Rappahannock-Rapidan Conservation Program Manager

Join one of the most effective community-based environmental groups in the country.

Title: Rappahannock-Rapidan Conservation Program Manager
Manager: Director of Conservation
Location: Warrenton, Va
Job Classification: Full-time, Non-Exempt

About PEC

The Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) conserves and restores the lands and waters of the Virginia Piedmont, while building stronger, more sustainable communities. Founded in 1972, PEC is a locally based, community-supported 501(c)(3) nonprofit and accredited land trust. At the core of PEC’s approach is a focus on educating, engaging and empowering people to effect positive change in their communities.

Your Role

The Rappahannock-Rapidan Conservation Program Manager will work on a diverse portfolio of land conservation, natural resource restoration, land use policy, and civic engagement efforts that further PEC’s mission and Strategic Plan. The successful candidate will play a key role in engaging a broad set of partners and other allied organizations in executing a multi-faceted initiative to promote land conservation, water quality improvements, natural habitat protection and restoration, and public access opportunities along the Upper Rappahannock Watershed’s two primary tributaries, the Rappahannock and Rapidan rivers. A particular focus of the initiative is to expand PEC’s successful efforts to demonstrate a replicable model for conserving land that supports working farms in the target area. 

Geographic focus: The Upper Rappahannock watershed covers the entirety of Culpeper, Rappahannock and Madison counties and parts of Fauquier, Greene and Orange counties within PEC’s service area.

Areas of Responsibility

  • Accelerate, communicate, and assist in prioritizing PEC’s Conservation Strategy for the Upper Rappahannock River Watershed by coordinating programmatic activities and enhancing collaboration among a multi-disciplinary team of PEC peers.
  • Develop and implement land protection strategies through (1) identification of key at-risk properties, landscapes, and resources; (2) outreach and education to landowners, farmers, and professional advisers on conservation tools such as voluntary conservation easement donations, Purchase of Development Rights programs, and other conservation programs; and (3) coordination with other public and private partners to further conservation in the Piedmont.
  • Cultivate and sustain strong professional and organizational partnerships with allied groups and organizations critical to executing PEC’s multi-faceted approach to conservation in the Upper Rappahannock. Examples include:
    • Serve as PEC’s representative to the Rappahannock River Roundtable, a strategic partnership of public and private organizations dedicated to land and water conservation throughout the entire Rappahannock River Watershed, including co-leading the Roundables Land Conservation Workgroup. 
    • Establish and promote programmatic collaborations with local soil and water conservation districts and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. 
    • Serve as a PEC representative to the Choose Clean Water Agriculture Workgroup, on the Regional Conservation Partnership (RCP) Network, and the Virginia Conservation Network Water Workgroup.  
  • Collaborate with PEC communications and advancement staff on content for grant proposals, reporting and/or presentations related to conservation strategies in the Upper Rappahannock watershed, and to highlight PEC’s work in the region through social media, email, publications, presentations, etc.
  • Serve as part of the PEC’s land conservation and stewardship team, ensuring that conservation transactions are consistent with the PEC’s Land Conservation Policies and Procedures, the Land Trust Alliance’s Standards and Practices, and participating in annual monitoring and stewardship of PEC’s conservation easement and fee land portfolio.
  • Secure internal funding for conservation and restoration projects through professional support to PEC’s land conservation funds and their advisory committees, including role as the principal staff liaison to PEC’s Madison County Conservation Fund. 
  • Regularly update PEC Board members, other PEC staff, and members of local advisory committees on land use and conservation issues affecting local communities in the PEC service area. 
  • Work directly with citizens and allied organizations to organize the public around campaigns, policies and outcomes supportive of the PEC mission, including adoption of language in the counties’ comprehensive plans and support or opposition to specific land use threats and opportunities.
  • Employ PEC information systems and other technology to effectively communicate and document the status of assigned projects, initiatives, and partnerships. 
  • Attend as a participant or speaker at occasional PEC and partner events and meetings.

