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At WildEarth Guardians, you have the opportunity to gain important skills in conservation work. Since conservation advocacy involves working in the scientific, legal, and policy arenas, interning with WildEarth Guardians will give you an excellent opportunity to explore these fields and professions. In addition, you’ll participate in our nationally recognized innovative conservation strategies that seek to mobilize citizens and decision makers to better protect our environment.

WildEarth Guardians has the following job opening:

Public Lands Director 

Position Summary 
The Public Lands Director is responsible for developing and implementing a national program to protect and restore public lands, engaging a diverse set of strategies, including legislation, government affairs, and litigation. This position will implement campaigns to further WildEarth Guardians’ mission, as primarily related to national forest lands. This position reports to the Wild Places Director and is located in Portland, OR, Denver, CO or Missoula, MT.


  • PROGRAM: The Public Lands Director manages 2-3 staff to achieve program goals that further Guardians’ mission—i.e., develops visionary, strategic, and creative approaches to conservation, guides individual project leaders to fulfill their project goals, and ensures that overarching conservation program goals can be attained. The Director will co-lead the annual strategic planning process with program staff and will oversee the monthly goal process to ensure accountability. The Director supervises and provides support for individual program staff and program staff contractors on campaign(s) implementation. The Director will develop and maintain working relationships with other conservation organizations, legal counsel, elected officials, congressional staff and others working on issues related to the Wild Places Program.  The Director will oversee and implement the Legacy Roads and Trails/rightsizing campaign. The Director will develop new creative strategies and tactics and seize new opportunities to move the campaign towards meeting its objectives. The Director will also develop and implement, with Wild Places Program Director and staff, political and policy strategies related to other major campaigns, e.g. voluntary grazing permit retirement, Clean Waters, Wild Forests; integrating legal and policy approaches to achieve desired outcomes. (35%)
  • LEGAL: The Public Lands Director develops and coordinates with the senior counsel and the Wild Places Program Director law-related activities including litigation, administrative challenges and policy initiatives. The Director will manage deployment of this resource as well as develop outside legal resources. (20%)
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH:  The Public Lands Director will work independently, with program staff and with communications staff to ensure high visibility of all of the programs’ campaigns and strategies. This includes working with traditional (print, TV, radio) and new (all e-platforms) media to amplify program activities and successes. The Director will also work to involve members in conservation issues, including recruiting and overseeing volunteers and interns working on campaign issues. The Director will assist with Conservation Services staff as needed on communications, events, etc. (10%)
  • GRASSROOTS LOBBYING: The Public Lands Director represents WildEarth Guardians in Washington D.C. to advocate for campaign objectives with key national and regional agency leadership and elected officials in partnership with other program staff.  The Director will develop and build strong relationships in order to further campaign goals, developing new legislation and/or opposing harmful legislation. (20%)
  • STAFF MANAGEMENT: The Public Lands Director will manage two to three program staff, including a Program Attorney and one or possibly two regional advocates focused primarily on roads, motorized recreation, wild watersheds and travel management issues. (10%)
  • ADMINISTRATION: The Public Lands Director will complete, at least on an annual basis, evaluations of campaign staff, support hiring new campaign staff and outside contractors to fulfill campaign commitments. The Director will partner closely with Conservation Services staff to secure continued funding (foundation and private donor) for implementing current and future campaigns and projects, prepare grant reports, write grant proposals and develop campaign budgets. (5%)


Essential qualifications include:

  • Passion for protecting public lands in the American West, a demonstrated commitment to conservation advocacy.
  • A minimum of five years of experience in natural resource law and/or program development and/or a strong background in forest science, river ecology and water policy.
  • Proven experience achieving campaign objectives, particularly through development and deployment of national strategies with Congressional champions.
  • Strong familiarity with the policy framework for public lands management and in particular, familiarity with the U.S. Forest Service Travel Management Rule.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Must be well organized.
  • Ability to multi-task and manage short- and long-term deadlines.
  • Strong attention to detail, problem solving, and trouble shooting skills.
  • Basic computer skills including basic database management.
  • Ability to work effectively with a diversity of people and constituencies.

Additional desirable qualifications include

  • Graduate of law school or masters degree in biodiversity protection or natural resources strongly desirable.
  • Knowledge of conservation and quality of life issues the Western United States.
  • Experience with event and activity logistics and planning.

Special Job Requirements:

Some travel around western United States as well as occasional travel to Washington D.C. Expect flexible work hours, including some weekend and evening hours.

Compensation and Benefits:

Salary is $45,000 to $55,000 DOE plus vacation, sick leave, health insurance, retirement and exceptional work environment.

To apply:

Send inquiries and applications to Applications should include cover letter, resume, references, and writing sample and must be received by October 1, 2014. WildEarth Guardians is an equal opportunity employer.

Download a PDF copy of this job announcement here.


Jesse Tremaine photo small"Interns at Guardians get valuable experience while working on current environmental issues. The satisfaction that comes from watching your work contribute to forward-thinking solutions vaults the internship ahead of any academic experience- hands down."  - Jesse Tremaine, Legal Intern Summer 2010

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