The Watershed Fund Committee reviews and selects applications for Watershed Fund Support. The Committee also works to determine the direction of the Fund, based on feedback from MWCC’s Watershed Partners.
Watershed Fund Committee Chair
Robyn is a Montana native who has been involved in sustainability projects for the State for the last 10 years, with both Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the Department of Environmental Quality. She has spent her time working with several of our watershed organizations, conservation districts, local non-profits, and other state and federal agencies on water conservation projects, perusing funding opportunities, contracts, and grants. She specializes in technical writing, stakeholder outreach, and tracking and appropriating funds for sustainability projects. Prior to working for the State she worked for HKM Engineering as an Environmental Planner, and prior to that graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Environmental Science. Robyn is currently a Project Manager for the Energy Bureau at DEQ, but she stays connected to the water conservation world because she believes in good stewardship of all Montana’s natural resources.
Watershed Fund Committee Member
Jessica Makus joined the Soil & Water Conservation Districts of Montana (SWCDM) in 2016 as the Programs Manager. In this role, she develops and manages a number of water-related programs that help serve Montana’s locally-led conservation districts and landowners. She began her career with the Montana Natural Heritage Program assessing wetlands statewide, then moved on to the Department of Environmental Quality to do similar work with streams and rivers. This on-the-ground experience allowed her to travel the state and gain a true appreciation for Montana’s most precious resource: water. After some time with the Department of Natural Resources & Conservation, Jessica embraced a new chapter and joined the nonprofit world with SWCDM. The work is certainly challenging, but supporting locally-led conservation efforts is very rewarding. Jessica lives in Helena with her husband, Erik, and their daughter, Cora. She likes taking time to be outside with her family to enjoy Montana’s amazing and beautiful public lands.
Watershed Fund Committee Member
Erin Farris-Olsen joined MWCC as Executive Director in June 2015. Erin is a member of the Brothertown Indian Nation and graduate in Environmental Studies and Communication from Carroll College and Natural Resources Law at the University of Oregon. Erin’s passion for the Montana landscape first evolved in her college years through surveying wetlands for the Montana Department of Environmental Quality and Natural Heritage Program. She later took her passion for environmental education and conservation abroad and worked on environmental awareness campaigns in Liberia and Belize. Erin enjoys actively promoting the role of community based conservation in ensuring the resiliency of Montana's landscape for future generations. In her spare time, Erin likes to fly fish, camp, and hike around Helena with her husband Rob, sons Tupper and Auggie, and their dog June Bug.