Lesli is a founding member of the Western Landowners Alliance. She is also a founding member and most recently executive director of the Chama Peak Land Alliance. Through both organizations, Lesli has worked extensively with private landowners and multiple stakeholders to advance conservation, sustain working lands and support rural communities.
Prior to her work with these organizations, Lesli managed a large ranch the southern San Juan Mountains of Colorado. During her 16-year tenure, Lesli implemented progressive conservation management through award-winning programs in restoration forestry, prescribed fire, grazing, stream restoration, hunting and wildlife management, and scientific research and monitoring. In 2014, Lesli received the honorable Petchesky award from the New Mexico Land Conservancy because of her extensive work with private landowners and managers to advance conservation, sustain working lands and support rural communities. Lesli holds a B.A. from Columbia University and an M.A. from St. John’s College, Santa Fe.
Kathleen has enjoyed a 33-year natural resources career spanning the private, public, and non-profit sectors. In the 1990s, she served as lead water policy staff to the Montana Legislature. After, she managed a state agency program working with water users on win-win solutions to low-streamflow issues and advancing drought response tools. She then served as Executive Director for a US/Canadian organization working on the science and policy of how much flow rivers need to be healthy. She now serves as Associate Director for the Western Landowners Alliance, managing WLA’s Water Program and assisting with organizational development. She also serves as a Montana state legislator, having vice-chaired the House Agriculture, Taxation, and Interim Water Policy committees, as well as the Council of State Governments (CSG)-West’s Water and Environment Committee. She is a Montana delegate to the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (cross-border trade organization) and a member of the Montana Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission. Kathleen holds a BS from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS from Colorado State University, Fort Collins. She enjoys music, hiking, fishing, hunting, cycling, canoeing, and a good two-step, and lives in Bozeman, Montana.
Prior to joining the WLA team in 2014, Hallie worked as an environmental professional at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she handled compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA), collaborated on the site-wide sustainability plan, and banded birds for biological resources monitoring. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Science from the University of Denver and a M.A. in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. In conjunction with her academic studies and early career in the non-profit sector, she worked on many natural resources management and sustainable development projects in the American West and Central and South America. Hallie currently serves on the board of directors for the Central Colorado Conservancy. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, paddling, and hiking with her husband and daughter. She lives in Salida, Colorado.
Cole is a working lands entrepreneur and 5th generation rancher from Montana’s Blackfoot watershed. Through extensive involvement within the niche beef industry and in rural economic development efforts, he has worked to support the stewardship efforts of those people and communities most closely connected to the land. Cole is excited to help build the partnerships and capacity that will allow WLA to communicate the importance and increase the viability of working lands and connected wildlife habitat across the West. Cole earned B.S. and B.A. degrees from Carroll College in Helena and a M.A. from Boston College. He lives in Helena MT with spouse Eileen Brennan and son Finn.
Before joining WLA in early 2017, Virginie spent five years with the Quivira Coalition, a Santa Fe-based non-profit dedicated to building economic and ecological resilience on western working landscapes. As Quivira’s New Agrarian Program director, Virginie partnered with skilled ranchers and farmers throughout the west to develop apprenticeships in regenerative agriculture. Prior to her work with Quivira, Virginie coordinated the implementation of watershed and wetlands restoration projects in the Valles Caldera National Preserve for Los Amigos de Valles Caldera. She also spent ten years working for Voyageur Outward Bound School, working mostly out of a canoe to teach both technical and life skills to adjudicated youth in the Boundary Waters Wilderness of northern Minnesota. Virginie earned her Masters in Forestry from the University of British Columbia. She currently serves on the Southwest Grassfed Livestock Alliance board, and is a past board member for the National Young Farmers Coalition and Los Amigos de Valles Caldera. In her free time, Virginie loves canoeing, mountain biking, xc skiing, and general adventuring. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.