Katie Pofahl has joined The Nature Conservancy’s Washington chapter as our Eastern Washington Community Relations Manager with the Climate Resilient Forests and Communities team.
Katie will be focused on working with local communities, partners and leaders to build trust and plan for, design, and implement projects that reflect a broad suite of community needs, such as climate resilience, habitat conservation, forest health, recreation, economic development, and health and safety.
She recently graduated with a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of the Environment and brings over ten years of applied conservation. She is a Switzer Fellow, a Wyss Scholar for the Conservation of the American West, and she led the Yale Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration. As part of her studies, Katie worked with The Nature Conservancy’s Sierra Nevada program to develop policy approaches that reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in California while supporting a sustainable forest products industry. She also collaborated with the Rural West Covid Project where she worked to inform public policy across various levels of government to meet the needs of rural West communities struggling with the social and economic impacts of the pandemic.
Before coming to Yale, Katie worked for a land trust in Central California developing innovative community programs that were featured by the Land Trust Alliance and recognized by California State Parks for excellence in collaboration. She also served in public office with the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park and District protecting 1,041 acres of habitat from development, including rare forests and working ranchlands, and securing $1.2 million annually for open space preservation.
Katie’s work is focused on enacting transformative land conservation that will enable communities in the West to respond to urgent threats from drought, fire, urban sprawl and climate change. A key aspect of Katie’s approach is to view communities as a solution to critical issues rather than as a problem. Her work increases the pace and scale of land conservation while improving the wellbeing of our communities by using proven approaches that link land conservation to economic vitality, health, justice, and resilience to climate change.
Ask Katie about bike touring – she just rode over 550 miles and 30,000 vertical feet over 15 days in the Southern Rockies! She also loves surfing, snowboarding, and walking slowly in the forest
Banner photo © Tomas Corsini, volunteer photographer.