Montana Watershed Coordination Council Announces New Executive Director
The Montana Watershed Coordination Council (MWCC) Board of Directors is pleased to announce Ethan Kunard as its next Executive Director. Kunard succeeds outgoing Executive Director Erin Farris-Olsen and will lead MWCC in fulfilling its mission of uniting and supporting Montana’s watershed communities to promote healthy and productive landscapes. Since the early 1990s, MWCC has played a critical role in removing boundaries and coordinating the work of various conservation entities and interests towards common goals and values.
Kunard has extensive experience bridging private and public natural resource conservation both locally and statewide. Most recently, he was the Conservation Programs Manager of the Madison Conservation District. He also volunteered as a Vice President of the Madison County Planning Board and served as Board Chair of MWCC in 2018 and 2019. His knowledge and passion for the mission of MWCC and his skill in relationship building will be critical to supporting watershed organizations statewide and collaborating with our state, federal, and nonprofit partners. He has a B.S. in Resource Conservation with a minor in Wilderness Studies from the University of Montana.
“MWCC has a strong foundation and has been very effective in building support for watershed organizations and natural resource stewardship across Montana,” said Michelle McGree, Chair of the MWCC Board of Directors. “Ethan has an equally strong foundation with MWCC and we are excited to see how he uses his passion and innovation to build on past successes and create new opportunities to support our conservation partners and enhance Montana’s natural resources.”
Kunard says his interest in conservation started in his youth while backpacking along parts of the Continental Divide, but his passion for this work was solidified when he was introduced to Montana’s approach toward conservation through collaborative grassroots efforts. He continues to find inspiration and enjoyment in the outdoors, but he now finds pleasure and satisfaction in working with people from diverse perspectives to identify common ground on some of the most challenging issues facing Montana’s natural resources. As Executive Director, he is passionate and excited about supporting the work of individuals and organizations across the state to conserve and protect Montana’s priceless resources and outdoor character.
The position will be based in Helena and will begin in November 2019.
The Montana Watershed Coordination Council is a 501c3 organization supporting over 50 watershed organizations statewide and collaborating with numerous non-profit, private, and agency partners. MWCC has been cultivating broad-based support for community driven approaches to managing complex land and water issues for over twenty years. Since 2015, MWCC has distributed more than $450,000 through its Watershed Fund to help local partners coordinate and implement natural resource management efforts.