The American West has been a “classroom, church, and home” for Katie Pofahl for more than a decade, stoking her passion for land conservation. After earning her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin in conservation and zoology, she began a career in conservation, becoming a leader in community engagement.
Most recently, Pofahl was the community outreach manager at the Elkhorn Slough Foundation, an accredited land trust in Central California. It was there, she says, her passion for protecting these beautiful landscapes through private land conservation “crystallized.” She had the opportunity to engage with established landowners and local farmworkers, developing innovative programs that engaged a broader community in conservation efforts. She also served for five years as an elected board member of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District.
Her “experiences show that private land conservation has the power to catalyze transformative change if we engage parts of the community that have been overlooked,” says Pofahl, who has continued to engage with conservation issues in the American West while at F&ES through the Ucross High Plains Stewardship Initiative.