The Wilderness Society (TWS) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. We believe public lands belong to and should benefit all of us. We strive to ensure our organization and work embodies the cultures and perspectives of people and communities across our nation, and connects and inspires people to care about the outdoors.
The Wilderness Society works to protect wild places in our national forests and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Working with the TWS’s Agency Planning and Policy team, TWS field, communications, research and government relations staff, as well as partner organizations across the country, the Specialist will engage in federal land management planning processes and policy efforts to promote conservation and defend wildlands against rollbacks to bedrock conservation laws or designations as well as impacts from energy development and off-road vehicles. The Specialist will have expertise in land planning and policy and the effective application of environmental statutes (especially NEPA), as well as a working knowledge of federal land management agencies. The Specialist is expected to work both independently and as an effective member of teams and coalitions, and have smart political sense.
This position plays an important role in supporting an inclusive organizational culture that is grounded in trust and accountability to shared goals and outcomes. TWS has made diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic priorities for the organization and the Policy and Planning Specialist will integrate these priorities throughout their work. Across our team, we aspire to be campaign oriented, nimble, collaborative, innovative, transparent, and supportive of staff – our greatest asset.
*This position is located in Denver, CO. No relocation assistance provided*
Essential duties and responsibilities
- Assist in efforts to defend public land laws, policies and conservation designations from rollbacks, with a focus on national monuments and the Bureau of Land Management’s National Conservation Lands, coordinating closely with our Parks and Public Lands Defense campaign, particularly field operations;
- Develop and implement strategies to secure administrative designations and help balance development and recreation with conservation in land management planning processes;
- Work collaboratively with broad cross section of TWS staff and external partners;
- Analyze trends related to land management planning, practice, and related policy to inform advocacy recommendations;
- Use the National Environmental Policy Act and other key environmental laws (e.g., Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, National Forest Management Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Wilderness Act), regulations, and policies to protect wildlands.
- Provide expertise in planning and related policy to TWS staff and other conservation organizations to advance TWS campaign goals;
- Develop white papers, fact sheets, memos, press releases, and briefings as necessary;
- Participate in or lead coalitions in priority landscapes;
- Keep current on major public lands planning and forest issues and the associated political dynamics; and
- Work closely with TWS communications staff to ensure effective public messaging and communications for priority issues. Serve as an organizational expert and spokesperson as needed.
Experience, Competencies, and Education
- Minimum 5-7 years’ professional experience in a similar role.
- Solid understanding of public land management planning and/or issues, and land management agency culture and policy.
- Ability to review and comment on agency proposals and actions, and identify key policy, legal, and political opportunities and pressure points.
- Ability to translate policy and planning expertise into effective strategies and tactics to protect wildlands.
- Track record working successfully in teams representing a rich mix of talent, backgrounds, and perspectives—across race and gender.
- Advanced degree in environmental policy or law preferred
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Willingness to travel for short durations.
- Desire and ability to work in teams.
- Capable of operating effectively with a multitude of audiences and committed to supporting others in accomplishing our conservation goals.
- Excellent strategic instincts and long-term vision.
- Outstanding interpersonal skills and a sense of humor.
- Integrity, tact, and discretion.
- Passion for wilderness, land conservation and the mission of The Wilderness Society a plus.
The Wilderness Society offers a very competitive salary and benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance; sick and vacation leave; and a retirement plan. TWS is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair and equal treatment of its employees and constituents regardless of culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, veteran status or sexual orientation.
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