Reporting to the Conservation Director, the Pueblo-based Community Conservation Manager will advance conservation, agricultural, and community-building projects that are of local, state, and national importance. Primary objectives are based on our strategic plan and focus on enhancing outdoor recreation, maintaining robust working farms and ranches, and protecting inspiring scenic vistas. This position will bring conservation, community-building, and project development expertise to the organization’s agricultural land conservation projects in Pueblo County, as well as throughout Colorado’s lower Arkansas Valley.
The position is the result of a multi-year effort to conserve a critical mass of farmland in target farming communities in the lower Arkansas Valley. Palmer’s core efforts are currently focused on communities in Pueblo County, including Pueblo, St. Charles Mesa, Vineland, and Avondale. In the wake of the municipal acquisition of one-third of the water on the Bessemer Ditch, the Bessemer Farmland Conservation Project seeks to maintain a critical mass of productive agricultural lands while still providing for Pueblo’s municipal water needs. Palmer’s approach is a multi-faceted, community-based solution reliant upon voluntary methods of water and land conservation. Conservation easements, water exchanges, and other land protection methods will be utilized with interested landowners to continue the effort to conserve important irrigated farmland in the region. Land protection in the area will ensure water remains on the land, but is flexible enough to allow for transfer mechanisms that support municipal and agricultural sharing.
The Community Conservation Manager will serve as the face of Palmer Land Trust in the Pueblo community and will be the first employee based in the organization’s soon-to-be-opened Pueblo office. The position will support the Conservation Director in advancing all aspects of the Bessemer Project, while also proactively building Palmer’s local presence in Pueblo County.