Director of Land Stewardship

Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation

The Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (“JDCF”) is seeking a full time Director of Land Stewardship. JDCF is a nonprofit land conservancy whose mission is to preserve land for the lasting well-being of people and wildlife. We achieve this mission by creating and maintaining parks, nature preserves, and other conservation areas throughout the county. JDCF currently owns 10 parks and preserves totaling more than 1300 acres. We also co-manage three additional parks and preserves in partnership with other conservation organizations.

The Director of Land Stewardship (“the Director”) position is a full-time, permanent position responsible for the stewardship, management, ecological restoration, and maintenance of public access of the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation’s (“JDCF”) preserves and conservation areas. This position reports to the Director of Land Conservation and directly supervises two other positions.

This is an exciting opportunity for motivated individual with a passion for conservation and natural areas. The selected individual will have the opportunity to work in a dynamic, results-driven nonprofit organization and create a lasting impact on the landscape of northwest Illinois.

The Director’s time will be split between working on office-based duties at the JDCF office (or remotely) and field-based duties as needed. Responsibilities include supervision of other Land Stewardship Program employees, including two permanent staff positions, temporary work crews, and internships. The Director shall also supervise and interface with Land Stewardship Program volunteers. The Director is also responsible for implementing land management plans, ecological restoration plans, leading prescribed ecological burns, maintaining sites for public access and recreation, and managing contractors working on JDCF sites.

Primary Functions

  • Implement management plans and ecological restorations on JDCF sites independently or alongside other staff, volunteers, interns, and temporary work crews.
  • Serve as Burn Boss for prescribed burns
  • Unaided operation of vehicles and equipment in a variety of maintenance, construction, and/or utility tasks.
  • Management of other Land Stewardship Program employees including week-to-week scheduling of work for Seasonal, Internship, and Maintenance positions
  • Manage, recruit, inspire, and empower volunteers for the Land Stewardship program
  • Development of land management plans and ecological restoration plans as needed for JDCF preserves.
  • Lead budgeting efforts for general Stewardship Program operations as well as special projects
  • Serve as JDCF’s Cultural Resource Manager, reviewing all proposed actions and development at the organization level to ensure no unethical or on the ground negative impacts occur to Cultural Sites
  • Handle other duties as assigned

This is a full-time, salaried position with paid time off and other benefits. Regular hours for this position are Monday through Friday, 8 hours per day. However, occasional evenings and weekends are required, especially during prescribed burn seasons in late fall and early spring. To view the complete job description and requirements, please visit

The ideal candidate will have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, three years relevant experience, Illinois pesticide applicator license (or ability to obtain one), experience operating light and medium duty equipment and vehicles, experience with prescribed ecological burning, willingness to work outdoors in a natural setting, and a desire to be part of a growing community-oriented land conservation organization.

To apply, send résumé, cover letter, and three professional references by email to

Or by mail to:

Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation
Attn: Jim Johannsen
PO Box 216
Elizabeth, Illinois 61028

JDCF is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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