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CDT Southern New Mexico Policy Fellow

Job Location

Southern New Mexico


Type of Job




Published By

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Published Date

Oct 19, 2022

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Position Title: CDT Southern New Mexico Policy Fellow

Office Location: Southern NM

Status: Full Time, Salary, Exempt

Hiring Salary: $43,000- $45,000

Supervisor: CDT Trail Policy Manager

Start Date: January 3, 2023

Length of Term: 2-year Fellowship


The mission of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition is to complete, promote, and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. The CDTC will do this by building a strong and diverse trail community, providing up-to-date information to the public, and encouraging conservat ion and stewardship of the trail, its corridor, and surrounding landscapes.

Summary of Position:

The CDT Southern New Mexico Policy Fellow will support CDTC’s conservation and policy programs across Southern New Mexico to ensure that the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) remains a high quality and connected landscape for future generations to enjoy. CDTC is working to reimagine conservation along the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail by redefining the CDT's Corridor as a larger connected system between areas of high ecological values across the Rocky Mountain West. The Fellow will have an environmental justice focus on Southern New Mexico, which is an area under intense development pressures from oil and gas interests and energy development projects that have the potential to permanently alter the nature and character of some of the most biologically rich areas of the Continental Divide. The Policy Fellow would provide immediate capacity to ramp up efforts to leverage current National Trail System legislation, existing partnerships, and community support to permanently protect existing high-potential conservation areas as a national monument through the Antiquities Act. The Policy Fellow would help establish and further existing relationships with local communities—specifically Indigenous and Hispanic communities—to lead these efforts. This position will help sustain and support effective and meaningful partnerships and communication with individuals, organizations, communities and tribal nations across the region to facilitate stakeholder engagement and establish priorities to accomplish our conservation goals for the CDT and to support further realization of CDTC’s mission.

This is a two-year fellowship supported through the Wyss Fellowship Program.

The Fellow will be expected to support many aspects of the program, including:

  • Identify and build grassroots, stakeholder, and political support to protect critical landscapes across the Trail in Southern NM including the Gila River and the bootheel of New Mexico.
  • Research and develop policy statements that may affect the Trail, including forest plans, energy proposals, agency management directives, and compliance with state and federal laws.
  • Lead grassroots coalition building work with stakeholders, individuals, Tribal nations, small business owners and trailside communities in the region in support of environmental justice efforts.
  • Communicate legislative priorities, successes, and needs for the Trail to the public.
  • Research and draft comments or policy statements, mobilize stakeholders and supporters, and generate earned media to create interest for Trail protection efforts.
  • Use GIS skills to develop maps and visual resources to support trail management and stewardship.

In addition to the above, the Fellow may support our existing programs in the following ways:

Cooperative Stewardship

The Fellow will work with the CDTC Trail Policy Manager and with other New Mexico based staff to maintain relationships with agency staff, organizational partners and existing community members and meet with decision makers to educate and inform them on issues affecting the CDT.

Gateway Community Engagement

The Fellow will support the Gateway Community Program Manager in maintaining communication and relationships with the designated Gateway Communities in the region, and in building relationships with communities not yet officially designated. This may include travel to meet with local leaders and community organizers as well as attending events in communities across New Mexico to help raise awareness of the CDT and CDTC work.

Trail Management

The Fellow will be exposed to the various aspects of issues and activities affecting the CDT across New Mexico. From time to time, the Fellow may be asked to represent CDTC in these regional activities affecting the Trail. This may include representing CDTC at public meetings and other events where issues that may affect the CDT Corridor or landscape are discussed. The Fellow will be given the opportunity to become familiar and knowledgeable about the CDT in New Mexico and specifically become familiar in areas where the Trail is yet to be completed.

Trail Protection

The Fellow will work with the CDTC Trail and Lands Conservation Program Manager to support ongoing work to complete and protect areas of the CDT across southern New Mexico as needed. This may include maintaining the list of acquisition needs and their priorities. It may also include representing CDTC in working with responsible agencies and other partners to assure that the trail experience is well protected for the long run.

