we're hiring a Conservation transactions manager

Join our team as the Conservation Transactions Manager

The McKenzie River Trust (MRT), an Accredited Land Trust based in Eugene, Oregon, is seeking a full-time Conservation Transactions Manager to join our team. The Conservation Transactions Manager will work with MRT, landowners, and partner organization staff to develop and manage land acquisition projects including fee simple, conservation easement, and partner assist transactions throughout MRT’s service area. The Conservation Transactions Manager negotiates and oversees the acquisition of conservation easements and properties through purchase and donation from willing landowners. 

To Apply:

Please prepare a resume and cover letter describing your interest addressed to Eli Tome, Director of Conservation. Send your letter and a resume, combined into one PDF no longer than 4 pages total, via email to jobs@mckenzieriver.org with Conservation Transactions Manager in the subject line of your email. Applicants’ materials are redacted for personal information to reduce the potential of bias by hiring managers.

Hiring Timeline and Process:

This position will be open until filled, initially posted on August 11, 2022. The first review of applicants will begin on September 14th. MRT typically conducts a remote interview first via zoom, a potential second interview, a writing exercise, and then a final meet and greet with the Conservation Team staff in person, before a formal offer is given. MRT hiring processes can take up to two months, the Hiring Manager will keep applicants informed of the process throughout. All non-successful applicants will be offered an opportunity to speak with a member of the hiring committee for feedback on their application if requested.

Position Title: Conservation Transactions Manager

Reports to: Director of Conservation

Status: Full-time, exempt

Compensation: $70,000 – $80,000 annual salary DOE

Benefits: Supportive benefits package including employer-paid health, dental, vision, short term disability, and life insurance. MRT offers a competitive PTO package starting at 3 weeks of paid vacation, 2 weeks of paid sick leave, and 10 floating holidays per year. MRT offers a Simple IRA retirement benefit with up to a 3% employer match contribution.

Role of the Conservation Transactions Manager

The Conservation Transactions Manager (CTM) develops and manages land acquisition projects; including fee simple, conservation easement, and partner assist transactions throughout the McKenzie River Trust’s service area. The CTM negotiates and oversees the acquisition of conservation easements and properties through purchase and donation from willing landowners. The CTM participates in fundraising efforts to support land protection and stewardship, including securing private donations and grants from government and foundation sources. The position requires project management, landowner outreach, partnership facilitation, and close coordination with the Trust’s stewardship and development staff. This position also requires a foundational knowledge of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) work. While the main goal of this position is to protect and conserve land, MRT acknowledges that this work occurs on stolen land, and we strive to incorporate tribal partners in all our work. This position plays a key role in our DEIJ framework in working towards opportunities to rematriate land to tribes and indigenous peoples, and to foster positive working relationships with tribes and indigenous people throughout our service area.

Essential Duties for the Conservation Transactions Manager

Negotiate and manage land transactions (65% FTE)

  • Assess new land protection opportunities for their conservation values in relation to the Trust’s project selection criteria.
  • Develop and maintain contacts and relationships with landowners, public agencies, funders, and other partners.
  • Respond to inquiries from landowners and discuss conservation options, costs and basic financial implications and benefits of conservation projects.
  • Prepare and review acquisition and transfer documents (e.g., purchase agreements, conservation easements, appraisals, transfer agreements, title documents, escrow instructions, property/easement donation agreements etc.).
  • Select, hire and manage consultants with a range of expertise (such as attorneys, appraisers, realtors, environmental scientists, and surveyors) and complete property due diligence.
  • Coordinate all land protection projects with other Trust staff in fundraising, stewardship planning and cost calculation, and outreach.
  • Work with other staff to ensure that all land conservation transactions are adequately documented, including written reports, database management (SalesForce), GIS maps, and other means, in a manner which maintains MRT’s accreditation with the Land Trust Alliance (LTA).
  • Identify long-term property disposal scenarios for all new properties and manage disposal/sale of Trust properties.
  • Support GIS capabilities of the Trust by securing spatial data in support of the land conservation work. Produce updated maps of protected lands for both internal and external audiences.
  • Manage flow of new prospective properties into the transaction process in order to keep the number of transactions at a manageable level. Provide feedback to other staff regarding capacity.

Fundraising (15% FTE)

  • Identify and develop funding strategies for conservation projects, which includes securing private donations and grants from government and foundation sources.
  • Coordinate with Trust staff to track sources and solicit grants of public and private funds, and to create solicitation strategies for potential donors of land and easements.

Stewardship (5% FTE)

  • Consult with stewardship staff to ensure proposed conservation values, easement terms and restoration scenarios are feasible for new acquisitions.
  • Work with conservation staff to integrate new acquisitions into the Trust’s stewardship program.
  • Review acquisition and transfer documents with staff, assist with the preparation of easement baseline documentation reports, and management plans to protect conservation values.
  • Review, access documents, legal rights, cultural uses or other management concerns on conservation properties.
  • Support MRT volunteer projects, community outreach events, and natural history tours as needed/directed.

