Oregon Natural Desert Association Executive Director Position Profile onda.org

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1 Oregon Natural Desert Association Executive Director Position Profile onda.org The Forest Group 6181 Clark Mountain Road Lotus, CA

2 IN THE END WE WILL CONSERVE ONLY WHAT WE LOVE, WE WILL LOVE ONLY WHAT WE UNDERSTAND, AND WE WILL UNDERSTAND ONLY WHAT WE ARE TAUGHT. -BABA DIOUM ONDA,THE VOICE OF OREGON S HIGH DESERT In the mid-1980s, a diverse group of folks, including teachers, doctors, students, naturalists and retirees, came together over their shared love of Oregon s desert. The group was driven to action by their conviction that a federal inventory of wild desert lands had not included many of the places that they knew and loved. Sure enough, when these passionate people banded together to take up their own inventory of Oregon s wild places, they found nearly eight million acres of wilderness-quality land in eastern Oregon in need of conservation action. And, these founders realized then the wild desert lands they loved need an advocate. From this small group of desert-lovers, the Oregon Natural Desert Association was born. ONDA envisions a high desert in Oregon where eight million acres of public lands are conserved to ensure that fish and wildlife thrive and wild places exist for all people to treasure and explore, now and always. In the three decades since the Oregon Natural Desert Association was founded, the community has protected and restored millions of acres of Oregon s high desert. With more than 10,000 members and supporters, ONDA is the only conservation organization dedicated exclusively to preserving Oregon s high desert. ONDA encourages people to get to know Oregon s high desert and seeks to inspire people to form a deep personal connection with this place. This community takes steps to conserve these public lands, countering any effort that would erode their natural values. ONDA partners with public and private land managers to identify solutions to land management challenges, encourages the public to explore and advocate for the wild places of the region, and spearheads restoration projects to sustain and enhance the health and vitality of eastern Oregon s lands and waters. PROTECTING PUBLIC LANDS, WATERS, AND WILDLIFE Not far from Oregon s signature moss-dripped forests lies a high desert wildland that stretches across half the state. Eastern Oregon s vast public lands feature a stunning array of sheer canyons, wild rivers, craggy peaks and quiet expanses. Natural areas of Oregon s high desert are a haven for abundant wildlife, contribute to economic vitality of Oregon, bring joy and adventure to tens of thousands of visitors, and provide the clean air and water upon which we all depend. 2 ED

3 As outlined in the following initiatives, Oregon Natural Desert Association works to advance its conservation priorities by activating its members and supporters to speak up on behalf of their shared wild places and through thoughtful partnerships with a broad set of stakeholders including elected officials, tribal leaders and members, land managers, community members, landowners, businesses, and the media. Securing Protective Designations: The highest level of protection available for public lands is Wilderness. ONDA has successfully led campaigns that established the first and only three desert Wilderness areas in Oregon: Steens Mountain Wilderness, Oregon Badlands Wilderness, and Spring Basin Wilderness. Even with the future of those remarkable landscapes secured, the work is just beginning. Only one percent of Oregon s desert public lands are protected as Wilderness. This means there are many more exceptional desert public lands in Oregon s desert in great need of conservation action. By operating four active regional grassroots campaigns, ONDA seeks to secure the future of the region s most critical public lands. Defending Wildlands and Habitat: More than 350 species of plants and animals inhabit Oregon s high desert, many more than most people realize. Unfortunately, some of the wildlife native to this region is facing serious threats to survival due to habitat loss. ONDA seeks to protect critical habitat, wildlife corridors,and ecosystems to give all species the best chance for survival by enforcing conservation laws and enacting sound policy. Oregon Natural Desert Association's strategic and effective enforcement of environmental laws and policy engagement has played a critical role in safeguarding Oregon s desert public lands. The organization holds federal land management agencies accountable, ensuring that Oregon s arid lands and waterways receive the protection and management they deserve. And, ONDA is committed to representing the interests of their members and supporters to land management agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management, whose plans and policies have an inordinate impact on the health and sustainability of the region s lands, waterways and wildlife. Oregon Desert Land Trust: Oregon s high desert holds many tracts of private land that are critical for wildlife habitat and for public access to the rich public lands they adjoin. Without a land trust exclusively dedicated to Oregon s high desert, there were few options for landowners who wished to conserve the natural values of their land holdings. The Oregon Desert Land Trust was createdby ONDA at the close of 2017 to fill this gap in service and preserve the wild character of Oregon s high desert. 3 ED

