Full-Time Director of Stewardship
Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC) is a non-profit land trust working throughout Berkshire County in western Massachusetts to protect and preserve the natural beauty and ecological integrity of the Berkshires for public benefit and enjoyment. Starting in 1967, BNRC has protected over 23,000 acres of conservation land in Berkshire County. BNRC maintains 60+ miles of public hiking trails throughout its 56 conservation reserves. BNRC manages The High Road project, which seeks to connect towns to trails throughout our region. BNRC lands are open, free to the public, for all types of non-motorized recreation.
BNRC is a robust and growing organization seeking to conserve important ecological lands and provide opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy nature and a wide variety of outdoor activities.
BNRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We especially welcome applications from BIPOC, LGBTQ+, women and veterans. We are actively engaged in ensuring our properties are welcoming to all, and increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of our work.
BNRCs Stewardship Department is our largest department, staffed by four full-time professional staff and a varying number of seasonal crew. The Department advances BNRC’s mission and strategic goals in the following areas:
- Trail building and maintenance: BNRC manages 60+ miles of trails, and each season our crews work on a range of trail projects from rehabilitation of existing trails to the scouting, design and construction of new single-track and accessible trails, bridges and stairs as well as parking lots at trail heads, signage, and other features that assist with public access. This work is completed with a mix of seasonal crews and outside contractors and requires planning, permitting and careful attention to the ecological impact of any construction work.
- Property Management: BNRCs owns 12,000 acres of land on 56 properties. The department oversees the management of the land, features such as dams and culverts, as well as vehicles, equipment and tools. The department conducts forestry, invasive species and other habitat management projects, and regularly monitors all fee-owned land.
- Conservation Restrictions: BNRC holds 12,000 acres of CRs, and the department is responsible for the monitoring them and addressing any issues or violations.
- Volunteers: BNRC’s stewardship staff works with upwards of 70 volunteers annually, who help with trail and land projects.
- Community Programming: In a typical year, BNRC Stewardship staff organizes and leads dozens of guided hikes for the general public as well as the Connecting to the Land initiative, which focuses on reaching groups who typically have had less access to nature.
DOS Job Description
This newly-created position will oversee BNRC’s Stewardship Department and become a member of the BNRC senior leadership team. The position is a combination of field and office/supervisory work.
The DOS’s primary focus will providing direct supervision to full-time Stewardship staff, and support as they oversee seasonal staff and contractors. As necessary, DOS will manage projects directly.
- Ensure the effective functioning of the department – managing communication, scheduling, planning and budgeting.
- Work with the senior leadership of BNRC to ensure the department continues to have the capacity it needs to fulfil its functions as BNRC’s holdings grow and miles of trail increase.
- Oversees the recruitment and training of department and seasonal staff to ensure a high level of quality and professionalism.
- Have a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice to ensure that all people are respected and welcomed at BNRC. This includes participating in ongoing education and other work the organization has undertaken to become more inclusive.
- Work collaboratively with grant staff to assist with the preparation of grant proposals and reports to funders.
- Working together with the President, prepare and present at least one annual report to the Board of Directors.
- Collaborate with BNRC fundraising staff on the development and presentation of occasional programming to engage donors and other members of the public in BNRCs work.
- Represent BNRC in public forums such as town meetings and with neighbors and other members of the community.
- Maintain appropriate safety certifications such as first-aid and CPR
We are seeking a candidate with the following skills and attributes.
- Strong professional background and knowledge of land management and/or ecology;
- Scheduling and managing multiple projects simultaneously, balancing field work and office work;
- Hiring, training and supervising staff and seasonal employees, and selecting/working with independent contractors;
- GIS mapping experience;
- Strong communication skills.
In addition, skills and knowledge in the following areas would be highly desired. We know that it is likely that most candidates have some but not all of these, but we expect the successful candidate to have a demonstrated willingness and ability to take on new challenges and master new areas of expertise:
- Knowledge of Massachusetts conservation permitting processes;
- Planning and building trails, and other public access infrastructure;
- Monitoring of conservation lands;
- Working with and supervising volunteers;
- Community conservation, nature education or similar;
- Basic computer skills including Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint;