New Staff: Seth Gallagher Joins the Sage Grouse Initiative Team

October 6, 2014

Please see IWJV Press Release here.

(photo: Seth Gallagher, left, discusses sage grouse habitat needs with SGI-enrolled rancher John Rich, in NW Colorado, on an Aug. 2013 field trip organized by the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust).


The Intermountain West Joint Venture (IWJV), the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI), and Pheasants Forever, Inc. are pleased to announce that Seth Gallagher has been hired as Field Capacity and Delivery Coordinator. He will be filling the slot recently vacated by Jeremy Maestas, who will be returning to his role as State Habitat Biologist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Oregon after a two-year detail with the IWJV as the SGI Technical Lead.

“SGI welcomes Seth to our Core Team, and we look to his leadership as we continue delivering conservation at unprecedented scales across the sagebrush sea,” said SGI National Coordinator Tim Griffiths.

The Field Capacity and Delivery Coordinator is part of the SGI Strategic Watershed Action Team (SWAT), a collaborative effort by the IWJV, SGI, and Pheasants Forever to provide the science, field capacity, and communications capacity for SGI. This permanent position, part of the SGI Core Team, coordinates the field delivery capacity element of the SGI SWAT and catalyzes continued partner investments in SGI among 40+ conservation partner organizations contributing funds to this landmark effort. The primary responsibility is managing the highly integrated SGI SWAT technical team of 26 cost-shared partner wildlife biologists and range conservationists located in key areas for sage grouse across the West. The position also supports partner-driven SGI habitat conservation implementation and IWJV habitat delivery.

Gallagher brings a wealth of applied experience to the position, having served as Stewardship Team Director for the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory (RMBO) since 2008. In this role, he built a highly successful private lands program and established a team of 14 staff to assist private landowners with habitat conservation through an innovative array of cost-sharing arrangements with NRCS, state fish and wildlife agencies, and other conservation organizations.

Gallagher’s skill set and experience is a perfect fit for this unique position, according to IWJV Coordinator, Dave Smith: “Seth has a proven track record of developing and managing partnership arrangements to build field delivery capacity for Farm Bill conservation program implementation, including SGI. Boots on the ground are the key to private lands habitat work and Seth has established himself as one of the Nation’s leaders in this arena. We are delighted to welcome Seth to the SGI/IWJV Team.”

Gallagher’s experience and dedication will provide tremendous value to sage grouse habitat conservation across the West. He obtained Wildlife Management degrees from Minot State University and Lincoln Memorial University; and conducted graduate research on Red-shouldered Hawks through Central Michigan University. When not at work, he can be found with his wife, son, and two dogs, tending to his vegetable garden and chickens, or out birding, fishing or hunting.

“I’ve been fortunate to spend my career working on collaborative conservation efforts with private landowners and I’m excited to be a part of SGI and IWJV,” Gallagher said. “The work of landowners and the SGI team is of paramount importance not only to sage grouse as a resource but to the new paradigm of proactive, voluntary conservation, which I’m passionate about. I’m honored to have been selected to be a part of the team and hope I can lend my services to make this effort a resounding success.”

Gallagher will be an employee of Pheasants Forever, Inc., with daily direction, management, and leadership provided by the IWJV Coordinator, based in Missoula, Montana. He starts work on November 10 and will be located in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Additional Contacts:

Dave Smith, IWJV Coordinator
(406) 370-7729

Tim Griffiths, SGI National Coordinator
(406) 600-3908

PR Contact:

Hannah J. Ryan, IWJV Communications Specialist
(307) 431-9876

Deborah Richie, SGI Communications Director
(406) 721-6609

For more information about the Intermountain West Joint Venture please visit For more information about the Sage Grouse Initiative please visit


The Sage Grouse Initiative is a partnership-based, science-driven effort that uses voluntary incentives to proactively conserve America’s western rangelands, wildlife, and rural way of life. This initiative is part of Working Lands For Wildlife, which is led by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.