Trail Development Manager - WV Land Trust

Kanawha County Commission
Job Description
The Trail Development Manager is a 3-year position that manages the development of a new trail system. It is a full-time, salaried position that focuses on planning, design, and development of an extensive, non-motorized trail system in the Upper Kanawha Valley Region of Southern West Virginia Recreational Development Project – including the West Virginia Land Trust’s Mammoth Preserve – leading the Project’s recreational trail planning and design components, in cooperation with other partners and plans. The position will coordinate trail development such that it strengthens and diversifies the tourism experience in the Upper Kanawha Valley.
The Trail Development Manager will be employed by the West Virginia Land Trust, which will dedicate additional staff time and resources in support of the key responsibilities listed below.  The Trail Development Manager will work closely with the UKV Project Manager for the overall Upper Kanawha Valley project (to be contracted by Kanawha County), and Director of WVLT’s Stewardship Program, Dr. Rick Landenberger. The Trail Development Manager will also participate on the Upper Kanawha Valley Steering Committee to ensure broad sharing of information, synergies among project components, and coordinated timing of task completions.
WVLT’s Mammoth Preserve is a 5000-acre former surface mine site located in eastern Kanawha County, West Virginia near the town of Smithers, midway between Charleston and Beckley on the Kanawha River. The property is partially forested but mostly strip-mined, and ambitious reclamation efforts to restore native hardwoods to the property are currently underway with partner organizations Appalachian Headwaters, Green Forests Work, and Contura. Trails planning is just beginning there and design will begin in earnest as soon as the restoration is complete next year.
Key responsibilities
  • Trail system planning and design, including trails at Mammoth Preserve (up to 45 miles), the South Rim trail (up to 22 miles), water trails along Paint Creek and Cabin Creek, and the Paint Creek and Blue Creek rail trails
  • Identification and design of access points, including trailheads, terminuses, and intersections with other project infrastructure
  • Outreach to landowners on private land to negotiate permissions and routes for construction of trails
  • Coordination with River To Ridge Trail Authority for mapping, design, engineering, and permitting on the South Rim trail
  • Oversee feasibility study for the hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian trail systems at the Mammoth preserve, and identify other partners and opportunities (outdoor education, environmental education, interpretation) described in the Mammoth Preserve conceptual plan to be further defined
  • Based on feasibility study and current commitments for reforestation on site, refine the West Virginia Land Trust’s preliminary Management Plan
  • Identify and pursue funding opportunities, including partnerships, to secure funding for trail system construction
  • Participate in monthly UKV steering committee meetings and other events as required by the Commission and project partners, and coordinate activities with UKV project partners, including Kanawha County Commission, 11 designated river towns, West Virginia State University, Charleston Area Alliance, and the Rivers-to-Ridges Trails Authority, among others
  • Represent the mission and vision of WVLT at meetings with local officials, town planners and regional and state agencies
  • Work with WVLT Staff to develop interpretive information and signage for trails
  • Support and expand partner organization relationships to ensure long-term diversified community and volunteer support
  • Assist WVLT with website development by providing maps, trail descriptions and other information as needed
Qualifications
  • Experienced team leader, passionate about land and water conservation and outdoor recreation with an interest in trails and destinations. Prior experience in engaging landowners, land managers and government officials preferred, and an educational background in environmental sciences
  • Hands on practical experience with property management, trail construction and the working knowledge of the use and maintenance of the equipment needed to perform such tasks
  • Working knowledge of sustainable trail standards and practices
  • Demonstrable experience with a variety of trail system design specifications, and supervision of trail infrastructure construction
  • Knowledge of specialized purpose-built mountain bike trail design and construction
  • Successful record of working with community partners and volunteer organizations
  • Strong management skills overseeing complex, multifaceted projects. Ability to collaborate with partners in a complex regional development project, and provide leadership in outdoor recreation planning
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills with exceptional attention to detail. Prior experience with successful grant writing a plus. Passion for the mission of ACT
  • Experience with managing public recreational use on parks or preserves
  • Ability to define scope of work and supervise contractors/consultants
  • Experience in negotiating private landowner agreements
  • Demonstrable ability with GIS, GPS, topographic maps and compass
  • Skill in building trust and negotiating with private landowners for recreational access
 
Workplace/Culture
Position & Benefits
Full-time staff position, salary $46k plus benefits, including liberal vacation and sick leave, retirement program (Simple IRA), training/certification opportunities, and mileage compensation provided for work-related travel. Trail Development Manager will be required to live in/relocate to the Charleston area by July 15th, 2022.
 
About West Virginial Land Trust
The West Virginia Land Trust works statewide to permanently protect land, primarily by acquiring properties via donations and purchases, but also via conservation easements. It also works in partnership to support other organizations and agencies to acquire land through joint fundraising and small grants. Currently 49 properties (18,000+ acres) are in the Land Trust’s current portfolio, including 20 preserves to develop and manage, and a “pipeline” of additional prospects assures continued expansion of WVLT’s protected lands.
 
In addition to its land protection and stewardship goals, the organization works to support a growing and vibrant conservation community through its engagement with other organizations, communities, government agencies, and educational institutions. The organization has significantly expanded its community of supporters, and its public footprint, in recent years.
WVLT employs land conservation – for drinking water protection, biodiversity, recreational opportunities, cultural and historic preservation, climate change mitigation, and other benefits – as an essential tool for community and economic development. Project selection prioritizes these criteria, considering what each project brings to the future of the state’s communities and economy. Development and ecological restoration of WVLT-owned properties, emphasizing ecological sustainability and public recreational access, is increasingly a priority.
WVLT’s staff of eight is hard-working, mission-driven, and collaborative. Personnel are dispersed in several locations, but the organization maintains office spaces in Morgantown and Charleston. We have broad and deep expertise in natural resource management, including source water protection, ecology, forest recreation, sustainable forestry, wildlife management, communications, and outreach.
WVLT’s 14-member Board of Directors is likewise geographically dispersed, and in recent years has made a transition from a working board to one more focused on governance as staff capacity has expanded.
WVLT’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is reflected in its open and welcoming access to its conserved lands and programs regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, and religious and political beliefs. It also seeks more diverse representation in the ranks of its staff, board, and volunteers.
 
Please send Resume, Cover Letter, and 3 References to: HR@wvlandtrust.org (no phone calls please.)
 
Contact Information