Oregon Agricultural Land Easement (ALE) Program Coordinator

Website Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts

Position Details

Location: Portland, OR, with time shared between the NRCS office and the COLT office

Status: Full time

Reports to: Conservation Program Manager

Salary Range: $60,000-65,000

Duration: Position is funded for 12 months, with the expectation of annual renewal

Benefits: COLT provides a competitive benefits package including health, vision and dental coverage, generous paid time-off, half-day Fridays in the summer months, a retirement plan with employer matching program, an annual bicycle/alternative transportation stipend, and a professional development allowance.

Position Summary
The Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT) is seeking an ALE Coordinator to work closely with land trusts & staff at the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to ensure successful farm and ranch protection projects through two federal programs: the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ALE) & the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). This is a newly-funded position for Oregon, with the potential to greatly increase conservation of working lands and the fish and wildlife habitat they provide. We are looking for someone who is a self-starter, eager learner, and excellent communicator who is willing to dive into an important federal program designed to prevent the conversion of our most important agricultural lands. This position provides exposure to conservation projects across Oregon’s diverse lands and relationship-building with land trusts, landowners and agency partners.The ideal candidate should have a proven track record of managing complex projects, and an interest or experience in conservation or working with farmers and ranchers. This position will primarily be based in Portland with time shared between the NRCS office and the COLT office.

About COLT

The Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT) represents 31 conservation organizations that work to protect our land, water, and wildlife—for all people, forever. The mission of COLT is to serve and strengthen the land trust community in Oregon. COLT does not own nor steward land, but we help our members do what they do best – protect wildlife and wild places, defend working farms and forests, provide recreation and parks, champion clean water for all, drive climate solutions, and engage communities to advance land justice. COLT’s work is guided by a strategic plan that aims to 1) Advocate on behalf of land trusts 2) Support a thriving land trust community in Oregon, and 3) Strengthen our coalition.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Increase ALE Program Capacity (50%): This position will provide additional capacity to the Oregon NRCS State Office & land trust community to support more farmland protection projects. This position will:
● Work with federal partners to learn about the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) & Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).
● Work with land trusts to support the development and submission of ACEP & RCPP applications to ensure projects are completed in a timely and thorough manner.
● Maintain a tracking tool for application progression to meet state specific timelines;
provide follow up with applicants as necessary to ensure the application progression will be accomplished in a timely and efficient manner.
● Ensure application information is properly documented in NRCS business tool software (Protracts, Conservation Desktop, Conservation Assessment Ranking Tool).
● Assist NRCS with review of applications and agreements, ensuring information is correct & communicating any issues with land trusts applicants.

Enhance Communication and Clarity (40%): This position will support increased communication and clarity between ALE program applicants and the NRCS State Office to enhance agricultural conservation program implementation. This position will:
● Act as a liaison between NRCS and COLT members and other applicants. Organize, facilitate, and lead conference calls, meetings, and workshops between NRCS, COLT members, and other partners to streamline communications and address barriers.
● Routinely and promptly answer day-to-day questions regarding ALE Program policy, rules and procedures, building a solid understanding of ALE Program Rules, deadlines, and decision-making authority.
● Proactively develop annual training and outreach plans for ACEP-ALE and RCPP-ALE.

Administration & Team Building (10%):
● Participate in COLT staff meetings, team retreats & coalition events.

Winning Behaviors and Competencies
This position requires a self-starter who is eager to build relationships in Oregon and learn about tools to protect our farms and ranches and the public benefits they provide. We are looking for someone with strong communication and project management skills that can serve as a connector and communicator between the NRCS agency and land trust staff. COLT is committed to building a diverse and inclusive organization and we are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job. We encourage all applicants to apply even if they may not meet all the qualifications. All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives and voices and do not discriminate.

Qualifications, Skills, and Abilities
● A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in natural resources, planning, business, organizational development or a related field.
● Experience and/or a deep interest in private land conservation, the agricultural industry, real estate transactions, contract administration and government operations and programs.
● Demonstrated ability to think strategically, develop and manage complex projects from initial application to completion, and adaptability in changing circumstances.
● Experience and a proven ability to nurture collaboration among diverse project partners.
● Excellent written and oral communication skills, excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to foster collaboration and problem-solving.
● Proven organizational skills and a strong attention to detail, with the ability to meet deadlines and make progress on multiple projects and tasks.
● Ability to work independently.

Core Work Hours/Environment
Core work days are Monday through Friday 8:30am-5pm, with occasional evening meetings. This job is primarily a desk job, but will include regular out-of-office meetings with community partners and occasional overnight travel throughout Oregon. COLT has a hybrid workplace, and staff work both at home and in the office. There are also occasional required office days, in-person meetings, and events.

About Our Culture and Team
We are a small and nimble team that makes space for different learning styles, values diversity and supports ongoing team-building. COLT’s goal is to nurture an inspiring organization by supporting the growth, well-being and inclusivity of all staff.

COLT works to promote diversity within the land trust community and foster an equitable, just and inclusive statewide coalition. Internally, we are committed to learning, developing shared definitions of diversity, equity, justice and inclusion and creating a culture that is welcoming to all. We are also collaboratively leading the Oregon Land Justice Project, with the ultimate goal of expanding Indigenous access, ownership and stewardship of land. Learn more.

ADA Statement
This job requires sitting at a desk and talking on the phone. There are occasional outdoor meetings, tours and field trips that will require walking and standing. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

How to Apply
We will begin reviewing applications December 6th, 2023.

To apply, please submit a PDF of your resume and cover letter  to [email protected] with “Agricultural Land Easement Program (ALE) Coordinator” as the subject line. Your cover letter should explain how your skills, experience, and interests fit this position, your commitment to COLT’s mission, and your demonstrated cultural competence with people of diverse races, ages, genders, abilities, and economic backgrounds.

To apply for this job email your details to jobs@oregonlandtrusts.org

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