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Preserve Manager – Career Opportunity

A full-time position to manage a portfolio of several Escondido Creek Conservancy (Conservancy) preserves in North San Diego County, ensuring  the lands are cared for to a high and uniform standard, per Land Trust Alliance and Habitat Management Plan requirements.  The Conservancy currently manages approximately 3,000 acres of protected lands and implements outdoor education programs for North San Diego County youth.

Job Duties:

The Preserve Manager is part of the  Conservancy’s conservation land department and  contributes to the hands-on care of Conservancy lands including, but not limited to: monthly  biological monitoring, annual  boundary surveys, photo documentation, GIS mapping,  exotic weed control, annual and quarterly reporting, revisions to (and, from time to time, drafting of) management plans, preparation of annual budgets, work plans and reports, and periodic restoration and enhancement as opportunities present. The Preserve Manager interacts with the general public to help the public understand the importance of responsible use of conservation land. The Preserve Manager writes and implements  grants to support conservation activities.

In addition to the regular management of a portfolio of preserves, Conservancy preserve managers participate in strategic discussions about land management of all Conservancy preserves and help the Conservancy leadership team develop and implement land management policies and procedures. The Preserve Manager leads or attends outreach and volunteer events on and off their preserves. The Preserve Manager is part of a team of conservation professionals at the Conservancy who support each other, and other Conservancy teams, and the mission of the Conservancy to preserve and restore the Escondido Creek watershed.

Position responsibilities include the following:
Strategic Plan Implementation
  • The Preserve Manager helps the Conservancy develop and implement the Conservancy’s Conservation Blueprint, a strategic vision for conservation lands and programs consistent with the 2022 Board of Directors Strategic Plan. The Blueprint includes land management protocols
  • The Preserve Manager helps the Conservancy facilitate Conservation Committee meetings supporting yearly conservation goals that align with the 2022 Board of Directors Strategic Plan
  • The Preserve Manager supports the Conservancy to track Conservation data for annual reporting, consistent with strategic plan goals
Programmatic Planning and Management
  • Prepare and implement  annual work plans, reports, and budgets of Conservancy-owned/managed properties
  • Consistent and accurate data management of preserve level activities in the appropriate online databases. Schedule and supervise necessary contract work
  • Work with the Conservancy’s staff to schedule, train and manage volunteer land stewards on Conservancy-owned lands
  • Work with the Conservancy’s staff to organize and implement regular land stewardship volunteer events on Conservancy-owned/managed lands
  • Interpret and apply state and federal laws that govern habitat management in San Diego to activities on Conservancy lands
  • Work with the Conservancy staff to apply for, update, and maintain necessary agency permits
  • Participate in  activities associated with initiation of new Conservancy preserves (communication with previous owner and neighbors, estimating costs to manage/PAR, securing entrances, designing, and installing signage)
Land Management
  • Field work including invasive species removal, trail, and infrastructure maintenance
  • Conduct biological surveys including for sensitive plant and animal species, vegetation community mapping, invasive/exotic species mapping, transecting
  • Rally neighboring land managers to participate in joint efforts to maximize effectiveness
  • Coordinate joint efforts with neighboring land managers (ex: invasive species control)
  • Help the Conservancy staff tie ongoing land management decision-making to regional goals
  • Under the guidance of the Executive Director, help the Conservancy manage human uses on Conservancy lands, as appropriate, where compatible with resource protection
  • Connect with other conservation partners in the watershed and with government agencies that oversee wildlife management
  • Work closely with the Conservancy’s volunteer board members who provide land management and land stewardship; facilitate institutionalization of Conservancy history
  • Seek out and participate in regional (City-, Watershed-, and county-wide) biological/ecological data gathering efforts and analysis
  • When possible, participate in local education events (presenting at schools, offering internships and mentorship)
  • Facilitate mission-aligned education events (ex: restoration planting) onsite
  • Seek out and maintain relationships with neighboring land managers
  • Timely drafting and implementation of annual and quarterly work plans, reports and budgets.
  • Contribute to the current database of maps and spatial data in ArcGIS Online/ArcPro for Conservancy land
Funding and Communications
  • Share the Conservancy’s mission, vision, and rules with members of the public
  • Seek out and write grant applications to help fund ongoing land stewardship activities and special projects, editing and assisting grant applications written by other land team members
  • Seek out and apply for grant-funding opportunities in concert with neighboring land managers
Continuous Improvement
  • Stays current on science and management techniques relating to sensitive species, integrated pest management, climate change and finds ways to incorporate innovative techniques into the Conservancy’s operations
  • Stays current on mapping technology and opportunities to streamline mapping


Minimum Qualifications:

This position is for an experienced professional with a master’s or bachelor’s degree in biology, natural resources management, ecology, botany, environmental science or a related field and at least three years of relevant experience.  The Preserve Manager must be able to carry out strenuous activities, on their feet, in rough terrain, in all weather conditions, and hike long distances. The Preserve Manager must maintain a valid driver’s license and maintain current vaccinations against COVID-19. The Preserve Manager must  be able to sit or stand at a desk or workstation, operate a pick-up in the backcountry, and lift at least 50 lbs. The Preserve Manager must be self motivated and be able to work autonomously in the field and as a team. The Preserve manager must be able to work in a time efficient manner and meet expected deadlines. The Preserve Manager must be familiar with common hand tools and small engine power tools.

Additional Desired  Skills:

 The Preserve Manager should have experience in land stewardship, including invasive exotic weed control; and management of rare, threatened, or endangered species. The Preserve Manager should have good communications skills, especially technical writing, and have worked successfully with the general public.  The Preserve Manager must have demonstrated effectiveness in working collaboratively and professionally with colleagues and across teams. The Preserve Manager should have experience overseeing or facilitating research opportunities. The Preserve Manager should have  knowledge of propagation material collection (i.e. seeds, cuttings) and knowledge of native plant propagation. It would be additionally helpful if the Preserve Manger had experience with irrigation set up and maintenance.

Encouraged Skills:

The Preserve Manager should have experience in GIS, grant writing and reporting. The Preserve Manager should have familiarity with the  County of San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Plan(s), and the regional Management Strategic Plan. The Preserve Manager should be familiar with or practiced in creating and implementing Habitat Management Plans and  PARs for conservation properties and be familiar with preserve level budgeting. Spanish speaking skills are helpful in this position. An understanding of Land Trust Alliance policies and procedures would be an asset in this position. Knowledge of southern California native plants and animals is highly desirable as is experience in restoration ecology. The Preserve Manager should have experience supervising people, for example, interns and volunteers.

Inclusion and equity:

We invite everyone to join the Conservancy through volunteer opportunities and program participation. We work to break down barriers to access that have historically limited participation by some community members. With some of our programs, we have been able to advocate for and facilitate equitable access to nature, environmental education, and empowering outdoors experiences for everyone.


The Preserve Manager reports to the Executive Director. See www.escondidocreek.org for more information.

Compensation and Application:

Salary range $45,000 to $60,000, depending on experience. The Conservancy provides competitive benefits including 401K matching and payment for mileage.

Please send a resume, cover letter, writing samples and references to  as soon as possible.

Position will be open until filled. No phone calls please.