Director of Land Protection

Mohonk Preserve, New York State’s largest member & visitor supported nature preserve, is seeking an experienced land trust manager to fill the full time position of Director of Land Protection.


Mohonk Preserve, located in Ulster County, NY is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect the Shawangunk Mountains region and inspire people to care for, enjoy, and explore their natural world. The Preserve manages 8,000 acres of the northern Shawangunk Mountains in Ulster County, NY through four integrated programs – Conservation Science, Education, Land Stewardship, and Land Protection, and is a regional model for large-scale conservation planning.  We have an annual budget of $4 million, 36 year-round staff, over 350 volunteers, and a diverse support base of over 16,000 members.

Position Responsibilities:

The successful candidate:

  • Is a senior level manager responsible for the vision, leadership, budget, strategic planning, managing, and implementing the overall Land Protection program, including applying the Preserve’s Land Protection Policies;
  • Assures the Preserve’s boundaries are legally understood, monitored and protected;
  • Negotiates and manages acquisitions and all other activities associated with real estate transactions, by gift or purchase, of conservation easements and fee interests from private landowners, governmental entities and/or other conservation groups;
  • Oversees the regular planning and maintenance of Preserve property boundaries and conservation easements in accordance with Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.
  • Reviews and manages the Preserve’s compliance with best standards and practices required to continue its Land Trust Alliance (LTA) Accreditation.
  • Works with the Development department as a partner in the cultivation of donor prospects, and creates solicitation strategies for potential donors of land and easements.
  • Works to promote land conservation awareness in the community, build support for projects, identify and pursue project funding opportunities, assist in land protection grant proposals, and participate in other inter-departmental Preserve initiatives.


The Director reports to the Vice President & CFO, and supervises the Land Projects Manager, interns and volunteers.



  • Bachelor’s Degree in conservation, natural resources management, law, planning, or a related field required; Master’s Degree desirable/preferred.
  • Minimum of five (5) years’ experience in conservation real estate acquisition and project management, and/or 10 years of experience in complex real property transactions, multi-party land acquisitions, conservation easements, and conservation planning.
  • Demonstrated ability to independently initiate, structure, negotiate and manage, and close complex, high profile and sensitive land transactions.
  • Knowledge of conservation tax law and benefits of land and easement donations.
  • Knowledge of leading trends and national standards and practices in land trust management.
  • Experience working with landowners; civic groups; town, county, state agencies & their processes
  • Strong supervisory and team management experience, including ability to motivate, lead, set objectives, implement priorities and manage performance; ability to foster an environment of creativity and professional growth.
  • Willingness to work occasional irregular hours, including weekends, evenings and/or holidays
  • There is a significant fieldwork component to this position. Must have the ability to navigate and traverse at times in deep back country, in off-trail land conditions, sometimes in extremely rugged mountain terrain while carrying equipment for up to eight hours at a time in all weather conditions.


Advanced computer & technical skills:

  • Strong experience with cartography software/hardware (e.g. GPS units & GIS software, ArcGIS); field mapping, aerial photo interpretation, land survey techniques.
  • Ability to read and evaluate the landscape; i.e. tree blazes, stone rows, rail fences, hedgerows, corner monumentation, etc.
  • Proficiency in all standard office productivity software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook or similar email application) and internet research
  • Strong relational database experience


Excellent work environment with benefits including health, vision, dental, life, disability insurance, retirement plan, and access privileges to the lands of the Preserve and the Mohonk Mountain House resort.


Salary range: Mid $60’s per year


Send hard copy cover letter & resume before July 20 to:

Vice President/CFO, Mohonk Preserve, P.O. Box 715, New Paltz, NY 12561 


Applications in Adobe PDF only will be accepted via e-mail to:


This job announcement is not intended to represent a complete, comprehensive list of all duties and responsibilities that may be required in this position.  There may be unplanned activities and other duties assigned.


No phone calls please.

For more information about the Preserve, visit our website:

For full job description:


Mohonk Preserve is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages a diverse pool of candidates.

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