Conservation and Stewardship Director

Pacific Forest Trust (PFT) delivers landscape-scale private forest conservation in the West and develops innovative incentives for forest conservation at the national level. We do so in ways that reward private landowners for managing for public benefits like clean water, a healthy climate, and abundant native wildlife. Our work boosts local economies and restores resilient forest landscapes across ownership boundaries.

PFT is recognized nationally as a leader in developing new payment systems for ecosystems services, from climate policy to carbon markets, to working forest conservation easements, watershed services, and renewable energy. PFT has developed, acquired and stewards conservation easements on 100,000 acres of forestland in California and Oregon. We also manage 12,000 acres for timber, water and habitat values. Our projects are outstanding not only for their scale, but for their landscape impacts and high standards for delivering multiple public benefits. PFT is accredited by the National Land Trust Accreditation Commission. Learn more at

Position Summary

Pacific Forest Trust seeks a detail-oriented, collaborative, and experienced leader to manage the acquisition of new conservation easements and the stewardship of those already in PFT’s portfolio and build on our 25 years of success. PFT’s projects are often large-scale and sophisticated and involve collaboration with public and private partners. The Conservation and Stewardship Director will lead and facilitate these conservation easement projects from inception to closing; and oversee their perpetual stewardship by PFT. Specific tasks include participating in forest landowner outreach and constituency building for conservation projects; conservation easement and fee title negotiation and acquisition; agency representation; identifying funding sources and building collaborative partnerships; managing and reviewing appraisals, budgeting and financial reporting; and providing overall project-management consistent with PFT’s policies and our commitment to the highest ethical standards. This position offers a tremendous career opportunity for an energetic and accomplished conservation professional to lead the next generation of Pacific Forest Trust’s partnerships and projects. The Conservation and Stewardship Director will lead the Conservation and Stewardship team consisting of a project manager and a stewardship manager, and utilizing forestry and other natural resource consultants. S/he will work from PFT’s headquarters in the verdant Presidio of San Francisco and report to the President and Co-founder.

Key Responsibilities

  • Negotiate, finance and manage PFT’s conservation easement acquisitions. This includes: drafting and quality assurance of conservation plans or assessments for a property; supervising property due diligence, including title investigation; negotiation and drafting of conservation easement deeds; negotiation of option or purchase agreements; management and review of appraisals
  • Identify and cultivate partnerships through outreach to private forestland owners, foresters, public agencies, elected officials, other resource managers, and other forest stakeholders
  • Actively source and develop conservation easements and fee title projects in PFT priority areas, consistent with PFT’s acquisition policies and procedures
  • Effectively manage stewarding, monitoring and compliance of PFT’s previously acquired interests, consistent with PFT’s stewardship related policies and procedures
  • Represent PFT’s Conservation and Stewardship program in stakeholder meetings and other fora.
  • Develop and implement funding plans for specific acquisitions by cultivating financial support for PFT at the national and local level through grant writing and management
  • Manage a team of committed colleagues and lead the Conservation and Stewardship team to achieve PFT’s strategic and annual goals
  • Maintain and improve PFT’s conservation and stewardship policies, procedures and detailed, meticulous records in compliance with PFT’s National Land Trust Accreditation



  • Significant experience in conservation easement with a track record of negotiating, financing and managing conservation easement acquisitions.
  • Excellent communication skills to effectively articulate the benefits of working forest conservation to engage PFT’s potential and existing partners, including forest owners, government agencies and community stakeholders.
  • Experience building long-term partnerships with stakeholders to develop successful conservation projects
  • Expertise and success obtaining funds from public and private sources for land and conservation easement acquisitions; with fulfillment of funding requirements, including reporting.
  • Experience managing and leading teams
  • A commitment to high standards and personal accountability and a passion for excellence
  • Strong commitment to Pacific Forest Trust’s mission and passion to ensure the permanence of conservation easement stewardship
  • Desire to make an enduring contribution to the field of conservation and sustainable forestry
  • Advanced degree or equivalent professional training in natural resource management (especially forestry), conservation real estate, and/or law




Please upload a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and stating how you heard about this opportunity, both in Word format, addressed to Laurie Wayburn at:

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Learn more.