4 RESTORING LANDS AND WATERS Oregon Natural Desert Association is committed to sustaining and enhancing the health of Oregon s high desert through stewardship and restoration. While beautiful and pristine in many ways, much of the wild terrain has been negatively impacted by human actions over time. Alongside ONDA's diverse land manager partners and bolstered by a devoted base of volunteers, ONDA has planted tens of thousands of trees to improve fish and wildlife habitat throughout ONDA priority areas, and the team recently completed a 15-year effort to remove 70 miles of fence from Steens Mountain Wilderness. ONDA also founded the Oregon Desert Trail, a unique 800 mile trail designed to support and connect ONDA s conservation and stewardship objectives by exposing thousands to the conservation value of the region. Restoring Rivers and Streams: The lifeblood of Oregon s high desert is its waterways, and ONDA pays close attention to the health of the desert s rivers and streams. The desert climate is changing and less rain, warmer temperatures, and stronger storms all give urgency to the work. The aim? Cool, clear, and enduring waters that support fish, wildlife, and human populations. From planting trees along stream banks to building low-profile structures that mimic beaver dams, each action is part of a thoughtful restoration approach that is guided by the best available science. Restoring Lands: Across Oregon s desert lands, barbed wire fences once used for livestock fragment the landscape. Many of these fences no longer serve a purpose and can harm wildlife. ONDA and partners have removed hundreds of miles of fence from the land. Where barriers are needed, they convert barbed to safer smooth wire. With each fence project completed, ONDA supports wildlife and restores natural beauty to the land. ONDA believes it will best care for the desert lands when they re on the ground. In addition to trail maintenance and other efforts, ONDA evaluates the natural values of Oregon's public lands, document any misuse and work with land managers to find solutions. And, ONDA assesses the health of desert creatures by coordinating wildlife surveys. In fact, ONDA is so committed to supporting Oregon s sagegrouse populations, they designed their own scientifically rigorous five-year habitat monitoring project. THE ONDA COMMUNITY: Oregon Natural Desert Association is a community of people dedicated to conserving the high desert. It might be the scent of sagebrush, or the desert sun s warmth. It could be the wild rivers, or the unparalleled solitude. Or perhaps it is the chance to see pronghorn running across the steppe that first draws people in. One point is certain: the magical combination of these natural attributes touches souls and bonds people together. 4 ED

5 ONDA Staff: As a staff, ONDA's 16 person team is steadfast in their commitment to protect, defend, and restore Oregon s high desert. Together with more than 500 annual volunteers and the passion and commitment of a community of advocates and donors thousands strong, staff skills and experience have made Oregon Natural Desert Association a respected state and nation leader in the public lands sphere. In addition to the full time staff, ONDA field technicians and interns contribute to critical efforts that include representing ONDA at community events to grow support for conservation and undertaking wildland and wildlife monitoring. ONDA Board: ONDA s 12Board of Directors are community leaders who care deeply about the future of central and eastern Oregon s public lands, waterways and wildlife. Each volunteer director is committed to listening, learning and collaborating to ensure fish and wildlife thrive and wild places exist for people to treasure and explore, now and always. Members and Supporters: ONDA's 10,000+ members and supporters give a voice to the conservation needs of eastern Oregon s high desert. This group is rural and urban, hikers and sportsmen, visionaries and tradition-bearers. They are world-class athletes and everyday explorers, civic leaders and students. They are diverse voices speaking up for the conservation of Oregon's desert. Their differences, and their willingness to come together through a shared love of their favorite places, give them strength. THE CULTURE: Teamwork, respect and honesty comprise the existing foundation that the new Executive Director will inherit. The ONDA mission stands front and center for all involved and a deep passion for the successful execution of the strategic plan drives the team forward. This is not an organization of one individual or even an organization of a handful of leaders. Oregon Natural Desert Association is instead a collaborative enterprise working together to implement an effective slate of conservation initiatives, with a culture that embraces creativity, independence and thorough planning in pursuit of attaining its conservation goals. The team possesses strongly held values and a common vision. There is a very strong feeling of purpose and family resonating through ONDA. The team is open and forthright with eachother. They are a culture that values hard work, progress and quality. While meeting goals is important, a work-life balance is encouraged and modeled throughout the organization. ONDA operates as an interdependent group of intelligent, high functioningcommitted professionals. Staff enjoys a significant amount of freedom and flexibility to get things done. Micro-managing is avoided, instead positive communication and supportive teams are emphasized. Input from all staff, regardless of position, is sought out and valued equally. In short, this is a crew of experienced, smart, supportive, talented, fun humans who genuinely enjoy spending time with one another. 5 ED