Trail Information

The Fellow will support the gathering and dispersal of information regarding the condition of the trail in Southern New Mexico and therefore may be required to obtain trail condition information and relating that information to the public and trail management partners.

Volunteer Trail Stewardship

Volunteer Trail Stewardship activities are not a required component of the Fellow’s work plan. However, CDTC strongly encourages all of our employees to participate and support, when possible, volunteer stewardship activities to fully understand all of our work to cooperatively steward the CDT.

Individual Professional Development

This position will create an opportunity for the Fellow to gain professional skills and talents to help them gain permanent employment with CDTC or any other natural resource career field. CDTC encourages all of our team members to continually grow and expand their knowledge. The Fellow will work with their supervisor to craft a professional development plan that helps them to gain access and shadow people who hold positions they may be interested in amongst our network. CDTC is committed to creating pathways and opportunities for team members to find positions after their time with us in any capacity.



  • Minimum of two years of relevant professional experience or five years of substantial volunteer experience or comparable experience and/or education in natural resource or environmental management, outdoor recreation management, planning, public administration, environmental studies, geography, landscape architecture, environmental education or related field. Advanced study in these areas or training in specific areas through agency or professional training programs is welcomed.


  • Desire to gain experience in cooperative stewardship efforts and support reimagination of conservation work across the Rocky Mountain West and specifically, Central and southern New Mexico.
  • Willingness and desire to develop positive relationships with local governments and landowners.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills.
  • Ability to work as part of a small team and ability to ask for help and support others when help is needed.
  • The willingness to travel across southern New Mexico to meet with landowners, agency and community representatives, and to get familiar with the CDT across the region.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • Willingness to work independently from a remote or home office.
  • A strong desire to learn and grow professionally.
  • A strong desire to support Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion efforts of CDTC.
  • Ability and willingness to travel and work a variable schedule including weekends.
  • Computer proficiency
  • Valid driver license


  • Experience in public speaking, facilitation and conflict resolution with diverse stakeholders
  • Experience in land management policy, forest planning or land management project proposals evaluation and analysis.
  • Experience working with public land managing agencies.
  • Experience in working as a volunteer and with volunteers.
  • Experience in working on trail stewardship work, projects or programs.
  • Experience engaging stakeholders and building coalitions under an environmental justice framework.


  • Experience in adult training or education.
  • Experience to or interest in learning ArcGIS skills to support project map production
  • Experience in planning, project management, and coordination with diverse stakeholders.


The Southern New Mexico Policy Fellow works under the direct supervision of the Trail Policy Manager and will be part of the small Trail Policy Team. The fellow will work with other CDTC staff members to achieve successful deliverables and to gain a broad understanding of the breadth of work associated with CDTC’s mission.


Teresa Martinez, the Coalition’s Executive Director will serve as the Wyss Fellow’s mentor as part of the Wyss Fellowship program.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to do physical labor in outdoor and backcountry environments including overnight camping. CDTC provides rental vehicles for work related travel, travel may require other travel arrangements or use, at times-if available, personal vehicles (travel reimbursement included), so individuals must have a valid driver’s license and operate a vehicle. A personal vehicle is not required to perform the duties of this position. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


CDTC also provides benefits including company sponsored health insurance, cell phone reimbursement, 403(b) retirement plan contributions, CDT Experience Days, paid holidays, training stipends and a generous time off policy.


CDTC recognizes that not all applicants will meet all required or desired skills, CDTC encourages all those with an interest in this position to apply.


Interested individuals should send a cover letter, resume and three references to with subject line “CDT Southern New Mexico Policy Fellow”. The application deadline is November 15, 2022.

EOE Statement:

CDTC provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetics, or other protected status. For information about CDTC, please visit our website at

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