Preserve Manager- San Diego County

Website San Diego County

The Preserve Manager – San Diego will be responsible for managing several preserves in San Diego County that have been permanently protected for conservation purposes. That initial portfolio of Preserves – Rattlesnake Mountain (Santee), Sky Ranch (Santee), Woodridge (Lakeside), and Blossom Valley Summit (Blossom Valley) – are all owned and managed by CNLM. These Preserves include habitat types such as coastal sage scrub, southern mixed chaparral, and coast live oak woodland. The species that command the stewardship focus on these preserves include coastal California gnatcatcher, Cleveland’s goldenstar, coast live oak, and barrel cactus. Other significant species that reside within this portfolio include orange-throated whiptail, Rufous-crowned sparrow, coast horned lizard, and southern mule deer (See CNLM website for more information on these preserves).

CNLM has a deep conservation history in San Diego County with some of our first preserve acquisitions here as well as there being more CNLM preserves in San Diego County than in any other county in California. The number of CNLM preserves is also an indicator of the rich diversity in species encountered and the opportunity to contribute significantly to wildlife corridors, research on particular species of concern, and climate resilience considerations. The new Preserve Manager will join the San Diego conservation team that includes currently three other preserve managers and rangers. In addition to managing their own portfolio of Preserves, the Preserve Manager will—as part of the conservation team—work with other CNLM staff on some other preserves as reasonable for best effective and efficiency.

The Preserve Manager will be responsible for managing the Preserves at both landscape and population levels. Stewardship activities include occasional restoration or enhancement activities; integrated pest management including chemical control of exotics if needed and/or mechanical control; biological monitoring; revising management plans; preparing annual budgets, work plans, and reports; and active engagement of regulatory agency personnel and other collaborators and contractors needed for specialized services. Public trails on some of the Preserves implies some engagement of the public and management of any trail-related issues.

The Preserve Manager will provide resource management in accordance with the conservation values and regulatory requirements of the Preserves, CNLM’s stewardship standards and practices (which also reflect and exceed Land Trust Accreditation Commission standards), and the preserve-specific management plans. This position requires maintenance of a home office for which CNLM provides a stipend. A company vehicle may be provided at management’s discretion. There is a considerable degree of autonomy (and responsibility) associated with this position because of CNLM’s organizational structure which focuses on preserve management rather than high levels of administration and supervision. In addition to the management of this portfolio of preserves, the Preserve Manager will contribute to CNLM’s expertise and documentation of ‘best management practices’ for managing rare and protected plant and animal species. The Preserve Manager will participate in internal and external stewardship and conservation science events and, as needed, participate in the acquisition of new preserves.


  • Provide stewardship for the San Diego portfolio of preserves including planning, management, enhancement, monitoring, reporting, budgeting, and other activities
  • Monitor occurrences and populations of native, listed, and exotic species of plants and animals
  • Carry out specific preserve management activities such as vegetation management, maintaining and repairing fences and posting signs, patrolling and enforcement (of easement conditions), and preparing scopes of work and contracts for specific services if required for appropriate stewardship and as allowed by preserve budgets
  • Review monitoring protocols, analyze and interpret the results of monitoring activities, and incorporate this information into management activities and plans
  • Develop and maintain a permanent record of preserve activities, decisions taken, and preserve conditions
  • Participate in planning and community meetings as a representative of CNLM and lead outreach as needed – especially with neighboring land owners, police and fire departments, and regulatory and other natural resource agencies and entities, as appropriate
  • Manage and engage the public, as needed, especially with respect to use of trails on CNLM preserves
  • Prepare and implement annual work plans, budgets, and reports
  • Identify any additional (beyond provided budget and work plan) important activities, develop plans, and participate in efforts to acquire additional resources
  • Work collaboratively, productively, and professionally with other CNLM staff, natural resources agencies, consultants, and other conservation organizations
  • Participate in acquiring new CNLM preserves which includes conducting PAR (Property Analysis Record) analyses on new properties and conducting associated field surveys and due diligence as needed
  • Fulfill other duties as assigned


  • Master of Science (or Arts) degree (strongly preferred) in Natural Resource Management, Biology, Wildlife Ecology, Range Ecology, Botany, or related field; or compelling evidence of equivalent experience and self-education that would result in understanding of core principles and ability to use statistical, preserve design, ecological, and genetic principles in preserve stewardship and decision-making
  • Relevant experience in land stewardship, including application of good management practices, restoration, and management of rare or fragile species; at least three years of such experience is desirable
  • Experience in management of coastal sage scrub habitats is desirable
  • Strong background—from formal education, experience, or a combination—in ecology, with an emphasis in plant and/or wildlife biology or range management, is highly desirable
  • Knowledge—identification, life history characteristics, management—of southern California native plants is highly desirable
  • Excellent communication skills; ability to write professional stewardship-related plans, reports, and other documents
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in working collaboratively and professionally at public and client meetings
  • Proven self-starter, able to work efficiently and effectively with minimal supervision, and able to appropriately use initiative to meet habitat management goals; seeking advice and policy guidance when needed and appropriate
  • Able to quickly learn and effectively use the PAR (Property Analysis Record) software, including the due diligence required for proper application of this financial tool
  • Able to prepare annual budgets and manage Preserve activities within them
  • Able to structure time effectively and meet deadlines
  • Ability to operate from a home office, to provide a safe location for a CNLM vehicle if one is provided, and to make efficient use of the limited funds available for transportation in traveling to/from the Preserve and conducting other work-related responsibilities
  • Working knowledge of GIS and GPS technologies and associated software and a working knowledge of Windows operating systems and PC applications such as Microsoft Office Suite; familiarity with statistical analyses and associated software is desirable
  • Possession and maintenance of a valid driver’s license and safe driving record
  • Understanding of basic statistical principles for designing monitoring protocols, simple field trials, and analyzing resulting data is highly desirable
    • Familiarity with federal, state, and local environmental legislation and codes such as the California and Federal Endangered Species Acts and ability to work with appropriate discretion in a context involving listed species and regulatory requirements
    • Possession of US Fish and Wildlife Service permit to monitor any of the listed wildlife species found on the preserves or the ability to quickly acquire the skills and experience that would lead to acquiring such permit is desirable.


  • Regularly required to hike through a variety of habitat types and terrain, walking over uneven ground, climbing over obstacles, and accessing remote locations
  • Regularly sits or stands at a desk or computer workstation
  • Regularly required to operate a CNLM vehicle to conduct stewardship responsibilities (this may include a 4×4 truck or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV))
  • Frequently works in an environment that involves overseeing contractors, working closely with other CNLM staff, managing public involvement, negotiating projects with regulatory agencies and others
  • Some evening and weekend responsibilities may be required, including travel (and as can be safely conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • Timing of work may be related to biological windows, fiscal deadlines, Board meetings, legal commitments, or other defining timeframes. As such, periods of heavy workload may occur.
  • May involve supervision of other staff and coordination of work with other CNLM staff
  • Occasionally may be required to use or supervise the use of pesticides and or other chemical substances
  • Occasionally required to use or supervise the use of powered equipment such as weed trimmers and chain saws
  • Occasionally lifts, positions, or otherwise moves objects weighing up to 50 pounds

Learn more here.

To Apply:

  • Email a detailed letter of interest, a detailed resume, and two examples of written communication for which the applicant was the sole or senior author to
  • Apply no later than November 12th, 2021

To apply for this job email your details to