Job Opening: Wildlands Attorney in Moab, Utah

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), Utah’s largest conservation organization, has an immediate opening for a full-time Wildlands Attorney in its Moab office. Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, transcript, 3-5 page writing sample (original work), and 3 references to Neal Clark, Wildlands Program Director, at neal@suwa.org. The deadline to submit your application is March 15, 2019.

SUWA’s Wildlands Attorney is a non-litigation position with a focus on monitoring Bureau of Land Management (BLM) activities throughout Utah and challenging project proposals that would adversely impact wilderness-quality lands. The position is unique in that it involves a combination of extensive backcountry fieldwork, legal research and writing, relationship building with BLM staff, and frequent coordination with conservation partners. The Wildlands Attorney drafts and submits comments on proposed federal agency activities, including site-specific projects and broad-scale planning efforts; researches and files administrative appeals; and interacts with federal agency staff, project proponents, scientists, and state and local elected officials. The Wildlands Attorney works closely with other staff in SUWA’s Moab, Salt Lake City, and Washington, D.C. offices.

SUWA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the outstanding wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau, and the management of these lands in their natural state for the benefit of all Americans. SUWA promotes local and national recognition of the region’s unique character through research and public education; supports both administrative and legislative initiatives to permanently protect Colorado Plateau wild places within the National Park and National Wilderness Preservation Systems, or by other protective designations where appropriate; builds support for such initiatives on both the local and national level; and provides leadership within the conservation movement through uncompromising advocacy for wilderness preservation.

Responsibilities

  • Track proposed projects on BLM-managed public lands in Utah. Review environmental analyses and draft/submit comments on projects that would affect wilderness-quality lands.
  • Conduct fieldwork for, and become an expert on, lands proposed for wilderness designation in America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act­—documenting wilderness characteristics, off-road vehicle routes, resource values, and impacts.
  • Meet regularly and develop strong relationships with BLM staff in Utah.
  • Conduct legal research and document review.
  • Represent SUWA in appeals before the Department of Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA).
  • Negotiate with opposing counsel, BLM staff, and other stakeholders to resolve public lands disputes.
  • Monitor BLM’s ePlanning NEPA register, track projects, and follow up with BLM staff.
  • Develop media strategies and communicate with the media.
  • Support SUWA’s litigation and legislative efforts through on-the-ground expertise.
  • Assist in SUWA’s efforts to organize Utah activists in support of America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act and other SUWA campaigns.

Requirements

  • Demonstrated commitment to wilderness preservation—familiarity with southern Utah wildlands is preferable.
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills.
  • Initiative, discipline, attention to detail, and an ability to meet deadlines.
  • Self-motivated.
  • Creative and strategic thinking and problem solving.
  • Comfortable working alone in the backcountry, often for a week at a time.
  • Self-reliant and able to navigate in rugged landscapes using topographical maps.
  • Ability to handle a substantial workload, which will, at times, require working nights and weekends.
  • High degree of professional integrity, courtesy, and respect in dealing with colleagues, partners, opposing counsel, politicians, the public, the media, and agency staff.
  • Effective legal research skills including familiarity with Westlaw’s legal database.
  • Willingness to learn basic GIS mapping.
  • Willingness to make a minimum two-year commitment.

Education Requirements

  • 0-6 years experience—admitted to practice law in Utah, or willingness to sit for or waive into the Utah State Bar.

Location

  • Moab, Utah—must also be willing to travel to public lands throughout Utah one or more times per month for fieldwork, meetings with BLM, or other matters.

Salary

  • Competitive—based on experience.

SUWA is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. SUWA is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

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