The Watershed Fund Committee provides vision, guidance, and oversight to the administration and development of the Watershed Fund. Committee members develop proposal ranking and eligibility criteria, make recommendations to the MWCC Board of Directors, and provide guidance and support to reviewers and to MWCC staff in administering the Fund.
Watershed Fund Committee Chair
Zach has lived and worked in Montana for 15 years, realizing at some point that it’s home. He joined the Beaverhead Watershed Committee in 2017 to expand the group into the Red Rock Watershed. He loves the collaborative nature of his work in Southwest Montana and believes that this style of community-driven resource conservation that we’re all learning is what will allow us to solve the bigger problems coming in the future. Prior to working in the Beaverhead, Zach spent years working seasonal field jobs and then permanent office jobs before his work brought him to the Centennial Valley, where he learned a different conservation philosophy that has served him well in his current work. Zach has decided to stick around for a while in the watershed world and to lend his skills to the MWCC Board, partly due to sitting in a crowded room of watershed professionals and realizing “I really like these people” ...
Watershed Fund Committee Member
Tana is the Associate Director of the Big Hole Watershed Committee, where she is in charge of communications and event planning, manages grants and projects, maintains partnerships, and oversees the Big Hole River Drought Management Plan. She completed her Master of Natural Resources degree at the University of Idaho and received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science/Biology from the University of Montana Western. Tana joined BHWC in 2014 and resides in the Big Hole watershed near Divide. She is most passionate about representing and including the local community in conservation issues. She loves the Big Hole and its residents and considers herself lucky to live there. Tana is a heartfelt believer that “Conservation is as much about community as it is about land and water.” She is most proud of her work with wildlife conflict reduction in the Upper Big Hole Valley.
Watershed Fund Committee Member
Sierra has been fortunate to work throughout Montana’s watershed communities for over 10 years, learning a lot about the people, the water, and how much we all love this place! Sierra has worked for both a small watershed group and a large conservation-based non-profit, and she now has a good understanding of how our communities can better support one another. Her past Board experience with MWCC gave her great ideas and perspective on how to tie all the pieces, issues, funding, and partners into a more cohesive plan for Montana’s future. Beyond her passion for water work, Sierra loves to get outside and explore Montana’s backcountry, fish our rivers, and enjoy time at her family's lake cabin in the Flathead Valley.
The MWCC Board of Directors approves all Watershed Fund reviewers and reviewers’ funding recommendations. Current Watershed Fund reviewers are:
Mike Koopal, MWCC Board Member and Executive Director of the Whitefish Lake Institute
Erin Farris-Olsen, Rural Development Director for the Heart of the Rockies Initiative