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Southern Appalachian Community Conservation Specialist

Job Location

Western North Carolina, North Georgia, Southwestern Virginia (Greater Asheville, NC, Area preferred, other locations considered)


Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jun 7, 2022

About the job

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Application Deadline: Please submit resume & cover letter by July 5th. No phone calls, please.

General Description

The Wilderness Society is focused on making America’s system of public lands part of the solution to the most pressing conservation challenges of our day: climate change, unprecedented species extinction and inequitable access to nature’s benefits. We work with diverse partners to find common ground around enduring, science-based conservation solutions, combining long term investments in community-led conservation, deep public lands expertise, and commitment to advocacy efforts that share voice, power, and impact.


The Southern Appalachian Community Conservation Specialist is a core member of The Wilderness Society’s Southern Appalachian Mountains landscape team focused on landscape conservation in the Georgia/North Carolina/Tennessee/Southern Virginia portion of this landscape. Working under the Southern Appalachian Landscape Program Director, the Community Conservation Specialist will coordinate and manage TWS engagement in collaborative, community-based conservation efforts. This position plays a critical role in working with community partners within the landscape, to develop and implement conservation solutions addressing the climate and biodiversity crises and ensuring everyone benefits equitably from nature.


The results of this work will include permanent conservation protections for public lands and a variety of other enduring co-created outcomes such as ecological restoration, sustainable economic and community development, enhanced recreation and public land access, increased participation in land management decisions by underserved communities, and other outcomes to be determined through engagement with community/landscape partners.


The Community Conservation Specialist will represent TWS within longstanding coalitions of community and conservation partners; build new strategic relationships with individuals and community organizations; help advance community-identified priorities; and coordinate with both internal TWS teams and external partners. The successful candidate will collaboratively develop and implement equitable landscape conservation strategies in the Southern Appalachian Mountains landscape that improve the resilience of communities, lands, waters, and wildlife to climate change through the incorporation of science, Traditional Knowledge, and long-term community partnerships in place-based plans and work.


Additionally, this position plays an important role in supporting an inclusive organizational culture that is grounded in transparency, collaboration and trust and accountability to shared goals and outcomes. TWS has made diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic priorities for the organization and the Community Conservation Specialist will integrate these priorities throughout our work. Across our team, we aspire to be campaign-oriented, nimble, collaborative, innovative, transparent, and supportive of staff – our greatest asset.


Essential duties and responsibilities

Focused on the Georgia/North Carolina/Tennessee/Southern Virginia portion of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, this position will:

  • Respectfully and collaboratively work with existing coalitions of community and conservation partners to advance collaborative partner agreements for conservation and other community outcomes tied closely to TWS Strategic Plan Results.
  • Play various roles within coalitions depending on need, at times leading, facilitating, supporting, or contributing in other ways while demonstrating a belief that no task is too big or too small.
  • Build and strengthen relationships with a wide variety of community and landscape partners in rural and urban settings including volunteers, organizations, elected officials, sovereign Tribal Nations, federal/state agency staff, businesses, public land user groups (inc. timber, water, recreation), and others.
  • Identify and pursue partnership opportunities that expand equitable benefits of- and broaden support for- TWS Strategic Plan priorities in the Southern Appalachian landscape.
  • Coordinate closely with and participate in cross-functional, multi-disciplinary TWS internal teams to develop and implement equitable landscape conservation strategies in the Southern Appalachian landscape. Cross-functional teams will include staff with expertise in science, communications, government relations, philanthropy, and conservation.
  • Work collaboratively with TWS Communications staff to organize media opportunities/events that message positive benefits of community-based conservation efforts in the Southern Appalachian landscape. As appropriate, serve as a TWS media contact for select projects and campaigns in the landscape.
  • Prepare written and visual materials such as fact sheets, news releases, and action alerts that demonstrate the importance of community-based conservation to the health, economic vitality, and quality of life for the people living in this region’s communities.
  • Represent TWS in public land management processes relevant to TWS Strategic Plan Results such as US Forest Service Forest Plan Revisions, and other processes as needed.
  • Assist with grant proposal writing, grant reporting, and other fundraising efforts as needed.


  • Minimum 3 years demonstrated ability to inclusively and transparently coordinate complex processes involving a wide range of interests including local citizens and stakeholders, organizations, Tribes, federal, state, and/or local agencies.
  • Successful track record collaborating with and organizing diverse interests in an inclusive, transparent, and effective manner.
  • Long-term vision for how to effectively move community-led conservation forward including how to build durable, inclusive, diverse, and equitable coalitions.
  • Outstanding track record of working respectfully, transparently, and successfully in teams representing a rich mix of talent, backgrounds, and perspectives—across race, gender, and other identities.
  • Must be a humble, respectful, and collaborative person – effective at operating with a multitude of audiences and committed to supporting others in accomplishing our conservation goals.
  • Excellent analytical and communication skills, ability to write and speak concisely and persuasively, proficiency in communicating with the public and media professionals.
  • Able to effectively manage multiple demands and deadlines.
  • Must be able to manage projects and work effectively in a team environment.
  • Solid experience participating in and coordinating campaigns in conservation, social justice or other political oriented fields.
  • Existing knowledge and relationships with partners across the Southern Appalachian region and understanding of their work and priorities is desirable.
  • GIS skills and experience with spatial analysis are desirable.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision.


Work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is not exposed to adverse weather conditions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

This job description is intended to convey information essential to understanding the scope of the position of Senior Representative and it is not intended to be an exhaustive list of experience, skills, efforts, duties, responsibilities or working conditions associated with the position.


TWS has instituted a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all staff reporting to a TWS office or engaging in in-person work meetings. There is an exception to the vaccine mandate for any staff who have an objection because of a medical or religious reason. We will do our best to devise reasonable accommodation that respects your objection while balancing the competing demands of your specific position.

The Wilderness Society offers a competitive salary and benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance; sick and vacation leave; a sabbatical program; paid parental leave and a retirement plan. TWS is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair treatment of our employees and constituents across culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, veteran status or sexual orientation.


As an organization, we aspire to being inclusive in the work that we do, and in the kind of organization we are. Internally this means working as a team that listens to different points of view, recognizes the contributions of every employee and empowers each employee to bring their whole selves to work every day. Externally this means ensuring that public lands are inclusive and welcoming, so that our shared wildlands can help people and nature to thrive. We are committed to equity throughout our work, which we define as our commitment to realizing the promise of our public lands and ensuring that all can share in their universal benefits.=

To learn more about our commitment, please see

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