Administrative, Partner and Board Support (15% FTE)

  • Present to staff, board, and committees on project opportunities and transaction details.
  • Attend and participate in MRT team and staff meetings.
  • Keep up to date on professional developments by participating in trainings offered through the Land Trust Alliance (LTA), Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts (COLT) and other sources.
  • Keep abreast of policies that directly affect land conservation and funding for land conservation.
  • Represent the Trust on technical teams, advisory groups, working groups, and in other venues to further the Trust’s conservation work and the work of our partners.
  • Participate in other activities which contribute to the mission of the Trust as needed.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Minimum BA/BS degree in natural resources management, conservation, law or another related field of study and at least 5 years’ experience in land conservation, real estate, or related field.
  • A background in real estate transactions, paralegal work, or document review and editing, either through experience or education/training.
  • Experience with land conservation real estate transactions and conservation easements.
  • Strong negotiation and relationship building.
  • Strong speaking, writing, and listening skills. Ability to work with diverse people and develop positive working relationships, especially with co-workers, landowners, rural stakeholders, conservative communities, Indian tribes and government agencies.
  • Ability to work under pressure with tight deadlines.
  • Experience with project budgets, accounting, and fundraising.
  • Comfortable working independently while managing multiple complex projects simultaneously.
  • Practical problem-solving and organizational skills with attention to detail and record-keeping in a database (MRT uses Salesforce and LOCATE).
  • Competent with standard computer software, including MS Word, MS Excel, ESRI ArcMap, internet and email.
  • Commitment to collaborative teamwork both in person and in a hybrid remote work environment.
  • Familiarity with lands and waters of western Oregon.
  • Knowledge of current tax and conservation laws.
  • Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license and be able to drive.
  • Willingness to take on work outside of the immediate job description when in the best interest of the Trust.

Working Conditions and Physical Effort:

The Conservation Transactions Manager will work across field sites primarily in Lane, Lincoln and Douglas Counties and from an office base in Eugene, Oregon. Occasional tasks will require significant physical exertion, being outdoors in all weather conditions and on difficult and sometimes hazardous terrain. Some occasional weekend and/or evening work will be necessary. MRT service area includes the McKenzie, Upper Willamette, Siuslaw, Umpqua, and Pacific Frontal watersheds from the mouth of the Umpqua River north to Lincoln City. Travel throughout this service area will be a regular course of business. MRT has a fleet of 3 vehicles (trucks) for use and offers mileage reimbursement at State Government rates for personal vehicle use (as of July, 2022 $0.625/mile).

The McKenzie River Trust is committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and providing equal opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition, neurodiversity, disability, veteran status or any other protected category under federal, state and local law. In accordance with the American with Disabilities Act, requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals. However, no accommodations will be made which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others or which impose undue hardships on the organization. The McKenzie River Trust maintains its status as an at-will employer.

Organizational Background

Since 1989, the McKenzie River Trust (MRT) has helped people protect and care for the lands and rivers they cherish in western Oregon. From the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean, MRT envisions a future in which conservation lands are at the core of community efforts to sustain clean water, abundant fish and wildlife, and diverse natural resource economies. We work at the intersection of ecological systems and human community needs to ensure the health of both in the face of changes in climate and land use. MRT protects over 7,000 acres of land through ownership and conservation easement. Grounded in science, we work collaboratively to heal, restore, and enhance regionally important natural systems, and connect people to places they care about. MRT is based in Eugene, and our work is centered in the upper Willamette River Basin, but we also carry out work in the Umpqua, Siuslaw, and coastal river basins. In 2021 we opened our first field office on the central Oregon coast.

On Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice:

Having invested in staff training in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) for several years, we are currently crafting a DEIJ commitment statement and plan. For over 30 years, the McKenzie River Trust (MRT) has pursued our mission by focusing on habitat diversity and health, river dynamism, and wild landscapes. But we need to more explicitly acknowledge that people and communities have been and continue to be part of these ecosystems, and that the helping people part of our mission compels us to ensure that our work benefits and engages all people, not just some. Bringing DEIJ values to bear in our work will support us in maintaining the landscape-scale vision required to address climate resilience and community resilience as we work to maintain the ecological integrity of western Oregon’s landscapes. We have work to do. We encourage all candidates, particularly those with diverse backgrounds in culture, education, and professional experience, to apply for this position. 

Applicants’ materials are redacted for personal information to reduce bias by hiring managers. Please do not reach out directly to MRT staff members, allow us to contact you regarding the next steps in the hiring process.