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Home Wild Word Emily Clevelend Named New Conservation Director
Pine Creek Lake. Photo by Walker Stole
Mar 04 2021

Emily Clevelend Named New Conservation Director

After serving 3 years as field director for MWA, Cleveland now oversees our on-the-ground work protecting Montana’s wild places


From surveying the Custer Gallatin’s wildest places to shearing sheep with the Ruby Valley Strategic Alliance, Emily Cleveland isn’t afraid to break a sweat in the pursuit of furthering Montana Wilderness Association’s mission.

Her drive and passion for the work we do, her proven success as a community organizer, and background in natural sciences are just a handful of reasons why I'm pleased to announce that we’ve named Emily Cleveland as our new conservation director. 

Emily holds a Bachelor's degree in geology from Colorado College and a Master’s degree in natural science education and environment and natural resources from the University of Wyoming.  

Emily joined MWA’s staff in 2016 as our wildlands field coordinator, inventorying wilderness characteristics in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, before working for the Idaho Conservation League for two years managing campaigns, engaging supporters, and participating in high-profile collaborative efforts. In 2018, Emily rejoined MWA as our southwest Montana field director in Bozeman. Most recently, she served as MWA’s senior field director, leading many of our key campaigns and issues, and as interim conservation director.

Emily has proven herself to be an extremely effective leader, advancing MWA’s mission in some of Montana’s wildest places, including the Crazy Mountains, Madison and Gallatin Ranges, and Upper Ruby watershed. She's built and strengthened relationships with our partners in conservation, proven herself a persistent community organizer and tireless advocate, and is highly regarded as a trusted colleague and partner.

In her new role as conservation director, Emily will lead and support MWA’s campaigns and programs to protect Montana’s public lands and wild places from development, degradation, and privatization. She will put her experience as a field director to good use, creatively influencing policy, politics, and public opinion to support our campaigns and programs.

Emily comes to this position following the departure of Amy Robinson, who worked at MWA for eight years, most recently serving as conservation director. Amy started with MWA as a field director in northwest Montana and played a pivotal role in the Whitefish Range Partnership, helping secure a Wilderness recommendation for the Whitefish Range in the Flathead National Forest plan revision. 

I thank Amy for her years of helping keep Montana wild. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.

l look forward to Emily's continued leadership and dedication to keeping Montana wild. From myself and everyone else at MWA, congratulations, Emily!

Ben Gabriel
Executive Director

Ben develops MWA's organizational strategy and works with our grassroots community, partners, and board of directors to achieve MWA's mission and ensure our long-term health and effectiveness. He spends his time connecting to Montana's wild places and rivers by hiking, kayaking, and skiing with his wife, daughter, and dogs.
Email Ben