Trail and Lands Conservation Specialist

Trail and Lands Conservation Specialist


Location: Northern New Mexico/Colorado         

Status: Full-Time, Exempt – Two-Year Position

Reports to: Executive Director                                             

Supervision Exercised: none

Start Date: September 16, 2019



The Trail and Lands Conservation Specialist will serve as CDTC’s primary trail planning, design and corridor completion specialist. They will be responsible for developing and maintaining the organization’s trail completion and protection efforts, with a specific focus on priority gap areas.


Working closely with CDTC Executive Director, GIS Program Manager and land management agency partners, the CDT Trail and Lands Conservation Specialist is the project lead for development and implementation of CDT trail completion efforts. The Specialist will serve as the liaison between the CDTC and federal, state, and local agencies as well as other organizational partners and stakeholders in the completion and protection of the CDT and its corridor. The Specialist will work on-the-ground with local partners in priority gap areas to further CDTC’s land acquisition goals and will be responsible for designing new trail segments.



The primary goal for this position is to address, develop, and implement where possible trail completion strategies in priority trail gap areas listed in the CDT State of the Trail report. These include, but are not limited to, the CDT gap areas in the Muddy Pass area of Colorado, Mangas Valley in Southern New Mexico, and Cadotte Pass in Northern Montana. This work will entail both identification of suitable trail corridor(s) and the project management for the associated land acquisition needs, as well as on-the-ground trail design efforts for the associated trail routes in these areas. The second goal for the position is to create a prioritized inventory of all land acquisition needs necessary for completion of the CDT. A third goal for the position is to engage in forest planning processes in New Mexico and Colorado, with an emphasis on wildlife corridor alignment with the CDT. A fourth goal for the position is to aid support in the collection and management of data for inclusion in the CDT GIS program.



The Specialist will be responsible for developing and implementing trail completion strategies with the goal of achieving a high quality CDT experience for trail gap areas. It will be important for this person to work with knowledgeable agency staff and volunteers to review the acquisition program, update the list of acquisition needs and their priorities and represent CDTC as an active partner in locating the final trail route through the identified priority areas, and in working with responsible agencies and other partners to assure that the trail experience is well protected.



  • Oversees land protection efforts including, though not limited to, CDTC initiatives, alliances with land conservation groups, as well as local, state, and federal acquisitions.
  • Tracks and monitors trail planning work on the CDT.
  • Works closely with federal land managers (Forest Service, National Park Service & Bureau of Land Management) to coordinate and implement CDT land acquisition projects.
  • Works with the Executive Director to develop and implement pilot projects demonstrating new public/private partnerships to complete and protect the CDT and its surrounding corridor.
  • Travels to high priority CDT trail sections to scout and provide input on segments yet to be planned, constructed, or rerouted.
  • Works with GIS Program Manager when appropriate to provide updated data for the CDTC State of the Trail Report and/or other CDTC GIS assets.
  • Develops inventory of CDT priority areas to identify priority projects along the trail and provides updates on the status and cost to complete the Trail for Congressional and fundraising meetings and reports.
  • Fosters a strong relationship with local and national land trusts to include the Continental Divide Trail in their private land conservation strategies. Develops and maintains a comprehensive list of private land parcels required to complete and protect the CDT. 
  • Identify and document wildlife corridor coalignment with the CDT Corridor across New Mexico, Colorado and Montana to support development of CDTC comments to forest planning efforts and ensure long term protection of the natural values of the CDNST corridor.




  • Three (3) to five (5) years of experience in constructing, designing, planning and/or managing non-motorized trails through collaborative partnerships
  • A minimum of one (1) year working with federal agency partners
  • Experience with land conservation and protection efforts including working with private landowners and/or agency realty specialists.
  • Experience with Trail design, construction, and maintenance of non-motorized Trails.
  • Experience with GPS data collection and mapping efforts.
  • The ability and willingness to work with limited supervision and remotely on the CDNST in often remote, off-trail, backcountry locations sometimes requiring days of backcountry travel and car-camping base camps
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability and willingness to travel and work a variable schedule including weekends
  • Ability and desire to work outside of an office environment
  • Valid Driver License



  • Proven experience and success in working with public land management agencies
  • Strong GIS, research and data management skills, with the ability to work independently in ArcMap or QGIS
  • Familiarity with agency land management systems and processes
  • Degree in Geography, Natural Resources, or Landscape Architecture
  • Working knowledge of land conservation programs, land protection negotiations, LWCF and other federal land protection programs
  • Experience working with land trust programs and efforts



The Trail and Lands Conservation Specialist works under the direct supervision of the Executive Director, however they will be expected to prioritize their own work in order to effectively meet day-to-day demands and ongoing assignments. Additionally, they will work with other CDTC staff members to achieve successful trail-wide programs. The Specialist is expected to communicate regularly on work projects and seek advice on new or controversial aspects of the work.  The Executive Director will complete performance reviews on at least an annual basis.  CDTC fosters a collegial work environment within a management team that includes volunteers, board members and other volunteer leaders and staff, as well as other partner organizations.  It is hoped to base this position in the Northern New Mexico region; applications from candidates located in other areas along the Continental Divide Trail (especially Colorado or Southern New Mexico) will still be accepted. Travel along the entirety of the Trail and to meetings that are trail-wide in nature is a regular part of the position. Regular overnight travel is to be expected, as is an irregular work schedule that will include weekend work. Field work may be taxing. The Specialist will need to be a strong hiker and comfortable working in adverse environmental conditions to gain access to sites and complete field work efficiently.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to do physical labor in outdoor and backcountry environments. Work will include travel in personal vehicle (travel reimbursement included), so individual must have valid driver’s license and operative vehicle. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. CDTC is an equal opportunity employer. All individuals are encouraged to apply.



$36-40K annual salary DOE. CDTC also provides benefits including generous annual leave and paid holidays, personal health days, monthly health insurance stipend, cell phone reimbursement, and 403(b) retirement plan contributions.



Interested individuals should send a resume, cover letter and list of three references to  with the subject line “Trail and Lands Conservation Specialist.  Application deadline is August 13, 2019. 

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