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30 May 2024

Full-Time California Desert Program Manager

National Parks Conservation Association – Posted by jwilson Joshua Tree, California, United States

National Parks Conservation Association

Job Description

We’re protecting and enhancing America’s National Park System for present and future generations.

National Parks Conversation Association (NPCA) is the nation’s oldest and largest national parks nonprofit, advocacy organization. NPCA has an exciting opportunity for a California Desert Program Manager to join our Pacific Regional Office.

When you join NPCA, you will become part of a highly supportive community that believes in respect through understanding and is guided by our core values: Commitment, Inclusion, Integrity and Respect. Our core values embolden us to achieve excellence, unite us and fuel our commitment to become leaders fulfilling our shared mission of protecting and enhancing America’s national parks for present and future generations.

Location: California desert (e.g. Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, Morongo Basin, Coachella Valley, Victor Valley, Barstow)

Salary: $65k – 70k (based on experience and location; Grade M)

Benefits: We offer competitive compensation and benefits including a four-day, 32-hour work week, paid sabbaticals for staff after seven years of service and more. Learn more about our benefits.

Position Overview:

The Program Manager of the California Desert is a trusted leader in the region who protects national parks and public lands, such as Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks, Mojave National Preserve and Mojave Trails National Monument. The work includes building community and political support for park issues, managing and serving as lead staff on multiple campaigns, serving within a team environment as a community leader, media voice and community organizer on behalf of desert park issues, building and managing relationships with decision makers, and supporting NPCA efforts in the desert and at a national level.

Essential Functions:

  1. Community Organizing and Outreach: 35%

Work with existing partners and develop new relationships to protect national parks. Engage local leaders and change-makers in desert park issues to influence outcomes and build relationships/coalitions. Establish collaborative working relationships with local desert park stakeholders, including tribes, gateway area businesses, local elected officials, social justice organizations and other conservation organizations. Build and manage creative, diverse and effective coalitions to advance NPCA goals and objectives.

  1. Policy, Advocacy & Government Relations: 30%

Research issues that affect the desert parks and develop appropriate positions and courses of action. Be able to understand scientific and policy related documents and how proposals impact national parks and their resources. Collaboratively draft position papers, public comments and briefings for staff and allies and formal submission on important issues. Cultivate excellent working relationships with NPS staff in the three desert parks and other agency (BLM, USFS, DOI) and elected officials whose decision-making affects the parks. In collaboration with a staff team, develop campaigns, campaign plans, and manage actions to protect parks and their resources. Develop and maintain relationships with targeted local, state and federal elected officials and staff. Serve as a trusted source of information for and actively educate members and/or their staff about issues related the desert national parks and actions the members can take to help the parks.  Be able to manage multiple campaigns at once, moving each effectively forward.

  1. Build community around desert park issues: 15%

Attend community meetings, conduct informational public forums, undertake speaking engagements and devise and carry out other forms of community education and community building that promote and advance campaign goals about park protection and its relationship to sustainable local economies and ecosystem integrity. Build relationships with a diverse set of new allies.

  1. Communications: 15%

Work with the Communications Department in the development of informational tools, including press releases and publications for public outreach and education. Cultivate relationships with and educate regional media representatives, including media outlets that primarily serve Latino and other ethnic groups in the region. Help design and implement media strategies and provide material and content for NPCA publications and online actions. Serve as a NPCA representative in the desert region and maintain visible public profile consistent with NPCA standards and campaign expectations.

  1. Development: 5%

Cultivate donors for support of NPCA and the desert program. Maintain excellent existing relationships with funders. In collaboration with others, draft proposals and reports to foundations and major donors.

Personal Attributes

  • Confident in their leadership abilities
  • Exhibits active listening skills, timely follow-up and accountability
  • Works quickly without sacrificing quality or collaboration
  • Comes prepared to all meetings and responds to requests in a timely manner
  • Is clear and concise when communicating
  • A caring, committed, and empathetic person who shares NPCA’s core values of

commitment, inclusion, integrity, and respect.


Significant travel required across the California and Southern Nevada deserts and across Southern California. Occasional travel to Sacramento and Washington, DC will be required.

Green 2.0 Pledge: Our organization is committing to conducting a pay equity analysis of staff compensation to look at differences in compensation in regard to race, ethnicity, and gender, to collect and analyze relevant data, and take corrective actions to remediate pay disparities.

Physical Effort and Dexterity:  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is typically required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; talk or hear. The employee may lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job may include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

NPCA is committed to diversity among its employees and hiring practices.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

Physical Environment: Office or home office setting; significant travel, significant time driving, time in field in national parks and other public lands.

Employer’s Rights:  NPCA reserves the right to revise this position description at any time.  The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position. The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the NPCA and employee and is subject to change by the NPCA as the needs of the NPCA and requirements of the job change. The above is in no way an exhaustive list of the requirements for the position.

COVID-19: Please be aware that NPCA requires all employees who are required to work onsite, whether regularly or sporadically to be vaccinated for COVID-19. This position will require the successful candidate to show proof of vaccination. NPCA is an equal opportunity employer and will provide reasonable accommodation to those individuals who are unable to be vaccinated consistent with federal, state, and local law. *This does not apply to applicants residing in Montana, Tennessee, and Florida.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants please submit your resume and cover letter directly online at this link.  No phone calls please. NPCA is an EOE.

Job Categories: Conservation. Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 60,000 - 80,000.

Job expires in 37 days.

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