Photo: Brian Maley

Employment Opportunity: Land Protection Specialist

The Finger Lakes Land Trust, a regional non-profit land conservation organization, is seeking a full-time land protection specialist to work from its Ithaca, New York office. The Land Trust works cooperatively with landowners and local communities to conserve forever the lands and waters of the Finger Lakes region, ensuring scenic vistas, local foods, clean water, and wild places for everyone.

Since it was founded in 1989, the organization has conserved over 21,000 acres through the use of conservation easements, the establishment of nature preserves, acquisition of real property with state and federal agencies, and the provision of assistance to local governments. The organization today is supported by eleven full-time and three part-time staff, as well as an extensive network of volunteers. The Land Trust is an equal opportunity employer.

The Land Protection Specialist will work closely with the Protection Team, including the Director of Conservation, Senior Field Representative, and Conservation Support Specialist, and other staff and volunteers to advance the organization’s land protection efforts. The position requires frequent travel throughout a 12-county region and calls for a flexible work schedule.

Responsibilities:  Reporting to the Director of Conservation, the Land Protection Specialist is responsible for initiating contact with landowners in defined focus areas, assisting the Director of Conservation with implementing the organization’s agricultural protection strategy, and responding to inquiries from landowners interested in conserving their land.  A complete list of responsibilities includes:

  • Landowner Education: Communicate with landowners who have expressed interest in conserving their land. Initiate outreach to landowners in designated focus areas.
  • Conservation Project Management: Manage a portfolio of conservation projects including land acquisitions, cooperative transfer parcels, and conservation easements, including agricultural protection projects. Work with landowners, attorneys, surveyors, appraisers, conservation partners and others to complete bring projects to closing.
  • Coordination: Work with other staff and volunteers to implement and track the Land Trust’s land protection program.  Ensure that inquiries from landowners are handled in a timely and effective manner using database software.
  • Outreach: Meet with public officials, conservation partners, and other key audiences to educate them about the work of the Land Trust. Present about conservation topics at regional workshops.
  • Grant Writing and Fundraising: Prepare funding proposals for specific land protection projects. Write grant narratives for state grant programs related to agricultural protection and source water protection. Attend fundraising events when needed.
  • Other Land Protection and Stewardship Activities: Assist with other land protection and stewardship activities as needed, including, but not limited to: environmental assessments on lands to be acquired, assisting on the management of water quality improvement projects with conservation partners, and attending volunteer work days.


  • Successful work experience with conservation easements and private land
  • Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently while also operating as part of a team
  • Ability to work with diverse partners and constituents
  • Strong organizational and computer skills
  • Willingness to travel and work flexible hours
  • A strong commitment to land conservation

Employment Standards:

Possession of a bachelor’s degree in natural resources, land use planning, or related field.

A combination of training, education, and experience in natural resource conservation and conservation easements. Experience in agricultural resource protection, land use planning, and real property law is not required but preferred.


Competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with experience

This position will remain open until filled.

Contact: Send resume, three references, and cover letter to Aquillah White, Bookkeeper/Administrative Assistant, Finger Lakes Land Trust, 202 East Court Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 or by e-mail to