Our Organization

Protecting wildlife, habitat, and public access in Montana for eight decades.

Photo: Janko Ferlic

Historic conservation

The Montana Wildlife Federation is Montana’s oldest, largest, and most effective wildlife conservation organization. Our roots trace back to 1936 when hunters, anglers and other conservationists joined landowners to address the loss of Montana’s natural lands, healthy waters and abundant wildlife. The decades of westward expansion prior to the 1930’s left wildlife populations decimated throughout North America, and Montana was no exception. That year the first North American Wildlife Conference was held in Washington D.C. and wildlife conservation was thrust into the limelight. The National Wildlife Federation, Montana Wildlife Federation, and many other state wildlife organizations were formed. Since then, MWF has championed scientific wildlife management and fought to conserve the great natural resources found in this state and wildlife populations have rebounded. This legacy is maintained through our dedicated staff and volunteers. 

Credit Kyle Mlynar 4 web

Wildlife Management

MWF is involved in critical collaborative efforts throughout Montana that work to protect public lands, enhance public access and protect critical wildlife habitat and populations. We work closely with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to develop recommendations for wildlife management and we work to ensure the voice of Montana’s wildlife conservationists, hunters and anglers are heard in the state Legislature and in Washington D.C.

Conservation Victories

Over the years, MWF has secured some of the Treasure State’s most important conservation victories, including: 

  • The best stream access law in the country
  • A ban on wildlife farms
  • Protection of Montana’s public lands and waters

But we didn’t stop there. We are now engaged on critical issues including:

  • Chronic Wasting Disease
  • Grizzly Bear management
  • Energy Development and Sage Grouse
  • Elk management
  • Protection of secure wildlife habitat
  • Clean water protection and enhancement

Strength in numbers

Citizens invested in wildlife management were critical to our previous accomplishments and are critical to our continued success. Our network of affiliate organizations throughout the state in addition to our strong member base helps us stay heavily engaged in key issues affecting wildlife at the local, regional, and statewide levels.

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If you value wildlife management in this great state and want to add your voice to our legacy of conservation successes, please provide a donation and become a member today.

“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” – Aldo Leopold

Affiliated Organizations

Rosebud/Treasure Wildlife Association

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Our Friends and Partners

Our Work
Healthy fish and wildlife populations depend on high-quality, intact habitat. The Montana Wildlife Federation works to protect habitat on public and private lands throughout the state. We advocate for scientifically-based land management and conservation of wild lands and wild waters.
Our Work
Fish and wildlife that have disappeared from other parts of the West are still abundant in Montana. However, the pressures and threats grow greater and more numerous with each passing year. MWF works to advocate for sound science and policies aimed at protecting every species found here, whether it is a nongame, big game, or one of our amazing fish species.
Our Work
Montana is home to some of the highest quality natural resources in the nation as well as the longest hunting seasons in the West. However, wildlife managers often face pressure to manage wildlife and recreation for private profit. MWF fights to protect public access and recreational opportunities for people of every color, creed, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
Our Work
The Montana Wildlife Federation has a grassroots network of local affiliated clubs around Montana.

Make A Difference

Your generous donation supports Montana Wildlife Federation’s work conserving our wildlife, wild places, and hunting and angling opportunities for current and future generations.

Tom Puchlerz

Tom is married with two children, two grandchildren, and two English setters. Retired after 38 years with the US Forest Service as a biologist and administrator with assignments in Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, Tom is a member of numerous local and national wildlife and fisheries conservation organizations. He is an avid hunter, angler, and advocate for wild places and wild things.

Harvey Nyberg

Vice President for Issues - Lewistown

Harvey is a lifelong hunter, angler and all-around outdoorsman. He grew up in South Dakota and came to Montana in 1973 after an Honorable Discharge from the US Navy to study Fisheries and Wildlife Management at Montana State University. After earning his BS and MS, he made his career in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, retiring as Regional Supervisor in Billings in 2005. Harvey is committed to preserving public lands to provide fish and wildlife habitat and recreational access, and his favorite hunting area is the Missouri Breaks.

Jamie Wolf bio photo

Jamie Wolf

Vice President for Internal Affairs - Missoula

Hunting and fishing are traditions passed down from generation to generation, and being an outdoors person has always been a major part of who Jamie is and how she relates to her family. She is eager to volunteer her skills for conservation. She cares deeply about giving a voice to wildlife and their habitats, including our public lands.

