grant requirements.
  2. Provide legal advice on real estate transactions to the Land Trust Staff to ensure sound conservation and business transactions.
  3. Assist in the acceptance of donated fee title property and the purchase or sale of fee-title property and other Land Trust special projects.
  4. Assist with updating templates, documents, project manuals, fact sheets, and other materials.
  5. Work with the Director of Land Protection, Program Managers, Senior Staff Attorney, Staff Attorney, and Paralegals to achieve annual land protection project goals and grant deliverables while maintaining a consistent workflow through the year.
  6. Work with the Director of Conservation Stewardship as needed on interpretations, amendments and enforcement issues on existing Land Trust conservation easements, and on easement litigation matters with the support of outside legal counsel.
  7. Work with the Director of Restoration, as needed, on contract drafting, interpretations, amendments, and any enforcement issues related to restoration work.
  8. Other duties as assigned.

Entrance Requirements:

  1. A bachelor’s degree and law degree and at least 1-2 years of experience as a Minnesota licensed attorney with a strong technical and transactional real-estate and contracts background. Non-profit corporation and/or estate planning expertise and experience are helpful but not required.
  2. Excellent communication and writing skills, ability to work with a wide variety of individuals, and desire to be part of a mission-driven conservation organization.
  3. Well organized, self-directed, attentive to details, and responsive to deadlines.
  4. Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite of programs and information management systems.
  5. Strong interest in land conservation and working as a team to complete new land protection projects and to help maintain a well-respected and robust conservation organization.
  6. Willingness to work select evenings and weekends, as necessary.
  7. Flexibility to work remotely, as needed.

Location:

Offices in Duluth or St. Paul, MN, with other remote in-state locations considered.

Salary:

Salary will be based on qualifications and experience and will range from $85,000 to $95,000 or commensurate with experience.

Application:

Please provide a cover letter and resume saved as a single PDF to Sue Martinez at smartinez@mnland.org. This position will remain open until filled. Review of applications will begin September 15, 2022.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to the individual’s race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, genetic information, status as a military veteran or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.


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