Policy and Planning Manager

  • Washington Trails Association
  • Seattle, WA, USA
  • Sep 13, 2022
Full time Advocacy and Policy Outdoor Recreation - Guides- Trails - Wilderness Parks

Job Description

Inspiring Hikers to Create Trails for Everyone, Forever

Washington is home to extraordinary hiking destinations, including desert dunes, wild beaches, tranquil mountain tops and raging rivers. Washington is also home to a community of people who are passionate about exploring and protecting these places. This constituency—our members and supporters—is key to the future of trails in Washington. 

Washington Trails Association (WTA) is the nation’s largest hiking and trail maintenance nonprofit. We have a 50-year legacy of engaging the hiking community to ensure Washington's trails stand the test of time.  With more than 27,000 members and an online community of over 300,000 and growing, we are connecting people to the outdoors—from everyday adventures to backcountry explorations. Each year 4,500 WTA volunteers perform over 160,000 hours of trail maintenance across the state. We mobilize hikers as public lands advocates, trail stewards, and on-the-ground experts sharing knowledge with fellow hikers. WTA's strength is our community and our vision depends on fostering an inclusive organization where everyone feels welcome and represented. Together we can ensure there are trails for everyone, forever.

Position Summary

WTA is looking for a seasoned Policy and Planning Manager to lead WTA’s engagement in advocacy issues around the state and advance our mission to mobilize hikers and everyone who loves the outdoors to explore, steward and champion trails and public lands. The ideal candidate will be someone who loves digging into trails and public lands policy and thrives in a fast-paced, dynamic environment. The Policy and Planning Manager will contribute to the overall success of WTA by developing and implementing WTA’s federal legislative strategic priorities and campaigns. In addition, this position will manage special projects that advance WTA’s vision of Trails for Everyone, Forever.

The Policy and Planning Manager is a full time, exempt position based in WTA’s downtown Seattle headquarters that reports to the Advocacy Director. This cross-functional position works closely with the trails and communications teams,  as well as other program staff, and across WTA’s regions. 

Primary Responsibilities

Policy & Planning (55%)

  • Develop strategy and manage implementation of public policy campaigns that bring together legislative strategy, advocacy, communications, and advocate engagement to achieve WTA’s policy and planning goals.

  • Manage federal legislative work collaboratively with WTA’s partners to influence public and federal government policy.

  • Manage WTA’s involvement in federal, state and local level planning and regulatory processes.

  • Research and analyze emerging public lands, outdoor recreation, and trails policy and planning issues at local, state, and federal levels to determine impact on Washington’s public lands and trails. Develop comment letters and advocacy communications strategies in response to these proposals and issues.

  • Build trusted relationships with decision-makers, including elected officials, legislative staff, land agency staff and others involved in setting outdoor recreation and conservation policy.

  • Develop a wide range of materials in support of WTA’s policy and planning agendas, including talking points, legislative summaries, factsheets, testimony, comment letters, reports and letters.

  • Attend and represent WTA at various public meetings.

Special Projects (35%)

  • Working closely with the Advocacy Director, develop strategy and manage implementation of select special projects that increase or maintain access to the outdoors.

  • Manage cross-functional aspects of special projects, working closely with WTA’s programmatic, development and communications teams to conduct work.

  • Manage WTA’s involvement in select partnerships and statewide coalitions that contribute to advocacy and organizational campaigns.

  • Build trusted relationships with partners, including local, state, regional and national outdoor recreation and conservation organizations to build coalitions and advance joint priorities.

Other (10%)

  • Assist on other advocacy issues and organizational priorities, as needed.

  • Attend and participate in WTA trainings, retreats and other program events.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Experience, Skills, Knowledge, and Values

Competitive candidates will highlight the following in their application, or express willingness to learn:

  • Demonstrated commitment to WTA’s mission and values on diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Cultural competency experience and demonstrated ability to work with people of diverse races, ages, genders, abilities and economic backgrounds.

  • Ability to accept and integrate feedback graciously, and give effective feedback to team members.

  • Ability to work proactively and independently in a fast-paced environment and as a member of a dynamic team.

  • Demonstrated experience in working in legislative, policy, and planning processes, preferably in Washington state and/or with demonstrated experience working in broader outdoor recreation policy. 

  • Proven track record developing and implementing campaigns and programs for issue advocacy, including, grassroots organizing, event planning and communications, preferably with a nonprofit organization.

  • Ability to work with a  wide range of stakeholders—from elected officials to program partners to fellow team members—to advance advocacy issues and priorities.

  • Be a proactive self-starter and strategic thinker with the ability to map daily responsibilities to the organization’s mission and goals.

  • Strong oral and written communication skills, with the ability to inspire others to support organizational priorities and take action.

  • Strong organizational skills including attention to detail, and ability to set priorities and meet deadlines in an ever-changing environment.

  • Working knowledge of online advocacy and engagement tools, preferably with systems such as Campaign Monitor and Capital Canary.

  • Experience working with the Salesforce CRM database is a plus.

  • Strong computer skills and proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite.

  • Experience using social media to engage advocates is a plus.

Location and Schedule

The Policy and Planning Manager position is a full-time, exempt position based in WTA’s Seattle office. WTA has a hybrid work model with at least 2 days of work per week in-person at our Seattle office. Some tasks may require in-person presence at the office or occasional evening or weekend work for special events. Vaccination requirements are in place for WTA staff and volunteers.


Annual salary range is $58,000 - $70,000. Salary depends on experience with a benefit package including medical, dental, vision, retirement, disability, transportation, and holiday, vacation, parental and sick leave.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

WTA is committed to advancing equity through our work and to becoming a more inclusive organization. People of color and others with underrepresented identities (including but not limited to: gender identity, class, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, age, ability, and background) are strongly encouraged to apply. 

WTA does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of age, color, gender identity, marital status, honorably discharged veteran or military status, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, political ideology, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, or any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state or local law.

To apply:  submit a resume and a brief cover letter to jobs@wta.org. Include “Policy & Planning Manager” in the subject line. This position is open until filled. We are reviewing applications as they are received.

 If you have any questions, please contact jobs@wta.org. We look forward to hearing from you.


Remember to say that you found this opportunity at EnvironmentalCareer.com!

Job Level



Nonprofit- NGO


$58,000 - $70,000 annually