Welcoming Lauri Hanauska-Brown, Our New JV Coordinator

The PPJV is excited to announce that Lauri Hanauska-Brown has been selected to take up the mantle as the JV Coordinator after a monthslong search. With the PPJV partnership celebrating its 35th Anniversary in 2022, the coordinator plays a vital role in keeping this conservation engine running. Hanauska-Brown joins the team in a period of unprecedented conservation opportunities and brings an entrepreneurial and innovative vision that will help lead this partnership to even greater on-the-ground accomplishments.

Originally from a small farm in southern Wisconsin, Hanauska-Brown grew up hunting and participating in 4H. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for her bachelor’s degree and headed west upon graduating, spending field seasons in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho working with passerines, shorebirds, and raptors. A thesis on Northern goshawks earned her a master’s degree from Boise State University in 2001, whereupon she joined the Idaho Department of Fish & Game as a nongame wildlife biologist focused on the conservation of trumpeter swans, peregrine falcons, bats, and grizzly bears.

After seven years with the Department, she took a position leading the Nongame Wildlife Management Program with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP). Initially a small program, Hanauska-Brown sought to grow it in a way that ensured the biologists and the conservation needs of priority species were in alignment with the mandate of FWP. During her 13-year tenure, the program grew from three staff to over ten, with eight full time biologists across the state. This larger team was well integrated with the rest of the agency and embodied the idea that working together and incorporating the full suite of species and their needs will lead to greater accomplishments. In leading the PPJV partnership, Hanauska-Brown will continue to prioritize integration, partnerships, and a multi-species approach.

During her time with FWP, Hanauska-Brown enjoyed working with landowners to find creative ways to keep wildlife on the landscape. Some of these efforts focused on less popular species, such as prairie dogs, giving her the opportunity to consider what landowners need to keep a species around that is having a financial impact on their operation. This way of thinking is something she plans to continue with the PPJV: “I want to ensure that the partnership is meeting the needs of farmers and ranchers across the region while being innovative with new ideas that reach landowners who haven’t found their place in the conservation world yet.”

While Hanauska-Brown loved working with FWP and recognizes the amazing team of committed experts she is coming from, she is eager to begin her work with a new team of experts in a larger landscape who are equally committed. “Changing paths at this point is really exciting,” said Hanauska-Brown. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about the PPJV staff and partners, and I’m looking forward to making new connections and putting good conservation on the ground.”

Lauri started on April 24th and will be splitting time between her home office in Elliston, MT, and the Benton Lake NWR office in Great Falls.

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