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Northern Plains Resource Council

  • 220 South 27th Street, Billings, MT
  • www.northernplains.org
  • limitedcompany

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Coal Country Organizer

“You can’t fight these big fights on your own. You need to work with others, and you need others if you’re going to take care of the places that you love.”  –Jeanie Alderson, Northern Plains Past Chair

Northern Plains is a grassroots organization of people from the plains and mountains, cities and towns. We are everyday Montanans who love where we live. We stand up, shoulder-to-shoulder, to protect this place we all call home. We believe that true prosperity begins with healthy land, water, and air. We believe that our families, farms, ranches, schools, businesses, governments, and communities thrive when we are good stewards of these resources. We believe that if we look beyond our fences, listen to one another, and keep our minds open, we will find creative solutions to secure a clean, healthful environment for all. We are working toward a future where we live in harmony with nature, where our economy serves the people rather than the people serving the economy, where neighbors work side-by-side to build a world that lives up to our ideals of fairness, inclusion, and justice. For 50 years, Northern Plains Resource Council has helped Montanans organize to protect water quality, family farms and ranches, and our unique quality of life.


min experience

salary range

$41k - $41k / year

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

Each of our organizers works with Northern Plains’ grassroots membership as a whole, with our local affiliates (mostly in small, rural communities), and with our issue task forces to further the mission of Northern Plains.

Specifically, this position organizes and supports the Northern Plains members who lead our work on coal issues, as well as our local affiliates affected by coal mining. This exciting and challenging opportunity as coal country organizer will involve organizing in the most severely affected coal communities in Montana using a skillset of community organizing, building relationships and trust, research, engagement in policy and permitting processes, and communication with regulatory agencies.

This is very much a “people” job. As a Northern Plains organizer, you won’t be tied to a desk, you’ll meet lots of people, and you’ll make change happen at the grassroots level. Travel to coal communities averages perhaps 3-4 times a month for this position.

The Northern Plains staff is a team of hard-working, dedicated individuals who honor and promote a healthy work/life balance. When you’re in the office, you’ll enjoy a casual office environment that is full of natural light and camaraderie with a team of engaged and passionate people. When you’re in the field, you’ll be in Montana’s rugged mountain landscape, working side by side with a team of inspired members fighting for the long-term health of our environment and communities.

This is a permanent, salaried, and exempt position.

Check out our website for more information on this position, our organization, and our staff: https://www.northernplains.org/about-us/careers/ .



  • Execute campaigns as developed by members;
  • Conduct research on Northern Plains’ coal-related issues, decision makers, and communities;
  • Communicate with Montana and federal regulatory agencies on behalf of our coal-related work;
  • Participate in grassroots fundraising efforts;
  • Train members in community organizing skills;
  • Organize and facilitate meetings and events;
  • Communicate clearly, orally and in writing;
  • Recruit new members;
  • Generate turnout for events;
  • Help members make contact with public officials and the press;
  • Assist with duties such as member renewal, special events, and routine office tasks;
  • Help produce earned media in the form of letters to the editor and press coverage.


  • Commitment to Northern Plains’ issues and values
  • Ability to think strategically, including working at the individual and team levels to set and prioritize goals
  • Commitment to the democratic process, including a willingness to hear diverse opinions and build consensus among groups
  • Ability to get along well with people from diverse backgrounds and with a wide range of personalities
  • Strong speaking and writing skills
  • Willingness to travel, occasionally overnight (staff car provided)
  • Willingness to occasionally work irregular hours, including evening and weekends, when needed.

Also helpful:

  • Experience (either as a volunteer or staffer) with a nonprofit organization working for social change or on environmental issues
  • General familiarity with the workings of legislative bodies and government agencies
  • Familiarity with environmental and agricultural issues, or familiarity with broader movements for social, economic, and environmental justice
  • Familiarity with or a strong interest in coal mining and coal-related issues.
  • Experience with outreach and fundraising.

Special Benefits

Our compensation philosophy and transparent salary structure flows from our belief that our people are the most important part of our organization. We offer thriving wages, ample benefits, and opportunities for growth and development.

The salary for this position is $41,000. This position also comes with the added benefit of a pay differential of $2,040 annually designed to acknowledge the challenges that travel and intermittent evening and weekend work bring to maintaining a healthy work/life balance. 

We also offer options for fully and partially employer-paid health insurance, 20 days paid vacation plus 13 paid holidays (including the week from Christmas Eve through New Year), 12 days paid sick and personal leave, and 8 weeks of parental leave with the option to extend utilizing other leave types. In addition, we offer, a retirement plan, an employer paid cell phone plan, and a sabbatical program.  This is a permanent, salaried, and exempt position.

Help us write the next chapter of this critical work to protect the vitality and prosperity of Montana’s mountains, prairies, streams, ranches, and people living alongside our state’s coal mining operations.

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