Natural Area Manager - Southern Foothills, Alberta

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962 NCC and its supporters have protected 14 million hectares (35 million acres) of ecologically significant land across Canada. NCC takes a collaborative, science-based approach to achieve conservation success for the sake of nature and Canadians. With a national office in Toronto and seven regional offices across the country, NCC delivers results you can walk on.

Purpose and General Description

Taking care of our environment has never been more important than it is today. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is looking for a Natural Area Manager for Southern Alberta to join a team committed to protecting our most important natural areas and the plants and animals they sustain.

The Natural Area Manager – Southern Foothills is based out of southwest Alberta and is responsible for the delivery of conservation programs in accordance with NCC’s policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines. The primary area of focus for this position is along the southern foothills of Alberta. The Natural Area Manager – Southern Foothills will report to the Director of Conservation – Rocky Mountain Front and will work closely with the Senior Director of Conservation, other conservation staff, and the rest of the regional team in a collaborative and interdisciplinary environment. Externally, the Natural Area Manager will work with local landowners, partner organizations, conservation volunteers, funders, and others. This position is a combination of both office (approximately 65%) and field-based (approximately 35%) work. The field season generally extends from May through September and has a higher amount of field-based work (approximately 3-4 days/week).

Duties and Responsibilities

1. Land Stewardship (30%)

  • Identify and implement land stewardship activities identified in the Natural Area Conservation Plans (NACP) and in Property Management Plans (PMP) within the delivery area (e.g., range and riparian management, invasive species management);
  • Working with summer interns and volunteers, conduct annual property monitoring of NCC-owned lands or lands under conservation easement;
  • In consultation with the Director of Conservation – Rocky Mountain Front and other members of the conservation management team, resolve any issues identified during monitoring;
  • In consultation with other members of the conservation team, administer grazing leases, including development of lease agreements;
  • Complete baseline inventories and reports for new NCC projects;
  • Assist the Surface Access Coordinator to respond to requests from industry and in the administration of industrial lease agreements; and 
  • Prepare and deliver annual property reports to landowners and partners.

2. Outreach and Partnerships (20%)

  • Develop and nurture positive relations with landowners, leaseholders, and other partners in conservation;
  • Coordinate various extension and outreach events that encourage community members to develop positive land stewardship practices;
  • Work with the Conservation Volunteers Program Manager to plan and implement Conservation Volunteers Program events in support of stewardship delivery; and
  • Represent NCC on various committees and at meetings or workshops related to land conservation.

3. Conservation Planning (15%)

  • Assist the Director of Conservation Science and Planning in the updating and renewal of the Southern Foothills NACP by providing local knowledge and expertise; Prepare reports for NACPs in the area; and
  • In consultation with regional specialists, develop and implement Property Management Plans (PMPs) for NCC-owned properties within the delivery area.

4. Land Securement (15%)

  • Under the direction of the Habitat Acquisition Manager and the Senior Director of Conservation, initiate and support the development and implementation of the land securement program including fee simple acquisitions; conservation easements, land donations, and other components of a regional land protection strategy.
  • Field inquiries from potential landowners and other partners in conservation;
  • Assist the Habitat Acquisition Manager with project scouting and project initiation;
  • Prepare and organize project descriptions and other briefing materials for regional securement meetings; and
  • Assist the Habitat Acquisition Manager with the preparation of Conservation Project Summaries (CPS) and all associated regional and national approvals.

5. Development and Communications (10%)

  • Support the Development Team in developing materials for use in soliciting individual, foundation, and corporate gifts in support of conservation work in the prescribed area;
  • Contribute to regional-level funding proposals;
  • Assist the Development Team with region-wide donor reports;
  • Manage reporting related to area-specific donor obligations;
  • Field inquiries from donors and potential donors;
  • Play a lead role in area-specific donor tours; and
  • Support the Communications Team in developing communication initiatives to raise NCC’s profile, develop good relationships with conservation partners, and support overall program delivery.

6. Management and Administration (10%)

  • Coordinate hiring, workplanning, training, and supervision of summer interns and other conservation assistants within the prescribed work area;
  • Develop annual workplans and budgets in support of conservation programs in the delivery area;
  • Implement, manage, and report on progress against workplans and budgets; and
  • Complete monthly time and billing and expense reporting.

Required Skills and Attributes

  • University degree and at least 3 years professional experience in landscape ecology, conservation biology, natural resource management, or related field;
  • A superior working knowledge of Alberta’s landscapes, communities, and conservation issues;
  • Previous experience in grassland, ranching, or range management;
  • Knowledge of Alberta’s Species at Risk;
  • Strategic thinking and planning, coupled with experience in business development;
  • Leadership skills, in particular the ability to coach and mentor junior colleagues;
  • The ability to build and support effective partnerships both within and outside NCC to achieve the organization’s goals;
  • Project management skills, including excellent problem solving, planning and organizational skills, and attention to details and timelines;
  • Knowledge of NCC’s conservation planning framework, especially as it relates to the identification of priority securement projects;
  • Strong organization, communication, and presentation skills, including demonstrated experience in making public presentations;
  • Comfortable working in a team setting and capable of easily communicating with a wide range of people from the public and private sectors;
  • Flexibility, reliability, self-motivation, and ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • Demonstrated ability to manage staff and volunteers;
  • Proficiency with MS Office Suite; some knowledge of database and GIS software is beneficial;
  • Demonstrated ability to write successful proposals, business correspondence, and donor acknowledgments;
  • Ability to manage highly confidential material;
  • Willingness and ability to travel and be available for consultation;
  • Experience operating an all-terrain vehicle and hauling a trailer; and
  • Committed to the mission and values of NCC.

Terms of Employment

  • This is a full-time, permanent position, starting no later than January 2020; and
  • The position is based out of southwest Alberta, preferably around the Pincher Creek area.

To Apply

NCC is an equal opportunity employer. If you are interested in joining our team, please forward your resume and cover letter and salary expectations indicating “Natural Area Manager – Southern Foothills” in the subject line to the Nature Conservancy of Canada via e-mail:

Application Deadline: November 24, 2019

No telephone calls please.

We thank everyone who applies for their interest in the Nature Conservancy of Canada; however only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

For positions situated in Ontario:
At the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) we strive to promote diversity in the workplace and encourage applications from all qualified individuals.
NCC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 and the Ontario Human Rights Code, we will provide accommodations to applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process. If selected to participate in the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process, please inform Human Resources staff of the nature of any accommodation(s) that you may require.

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