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Sr. Conservation Specialist, Southern Appalachian Region

Job Location

Asheville, NC-- other locations in the region considered


Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jan 4, 2023

About the job

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Location: Asheville, NC Preferred. Other location in the southern Appalachian region considered.

To Apply:Please submit your resume and cover letter by January 22nd


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 Senior Conservation Specialist is a core member of The Wilderness Society’s Southern Appalachian landscape team, bringing knowledge of landscape ecology, as well as an understanding of policy, and planning to our conservation programs. The position has the following primary responsibilities: implementing the conservation vision for the region with a focus on public lands, supporting the landscape team and partners with technical and planning resources, and representing TWS on local and landscape-level land management and planning collaboratives.


The Senior Conservation Specialist is part of the Field Conservation team and works collaboratively with staff across departments, including Research, Policy and Planning, and Communications. This position will lead and manage the U.S. Forest Service planning-related work of the Southern Appalachian landscape and will work with other landscape staff to involve partners who have historically not had a seat at the table. We anticipate up to 5 forest plan revisions, numerous landscape-scale and Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration (CFLR) efforts, and other administrative processes such as project level decisions and associated forest plan amendments. This position will add capacity to effectively engage in multiple years-long land management planning processes by preparing technical comments, contributing to record-building, and supporting community engagement.


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


Essential Duties & Responsibilities

· Work with the Southern Appalachian Landscape Team and interdisciplinary teams to design and execute a regional conservation vision, as well as conduct analysis of management implications for this conservation vision;

· Support partners across the region with technical resources and capacity in agency decision-making processes and maintaining and restoring conservation values across the landscape;

· Coordinate across TWS teams to organize specific TWS legal, policy, or science expertise to advance place-based opportunities;

· Advise, support, and directly assist TWS staff and partner engagement in land management planning and other place-based agency decision-making processes. This includes applying relevant policies, developing and maintaining relationships with relevant agency staff and decision-makers, and supporting robust partner engagement;

· Embed equity and elevate and support community and BIPOC voices as well as Indigenous values throughout work in this landscape and relevant national campaigns.



Experience & Competencies

· Minimum 5-7 years demonstrated ability to coordinate complex processes involving a wide range of interests including local citizens and stakeholders, organizations, Tribes, federal, state, and/or local agencies.

· Long-term vision for how to effectively move 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 as; well as ability to involve people who have been excluded from these processes;

· Strong organizational, project, time, and data management skills;

· Experience engaging in local, state, tribal, and/or federal agency decision-making, including through the effective application of environmental laws and policies, preparation of technical comments, and utilization of experts;

· Ability to review and comment on agency proposals and environmental review documents and identify and execute important record-building opportunities;

· Identify and capitalize upon opportunities to advance TWS national policies and priorities in Southern Appalachian place-based projects;

· Ability to work successfully within complex multi-disciplinary campaign settings involving science and policy issues;

· Excellent analytical, verbal and written communication skills;

· Commitment to embedding equity throughout land management planning and other place-based opportunities to advance national policy objectives;

· Willingness to travel for short durations;

· Ability to organize, summarize, and display spatial data with GIS software for publications, posters, reports, PowerPoint presentations and other internal and external communication needs desired;



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; taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision.

Work may require traveling on Forest Service and other gravel roads, as well as walking within field sites on primitive trails and closed roads.



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 field duties of this job, the employee may be exposed to adverse weather conditions such as wind, rain, and direct sun.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

This job description is intended to convey information essential to understanding the scope of this position 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; 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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