Land Steward Search


The Land Steward is responsible for implementing the Illinois Audubon Society Stewardship Program and will work at the direction of the Executive Director and in concert with staff, Board, committees and community members. The Land Steward will lead the day-to-day land management and stewardship functions of the organization, including: ecological habitat maintenance and restoration; management plan development and implementation; managing and applying for grants; and cultivating and maintaining relationships with sanctuary volunteers, neighbors, other land trusts and governmental organizations. Position is Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempt. Position will oversee select contractors, volunteers, interns, and seasonal employees as assigned.

  • Develop, maintain, monitor, execute, evaluate and update stewardship and maintenance plans at IAS sanctuary sites (hereafter: sanctuaries).
  • Perform general inspection and monitoring of all IAS-owned lands and easements. This includes signage, inspecting boundaries, addressing trespass and illegal activities, and maintaining Society-approved infrastructure.
  • Help organize, train, equip, and supervise the Local Stewardship Committees.
  • Help develop and monitor sanctuary budgets and expenses.
  • Manage and oversee USDA NRCS contract enrollments in CRP, CSP, EWRP, EQIP, etc.
  • Conduct, organize and, as needed, supervise sanctuary stewardship practices.
  • Develop and submit for approval sanctuary prescribed burn plans and permits and serve as prescribed burn boss for all IAS sanctuary prescribed burns.
  • Help identify and draft applications in coordination with the IAS Executive Director, Assistant to the Executive Director, and Board for programmatic and grant funding for sanctuary stewardship.
  • Identify needs for contract work at sanctuaries; assist with bid package development and solicitation of contractors’ bids; and quality control stewardship contractor work at sanctuaries.
  • Assist in the management, maintenance and inventory of all IAS stewardship equipment and supplies (including power equipment). Help to keep all IAS equipment and tools in good working order.
  • Attend conservation stewardship professional conclaves and conferences as appropriate (e.g. continuing education, emerging issues and technologies).
  • Undergo required certifications and safety training; maintain and update certifications as required.
  • Develop presentations and reports on stewardship activities on the status of sanctuary stewardship for a variety of audiences (IAS Board, IAS Magazine, general public, etc.).
  • Promote and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with sanctuary volunteers, neighbors, other land trusts and governmental organizations.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Work Environment and Physical Demands: Work hours are flexible based on needs and may include some weekends. This position splits time between the office and the field. Position will require regular travel to IAS Sanctuaries and may include overnight stays. Required ability to navigate in and access remote areas of IAS properties which may sometimes involve traversing rugged terrain, dense vegetation, mosquitoes, chiggers, ticks, poisonous plants, and in all weather conditions. Candidate shall know how to prepare for all such conditions (clothing, repellents, netting, etc.) and to maintain personal safety while executing necessary work assignments. Candidate must be able to carry loads of at least 40 pounds over uneven terrain for long distances.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in biology, forestry, or natural resources-related sciences required; Master’s Degree in related fields highly desirable.
  • One year’s minimum experience in field-based natural resources management required; experience with land trusts or similar conservation organization preferred.
  • Computing skills (Microsoft Office Suite) required.
  • GPS mapping / reporting and ArcGIS / computer map making skills preferred.
  • Illinois Prescribed Burn Manager Certification or equivalent required (or the ability to obtain one).
  • Prescribed burning experience required.
  • Illinois Pesticide Applicators License (Aquatic and Rights of Way) required (or ability to obtain one). Experience in the safe handling, mixing, and application of herbicides desired.
  • Proven ability to identify invasive and non-native herbaceous and woody plant species in the field under a variety of phenologies (growing season, dormant season, etc.) and to assess threats posed by them to IAS sites.
  • Experience with hand-held power tools (e.g. chain saw) required; hands-on experience with tractors, ATVs, and trailering and power tool maintenance desirable.
  • Ability to identify common plants and animals at IAS Sanctuaries.
  • Proven ability to deal effectively and personably with a variety of people (IAS Staff and Board, donors, volunteers, landowners, neighbors, and general public).
  • Understand and actively promote IAS mission and goals
  • Must possess and maintain a valid Illinois driver’s license
  • Ability to work alone far from roads and vehicles for extended periods of time and ability to work in a group to achieve organizational needs required.


Salary is competitive and based on experience. Nine paid holidays plus Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day (inclusive), Paid time off; Health Insurance including medical, dental and vision. Opportunity to participate in a SIMPLE IRA plan with 3% salary match.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to Cover letter should clearly explain why you are interested in working with Illinois Audubon Society and how your skills, experience and qualifications fit the job duties.  No telephone inquiries please. Download the entire position description here.

For more information about the Illinois Audubon Society, please visit

The Illinois Audubon Society is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes all applicants and does not discriminate in its hiring practices.