Meet Our Staff

Protecting and restoring western watersheds and wildlife through education, public policy initiatives, and legal advocacy.

Laura Welp

Ecosystems Specialist

Laura grew up in Alaska, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Alaska – Fairbanks.  After working as a seasonal biological technician conducting monitoring studies in numerous national parks and wildlife refuges in Alaska, California, and Utah, she went back to school for her Master’s degree in Botany from the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

After graduating she worked as a field scientist and data manager for the Wyoming National Diversity Database until the red rock deserts called her to Utah.  For four years, she was a botanist with BLM’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, where she developed a broad working knowledge of grazing in the desert southwest and its effects on upland and riparian ecosystem function.  She also worked on an EIS to guide grazing on the Monument.  It was then that she understood that grazing and science are politically incompatible, and instead it is entrenched special interests that dictate grazing management in the West.

She decided to go another direction and developed her interests in the animal welfare field while maintaining her field cred by working and volunteering for the Grand Canyon Trust and Wild Utah Project gathering data on Bureau of Land Management grazing and habitat restoration programs.

Her interest in public lands management, especially grazing, led her to Western Watersheds Project.  She is also co-leader of the Southern Utah Restoration Working Group, a coalition of environmental groups working on grazing on BLM lands in Southern Utah.  She currently enjoys living in the Sonoran desert in Phoenix, AZ with her husband Walter and numerous rescued animals.

Learn More About Our Other Staff Members!

Erik Molvar

Executive Director

Greta Anderson

Deputy Director

Adam Bronstein

Director for Nevada & Oregon

Talasi Brooks

Staff Attorney

Melissa Cain

Bighorn Conservation Director

Laura Cunningham

California Director

Kelly Fuller

Energy and Mining Campaign Director

Nancy Linscott

Operations Director

Jocelyn Leroux

Washington and Montana Director

Josh Osher

Public Policy Director

John Persell

Staff Attorney for 10th Circuit litigation

Dave Stricklan

Sagebrush Specialist and Liaison to the Sagebrush Habitat Conservation Fund

Jonathan Ratner

Director for Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado

Paul Ruprecht

Conservation Advocate

Cyndi Tuell

Arizona/New Mexico Director

Patrick Kelly

Idaho Director

Western
Watersheds
Project