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Upper Arkansas Watershed Partnership Coordinator



Title:  Upper Arkansas Watershed Partnership Coordinator

Reports to:  Agriculture Program Manager

Location:   Within Chaffee County, Colorado

Classification:  Fulltime, Salary, Exempt


About us

Central Colorado Conservancy (Conservancy) is an accredited land trust and community-based conservation organization based in Salida, CO. Our mission is to protect the land, waters and quality of life of Central Colorado as our communities face pressure and rapid growth. Since 2001, the Conservancy has protected over 6,400 acres of private lands through conservation easements and acquisitions. The Conservancy also leads landscape-scale collaborative partnerships such as the Upper Arkansas Watershed and Badger Creek partnerships to improve watershed health and implement stream restoration projects; delivers short-term protection of working lands through conservation agreements; works with agricultural producers to keep working lands working; and serves in a leadership capacity in partnership with the Upper Arkansas Conservation District (UACD) and the Lake County Conservation District (LCCD). The Conservancy envisions a future for Central Colorado that is supported by thriving communities that have safeguarded their rural character, lands, waters and wildlife for future generations. Learn more at


The Conservancy serves as a lead organization in the Upper Arkansas Watershed Partnership coalition, alongside the Upper Arkansas Conservation District, Trout Unlimited, Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative, Chaffee County Government, and Greater Arkansas River Nature Association.

The Upper Arkansas Watershed Partnership (UAWP) was established in early 2020 as a grassroots coalition of organizations and landowners focused on watershed health and resiliency of the Upper Arkansas River Basin watershed. By serving as a convener and coordinator, UAWP works to foster cooperation and collaboration between agencies, organizations, government, and landowners to:

  • Protect water quality and quantity in the Upper Arkansas Watershed.

  • Provide community education about the value of the watershed and ecosystem functions.

  • Build watershed resilience to drought, fire, and flooding.

  • Mitigate threats to watershed health and water quality.

  • Maintain and restore the health of the Arkansas River, stream tributaries, fisheries, and wildlife habitat.

  • Support agriculture operators with protection of water rights.

Learn more at


About the Position

The Upper Arkansas Watershed Partnership Coordinator position will be an employee within Central Colorado Conservancy. As the hub organization for this new role, the Conservancy provides the foundation from which the UAWP Coordinator serves the greater coalition and advances its work and impacts.

The UAWP is at a pivotal moment where the results of its fluvial hazard mapping, river health assessments and agricultural needs assessments provide an opportunity to transition the partners from learning to action. In order to continue and expand its early successes, UAWP has created a new position to lead this coalition-building initiative and collaborative work. 

The UAWP Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating the activities of the UAWP, building its capacity and efficacy, managing grants, and communicating the work of the partnership to the community. The Coordinator will also lead Central Colorado Conservancy’s internal team’s UAWP activities, helping to fulfill the organization’s watershed restoration and private land protection goals by coordinating across programs. This interdisciplinary position will work closely with the Conservancy’s Executive Director, Watershed Restoration Specialist, Conservation Program Manager and Agriculture Program Manager to prioritize, select, and coordinate projects that restore and preserve healthy river corridors, promote land stewardship and conservation, and maintain water quality and quantity in the Upper Arkansas Watershed.

The Watershed Partnership Coordinator position is initially funded through grant contributions of multiple partners, including Central Colorado Conservancy, Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA), Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative (ARWC), and others who support the on-going impacts of the UAWP and its work. UAWP’s vision for this position is that it will be sustained long-term through committed funding, supporting a permanent position.

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Coordinate UAWP and Conservancy key activities 

    • Support  UAWP Leadership and Work Team Collaboration 

      • Coordinate UAWP Leadership Team to keep the Leadership Team current on partner activities and partnership efforts, and facilitate the collaborative process.

      • Convene and manage UAWP meetings and related materials and communications.

      • Assist work teams, consultants, etc. in accessing and sharing relevant UAWP information.

      • Coordinate the Conservancy’s internal UAWP team to achieve the organization’s goals.

