Grete Gansauer

Grete works within the rural communities of northwest Montana to connect people to the outdoors. After earning her BS in Forestry from Colorado State University, she took a particular interest in the policies that drive public lands management. With MWA, she works with volunteers and partners to engage in collaborative, balanced land-management processes that include conservation values. She is also focused on creating cultural and economic changes in the small towns of northwest Montana by urging them to embrace the outdoor recreation and tourism industry. She enjoys trail running, horseback riding, biking and trying to identify wildflowers along the trail.

“The majority of my work takes place in Caucasian, rural, low-income America. I work in counties that voted for President Trump at 70%, and places that are a hotbed for the public lands transfer movement.

“But I love it here. The people are genuine; they know that they live in a special, beautiful place. I am learning on-the-ground to deal with the challenges that face rural boom-and-bust communities. I am actively working to change feelings about conservation in a town that still looks to extractive industry as its sole economic driver. I am actively working to create a culture of healthy living and connection to the outdoors in towns where it has not been valued in the past. I am learning to listen to the genuine needs of these communities, and to take part in shaping a solution for land management that blends conservation and tourism to diversify small town economies in rural Montana.”

Grete is a member of the 2017 Emerging Leaders Program.

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