Land Steward - Niobrara Valley Preserve

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The Nature Conservancy

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Ainsworth, NE, United States

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20 days ago


Johnstown, Nebraska, USA

Relocation stipend available.


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 enjoy life inside TNC. 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.

In Nebraska The Nature Conservancy (TNC) works to ensure the state’s vast native grasslands, healthy forests, streams, and wetlands to sustain and enrich all life. This includes special places like Niobrara Valley Preserve, 56,000 acres along the Niobrara National Scenic River, whose beauty stuns the first-time visitor; and Platte River Prairies Preserve, one of the most important bird-migration stops in North America. In Nebraska, we've permanently protected 89,500 acres and 45 miles of rivers through ownership and easements across the state. Nebraska has three preserves that are open to the public. We strive to work with partners and private landowners enhancing the economic, environmental, and social aspects of native natural habitats. In addition to protecting the natural world in Nebraska, as an international conservation organization, we also work regionally and globally with staff and partners to sustain clean water and air, protect biodiversity and work to combat climate change.

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 Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.


The Land Steward performs and participates in preserve operations, maintenance and management. This position will be located at the Niobrara Valley Preserve (NVP) near Johnstown, NE. The NVP is about 56,000 acres along approximately 25 miles of the Niobrara River. Diverse animal and plant species inhabit the NVP due to its location and the convergence of various ecosystems. Grazing by bison and cattle in combination with prescribed fire are the main land management practices. Conservation outreach and research occur throughout the year. Additionally, the NVP hosts educational groups and researchers at its facilities.


The Land Steward maintains preserve areas frequented by the visiting public and performs land management activities. The Land Steward removes exotic species and/or conducts species monitoring and may also manage livestock. The Land Steward will assist in prescribed burns and maintains tools, equipment and land. The Land Steward will open and close preserve to the visiting public and maintain preserve records using a database, PC or mobile device.


  • Supervises no staff, but may help plan and direct preserve work groups, including staff or volunteers.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances.
  • Requires considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain.
  • May require long hours in isolated settings.
  • Makes day to day decisions as delegated by supervisor.
  • May work under infrequent supervision.
  • Constructs and fixes/maintains cattle and bison fence
  • Maintains livestock water sources (i.e. windmills, solar pumps, and tanks)
  • Operates and maintains equipment/vehicles (i.e. ATVs/UTVs, chainsaws, 4WD vehicles, skid-steers/track loaders and attachments, and tractors)
  • Maintains and repairs buildings/facilities and performs grounds upkeep
  • Controls invasive/noxious plant species (including herbicide application)
  • Assists with controlled burns and wildfires


  • High school diploma or GED and 1 year experience in land management
  • Experience recognizing plant and animal species.
  • Experience operating various types of equipment in a safe and efficient manner (e.g. Lawn mower, chainsaw, UTV, ATV or OHV, two-way radio, or similar equipment).
  • Experience working in a team environment.
  • Must be able to obtain related licenses or certifications as required (e.g. First Aid, CPR, herbicide or pesticide application).
  • Must have valid driver's license and a good driving record.


  • 1 - 2 years’ experience in land management or related field
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated
  • Experience working with or knowledge of natural systems
  • Ability to follow instructions from colleagues/coworkers/team members
  • PC and/or mobile device familiarity, including database knowledge or understanding
  • Basic mechanical troubleshooting and welding experience
  • Ability to safely haul/transport equipment and/or livestock with trailers
  • Cattle and/or bison husbandry experience
  • Ability to navigate on large landscapes with maps, GPS, and/or compass


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.


Salary Range: $18.00 - $20.00 per hour, dependent on qualifications and experience. Relocation stipend available.


Position will remain open until filled. To apply for job ID 51422, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.