The Land Steward is responsible for the management and sustainable use of the land at SMC including forests, trails, natural and landscaped areas, and gardens. This position is responsible for 600+ acres. The Land Steward, in cooperation with SMC leadership and the department, hires (as budgets permit) and oversees seasonal employees to assist with forestry and land management activities and coordinates with other departments to help staff and participants to connect with, enjoy, and utilize the land responsibly. The Land Steward is also responsible for coordinating with senior management on land management decisions and promoting a culture of environmental stewardship at SMC.
This position carries out activities needed to achieve SMC goals, including but not limited to, maintaining trails, preparing, updating, and revising trail maps, ecological control including work with invasive species weeds and plants, ecological surveys, property boundary maintenance, wetland protection, forest management, and trash/debris clean-up.
- I. Fire recovery efforts – emerging responsibilities and tasks.
- II. Landscaping design, maintenance, implementation
- Design plans for the reclamation of damaged landscapes from disruptive capital improvement work across the land.
- Design and implement cultivated landscaping where appropriate
- Maintain existing landscaping (watering, weeding, &c.)
- Maintain Zen Garden on the property
III. Trail maintenance
- With staff and volunteer support, regularly monitor trails. Organize work parties for trail clean up, trail development projects, and general trail maintenance. Goals: wayfinding, erosion control, and storm water diversion / mitigation.
- IV. Understanding of local ecosystem
- Advise SMC leadership on land-based decisions
- Plan or assist with planning of land projects
- Develop and implement restoration of disturbed areas
- Provide land hikes as requested
- Educate staff and visitors about the land as needed
- V. Invasive species management
- Hire (in cooperation with HR) and manage volunteer weed control (or other volunteer) teams. Develop and maintain work schedules, volunteer contact information, &c.
- Maintain contact with state (for instance, regarding rust inoculation).
- Manage weed crew: by removing invasive species, planting a greater diversity of appropriate native species, and mitigating erosion, SMC is restoring ecosystems which support more wildlife and create health and resilience across the land.
- Cooperation with the SMC-Geospatial Centroid partnership to map invasive weed areas, concerns, and planning areas.
- VI. Forest management
- Maintain chainsaws
- Fell and remove trees as needed
- Chip slash
- Apply for burn permit annually
- Winter slash pile burns
- Manage firewood storage and provide firewood for programs as requested
- VII. General responsibilities
- Maintain contacts with SMC departments (Built and Natural Environment, Programs, Development, Grants, Operations (including Kitchen staff) to develop a strong awareness of activities happening on the land
- Maintain tools and machinery for land-related work
- In cooperation with Director of Master Planning & Property Management, maintain land budget
- Review, adjust as needed, and approve land-related staff timecards.
- Provide reports as requested, and contribute to meetings as appropriate
- Cooperation with the SMC-Geospatial Centroid partnership to map land-resources, space designations, planning, &c.
- Assist with land-based ceremonies, activities, or programs as needed.
- VIII. Land Crew management
- Recruit and hire Land Crew in cooperation with Human Resources (as budget allows)
- Account for safety for staff and volunteers
- Maintain SMC’s ATTRA listing (A national sustainable agriculture assistance program)
- Develop projects and planning for execution of summer projects.
- Manage the crew
- IX. Support of garden, compost, and greenhouse
- Supervise and assist the gardener with greenhouse and garden projects
- X. Grants management
- The Land Steward should be involved in a strong effort to secure grant funding to drive and support work on the land.
- Apply for, and manage, the State Weed Fund grant.
- Work closely with the Colorado State Forest Service on grant applications and execution.
- Explore relevant and applicable grants for SMC application for funds
- Collaboration with neighbors, government agencies, non-profits.
- XI. Juniper management – (SMC uses juniper for various ceremonies and events)
- Acquire collection permit for national forest harvesting
- Maintain relationship with Scout Camp (neighboring property) to harvest some juniper from their lands.
- Prevent collection of SMC juniper
- Harvest juniper and fir for ceremonies and gatherings that use fire pits
- XII. Snow removal and management
- Maintain snow blower
- Shovel snow from pathways
- Maintain stock and ready availability of ice-melt and sand for application during storms
- XIII. On-land fire mitigation activities & planning
- Maintain the equipment used to trim trees, tall grasses, plant growth near buildings to mitigate fire potential.
- Clear tall grass from around buildings and fire pits
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an incoming Land Steward to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable an individual with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Duties are performed year-round, primarily out of doors, with some office work (periodic exposure to computer screen and extensive typing on computer may be required). Occasional highway driving and attendance at night meetings may be required to carry out duties. Considerable standing, walking, and hiking for several miles and some lifting up to fifty (50) pounds as well as regular crouching, bending, kneeling, &c., are required.
- Bachelor’s degree in environmental science or closely related area, or 5-years of directly relevant and relatable experience.
- Demonstrated experience in land stewardship
- Demonstrated understanding of land management: conservation, protection, forest management, &c.
- Professional history of working outside, engaged in challenging physical tasks and projects.
- Experience using and maintaining tools, machines, drills, cutting equipment, power equipment, riding mowers / tractors, saws, blowers, paints, solvents, herbicides, pesticides and other maintenance equipment and materials while adhering to all safety protocols. Ability read, interpret, and share/communicate documents such as safety rules, operating parameters, general maintenance expectations, and procedural manuals
- Ability to read, analyze, and interpret technical procedures and documents, survey maps, topographical and geological data and maps, regulatory rules and requirements, policies, and ordinances.
- A strong understanding of Colorado flora and fauna, including invasive and native plant identification.
- Experience supervising teams of staff and volunteer management.
- Knowledge of basic computer systems including Word, Excel, Google documents / sheets
- Ability to establish and maintain working relationships with staff, volunteers, and the general community.
- Ability to speak clearly and concisely both in oral and written communication.
- Possess and maintain a valid Colorado Driver License (or the ability to secure one before employment)
- Strong, demonstrated ability to work independently
- Master’s degree in environmental science, forestry, land management, or closely related area
- A general understanding of Buddhism, Shambhala, or other spiritual communities
- Certification from a land steward training program
- Knowledge of ArcGIS or other GIS management software.
Compensation and Benefits
- $12.92 per hour for onland employee
- Low-cost housing and meal plan required (currently a combined $375.00 per month)
- Participation in SMC’s Paid Time Off and Paid Sick Leave program (estimated 10 days of PTO accrued in first year of employment, 12 days in second year, 15 days in third and fourth years, 20 days in fifth and subsequent years)
- Free participation in staff classes and programs
To apply, please email Mac McGoldrick at MMcGoldrick@shambhalamountain.org. Include a cover letter closely addressing your qualifications for this position and a resume that highlights your relevant experience.