John Salazar

Treasurer - Livingston

John has been a small business owner for the past 23 years in Livingston, Montana. When he is not exploring a new part of the world with his wife and two sons, he spends most of his free time in the back-country hiking, rifle and bow hunting, fly fishing, and camping. Because of this love for his community and the outdoors, John began teaching Hunters Education and Bow Hunter’s Education with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in 2009.

Bradley Jones

Secretary - Helena

Brad is originally from Lexington, North Carolina with deep roots in the foothills and piedmont regions of that state. He first came West in 2003 on a student exchange program to the University of Montana, where he first became addicted to Montana’s beauty. After finishing his undergraduate degree at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Brad spent a few years after traveling and working seasonal jobs for the National Park Service. Brad came back to Missoula in 2009 where he worked to become a Montana resident and graduated from the University of Montana School of Law. After stints practicing in Great  Falls and Bozeman, Brad has worked in the public sector as an attorney since 2016. Brad’s passion for conserving our public lands and wildlife has only gotten stronger with each year that he hunts, backpacks, and floats in Montana’s wild places.

Bill Geer

Past-President - Lolo

Bill is a retired fish and wildlife biologist and former Director of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. He was the Coordinator for the North American Waterfowl Management Plan for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; Vice President for Field Operations and Conservation Programs for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation; and Director of Western Lands for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. He serves also on the boards of directors for MWF affiliate Hellgate Hunters & Anglers.

Skip Kowalski

Past President, MWF Representative - Stevensville

Skip’s love for wildlife and wild places led him to obtain degrees in wildlife biology and a four-decade career as a biologist with the U.S. Forest Service. In retirement, he tries to help ensure that there is adequate habitat for Montana’s wildlife by working on sportsmen, land use, and fish and wildlife-related issues. He still hunts and fishes, but increasingly finds himself behind a camera watching, admiring and photographing the critters.

Kathy Hadley

Deer Lodge

Kathy is a life-long hunter, angler, and conservationist. She and her family spend their summers on the water and their fall in the forest and on the prairie, chasing elk, mule deer, antelope, pheasants, and sage-grouse. Like many Montanans, she hunts and fishes for both the outdoor recreational experience and to put food on the table. Kathy and her husband live on a ranch outside of Anaconda, MT. Kathy recently retired as Executive Director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), after 33 years with the organization.

Sara Meloy

Helena

Sara Meloy is a third-generation Montanan from Helena. She has spent many formative years in the backcountry of Montana, California, Utah and Wyoming harvesting grizzly bear hair, catching (and releasing) woodpeckers, mapping pygmy rabbit habitat, leading citizen scientists in Wilderness monitoring and helping preserve the legendary cottonwood galleries of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. Sara holds a Bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Montana and a Master’s degree in natural resource management from the University of Idaho. Currently, as a water resources planner for the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, Sara engages with water users across the state on a variety of issues that align with MWF priorities such as drought and climate adaptation, wildlife habitat restoration, and partnering with landowners to achieve mutual conservation goals.

Liz McFarland

Broadus/Bozeman

Liz recently retired from a 33-year career with the U.S. Forest Service, where she served in multiple front-line and leadership positions in Montana and Idaho. She served for twelve years as a District Ranger and the last ten years as the Services Staff Officer for the Custer Gallatin Forest with responsibilities for the Recreation, Wilderness, Trails, Engineering, Lands, Minerals, and Heritage programs.

John Gibson

Billings

John has been fishing in both fresh and salt waters for over half a century. During 34 years with the U.S. Forest Service John’s employment allowed him to enjoy hunting and fishing over much of the Western US. He holds a B.S. Degree in Forestry from the University of Montana. John has served for over a decade as the President of the Public Land and Water Access Association Inc.

Gary Hammond

Billings

Hunting has been a part of Gary’s professional (as an MT Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist) and personal life. The ethic of land stewardship introduced by Aldo Leopold has been at his core since hiking as a young man with family in the mountains around Butte. Gary believes that as Montanans, we hold the land and what it produces as something to be secured for future generations.

Chris Marchion

Anaconda

Chris has spent over 30 years working on wildlife issues in Montana. In 2014, Chris was recognized for his long and passionate service to Montana’s outdoors through his induction into the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame.

Jim Vashro

Kalispell

Jim worked 39 years for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks before retiring as the regional fisheries manager in Kalispell where he lives with his wife Sandi. In the last 20 years, he focused on aquatic education and access, still active with Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW), Hooked on Fishing, Casting For Recovery and Bowhunter Education as well as crusading against illegal fish introductions. Currently, he is the president of Flathead Wildlife, Inc. when not fishing, hunting, hiking or paddling somewhere.

