ESF Seeking a Stewardship Director

In employment, ESF, Featured by Administrator

The Elkhorn Slough Foundation is seeking a Stewardship Director to lead the management and restoration of the Foundation’s land conservation portfolio in the Elkhorn watershed.

The Elkhorn Slough Foundation (ESF) is a mature non-profit organization and an accredited Land Trust dedicated to conserving and restoring the Elkhorn Slough and its watershed. Elkhorn Slough is an extraordinarily rich tidal wetland located at the geographic center of the Monterey Bay shoreline on the central California coast. ESF has directly conserved over 4,000 acres of land and waters in the Elkhorn Slough watershed. The Elkhorn Slough Foundation conservation portfolio includes land embedded in a working landscape of small farms, ranches, and scattered residential development. Diverse habitats on these lands include maritime chaparral, oak woodlands, coastal prairie, salt marsh, riparian corridors, organic farms and rangeland.

Under the supervision of the Executive Director, the Stewardship Director serves on the Management Team and is responsible for the overall care and management of ESF lands and conservation easements. Successful applicants will have strong administrative and organizational skills, a strong background in natural resource management and on the ground practical experience in all facets of natural resource and property management. Duties will include but are not limited to the following:

Essential Duties and Functions:

Restoration and Resource Management

• Develop and implement all restoration and maintenance projects such as monitoring, erosion control, habitat improvements, rental property management, road maintenance, building improvements, water resource management, fire management and safety.

• Coordinate with the conservation easement monitoring program lead regarding easement management.

• Maintain positive and effective working relationships with a variety of ESF contacts including tenants, neighbors, volunteers, scientists and partner organizations.

• Review and manage ESF’s compliance with standards and practices required to continue its Land Trust Accreditation.

• Supervise Land Team and establish work plans.

• Negotiate and manage leases with agricultural land tenants and ranchers to achieve conservation goals.

• Play a leadership role in guiding the long-term health of the Slough ecosystem.

• Inventory and monitor habitats and rare species on ESF lands.

• Work with partners, including resource and regulatory agencies, on restoration and management of Foundation lands.

• Oversee control of invasive species by staff and contractors.

• Develop and administer contracts for land conservation projects and ensure projects are appropriately permitted.

• Oversee cattle grazing operation for the benefit of rare plant species and coastal prairie health.

• Coordinate with ESF’s Outreach Coordinator to provide stewardship/restoration opportunities on ESF lands as appropriate.

• Lead Land Committee and work with Management Team and Board to develop strategic plans.



• Develop and administer the annual land management budget.

• Develop funding proposals for Slough stewardship and restoration.

• Oversee contract residential property manager.

• Develop and maintain property inventories and files.



• Masters degree in natural resource management, natural sciences, hydrology or related field preferred.

• 5+ years of experience in conservation land management, habitat restoration, or natural resource management and familiarity with agricultural operations.

• Understanding of current habitat restoration techniques and current science related to natural resource management issues.

• Computer expertise with current Word, Excel, Outlook, GIS and GPS programs and equipment.

• Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to effectively and tactfully present information to and communicate with Board members, employees, volunteers, public groups, regulatory agencies, neighbors and others.

• Experience in budget preparation and administration.

• Strong leadership and supervisory skills.

• Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.

• Proven grant writing and management success.

• Proficiency in Spanish a plus.


• Ability to perform with changing seasonal demands such as working occasional weekends and long days in adverse weather conditions is a requirement.

• Ability to operate field equipment including trucks, tractors, chainsaws, weed eaters, spray equipment and chippers and other tools as needed

• Ability to work independently in the field and traverse rough terrain.

• Ability to lift and manage 50 pounds.

• Must hold a valid California Drivers license and have a good driving record with a minimum of 3 years of driving experience.

This is a full time position. Compensation package includes competitive salary, dental and medical benefits and access to ESF housing program.

Elkhorn Slough Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.

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Please send cover letter and resume to:  Resumes accepted by email only. No phone calls please.