We’re Hiring! – Conservation Specialist (CLOSED)

Founded in 1990, Laguna Canyon Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the South Coast Wilderness, a 22,000-acre network of open space surrounding Laguna Beach in Orange County, California which is on traditional lands of the Tongva and Acjachemen peoples.

We acquire open space to add to system of protected lands that make up the South Coast Wilderness, offer education programs for school children and the general public, maintain and improve trails, restore habitat and conduct other land management activities throughout the South Coast Wilderness.   The Conservation Department currently manages over two dozen conservation projects over more than 300 acres.

LCF is an equal opportunity employer and encourages BIPOC candidates, those identifying as LGBTQIA+ and other people from groups traditionally underrepresented in the environmental field to apply.

Position Summary:

The Conservation Specialist will work closely with the Conservation Project Manager, Conservation Director, other Laguna Canyon Foundation staff, land managers, regulatory agencies, neighbors and other partners and stakeholders to coordinate and implement fuel modification and other conservation projects.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Identify and flag fuel modification treatment areas, stream buffers and sensitive species exclusions using GIS, GPS, and a laser rangefinder.
  • Conduct weed assessments, rare plant, and nesting bird surveys, and assist in the preparation of maps and reports.
  • Collect, manage, and analyze photographic and geospatial data.
  • Coordinate and schedule contracted hand crews.
  • Educate and direct contractors in the field and ensure compliance with treatment protocols, environmental regulations, and contract requirements.
  • Coordinate with neighbors to answer questions and address concerns.
  • Conduct targeted invasive control, including the application of herbicides.
  • Conduct fieldwork in support of new and ongoing habitat restoration and trail stewardship projects.
  • Occasionally lead Field Crew.
  • Provide support to Restoration and Trails projects as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Essential functions of this position include:

  • Constantly works outdoors in a wide range of weather conditions.
  • Constantly traverses off-trail over rough terrain and steep slopes, sometimes through thick vegetation.
  • Occasionally hikes 5 to 10 miles per day on steep fire roads and rugged trails.
  • Occasionally lifts and carries loads up to 35 pounds.
  • Frequently uses optics such as binoculars and laser rangefinders.
  • Frequently grips and manipulates hand tools such as shovels, picks, loppers, wrenches, hammers, etc.
  • Constantly exchanges information both verbally and in written form with supervisor, co-workers, and others.
  • Remains in a stationary position for up to 30% of the time.


  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resource management or related field and 1-year minimum experience in wildland fire management, fuel modification or vegetation management & maintenance OR
  • 2 years minimum experience in wildland fire management, fuel modification or vegetation management & maintenance
  • Proven experience leading a field crew and/or managing contractors
  • Certification or ability to become certified in Basic First Aid & CPR (paid training available through LCF)
  • Familiarity and experience with use of handheld GPS units and mapping software
  • Familiarity with or ability to quickly learn to identify local native and non-native plants
  • Familiarity with or ability to quickly learn to identify local bird species
  • Basic computer literacy and the ability to quickly learn new computer programs
  • Excellent interpersonal and verbal and written communications skills
  • Passionate about Laguna Canyon Foundation’s mission
  • Highly motivated and a proven self-starter with the ability to work independently
  • Ability and willingness to work occasional weekend and evening hours as necessary
  • Access to a reliable vehicle, valid driver’s license and required insurance coverage, and willingness to use vehicle for work purposes (mileage reimbursement available)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proof of formal non-academic training in Wildland Fire Management
  • 3 or more years of experience in wildland fire management, fuel modification or vegetation management & maintenance
  • Demonstrated experience in project management
  • Extensive experience working outdoors in all conditions
  • Familiarity with local parks, trails, environmental agencies and regulations
  • Familiarity with fire behavior and fire modeling
  • Experience with the use of herbicides for vegetation management in wildland settings
  • Experience working on habitat restoration and/or trail construction and maintenance projects
  • Experience using chainsaws, brushcutters, and other power tools

Salary and Benefits:

  • $38,000-$44,000 annually
  • Starting at 2 weeks vacation per year plus paid holidays and sick days
  • Laguna Canyon Foundation contributions to employee health insurance (eligible on the first day of the first month after hire) and retirement benefits (LCF match available after first full year of employment)

Hiring Details: