Erin Farris-Olsen Brings Dynamic Leadership to Northern Rockies, Prairies, Pacific Region

MISSOULA, Mont. — Erin Farris-Olsen, a leading conservationist, will serve as the next regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation’s Northern Rockies, Prairies and Pacific Region. She will lead the region’s work, including its efforts to recover salmon in the Columbia River Basin, wildlife connectivity and wildlife conflict resolution, and oversee the region’s staff in Seattle, Portland and Missoula.

“I am both humbled and invigorated by the opportunity to bring my lived experience and stories to the National Wildlife Federation,” Farris-Olsen said. “I’m looking forward to building on the organization’s four decades of work in the Northern Rockies, Prairies and Pacific region, strengthening the team and extending its reach to ensure a better future for our land, wildlife and water—and all who depend on them.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Erin is joining the National Wildlife Federation family as a Regional Executive Director. As one of Montana’s leading conservationists, Erin has demonstrated a deep knowledge of the intersection of conservation and social justice. Erin knows that when we save wildlife, we save people — and will bring this perspective, dedication and innovation to all of our work across the Northern Rockies, Prairies and Pacific Region,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “We could not be more excited that Erin is joining the Federation at this critical moment for wildlife and people — from the salmon runs of the Northwest to the grasslands of the Dakotas.”

Farris-Olsen comes to the National Wildlife Federation from the Heart of the Rockies Initiative, where she served as Rural Development director. Previously, she supported Montana’s watershed groups as the executive director of the Montana Watershed Coordination Council. 

Born and raised in Oregon, Farris-Olsen has considered Helena, Mont., her chosen home for nearly 20 years. She is an avid outdoorswoman, proud mother and elected council member of the Brothertown Indian Nation. She is a graduate of Carroll College with majors in Environmental Studies and Communication and then earned a juris doctorate with a focus in Natural Resources Law at the University of Oregon. Farris-Olsen has 15 years of experience working on numerous conservation and social justice initiatives in Liberia, Belize and Montana. 

The National Wildlife Federation’s Northern Rockies, Prairies and Pacific Region includes Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington.

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