JW Westman

Park City

JW and his wife Lori have two adult children. Their family enjoys Montana’s treasured outdoor traditions. JW’s activism regarding the public trust and the Montana Model of Fish and Wildlife Management goes back several decades.

Glenn Elison

Lewistown

Glenn lives in Lewistown and continues to work part-time as the Conservation Fund’s Alaska State Director. Before joining the Conservation Fund in 2001, Glenn worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Refuge and as a statewide manager for the service’s wildlife and land management programs. Glenn was the lead USFWS negotiator with the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council’s habitat protection program. Glenn is an active member of the Public Land and Water Access, Inc. He has a B.S. in wildlife biology from Colorado State University and an M.S. from Washington State University.

James Wyatt

Great Falls

James grew up in Missouri hunting waterfowl and bass fishing before moving to Montana at age 12, where he adopted trout and big game hunting and has called home ever since. In 2006, James commissioned into the U.S. Air Force and served as a Civil Engineering Officer for 8 years before being medically retired at the grade of Captain. After the military, James moved back to Great Falls where he currently works as a Project Manager & Mechanical Engineer for GPD, PC Consulting Engineers. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Montana State University as well as an MS in Architectural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. James has a daughter (Aspen) and son (Easton) that he strives to raise with an appreciation for wild places and connections to the natural world.  He enjoys spending his free time hiking, fly-fishing and practicing traditional archery in preparation for another September.

Frank Szollosi

Executive Director

Frank comes to MWF from the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes office in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he directed climate policy. In that role, his focus was on protecting freshwater fisheries, the outdoor economy, and sources of drinking water. He also served on NWF’s national campaigns team advocating policies that protect, restore and connect habitat such as the Land and Water Conservation Fund and defense of public lands; transforming conservation to meet new challenges; and connecting more Americans to wildlife. Szollosi earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan. He has extensive experience in government as both a staffer and a local elected official. Szollosi said he looks forward to working with the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and other state agencies, as well as landowners, businesses, tribal governments, federal partners, and Montana cities and counties. Szollosi has spent over 25 years chasing fish with his fly rod, and enthusiastically joining annual hunts with friends and colleagues. Alongside his wife and four children, Frank enjoys time kayaking, downhill skiing and backpacking.

Nick Gevock

Conservation Director

Nick came to MWF after an 11-year stint with newspapers in Bozeman and Butte covering government, public lands, natural resource development, wildlife, the outdoors and hunting and fishing issues. A lifelong hunter and angler, he enjoys the outdoors with his daughter Leticia and dog Sapphire throughout Montana and the Northwest.

ngevock@mtwf.org

Sonya SMith

Outreach Coordinator

Sonya hopes to channel her combination of enthusiasm and educational background into growing a strong outreach program for MWF. She’s in charge of our print and online outreach activities, including the production of this newsletter, our new website, and our growing social media presence. You’ll also see her traveling around the state to celebrate public lands and wildlife at local events.

sonya@mtwf.org

Alec Underwood

Federal Conservation Campaigns Director

Alec brings his passion for conservation and admiration of public lands to the job. He has spent several years in the field of fisheries and holds a degree in aquatic wildlife biology from the University of Montana. He has worked in collaboration with federal agencies, private landowners, and conservation organizations on a variety of different issues. While not working or volunteering his time for conservation, Alec can be found on a trout stream or in the mountains of southwest Montana pursuing elk in September.

alec@mtwf.org

Marcus Strange

Programs and Partnerships Director

Marcus is a native Pennsylvanian and converted Montanan. Prior to joining the Montana Wildlife Federation, Marcus worked for the State of Montana in the Department of Education as part of the Montana GEAR UP program.  Additionally, Marcus has experience in law enforcement and personnel management and training. Marcus attended Brigham Young University in Utah where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. In his free time, Marcus hosts his own podcast and enjoys volunteering in the community, hunting, archery, basketball, CrossFit, photography, and filmmaking.

mstrange@mtwf.org

Eric Clewis

Western Montana Field Coordinator

Eric Clewis comes to the Montana Wildlife Federation with a degree in wildlife biology from the University of Montana as well as several years of conservation experience around the West. He has worked as a wildlife biologist for state agencies in addition to working on various conservation field crews.  In his spare time, he enjoys taking his wife and son backpacking, canoeing, and hiking in the mountains of western Montana.

eclewis@mtwf.org

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