Central Appalachians Conservation Forester

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The Nature Conservancy

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Lexington, KY, United States

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23 days ago


Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Lexington or Middlesboro, Kentucky. Specific location and remote work negotiable.



Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. Through grassroots action, TNC has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world working in more than 75 countries and territories. 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. Whether it’s career development, flexible schedules, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Want a better insight to TNC? Check out our TNC Talent playlist on YouTube on Glassdoor.

Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued. We’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. In addition to the requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of inclusion! Please apply – we’d love to hear from you.


The Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee Chapters of the Nature Conservancy seek an energetic conservationist for the position of Conservation Forester to strengthen the Central Appalachians Forest conservation programs. The position location is flexible (remote work/home office) but requires frequent and regular travel throughout the Central Appalachian region in Eastern Kentucky, Tennessee, and Western Virginia. The Conservation Forester ensures that the Conservancy’s Forest practices balance sustainability and a commitment to long-term forest resiliency while demonstrating proof of concept for novel economic models of forest conservation in the Central Appalachians. This position will lead forest management program delivery, planning, and communications with private and public landowners, and implementation of forest inventories and tasks associated with existing conservation forestry programs, including the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP), Working Woodlands, and a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) using the Healthy Forest Reserve Program.


The Conservation Forester provides technical leadership and support to forest conservation programs within the Central Appalachians in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee by planning, directing, and implementing forest management programs. Provides technical assistance and management assistance for the Family Forest Carbon Program, Working Woodlands Program, and the Healthy Forest Reserve Program. This position will assist with developing, monitoring, and implementing forestry and carbon projects and leading regional efforts to identify and implement Natural Climate Solutions relating to conservation forestry. They address critical threats to natural systems and individual species, foster cross-site learning among an international conservation community, and supply conservation planning teams (formerly called “eco regional” planning teams) with site or landscape level information relevant to the planning process. They develop and implement conservation strategies, coordinate community support, and implement a variety of strategies to secure public and private support for TNC conservation priorities. They collaborate with Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia staff to assess timber on proposed acquisition tracts, manage forest operations and general preserve management, as a secondary job function.


  • Serves as a key member of the Family Forest Carbon Program Pilot team in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee
  • Serves as a key member of the Healthy Forest Reserve Program implementation team in Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee.
  • Serves on the Natural Climate Solutions Central Appalachians working group, with future opportunity to step into a leadership role.
  • Assists Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee with occasional forest inventory and assessment and property management projects outside of those listed above.
  • Conducts landowner and community engagement, including communicating program goals and objectives and facilitating enrollment.
  • Works within/manages a budget to complete projects, negotiate and oversee contracts with vendors, and assist with budget development and grant management.
  • Develops methods and implements forest inventories and carbon opportunity summaries for private and public landowners.
  • Conducts forest and ecological inventories and develops certified forest management plans for private landowners, partners and TNC preserves.
  • Collects and analyzes various types of data including GPS data and produces basic maps using GIS software.
  • Oversees contractors, forestry consultants and loggers. Monitors logging and general operations as needed on TNC and partner/private landowner forests.
  • Ensures program compliance with internal policies and external requirements, including annual monitoring and reporting.
  • Gains cooperation from outside parties to accomplish preserve and program goals.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances.


  • Bachelor’s degree in forestry or related field and 3 years of work experience in natural resource management or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Experience negotiating complex agreements.
  • Experience with conservation forestry.
  • Experience supporting a team that has used prescribed fire as a tool for ecological/forest management.
  • Experience completing tasks independently with respect to budgets and timeline(s).
  • Communication skills experience, both written and verbal, including communicating to the public and/or media.
  • Experience using Microsoft Office; Outlook, Word, Excel, GPS, and ArcGIS and/or similar applications.
  • Experience performing physical work outdoors in all conditions.
  • Must have valid driver's license and experience operating 4 x 4 vehicles on remote forest roads.


  • Master’s degree in forestry or related field.
  • Experience or knowledge with forest carbon programs.
  • Experience with forest management and restoration planning and forest certification programs, Certified Forester preferred.
  • Knowledge of land management conservation practice and conservation science.
  • Ability to explain conservation practices to technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Experience with ecosystem service markets, specifically forest carbon credit markets.
  • Experience with prescribed fire, invasive species control, and recreational/trail management.
  • Knowledge of the natural history and ecosystems of the Central Appalachians.
  • Experience supervising staff or volunteers.
  • Experience in development and implementation of program trainings.
  • Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.



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 www.nature.org/careers.

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.


The Nature Conservancy offers a competitive, comprehensive benefits package including health care benefits, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan to include employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, other life and work well-being benefits. Learn more about our benefits in the Culture Tab on nature.org/careers.

We’re proud to offer a work environment that is supportive of the health, well-being, and flexibility needs of the people we employ!


To apply for job ID 51325, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.

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 applyhelp@tnc.org with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

Where legally permissible, TNC requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated and willing to keep up to date with vaccines that protect against COVID-19. By accepting an offer of employment, you agree to comply with this requirement, unless you are entitled to a legally mandated exemption.