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Great Lakes Private Lands Director
American Bird Conservancy in Balcones National Wildlife Refuge, Texas
Date Posted 04/22/2021
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline 05/19/2021

Title: Great Lakes Private Lands Director

Location(s): TBD - Must be within ABC Project Area in Northern MN or WI

Reports to: American Bird Conservancy, Great Lakes Public Lands Director

Term: Renewed Annually Based On Funding Availability


American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is the Western Hemisphere's bird conservation specialist. ABC is the only organization with a single and steadfast commitment to achieving conservation results for birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. We are currently looking for a motivated, self-starting and detail-oriented individual with forestry and wildlife habitat project management experience to join our Great Lakes Team.

The Great Lakes Private Lands Director (Director) will primarily work with private forest landowners, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and other local partners in the region to implement best management practices (BMPs) on non-industrial private lands for focal bird species and, in partnership with the Vice President of US & Canada Operations (VP US & Canada), coordinate ABC’s private lands initiatives within the Great Lakes Region.

The Director will work with project partners to identify focal species that best represent the needs of various forest types in ABC’s project areas. The Director will lead ABC’s Great Lakes Private Lands Program to design and implement habitat management prescriptions for target focal species by working directly with NRCS and other collaborative partners. The Director will also assist ABC in developing and coordinating additional bird conservation initiatives to expand ABC’s presence in the region for both private and public lands. This will include, but is not limited to, working closely with the ABC Vice President of U.S. & Canada and the Great Lakes Public Lands Director to identify, plan and coordinate landscape scale private and public land programs, build partnerships, promote ABC and its various programs and assist with grant preparation and reporting.

Primary Duties:

The Director’s main duties will be targeted within the identified focal areas of the state where they are posted (Minnesota or Wisconsin). Specific duties include:

  • Identify and communicate with landowners and natural resource managers within designated focal regions to implement bird conservation activities.

  • Conduct field visits on private lands to evaluate property for possible treatment using focal species BMPs.

  • Provide technical assistance to private landowners to facilitate the NRCS cost-share application and contracting process and develop site-specific conservation plans in accordance with NRCS practice standards and focal species BMPs.

  • Identify consulting foresters and/or loggers to complete projects that require timber sales. Also, work closely with Forestry Assistance Program (FAP) Directors to refer projects to the private sector when necessary.

  • Identify and delineate project areas for non-commercial treatments such as tag alder or young aspen shearing. Identify and communicate with contractors capable of completing these treatments to continue developing a growing referral list for landowners.

  • Certify project completion via site visits, GPS tracking and photo documentation to provide NRCS District Conservationists with GIS shapefiles and visual evidence to complete contracts and cost-share.

  • Provide outreach, education, and technical assistance to private landowners; technical service providers (TSP’s); and local, state and federal agency staff on habitat BMPs through workshops, trainings, meetings, etc.

  • Monitor and track project and programmatic activities using an electronic database and GIS to ensure proper reporting for assessing success, and assist with focal species monitoring pre and post treatment.

  • Communicate with partners to track activities conducted on private and public lands while communicating with them about advancements on private land objectives.

  • Develop strong relationships with non-profit, agency, local government and industry partners to expand collaborative conservation opportunities that advance bird conservation strategies.

  • Develop annual work plans for private land projects.

  • Track program deliverables while working with ABC Finance and Development staff to prepare and submit grant reports.

  • Prepare and review fundraising proposals and assist with preparation of new funding/grant agreements and sub-awards. Prepare and review bidding documents, and review and prepare contractor agreements.

  • Support ongoing research and monitoring activities including, but not limited to, obtaining landowner permission to conduct site surveys, conducting vegetation and wildlife surveys, placing monitoring equipment (i.e. acoustical monitoring units), retrieving data and monitoring equipment and coordinating monitoring activities with researchers.

  • Supervise ABC private lands foresters and, when necessary, partner natural resource managers within the region.

Position Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in forestry, wildlife biology or natural resources management is required. An advanced understanding of forest stand improvement and management, wildlife management, and bird conservation and wildlife monitoring is preferred.

  • Professional knowledge and skills to assess, devise, and apply silvicultural strategies for forest management to meet desired wildlife habitat and conservation objectives. Experience developing and implementing site-specific forest management plans/practices and the ability to utilize forest inventory tools/protocols.

  • Applicant must be prepared to spend as much as 20% of their time away from home. Travel will be concentrated within the Great Lakes region (mainly Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan) with occasional travel outside the region. ABC will reimburse travel expenses.

  • Experience working with private landowners as well as public agencies (NRCS, DNR, USFWS, etc.), with knowledge of landowner incentive programs, including NRCS landowner cost-share programs such as EQIP preferred.

  • A general knowledge of environment laws, regulations and policies to ensure legal standards are met during habitat project development and implementation activities.

  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects, produce effective results and meet project and program deadlines. Proven ability to be self-motivated, responsible and solve problems.

  • Ability to use programs such as ArcGIS, Google Maps and Web Soil Survey to identify and delineate project boundaries, as well as Microsoft Excel and other database management tools to organize project and program information.

  • Networking and communication skills, including project management experience and leadership skills. Applicant should be a team player and also work well independently.

  • Willing and able to work in physically challenging environment under adverse conditions. ABC provides field equipment such as a GPS unit, snowshoes, cruising vest, prism, flagging tape, forestry paint, etc.

  • Director may be required to participate in specific NRCS training programs in order to use partner facilities, vehicles and equipment.

  • This position requires an unrestricted Class D Driver's License with a clear driving record.

  • Background screening required.


  • Benefits include medical, medical flex, and 403(b) plan.
  • Paid vacation days (15), holidays (10+), and sick leave.
  • Forestry equipment/office expenses covered.
  • Pre-approved professional training and workshop expenses covered.
  • Lodging and meals covered for work related travel.
  • Rental vehicle or personal mileage reimbursement, if partner vehicles are unavailable.

To Apply:

Applicants should apply online at Bamboo HR by May 19,2021.


If you have trouble submitting an application, please send your cover letter and resume as one document to HR@abcbirds.org

American Bird Conservancy values qualifications and competency. As an equal opportunity employer, ABC is committed to ensuring that employees and applicants for employment have equal opportunities regardless of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other factor unrelated to the requirements of the position.

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