Open Positions

HeadWaters Land Conservancy


Position Title: Land Protection Specialist

Reports to: Executive Director

Status: Exempt, Full-time, Salaried, includes benefits

Salary Range: $38,000 - $42,000

Application Deadline: December 19, 2022


About HeadWaters Land Conservancy: HeadWaters Land Conservancy protects the natural beauty of northeast Michigan by preserving significant land and scenic areas, advancing stewardship of land held as preserves and in conservation easements, and fostering appreciation and understanding of the environment. HeadWaters works across 11 counties: Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Crawford, Iosco, Montmorency, Roscommon, Presque Isle, Ogemaw, Oscoda, and Otsego. Since its founding in 1993, HeadWaters has grown to protect 12,708 acres and 37 miles of shoreline at our 7 preserves and on our 92 conservation easements.


Position Summary:  The Land Protection Specialist is responsible for sourcing, structuring, and closing land protection projects including nature preserve acquisitions and conservation easements.  The Land Protection Specialist also manages Conservation Easement Monitoring Program, serves on HWLC’s Lands Committee, and represents HWLC in conservation partnerships and at public events. Works closely with the Stewardship Manager on acquisition projects and landowner engagement.


Duties and Responsibilities:

Land Protection ~40%

  • Develop and implement strategic land protection plan which will identify new properties for protection
  • Respond to inquiries from prospective landowners in a timely, respectful manner
  • Conducts initial site visits and negotiate project details with landowners
  • Prepare project funding estimates, maps, and baseline documentation reports
  • Evaluate and present new projects to Land Committee and Board of Directors
  • Conduct appropriate due diligence for each new land project and close projects in accordance with the law and HWLC policies
  • Draft legal documents needed for closing including conservation easements, amendments, purchase agreements, donation agreements, subordination agreements, and affidavits for review by legal counsel


Stewardship ~30%

  • Ensure annual monitoring visits are completed and documented for each CE
  • Oversee Volunteer Land Stewards who help conduct annual CE monitoring visits
  • Respond to questions from CE owners and provide resources to encourage responsible stewardship, including educational sessions and assistance with connecting landowners to funding for land management
  • Maintain accurate property ownership records
  • Respond to CE violations and enforce CE terms
  • Communicate regularly with CE owners through Northwood News, annual monitoring visits, and monitoring follow-ups


Management ~10%

  • Maintain HWLC’s ArcGIS database
  • Draft, review, and update land protection and stewardship related Standards and Practices with Stewardship Manager and Lands Committee
  • Schedule and set agenda for Lands Committee meetings
  • Assist in financing land protection projects including identifying and securing grant funding and completing grant reports


Community Engagement ~15%

  • Plan and facilitate community education sessions for landowners with the assistance of the Stewardship Manager
  • Educate and inform the public about HWLC’s mission at community events
  • Contribute to Currents newsletter, E-News, and website
  • Participate in HWLC’s outreach events, public meetings, forums, and other events to engage local partners


Other Duties ~5%

  • Participate in organizational planning sessions with other staff
  • Assist with stewardship, outreach, engagement, and cultivation activities as needed
  • Other duties as assigned by Supervisor


Working Conditions: The position involves both indoor computer and outdoor physical work. A good portion will include typing reports and documents at a computer. This position will also include moderately heavy work in the field during all seasons and exposure to all weather conditions. Typical hours are 9-5 PM, Monday – Friday, with some flexibility. Evening or weekend work is occasionally required.


Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience

Experience with land conservation real estate transactions and conservation easements

Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Basic knowledge of ArcGIS, including ability to create and edit maps

Outstanding attention to detail and a demonstrated commitment to timely completion of projects Ability to execute multiple projects and tasks concurrently

Ability to enjoy and complete outdoor work in all seasons and adverse climatic conditions

Knowledge of natural history, ecology, botany and or geography background and skills

Familiarity with Michigan plants and natural communities and invasives

Ability to work both independently and as part of a team

Valid driver’s license

A passion for the mission of land conservation


Compensation: This is a full-time, 40 hours per week salaried position, Salary range: $38,000 - $42,000. The position offers paid vacation, paid sick leave and a Simple IRA retirement benefit.

To apply please send resume and cover letter to Julie Rubsam Executive Director at