The Sustainable Grazing Lands (SGL) Program Manager (Manager) will support landowners and managers improve stewardship and conservation outcomes by providing technical advice and convening stakeholders to develop and meet shared goals. The Manager addresses critical threats to grassland ecosystems and species with protection tools and with management practices and tools designed to enhance the ecological condition of rangelands and relevant social and economic conditions.
The Manager will collaborate with Conservancy staff on SGL strategies in priority grasslands across Kansas and will devote a portion of their time to the Red Hills in the southwest region of the state. The position will be based from a partner office, located within or near the Red Hills landscape. Preference will be being given to candidates willing to reside within the rural Red Hills landscape to best achieve community-based conservation. The Manager reports to the Director of Water and Agricultural Programs.
The Manager will build relationships with and provide technical assistance to ranching communities across Kansas, convene stakeholders to advance shared conservation and ranch sustainability goals, including land protection, and act as the Conservancy’s primary representative in the Red Hills region.
The Manager will spend a significant percent of their time implementing long-term conservation strategies, such as conservation easements, and the remainder on advancing SGL goals. The position’s protection work will be in the larger Red Hills landscape, whereas SGL work will include other priority grasslands in Kansas. The Manager will also engage with and support the Conservancy’s Southern High Plains Initiative on SGL and protection work in the greater Red Hills. Working directly with landowners in the RH.
RESPONSIBILITIES & SCOPE
SGL strategies focused on priority grasslands in Kansas:
- Assist land managers and landowners in the development of plans for grazing, ranch management, and prescribed fire that enhance range health, biodiversity, and business viability.
- Establish partnerships, networks, and resources necessary to develop and implement grazing management plans on targeted grasslands.
- Leverage the Conservancy’s existing land base to demonstrate, test, and promote practices that improve priority grassland habitat, regional conservation initiatives, and address threats to grasslands across the Great Plains (e.g. invasive species, woody encroachment, and altered fire regime).
- Build technical capacity and collaborate with key partners for improving management and succession planning and implementation at scale (e.g. prescribed fire, invasive species, grazing management plans).
- Build capacity of producer groups to enable participation in supply chain-driven opportunities. Work with the Conservancy’s North America SGL team and corporate engagement team to identify supply chain opportunities for Kansas rangelands, including promotion of practices for adapting to extreme weather and mitigating carbon emissions.
- Use GPS mapping to delineate and track invasive species.
- Use ArcGIS to delineate focus areas.
- Track acres influenced, number of management plans implemented over time, and other metrics.
Red Hills Initiative:
- Advance the Business Unit’s goals for land protection and stewardship, including assistance with conservation easements.
- Provide technical guidance and assistance to landowners involved with conservation easements in the Red Hills.
- Serve as the Conservancy’s lead for conservation planning in the Red Hills, and liaise with public and private sector partners.
- Maintain and build relationships with landowners and managers and connect them with current assistance programs that fit their needs.
- Engage with the Conservancy’s Southern High Plains Initiative on protection work in the greater Red Hills.
- Performs tasks with minimal supervision and makes decisions independently based on analysis, experience, and context, but also collaborates with colleagues to ensure SGL work aligns with the Business Unit and Conservancy’s goals, strategies, and methods.
- Complies with internal policies and external requirements, including standard administrative responsibilities and training necessary for maintaining funding, budgets, and long-term program success.
- May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.