Our Expert Staff

WRA’s team of experts has three decades of working where decisions are made, sweating the details, creating evidence-based solutions, and holding decision makers accountable.

brendan witt 2019

Brendan Witt

Western Lands Fellow

Department

Western Lands

Office Location

Denver, Colorado

Area of Focus

Brendan works to find ways to help Western communities bolster resilience against the threat of catastrophic wildfire. In this role, he primarily supports state policy efforts to increase the use of prescribed fire and improve ecosystem restoration, encourage land use planning to reduce wildfire risk, and support funding for these and other wildfire mitigation policies.

A large part of Brendan’s focus is on looking at ways communities can encourage forest health so that they can reap the many economic benefits of the region’s beautiful landscapes and outdoor recreation, and the sustainable futures that come with healthy ecosystems. He also conducts research and advocates for policy solutions to expand equitable access to the outdoors.

Background

Brendan was born and raised in Colorado and is a devoted hunter, angler, and lover of Western landscapes. He became engrossed in the work of WRA when he joined the organization as the digital communications coordinator in 2017, where he worked to elevate policy efforts through various digital platforms, including social media and video productions. He is also the founding host of WRA’s podcast, 2° Out West.

Prior to WRA, Brendan began his career in the brewing industry. While he enjoyed the community connection and the focus on craft and ingredients, he wanted to contribute to his home in a way that would have lasting impact. A passionate hunter and fly angler, spending time outdoors was always a driving force in his life. He found meaningful connection in environmental work, wildlife conservation, and public lands advocacy, where he could do his part to ensure future generations can experience healthy forested ecosystems and abundant wildlife in the same way he did.

But it is a very personal link that motivates Brendan’s work today. His home, Grand Lake, Colo., was impacted by the second largest wildfire in Colorado history, the East Troublesome Fire. It grew over 100,000 acres overnight, and was the first fire in modern Colorado fire history to race over 25 miles across forested land in less than eight hours.

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in English/Creative Writing and Communication Studies at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington
  • Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management at the University of Denver

Favorite thing about the West

Exploring the beautiful diversity of landscapes and rivers all across the region and escaping to hike, fly-fish, hunt, forage, and paddle whenever I can!

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