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Sonoma Valley Stewardship Program Manager

Job Location

Santa Rosa


Type of Job



Starting at $87,000

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Nov 2, 2021

About the job

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Job Title: Sonoma Valley Stewardship Program Manager

Reports To: Stewardship Director

Status: Exempt

Sonoma Land Trust (SLT) seeks a passionate and experienced conservation lands manager with a strong science background in an ecosystems-focused discipline and with experience applying scientific solutions on the landscape. Join our dedicated team of conservation practitioners and help us navigate the rapid changes brought on by climate change, including tackling wildfire, drought, biodiversity loss, and community safety.The Land Trust serves a diverse audience with broad cultural heritages, socioeconomic backgrounds, genders, and orientations. We encourage applications from candidates who reflect and value the audiences and populations we serve.



The Stewardship Program Manager will lead our important work addressing the challenges of climate change in Sonoma Valley and throughout the county, implementing nature-based solutions that bolster the resilience of our natural and human communities, focusing on managing forest, woodland, and chaparral habitats, leading our Living with Wildfire Program, and continuing our efforts to protect wildlife corridors.The successful candidate will drive key conservation strategy decisions using the latest science, as well as identifying areas of future applied science research that SLT will need to advance biodiversity and climate resilience in Sonoma County.


General Duties

The Stewardship Program Manager will implement on-the-ground management and restoration on SLT Preserves in the Sonoma Valley and Mountain Region. The position requires hands-on experience in natural resource management, grassland/forestry/stream enhancement and restoration as well as infrastructure maintenance, contracting, invoicing, and grant administration. The ideal candidate has the ability to both do and teach these skills and will supervise preserve management staff. This position will lead SLT’s Living with Wildfire Program, which focuses on managing Sonoma County’s forests and woodlands for ecosystem health and wildfire resiliency, which includes stewardship work on our Preserves as well as regional efforts such as the Sonoma Valley Wildlands Collaborative. The ideal candidate will have education and experience with the role of wildfire/prescribed fire in maintaining healthy natural landscapes, reducing threats to surrounding communities, and collaborating with partner organizations. The Stewardship Program Manager should possess excellent communication skills in various settings and audiences to explain our work and advocate with decision-makers and stakeholders for nature-based solutions.


Primary Responsibilities

· Lead the management and restoration of SLT’s Sonoma Valley and Mountain Preserves

o Develop and implement management plans, including biological and cultural resource assessments, infrastructure evaluation, public access, and natural resource planning activities.

o Identify and develop key restoration activities to further SLT’s strategic plan.

o Manage the maintenance and repair of key infrastructure.

o Develop and manage annual work plans and budgets and oversee the successful day to day operations of assigned preserves and properties

o Supervise preserve management staff, SVWC coordinator, interns, and volunteers.

· Lead SLT’s Living with Fire Program

o SLT lead on Sonoma Valley Wildlands Collaborative

§ Manage CalFire, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and future grants

§ Manage working relationship with partners and CalFire

§ Identify and pursue funding opportunities for ongoing and future work

o Collaborate with SLT Preserve managers to ensure appropriate defensible space, building hardening, and forest management activities are implemented and maintained.

o Collaborate with staff and partners to expand and replicate the efforts of the Sonoma Valley Wildlands Collaborative into new regions, developing new approaches as necessary.

· Advance the research, habitat protection, and restoration work in and around the Sonoma County wildlife corridors

o Build on our work protecting and enhancing wildlife permeability and habitat in the Sonoma Valley.

o Identify and develop opportunities for further research into forest and wildfire ecology, wildlife corridor function, and habitat enhancement to move forward our understanding of the impacts of human activities on wildlife behavior and how to reduce them.

· Regional planning, engagement, and coordination

o Lead the development and implementation of regional conservation land management projects consistent with SLT conservation strategies, collaborating with agencies and partner organizations.

o Participate in potential land acquisition project evaluation including prioritization, site assessment and stewardship requirements.

o Provide information and advice to landowners, public land managers, and the community on beneficial conservation management strategies and practices.


Essential Qualifications

· A degree in an ecosystem-focused discipline such as wildlife biology, forest ecology, or fire ecology.

· Minimum of 5+ years of conservation lands management, wildlife conservation, or similar fields with a focus on ecosystem functionality.

· Knowledge of fire ecology and experience with the role of fire in natural landscapes, prescribed burning, vegetation management/fire fuel reduction, and defensible space projects.

· Demonstrated experience managing complex projects and budgets.

· Demonstrated experience in budgeting, invoicing, contracting, grant management and grant writing.

· Excellent communications skills in person and via digital platforms (e.g. Zoom).

· Experience cultivating and maintaining good working relationships with local and state government agencies and tribal entities.

· Demonstrated ability to work effectively with challenging partnerships and multi-party collaborations.

· A recognition of and commitment to serving all of Sonoma County’s diverse communities.

· Valid CA Driver’s License required.


Preferred Skills and Experience

· FFT2 certification.

· Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and similar common computer software.

· Proficiency with GPS data collection and with ESRI ArcGIS Pro software.

· Experience using hand tools and mechanized equipment such as weed whackers.

· Spoken and/or written Spanish language skills.

· Ability to write and edit persuasive materials such as funding proposals, white papers, reports, media articles, and similar documents.


About Sonoma Land Trust

Sonoma Land Trust works in alliance with nature to conserve and restore the integrity of the land with a focus on climate resiliency. The organization is also committed to ensuring more equitable access to the outdoors. Since 1976, the nonprofit Land Trust has protected more than 56,000 acres of scenic, natural, agricultural, and open land for future generations. Sonoma Land Trust was the recipient of the 2019 Land Trust Alliance Award of Excellence and is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. The Land Trust has also been named one of the Best Places to Work by the North Bay Business Journal. For more information, please visit

We are passionate about building and sustaining an inclusive and equitable working environment that is representative of the communities we serve. We know that having varied perspectives leads to better outcomes to solve the complex problems of conservation, climate change, and environmental justice in Sonoma County.

Schedule, Salary & Benefits

Position is 40 hours per week. Salary range starting at $87,000 and commensurate with experience. Benefits include generous employer contributions to medical, dental and vision insurance plans. Employer contribution of 5% to 403(b) retirement plan after 1 year of service. Paid time off includes 15 paid holidays, 2-4 weeks of vacation based on tenure, personal and parental leave in accordance with SLT policies and procedures.

To apply please email your resume and cover letter to

Sonoma Land Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer

We strive to create a diverse and inclusive organization and encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, national or regional origins, sexes, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.

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