6 THE OPPORTUNITY: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Oregon Natural Desert Association is seeking a visionary, energetic and experienced professional who is inspired to continue the work that ONDA started 31 years ago to protect, defend and restore Oregon s High Desert. The next Executive Director of ONDA will take the helm of a healthy, vibrant, and respected organization and will continue to build a lasting legacy for Oregon's desert. Given this stable base and a robust slate of existing successful programs, we seek an individual with proven leadership skills who can continue to grow and refine the organization s already very strong existing foundation. Opportunities that await the incoming ED include connecting more, and increasingly diverse, people to ONDA's visionary campaigns to adapt and strengthen the organization and ensure future success. Supported by stable finances and thanks to a rapidly growing membership and a loyal base of long-time donors, the ED has ready opportunity to grow a thriving individual giving program to support the future operational needs of the organization. Furthermore, the ED will step into a well-supported leadership role alongside a team of long serving and high functioning professionals. THE IDEAL CANDIDATE: The incoming Executive Director must be a steady leader who embodies the values of ONDA and acts as a strong advocate for the organization s mission. They must be an accessible and approachable individual who inspires and motivates board, staff, volunteers, stakeholders and donors alike. The Executive Director will demonstrate a collaborative leadership style; have confidence in decision making; empower staff initiative; model personal integrity and high ethical standards; have clear and open communication skills; and have an aptitude for building a sense of shared vision and purpose. The next Executive Director will be a role model for ONDA s healthy, balanced, team-based organizational culture. Working with a strong leadership team, the ED will be an active listener who can promote staff cohesion and opportunities for growth and development. The Executive Director will prioritize use of resources to ensure that the organization is working in the most effective way. Furthermore, the successful candidate will possess a proven fundraising acumen; strong personnel management experience; comprehensive experience managing a complex, multi-million dollar organization; an ability to find creative solutions to achieve ambitious goals; a keen understanding of the dynamics of the nonprofit sector; and embodies a strong ethic and knowledge of conservation issues, policies and practices. This individual must be committed to maintaining the organization s unique and effective culture, based on mutual respect, trust, and the beliefs of the organization. 6 ED

7 DUTIES In partnership with staff and board, the Executive Director is responsible for organizational leadership, development and implementation of ONDA s strategic plan, cultivating financial resources needed to support the organization, and management of ONDA s professional staff. Duties by area of activity include the following: STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP (10%) Work with staff and board to: Ensure that the organization has a long-term strategy to make consistent and timely progress towards its conservation mission. Provide leadership in developing program, organizational and financial plans and objectives with board and staff, and carry out plans and policies authorized by the board. Use inspiring, consistent and strategic communications to cultivate and maintain effective, collaborative working relationships with supporters, elected officials, land management agency staff and private landowners, business and cultural leaders, conservation organization partners, and media. FUNDRAISING & DEVELOPMENT (50%) Work with Development team to: Cultivate and maintain relationships to secure funds from a diverse base of foundations, donors, individuals, and contracts sufficient to implement ONDA s strategic plan. Craft and implement annual and long-term fundraising plans. Lead and participate in face-to-face solicitation meetings. STAFF AND BOARD MANAGEMENT (35%) Work with Management team to: Maintain a culture which attracts, keeps, develops, and motivates the team of quality and professional staff. Oversee cross-functional teams to accomplish organizational objectives. Ensure training of and assistance to staff in areas relevant to their positions. Conduct hiring and management of ONDA staff consistent with sound human resource practices. Update Board on progress and facilitate meaningful Board engagement. ADMINISTRATION & FINANCE (5%) Work with General Manager and Board to: Maintain official records and documents, ensure compliance with federal, state and local regulations and manage all matters pertaining to the organization s non-profit status. Ensure organization compliance with all legal and ethical regulations, policies and mandates. Prepare annual budgets. 7 ED

8 Monitor funds and investments to ensure adequate funds are available to permit ONDA to carry out its work. QUALIFICATIONS: The successful candidate will have demonstrated skills, experience, and accomplishments in the following areas: Personal alignment with and passion for ONDA s mission and values. Transparency, integrity, and authenticity. Knowledge and understanding of conservation law, public lands policymaking and management, and ecological restoration efforts in the Intermountain West region. Dedication to and experience with principles of equity, inclusion and elevating voices from diverse races, ages, genders, abilities and economic backgrounds. Interest in and proven success fundraising, donor relations, and direct solicitation. Experience leading an organization or program of significant size and visibility. Staff management and mentoring. Strategic visioning and leadership. Strong written and verbal communication and interpersonal skills. The following additional skills will also be considered: In depth knowledge of Oregon s High Desert Landscape. Contacts and connections within Oregon s High Desert communities, relevant agencies, elected officials or other key stakeholders in the region. ONDA welcomes diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. For additional information, please contact Mary Maliff, Adam Forest or Deb Mason at: The Forest Group 6181 Clark Mountain Road Lotus, CA (530) ph (530) fax / / All inquiries will be held in strict confidence. The Forest Group works only with equal opportunity employers. 8 ED