Blufflands Land Stewardship Assistant

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF) is one of the leading statewide, private, nonprofit conservation organizations in Iowa. The Blufflands region of northeast Iowa has long been a priority area for INHF due to its abundant and diverse natural resources. INHF manages several properties in this beautiful corner of Iowa. To help accomplish INHF's mission of protection and restoration, INHF is seeking a passionate, well-organized self-starter for a full-time position. Applications are due Sunday, March 20, 2022.

Job description

The Blufflands Land Stewardship Assistant (BLSA) is a full-time, hourly, non-exempt position that reports to the Blufflands Land Stewardship Associate and helps supervise the Blufflands land stewardship interns. The BLSA helps implement and further develop the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation’s protection and stewardship activities in Northeastern Iowa. Work will primarily occur on INHF-owned land and private land protected by INHF in a seven county area (Howard, Winneshiek, Allamakee, Fayette, Clayton, Dubuque, Jackson). The Blufflands program’s operational base is located in Decorah, Iowa. The person is responsible for assisting the Blufflands Land Stewardship Associate in management of all Foundation-owned properties, including farms, natural areas and conservation easements. The BLSA will assist the Blufflands Land Stewardship Associate and the Conservation Easement Director in monitoring INHF held/co-held Conservation Easements in the Blufflands region. The BLSA will conduct natural resource analysis (on-site and with GPS and ArcPro), and help plan and implement land restoration projects. This person also works as a team member with other Foundation staff and interns, and agency partners to accomplish INHF goals.

The BLSA will focus their work activities on a diversity of natural resource/habitat types including remnant and reconstructed prairie, oak savanna, woodland, wetlands, coldwater streams, and additions to public conservation and recreation areas. The BLSA must be passionate about ecosystem management and natural areas restoration. A strong knowledge in natural resource management including species identification, use of prescribed fire, chainsaw use, herbicide application and invasive species control techniques is preferred. Further understanding of conservation issues such as habitat fragmentation, declining species, water quality, local-origin native seed, regenerative agriculture and current agricultural policy is helpful. The BLSA must be able to effectively budget time, while maintaining detailed organizational skills and time-accounting aspects of ongoing job duties.

The BLSA must be a well-organized self-starter, be able to work comfortably, effectively and dependably with a wide variety of people. Public speaking and interpersonal skills are desirable. Physical demands include working in steep terrain in all weather conditions including heat, cold, rain and humidity. The BLSA must have the ability to work with power equipment, tractors, trailers, UTV’s, heavy equipment and prescribed fire. Proper and safe use of herbicides is also required. The BLSA must have the ability and flexibility to travel throughout NE Iowa on short notice and to attend some evening meetings and weekend events. Travel to other locations in the state will be necessary, but less common. Overnight stays will occasionally be necessary when working with interns, completing land stewardship activities (i.e. prescribed fire) and attending meetings and conferences. This position requires a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management, animal ecology, wildlife biology, forestry, botany, environmental resources, landscape architecture or a related field. Starting wage is $18.50/hour.

The BLSA also participates in professional continuing education programs as appropriate to keep current on new developments, research and programs and to provide for continuous personal and professional growth. In addition, the BLSA participates in other projects and programs of the Foundation as directed by the President and/or Senior Land Stewardship Director, and always represents Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation in a positive, courteous and professional manner.

Duties Include

  • Land Stewardship (75%)
    • Assist with land management and restoration of land owned by INHF.
    • Assist private landowners to restore and/or reconstruct native habitats.
    • Perform routine maintenance of INHF equipment, including ATV’s, prescribed fire equipment, chainsaws, brush cutters, herbicide application equipment and small mowers. Ensure regular maintenance.
    • Assist the Blufflands Land Stewardship Associate with supervision of the land stewardship interns, Conservation Corps of Iowa and volunteers. Assist in the annual recruiting/hiring of land stewardship interns.
    • Obtain fire training as needed
    • Assist with INHF owned land monitoring, including GIS/GPS work, site visits, stewardship plans and biological inventories.
  • Conservation Easement (CE) Program (10%)

    • Annually conduct 20-25 easement monitoring visits with private landowners.

    • Prepare and file monitoring reports.

  • Assist Volunteer Program (5%)
    • Participate in volunteer events throughout the year.
    • Lead and instruct volunteers on proper and safe methods for caring for INHF lands.
    • Work closely with Volunteer Coordinator to effectively conduct volunteer events.
  • Administrative time, staff and board meetings, professional development, vacation, etc. (5%)


  • Starting wage of $18.50/hour

Benefits Summary

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation values our team members and takes pride in providing competitive compensation, generous medical and dental benefits, ample vacation and sick leave accrual, retirement matching, and opportunities for professional and personal growth.

Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, disability, gender identity, results of genetic testing or service in the military.

How to apply

The application deadline is Sunday, March 20, 2022.

The application should include the following three items:

  1. Cover letter explaining how your skill set and experience fits the position and why you would be a valuable addition to INHF
  2. Resume
  3. List of references and their contact information

Send your completed application either electronically (PDF or Word format) or by mail to:

Kari Walker
Human Resources Director
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
505 5th Ave, Suite 444
Des Moines, IA 50309