    • Establish and maintain administration/operations of partnership

      • Ensure partnership activities and decisions align with UAWP Charter.

      • Organize and maintain records and informational resources related to UAWP’s work.

    • Grant & Project Management

      • Work with UAWP partner organizations and Conservancy staff to identify opportunities to secure funding for project implementation through partnership development and grant writing.

      • Coordinate select UAWP grant-funded initiatives for the Conservancy and UAWP partner organizations.

      • Help identify and secure funding and support to sustain the Coordinator’s role and its work.


  • Outreach and Engagement: Foster the “partnership” aspects of UAWP through communication and trust building with stakeholders for both the UAWP and the Conservancy.

    • Serve as a liaison, representative, and ambassador of UAWP for efforts across the region for both the UAWP and the Conservancy.

    • Take an active role in initiatives, programs, and projects across the watershed that relate to UAWP and the Conservancy’s core focus and serve to build trusting relationships.

    • Coordinate communication efforts highlighting UAWP and Conservancy activities across the watershed, including public presentations, writing newsletter articles/press releases, website content updates, social media, etc., sharing relevant information and UAWP updates with the community and key stakeholders

    • Plan and coordinate regular stakeholder meetings and community events for the purposes of cultivating relationships and building trust.


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

The position requires a passion for working with the community and building relationships that foster and amplify stewardship of the shared natural environment. Though this role is not technical in nature, knowledge of watershed management and the local watershed is desired. The ideal candidate will have, or work quickly to obtain, local knowledge of the Upper Arkansas watershed and the local communities. 


Core competencies include:

  • Enthusiastic, community-oriented individual, with a passion for connecting communities to their watersheds.

  • Excellent skills in collaboration, interpersonal relationships, organizational effectiveness, and community engagement.

  • Track record of securing and managing grants, with the ability to think long-term and innovatively about new and emerging funding sources.

  • Strong understanding of natural resource and private land issues.

  • Strong communication skills (written and oral) are absolutely essential. 

  • Well organized, self-starter, detail-oriented, and adaptable with the ability to manage both routine and complex tasks simultaneously.

  • Ability to work independently, establish work priorities and manage time effectively.

  • Familiarity with inclusive community engagement techniques for diverse audiences.

  • A combination of education and experience equivalent to a bachelor’s degree and three (3) years of experience in a related field, preferred.

  • Ability to identify and mobilize UAWP existing member organization and Conservancy staff skill sets and assets.

  • Have an action-oriented change-maker spirit and ability to think creatively and help translate abstract concepts to action.

  • Proficiency with standard office software applications including Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workspace, basic website platforms, etc.


Physical Demands / Work Environment

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Ability to work in a standard office setting, with considerable sitting, standing and viewing of computers and reaching continually throughout the workday (mouse, keyboard, telephone).

  • This position will be primarily based out of the Conservancy’s offices in Salida, Colorado, or a possible new office location within Chaffee County. Some opportunity for hybrid-remote work exists, but a fully-remote position will not be considered.

  • Will need a valid Colorado driver’s license and be able to drive a vehicle on unpaved roads.

  • Occasional field-based work may be required; requires ability to hike and navigate over sometimes rough terrain, as needed.

  • May include lifting up to thirty (30) pounds of project gear on an infrequent basis.

  • Going up and down stairs carrying materials or project gear to and from meetings, events, site visits, etc. happens frequently.

  • Some evening and weekend work expected.

If you meet most of the above qualifications and are eager and willing to learn the additional skills required to execute the essential job duties and responsibilities of this position, please consider applying. Professional development and learning opportunities are an integral part of this role and working at the Conservancy.



Salary range is $56,000 - $62,000 per year for this full-time, exempt position (40 hours/week). Benefits include health insurance, paid vacation and holidays, cell phone stipend, and flexible work arrangements.


To Apply

Submit cover letter and resume in one combined PDF to Please include “UAWP Coordinator” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted through December 13, 2023. Early applications are encouraged as we will begin reviewing applications prior to the deadline. Desired start date is January 29, 2024.

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