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Land Conservation Specialist

Update: The application window for position is now closed. Please visit our Jobs page for information about current openings.

Upstate Forever is currently seeking a Land Conservation Specialist to join our nationally accredited land trust. To apply, please review the job description below and send your resume and cover letter to by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 16.


Upstate Forever’s accredited Land Trust is seeking a Land Conservation Specialist to play an integral role in its land protection program. The goal of this program is to work with willing landowners and partners using a variety of conservation tools to permanently protect rivers and streams, natural and scenic areas, farmland, and wildlife habitat. This is a full-time position, although a part-time arrangement may be considered, that reports to the Land Conservation Director.

The Land Conservation Specialist assists the Land Conservation Director in achieving Upstate Forever’s vision and goals for the Upstate and related strategies and initiatives associated with the Land Conservation program. A significant portion of the work of the Land Conservation Specialist is in Greenville, but also includes travel within the other ten counties in the Upstate region. 

A conservation easement is a voluntary contract between a landowner and a qualified land trust, which provides the landowner the capacity to restrict certain land uses from occurring on their property. This agreement is permanent and remains with the land after a sale, donation, or inheritance by heirs. Applicants need no prior knowledge of conservation easements for consideration of this position.

Key Responsibilities

  • Promote and Expand Land Conservation: Using an accredited process, document and guide landowners through conservation easement transactions.
    • Establish and develop strong relationships with community leaders and landowners. 
    • Negotiate terms of conservation easements with interested landowners, draft easements, conduct due diligence, and close transactions.
    • Prepare South Carolina Conservation Bank and other grant applications.
  • Outreach: Assist in program-wide outreach initiatives to educate landowners and their professional advisors, community groups, and elected officials about land conservation through conservation agreements.
    • Represent Upstate Forever, its mission, and policies.
    • Assist in event planning and execution such as conferences and other educational events.
    • Help with mailings and other outreach activities.
  • Conservation Stewardship: Help ensure that all conservation agreements are upheld by:
    • Monitoring an assigned portion of protected properties at least once a year.
    • Keeping professional and complete records in compliance with Land Trust Standards and Practices and Upstate Forever policies, documenting all activities on a protected property and all relevant correspondence with the landowner;
    • Reporting any potential violations to the Land Stewardship Manager immediately, and; 
    • Addressing violations in accordance with Upstate Forever policies.
  • Programmatic Fundraising: Explore and pursue funding opportunities for the Land Conservation Program and related initiatives. 
  • Land Trust Accreditation, Standards and Practices: Assist Land Conservation Director in upholding the accredited status of Upstate Forever’s Land Trust program according to the Land Trust Alliance Land Trust Standards and Practices.
  • Other Responsibilities: Perform additional work assigned by the Land Conservation Director.

Essential Skills and Abilities

  • Interpersonal, listening, and teamwork skills: Easy to approach and talk to; can be warm, pleasant, and gracious; is sensitive to and patient with interpersonal anxieties of others; builds rapport well; is a good listener; able to work with others, respect for all team members and ability to foster and maintain an enjoyable, rewarding and productive workplace.
  • Critical thinking and innovation: Demonstrated ability to think critically and innovatively to reach strategic goals and address challenges successfully.
  • Technical skills: Highly proficient with general office and computer skills (including Gmail, Word, Excel, Acrobat). Working knowledge of and willingness to build familiarity with ArcGIS, GPS devices, database software, and Adobe design software. 
  • Communication & project management: Demonstrates success and expertise in the development and management of complex projects; expertise in systematically and thoroughly managing a dynamic portfolio of projects within defined quality assurance policies and procedures; strong speaking, writing and listening skills; able to effectively communicate the importance of Upstate Forever’s work and a high comfort level speaking in front of groups.
  • Self-motivated: Comfortable working independently on multiple projects simultaneously, strong organizational and time management skills, a commitment to accuracy and integrity in all aspects of the job. 
  • Travel and mobility: Capable of independent travel throughout Upstate Forever’s ten-county region. Weekend work needed on occasion, and overnight travel is rare and limited primarily to conferences and professional development opportunities. Capable of attending lengthy virtual meetings and maintaining a stationary position. Navigating difficult terrain, avoiding potential hazards, and safely traversing a wide range of wildland and farmland conditions is frequently required.

Benefits for Full-Time Position

  • Salary starting at $36,500 and may be commensurate with experience
  • Health and dental insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Simple IRA with company contribution
  • Flexible workplace and scheduling
  • Mileage reimbursement for travel

To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 16.

To download a copy of this job description, please click here.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion commitment: Upstate Forever is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are taking deliberate steps to build authentic community partnerships and cultivate new diverse leaders at all levels of our organization — from our membership to our staff to our board — to ensure that we better represent the community we serve.

Upstate Forever is an equal opportunity employer. South Carolina is an “employment-at-will” state. All inquiries will be kept in strict confidence.

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