Delaware Wild Lands Position Opening

DE Wild Lands

Delaware Wild Lands
Position Title: New Castle County Land Steward and Conservation
Programs Manager (full-time)
Reports to: Executive Director, NCC Programs Manager
Location: Odessa, DE (east of Middletown, DE)

About Delaware Wild Lands, Inc.
Delaware Wild Lands, Inc. is the State of Delaware’s oldest and largest land trust. Since our founding in 1961, Delaware Wild Lands has permanently protected more than 31,000 acres of land, 21,000 acres of which we now own and actively manage for vibrant wetlands and wildlife habitat, clean air and pure water, and healthy farms and forests. We support traditional uses of the landscape, including farming, forestry, and hunting, and are deeply committed to high quality stewardship and management of our lands to ensure their character, biodiversity, and natural beauty and bounty are safeguarded forever.

About the Position
The New Castle County Land Steward and Conservation Programs Manager is a key position at Delaware Wild Lands’ (DWL) and will help ensure DWL’s success in achieving our mission and expanding our conservation and restoration work. The New Castle County Land Steward and Conservation Programs Manager will assist with Delaware Wild Lands’ land conservation, protection, management, and restoration efforts in New Castle County helping to oversee conservation and restoration projects and programs on Delaware Wild Lands’ 5,000 acres of land holdings in New Castle County, Delaware. This position provides an opportunity for an enthusiastic, motivated individual to grow with the organization by helping to DWL develop and initiate new restoration programs and a conservation easement program for the organization.

The New Castle County Land Steward and Conservation Programs Manager is also responsible for assisting with existing programs and contracts, inspecting and reviewing properties and programs, maintaining DWL’s New Castle County properties and ensuring general upkeep of properties, maintaining good relations with lessees and neighboring landowners, and assisting with outreach and education programs. As DWL’s “on-the-ground” representative, the New Castle County Land Steward and Conservation Programs Manager will frequently work outside on conservation and restoration projects and interact with the public to address issues and answer questions concerning DWL’s mission, goals, projects, and properties.

The New Castle County Land Steward and Conservation Programs Manager will work out of the organization’s headquarters located in historic Odessa, Delaware and will also assist with conservation and restoration projects and programs on DWL’s landholdings in Kent County and Sussex Counties, as needed.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Restoration and management of DWL’s New Castle County properties
    o Help develop, document, and implement restoration plans and management actions. Monitors projects and programs to ensure goals are met and compliance with relevant contracts is maintained.
    o Coordinates management recommendations and actions with supervisors and partner organizations. Builds relationships with partner organizations to advance DWL’s missionand goals, including Ducks Unlimited, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Delmarva Ornithological Society, hunting and farming lessees, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State of Delaware, New Castle County, and others.
    o Acts as liaison with lessees, answering questions about leases, reviewing lease provisions and ensuring compliance, and addressing problems and/or disputes.
  • Land acquisition and conservation
    o Assists with development of land acquisition priorities by researching potential land acquisition projects including property attributes, key features, and planning and zoning requirements.
    o Prepares documentation for proposed and planned projects, including materials for Board and staff use.
    o Advances the development of a conservation easement program for the organization including the development of conservation easement template and needed policies, procedures, and documentation.
    o Supports work of DWL’s Northern Property Committee.
  • Outreach and education
    o Assists with education and outreach opportunities for landowners, volunteers, the general public, municipalities, and partners. Gives property tours and presents to public about DWL, DWL’s history, and land management ethic and philosophy.
    o Works with volunteers to assist with implementation of property management, habitat restoration, and outreach and education.
  • Other responsibilities
    o Budgeting: Reviews budgets and works with other staff to prepare annual operating and capital budget for New Castle County properties based on current and projected property improvements.
    o Fundraising: Support staff in developing grants for land protection, habitat restoration, and other conservation-related activities.
    DWL staff members operate as a team and the New Castle County Land Steward and Conservation Programs Manager will be expected to perform other duties as assigned.
    Skills/Core Competencies
  • Required:
    o Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills and ability to communicate with a variety of audiences and in a variety of settings, including public speaking.
    o Demonstrated strong capability to work independently and without close supervision to implement resource management projects.
    o Success in developing, directing, and managing multiple concurrent projects.
    o Demonstrated knowledge of natural resource issues (related to land management, recreation, agriculture, forestry, etc.).
    o Familiarity with aerial photos, surveys, topographic maps, and ability to find way around properties in the field.
    o Demonstrated competency with MS Office, Word, and Excel.
  • Desirable
    o Knowledge of Delaware’s Piedmont and Coastal Plain history, natural and human communities, ecosystems, geography, natural history, and an understanding of regional resource conservation needs and challenges.
    o Ability to create GIS maps and obtain and use GIS related data.
    o Experience or ability to safely use and maintain tools and equipment, including power and construction tools and agricultural equipment.Required Qualifications
    o Bachelor’s Degree in wildlife conservation and biology, environmental science, biology, ecology, forestry, environmental studies, or a related field.
    o Demonstrated experience and interest in land conservation and management, wildlife biology, or field biology.
    o Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a small team environment to develop strategies, set goals, resolve problems, make decisions, and implement plans that are in the best interest of the organization.
    o Demonstrated ability to work with a diverse range of landowners, including organizations, individuals, farmers, hunters, outdoor recreationists, birders, state agencies, public officials, and other non-profits.
    o Demonstrated ability and willingness to work outdoors for long hours and in all types of conditions (weather, humidity, bugs).
    o Able to work on a flexible schedule with some night and weekend work and travel throughout the region, sometimes on short notice.
    o Current and valid driver’s license.

This is a full-time position and salary will be commensurate with experience. Benefits include health, life, vision and dental insurance, simple IRA plan with employer contribution, and paid time off.
Applications must be submitted no later than end of the day April 29, 2016. Anticipated hire date is June 2016.

Send cover letter, resume, salary requirements, and three references to:
Debbie Turner
Delaware Wild Lands
P.O. Box 505, 315 Main Street
Odessa, DE 19730
Office: (302) 378-2736

Questions about this position may be directed to Kate Hackett, Executive Director, at 302-378-2736 or To learn more about Delaware Wild Lands visit: or
Delaware Wild Lands is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of Delaware Wild Lands to afford equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, military status, disability, age, or genetic information.