Stewardship Associate, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) is an established land trust serving a
10-county region in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. Since 1974, we have conserved more than 60,000 acres of the region’s most important lands.  As of October 2013, SAHC is responsible for stewarding 133 conservation easements on 37,800 acres and 36 tracts of SAHC-owned land on 4,200 acres.  We are now pursuing land and conservation easement acquisitions to protect thousands more key acres.


SAHC is seeking a full-time Stewardship Associate to support SAHC’s program of managing conservation easements and land SAHC owns.  The Stewardship Associate is supervised by and works closely with the Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director and participates as a team member with other SAHC staff. Occasional evening and weekend hours may be required. The Stewardship Associate works in both SAHC’s Asheville, NC office and in the field.


Under the direction & supervision of the Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director, the Stewardship Associate will:

    1. Support stewardship of SAHC conservation easements, including:
      • preparing baseline documentation reports, containing biological assessments;
      • conducting annual monitoring of conservation easements;
      • preparing written monitoring reports;
      • maintaining strong relationships with landowners, including preparing management recommendations to landowners; and
      • assisting in evaluating requests to exercise reserved rights on protected properties and making recommendations to the Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director.
    2. Support stewardship of land owned by SAHC, including:
      • monitoring and preparing management plans for land owned by SAHC;
      • periodically updating management plans; and
      • implementing or coordinating implementation of management plans on SAHC owned lands, including invasive species management, volunteer management, and other land management needs.
    3. Consult with the Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director and Executive Director on stewardship problems, including potential easement violation, enforcement, and defense issues.  Assist with decision-making on appropriate course of action, and implementing plans to resolve problems. Be prepared to testify about violations.
    4. Assist in evaluating prospective land conservation projects and make recommendations on resource management needs and property conservation value to Land Protection staff and Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director.
    5. Utilize and update property GIS data.  Collect and/or create regional, county and local GIS map data.  Create maps for stewardship projects.
    6. Maintain files, data, and documentation according to records management policy and procedures; regularly update and maintain SAHC’s online database.
    7. Assist the Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director in developing and implementing stewardship project planning and funding strategies.
    8. Prepare articles or reports for newsletters and handouts to promote stewardship activities.
    9. Review and assist in updating stewardship policies and procedures
      as appropriate.
    10. Work cooperatively with, and maintain good communications with other staff and Board members. Perform other responsibilities and activities as deemed appropriate by the Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director, Executive Director and Associate Director.


  • Bachelor’s degree in related field (e.g., resource management, environmental studies, or natural science), and background or experience in land stewardship, land management, or conservation related field.
  • Two or more years of professional land trust experience.
  • Expertise in preparing conservation easement baseline documentation reports, monitoring conservation easements, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), ArcView 10, map-making and other land trust stewardship functions.
  • Familiarity with southern Appalachian flora and fauna and invasive species control.
  • Familiarity with agricultural and forestry best management practices in the context of stewardship of conservation easements desired.
  • Experience leading volunteers desired.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills. Ability to communicate effectively with people, organizations, and agencies. Negotiation skill and experience preferred.
  • Ability and commitment to maintain confidentiality.
  • Close attention to detail and accuracy, excellent organizational abilities, and ability to complete projects within deadline.
  • Tact and strong diplomacy skills. Talent for maintaining forward momentum in delicate situations.
  • Field readiness. Ability and willingness to travel and work in the field, and navigate to remote locations. Comfortable hiking and carrying heavy equipment long distances in variable, sometimes poor weather conditions.
  • Persistence, sense of humor, and entrepreneurial spirit. Ability to balance and pursue multiple projects simultaneously. High tolerance for meeting competing demands efficiently, without becoming flustered.
  • Desire and talent for working as part of a team. Enthusiastic, creative, self-motivated individual able to work with and motivate coworkers and volunteers.
  • A valid driver’s license required with acceptable DMV record.  Experience driving off-road helpful.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this position.  They are not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required.  All personnel may be required to perform duties outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time, as needed.

Job Category:

Full-time Exempt (40 hours/week)


Commensurate with experience and skills.  SAHC provides a competitive salary and benefits package to full-time employees.

To Apply:

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume with salary history or salary requirements, and 3 professional references to Carl Silverstein ; Please include Stewardship Associate in subject line.  No phone calls please.  Open until filled.  SAHC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Asheville, North Carolina
Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
Carl Silverstein

34 Wall Street, Suite 502
Asheville, NC 28801