Defenders of Wildlife appoints new Rockies & Plains director, moves regional HQ to Denver

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Veteran prairie expert to open new office, expand conservation efforts in the West

DENVER, Colo. (Sept. 24, 2013) – Defenders of Wildlife has named Rocky Mountains and Great Plains Representative Jonathan Proctor as its new Rocky Mountains and Great Plains program director. Proctor will be responsible for moving Defenders’ regional headquarters from Bozeman, Montana to Denver, Colorado next month. Proctor has worked for the organization for eight years, focusing on bison, black-footed ferret, prairie dog, grizzly bear and swift fox conservation efforts. Among his many accomplishments, he has:

  • Played a key leadership role in the successful campaign to bring genetically pure Yellowstone bison back to the Great Plains, starting with the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Indian Reservations in Montana;
  • Pioneered innovative incentive programs to help landowners purchase and install fences that help them coexist with grizzly bears across the northern Rockies and with roaming bison near Yellowstone;
  • Partnered with federal agencies, states, tribes, private landowners and other conservation groups to restore prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets and swift fox to multiple sites across four states in the Great Plains.


“We are absolutely thrilled to have Jonathan take on this critical leadership role for Defenders throughout the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains,” said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife. “Jonathan has a long-track record of working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders throughout the region to achieve real conservation outcomes. His dedication and leadership will be vital to the organization as we look to conserve imperiled species and important habitats throughout the intermountain west.”

In October, Proctor will return to Denver, where he worked from 2005-2008, to expand Defenders’ presence throughout the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. He will manage the organization’s field staff in Montana, Idaho, Washington and Colorado and focus on expanding habitat conservation and restoring imperiled western species.

“This is an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of wildlife conservation in the West,” said Proctor. “We are facing significant challenges from climate change and habitat loss, but we also have promising opportunities to restore imperiled western species and habitats. I look forward to building on Defenders’ past success in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains with a strong commitment to collaborative conservation from our new outpost in Denver.”

Background:
Proctor received a B.A. in Geography from Wittenberg University and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. He has more than 20 years of experience in wildlife conservation, beginning his career as a wilderness ranger with the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon and Montana. He worked for Predator Conservation Alliance in Montana and Colorado for eight years before joining Defenders in 2005 to open a field office in Denver. In 2008 he moved to Missoula, where he has managed Defenders’ programs to restore grizzly bears, bison, black-footed ferrets and other species to the Northern Rockies and Great Plains.

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Links:
Read Jonathan Proctor’s bio
Read his posts on Defenders blog
Read more about Defenders work in the Rockies and Plains

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

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Meet Defenders
Jonathan Proctor is the Director of Defenders' Rocky Mountains and Plains Program. Based in the Missoula office, Jonathan works to protect and restore grizzly bears in the U.S. northern Rockies and Cascades (Idaho, Montana, Washington, Wyoming), and bison, swift fox, black-footed ferrets and black-tailed prairie dogs in the U.S. northern Plains (Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming).
Sage-Grouse, Photo: USFWS Pacific Southwest Region
Where We Work
Defenders of Wildlife's Northwest office has a reputation for being creative in its approach to conserving biodiversity and habitat. Working with many partners, we develop new conservation tools and promote cooperation among diverse interests in both the Pacific Northwest and nationally.
Fact Sheet
The American black bear is the smallest of the three bears species found in North America, and are found only in North America. Black bears have short, non-retractable claws that give them an excellent tree-climbing ability.
Sage-Grouse, Photo: USFWS Pacific Southwest Region
Success Story
December 2013 - Along with volunteers and conservation colleagues from partner organizations, Defenders' team flagged miles of fencing to protect imperiled sage-grouse from collisions.