Southern Black Hills Conservation Manager

The Nature Conservancy

Location: Hot Springs, South Dakota
Status: Salaried


Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. Whether it’s career development, work/life balance, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all of our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued.

Although you’ll see requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Passion, innovation, and diversity are all key components to advancing our Mission and we encourage you to apply.

All TNC staff based in the U.S. or a U.S. Territory are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Proof of receiving one of the vaccines approved in the U.S. (Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) shall be condition of employment and must be provided prior to starting work. TNC is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and reasonable accommodations for candidates who cannot be vaccinated due to a valid medical or religious reason will be considered.


The Southern Black Hills Conservation Manager will develop, manage and advance conservation programs, plans and methods for the Southern Black Hills. 

The Conservation Manager will respond to emergency, urgent and routine issues and events on the preserve including but not limited to livestock management, security, equipment failures, and visitors. This is a full-time position with a robust benefits package. Starting salary for this position is anticipated to be in the range of $47,000-$52,000 DOE. Work hours can vary from 35 to >50 hours per week with possible evening, weekend, or holiday work required depending on the season and associated work duties. In order to effectively conduct the essential functions of the position, it is strongly suggested the Conservation Manager live on the preserve or within a reasonable distance agreed upon with the supervisor. Housing for the Conservation Manager and immediate family is available for lease on the preserve. A two- story house with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and all major appliances (stove, refrigerator, washer/dryer) located on the preserve is available for lease at $750/month (includes electric, heat, and water paid by TNC).


The Southern Black Hills Conservation Manager (CM) provides direction/leadership for activities related to ecological management and administration of conservation projects within the Southern Black Hills. The CM is directly responsible for the management of the 4300-acre Whitney Preserve and other land holdings in the Southern Black Hills. The CM is responsible for ensuring that all facilities, preserve grounds, and equipment are in good repair and well organized.  In addition, the CM will be responsible for monitoring easements in the project area.  Job duties include working collaboratively with other conservation staff, chapter leadership, state and federal agencies, NGOs, researchers, donors and private landowners on a variety of conservation projects.  The CM is responsible for development and implementation of annual budgets and manages the processes for annual planning, submission of periodic financial and technical reports and monitoring progress of goals for the project area.  The CM assists all levels of personnel on various HR, financial, science, marketing, government relations, fundraising, and conservation issues related to the project area. The CM will coordinate with other staff to build a strong volunteer program and has supervision responsibility for other staff, in addition to contractors, interns, and volunteers. The CM coordinates community support, manages public hunting access, and facilitates the use of the Whitney Preserve for targeted outreach and education.


  • Performs tasks with minimal supervision and makes independent decisions based on analysis, experience and context.
  • Supervises staff with responsibility for performance management, training and development.
  • Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.
  • Negotiates and writes leases, monitors compliance, and handles compliance issues in cooperation with other staff.
  • Monitors easements, manages landowner relationships, responds to requests and handles compliance issues in cooperation with other staff.
  • Financial responsibility may include working within/managing a budget to complete projects, negotiating and contracting with vendors, assisting with budget development and assisting with fundraising efforts.  
  • Network with diverse groups, including landowners, conservation partners, government officials, donors, board members and the public to recruit support for the Conservancy and publicize Conservancy projects.
  • Performs ecological management tasks such as biological monitoring, invasive species control, grazing and fire management.
  • Works to promote effective conservation programs, by developing partnerships, developing public education programs and disseminating information to partners and landowners.
  • Addresses critical threats to natural systems and individual species; develops proposals, establishes priorities, and coordinates logistical support for conservation strategies.
  • Coordinates the development and implementation of Conservation Plans for the project area, identifies conservation strategies and priorities, and provides assistance with other Conservation Plans.
  • Coordinates community, donor, and partner support; public use of the preserve; and outreach events.
  • Will travel to provide stewardship of other properties, to assist other programs, and for training or meetings.


  • Bachelor’s degree and 3 years’ experience in natural resource management or similar field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience managing staff or volunteers.
  • Experience building effective relationships with a variety of partners, i.e., media, government officials, internal scientists.
  • Experience completing tasks independently and meeting deadlines.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Experience using common software applications such as Word, Excel, web browsers, etc.
  • Must have valid driver’s license.


  • Over 3 years’ experience in natural resource management, similar field or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Ability and willingness to apply science to decision-making and guide activities.
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in conservation, land management and natural resource preservation.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.
  • Collaboration skills and ability to work effectively with a variety of people, teams, and partners (including private landowners).
  • Knowledge of ecological land management/restoration principles, including range management, wildlife management, invasive species, ecology, livestock husbandry, and fire management.
  • Supervisory experience, including ability to train, motivate, lead, set objectives, and manage performance.
  • Ability to operate and maintain various types of equipment in a safe and efficient manner (tractor, skid steer, chainsaw, small engines, pumps, trucks, ATVs, lawn mower, etc.).
  • Ability to operate and maintain facilities including corrals, fence, office, housing, and workshop.
  • Qualification as, or willing and able to meet qualifications, of a Fire Fighter Type 2 (FFT2) is strongly See
  • Ability to pass annual fitness test (carrying a 45-pound pack over 3 miles of level terrain in 45 minutes or less).
  • Knowledge of flora and fauna of the Northern Great Plains and Black Hills.
  • Experience with GPS, GIS and data management.
  • Working knowledge of software applications such as Word, Outlook, and Excel.
  • Ability to obtain required licenses or certifications, such as first aid, CPR, herbicide application, and driver’s license. Must maintain a good driving record.
  • Communication and presentation skills; ability to persuasively convey the mission of TNC to diverse groups including donors, ranchers, board members, the public and others; and develop/negotiate agreements.
  • Open to experimentation, learning and adjustments along the way; ability to push through ambiguity to deliver results.
  • Skilled in lifting up the work of others, often in a behind-the-scenes way.
  • Ability to work independently and think creatively about how to leverage the resources at your disposal.
  • Commitment to the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.


This position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with the Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered “high risk drivers.” Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee’s motor vehicle record.


To apply to position number 50569, submit your resume and cover letter separately using the Apply Now button. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on December 12, 2021.

Any questions related to this specific position may be directed to Mary Miller ( 

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