Job Opening: Acquisition Specialist

landscape view of mountains

Are you passionate about protecting open space? We are looking for an Acquisition Specialist with a desire to help permanently protect some of our most precious resources in the Cosumnes Watershed. Please apply by July 1, 2020.

Background
The Sacramento Valley Conservancy (SVC) was established in 1990, the first local land trust in Sacramento County, CA. SVC preserves open space for agricultural, scenic, recreational and habitat purposes. SVC has protected over 18,500 acres of land including regional trail systems, vernal pool preserves and oak woodlands. SVC is governed by a twelve-member Board of Trustees, and has five full-time staff, four part-time staff, more than 50 dedicated docents, hundreds of volunteers and various consultants.

This Acquisition Specialist position is focused on working with partners, agencies, and communities to preserve and restore Cosumnes River landscapes and ecosystems. The upper reaches of the Cosumnes River are in the El Dorado National Forest, while the lower reach of the river flows through Amador and Sacramento Counties, eventually reaching the Bay Delta Estuary.

The Cosumnes River is home to a Chinook Salmon run and hundreds of species of migratory birds and is rich in groundwater dependent ecosystems such as the largest remaining Central Valley riparian forest. The Cosumnes Watershed is also home to thousands of acres of productive agricultural land. Decades of groundwater overdraft and uncoordinated diversions have diminished river flows, particularly in the summer and fall when the river sometimes “disconnects” – dries up in some reaches altogether. Passage of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Act, collaboration between agencies, NGOs, and stakeholders, and multi-benefit project funding sources have created a significant Cosumnes conservation opportunity. SVC has received support from the Resources Legacy Fund to pursue this opportunity.

Responsibilities
SVC’s Acquisition Specialist leads the organization’s land acquisition and related real estate efforts in cooperation with the Executive Director, the Stewardship Director, and the Acquisition Director. The Acquisition Specialist reports to the SVC Executive Director and works closely with SVC Acquisition Director, Cosumnes Coalition Coordinator and American River Conservancy (ARC) Executive Director, as well as appropriate board and advisory bodies.

I. Organizational Development (10% Of Time)

  • Work with SVC Executive Director, Acquisition Director, and Board of Trustees advisory bodies to plan, implement SVC’s land acquisition and agricultural leasing efforts in the Cosumnes area
  • Coordinate development of acquisition strategies and partnerships with external partners
  • Develop reports for SVC Board, Resources Legacy Fund, Cosumnes Coalition Member Organizations and annual meetings
  • Develop funding sources for long term Cosumnes conservation capacity, for land acquisition and ecosystem preservation.

II. Program & Project Administration (80% Of Time)

  • Work with the Executive Director, Stewardship Director and appropriate Board advisory bodies to implement and update as necessary, SVC’s 21st Century Open Space Vision Plan for the Sacramento Region
  • Pursue and prepare (identify, evaluate and analyze) land acquisition projects for consideration by the SVC or ARC Boards, as appropriate.
  • Coordinate with ARC Executive Director to support land acquisition projects in the Upper Cosumnes River watershed (outside of SVC’s service area).
  • Handle the negotiations and land transactions necessary to complete acquisitions.
  • Acquire land and develop appropriate land use to accomplish conservation and generate income to support long term Cosumnes conservation capacity
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships with landowners, elected officials and government agency staff
  • Work with Cosumnes Coalition Coordinator and partners to pursue flow improvement transactions and groundwater recharge easements and/or land acquisitions that preserve or restore Cosumnes ecosystems.
  • Supervise preparation of grant proposals to fund projects

III. Public Outreach (10% Of Time)

  • Assist with preparation of promotional materials (annual report, newsletters, major donor items and brochures)
  • Maintain involvement with external organizations and professional groups related to land acquisition

Qualifications

  • Background in land protection, farming, ranching, fundraising, planning, public outreach. Generalists with expertise or experience in a variety of these areas will be preferred, as will people with experience with non-profits or land trusts.
  • Experience implementing creative and complex funding strategies including grants, revolving loans, working landscapes, Cap and Trade Programs, etc.
  • A self-starter with a proven track record of achievement
  • Outgoing and friendly personality with the ability to meet new people easily and quickly earn confidence.
  • Experience working with volunteer Board of Trustees and committees to develop and implement non-profit programs.
  • Good communication (written and oral) and organizing skills.
  • Computer skills necessary. Experience with GIS and mapping.
  • Ability to work among people of diverse backgrounds
  • Willingness to enlist and work with volunteers
  • Familiarity with California and the Sacramento region and with regional issues, especially related to land and water use
  • A genuine interest and enthusiasm for private voluntary land conservation
  • Appreciation of diverse land issues and landowner views
  • Valid driver’s license.

Compensation
This is budgeted as a 3/4 to full-time position. Compensation is paid by actual hours worked during each pay period. Time will fluctuate during the year, depending on project activity. Compensation will be based on experience and available grant funds. Flexible hours and benefits package.

Please submit resume on or before 7/1/2020.
Contact: Kelly Hopkins, Executive Director
Sacramento Valley Conservancy
Email: khopkins@sacramentovalleyconservancy.org

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