Conservation leader Emily Olsen joins Trout Unlimited as Vice President for Rocky Mountain Region

Olsen will lead TU’s trout and salmon conservation, habitat restoration, and advocacy programs in the Rockies. 


  • Emily Olsen, Vice President for the Rocky Mountain Region, 
  • Zoe Bommarito, Mountain West Communications Director, 

ARLINGTON, Va.— Conservation leader Emily Olsen has joined Trout Unlimited as Vice President for the Rocky Mountain Region, the organization announced this week. Based outside Denver, Olsen will lead TU’s coldwater conservation, habitat restoration, and advocacy programs in the region. 

“With over a decade of experience building conservation programs, leading dynamic teams, and working with partners and federal and state agencies to restore land and water, Emily will be an important partner to me as we continue to grow the organization to meet the challenges faced by trout and salmon,” said Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited. “Emily’s brand of collaborative stewardship will be welcomed by our staff, volunteers and partners, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the team.” 

Olsen, who earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Montana, joins after serving as Senior Director of Conservation Programs at the National Forest Foundation (NFF). In her role at NFF, Olsen supported and grew the organization’s conservation programs, securing and managing multi-million-dollar agreements with the U.S. Forest Service and philanthropic partners to support wildfire mitigation, watershed health, and recreation infrastructure. Throughout her career, she has worked closely with Western communities to advance collaborative conservation efforts. 

Olsen has been instrumental in the rehabilitation of Colorado’s iconic lands and waters. In response to increasingly severe wildfires, Olsen guided the development of large-scale funding partnerships and federal stewardship agreements to accelerate on-the-ground restoration. She has also spearheaded recreation infrastructure and habitat restoration projects in the Rockies, including millions of dollars of Great American Outdoors Act projects. Earlier this year, she was part of a team that received a national award from the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service for an innovative partnership with tribal nations that delivers firewood to underserved indigenous communities in the Four Corners.  

“Trout Unlimited has an outstanding reputation for effective partnerships, meaningful watershed restoration work, and powerful volunteer mobilization. I am honored to support TU’s members, partners, and exceptional staff across the Rocky Mountains to restore priority watersheds and protect coldwater fisheries for generations to come,” Olsen said. 

Olsen will oversee TU’s conservation programs and campaigns in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. She is the first to hold the position, which was created in a recent restructuring of TU’s conservation programs in the West.

As Vice President for Western Conservation for the past 15 years, Rob Masonis spearheaded significant growth in TU’s conservation programs in the West, which included the Western Water and Habitat Program, Angler Conservation Program, the Wild Steelhead Initiative, and 12 state programs. With more than 150 staff now working in the West, TU made the strategic decision this year to restructure into two Western regions, Pacific and Rocky Mountain. As Vice President for the Pacific Region, Masonis will oversee TU’s conservation work in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Idaho.

“Rob was a driving force behind TU’s remarkable work and growth across the West, and TU will continue to benefit from his leadership,” Wood said. “From the campaigns to protect Bristol Bay and recover the Klamath, to countless conservation projects across the West, he has demonstrated that with passion, collaboration, and strategic vision, we can make a profound impact on our waters, on our fisheries, and on the communities that depend on them.”

TU’s reorganization will help TU launch a national initiative to protect and recover a set of priority waters and leverage tens of millions of dollars in federal infrastructure funding. 


Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to caring for and recovering America’s rivers and streams so our children can experience the joy of wild and native trout and salmon. Across the country, TU brings to bear local, regional and national grassroots organizing, durable partnerships, science-backed policy muscle, and legal firepower on behalf of trout and salmon fisheries, healthy waters and vibrant communities.