The Manager reports to PEC’s Director of Conservation, but will also work closely with other field representatives, departments within PEC, and members of the PEC Board of Directors.

This position will be based at PEC’s headquarters office in Warrenton, VA. This position requires frequent travel to locations within the watershed.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, forestry, natural resources, land use planning, public policy, environmental studies, or a related field. Professional work experience may be considered in place of a bachelor’s degree.
  • Familiarity with land management practices that enhance wildlife habitat, restore water quality, and/or improve agricultural productivity. 
  • Familiarity with land conservation programs and conservation easements, including Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with a diverse constituency including elected officials, non-profit representatives, neighborhood associations, and individual citizens with a wide range of backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Experience leading public outreach and/or education campaigns.
  • Demonstrated strong communication skills, both written and oral, including ability to write, edit, and proofread written materials.  
  • Ability to organize, coordinate and manage diverse activities and deadlines.
  • Knowledge and experience with Google Suite and Microsoft Office productivity software.
  • Ability to work some weekends and evenings.
  • Reliable personal transportation to and from the office and to offsite locations for rural property visits, events, meetings, etc. (mileage will be reimbursed).

Preferred Qualifications

  • Five or more years of work experience or a graduate degree in agriculture, forestry, natural resources, land use planning, public policy, environmental studies, or a related field.
  • Experience working with rural landowners and the farming community. 
  • A working knowledge of local land use planning and zoning in Virginia.
  • Familiarity with Salesforce and ESRI Suite (ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online).

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

This position will be completed in both an office environment and the outdoors. Office work requires extended sitting or standing and the use of a computer, keyboard, and mouse. Fieldwork is performed outdoors in all weather conditions, frequently carried out alone, and may be physically demanding, including walking/hiking several miles over remote, rugged terrain, with a risk of exposure to natural hazards. Occasional lifting of materials up to 30 lbs is required. Occasional attendance at night or weekend events may be required.


This position is an exempt / salary position with benefits. Salary range of $65,000 – $85,000, commensurate with experience.


PEC offers the following benefits to part-time employees:

  • Two health plans offered, a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan or a high-deductible Health Savings Account (HSA) plan 
  • Dental and Vision insurance plans
  • Short & Long Term Disability*
  • Group Term Life*
  • Accident, Critical Illness & Hospital Indemnity insurances*
  • HSA account (with employer match up to $750 per year)
  • FSA accounts (health & dependent)
  • 403(b) pension plan with employer contribution after 1 year of service with 100% vesting from day one
  • 12 paid holidays
  • PTO leave – 24 days per year, accrued each pay period
  • 1 day per year of paid leave to volunteer at another non-profit or charitable cause
  • Salary Continuation Leave for employee or family illness (including maternity and paternity) – from 2 to 8 weeks fully paid leave eligibility every 24 months, depending on length of service
  • Paid Bereavement, Jury Duty and Military Service Training leave
  • Travel Expense Reimbursement (including mileage)
  • Hybrid work environment and Flexible Work Schedules
  • Professional Development support
  • Payment for relevant licenses & professional membership fees.

*Indicates that this insurance premium is 100% paid by PEC for employee coverage.

Application Process

Interested applicants should fill out our job application form. Candidates must submit a cover letter and resumé. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

The Piedmont Environmental Council strives to increase diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) in all aspects of achieving our mission. We recruit, employ, train, compensate, and promote regardless of race, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender nonconformity and status as a transgender individual), age, physical or mental disability, citizenship, genetic information, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, or local law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Read more about our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) commitments.

We recognize that people come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the technical requirements of a job, therefore our job descriptions are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. Your experience, which may include paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work, helps build the competencies and knowledge that translates to our openings. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and a culture of excellence. Therefore, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our positions.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), reasonable accommodations during the application or interview process may be requested.

If selected for this position, a background check will be conducted.

Pay Equity Pledge Participant

Our organization has conducted a pay equity analysis of staff compensation to look at differences in compensation in regard to race, ethnicity, and gender, to collect and analyze relevant data, and take corrective actions to remediate pay disparities.