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.

jeremy vesbach 2019

Jeremy Vesbach

Western Lands Director


Senior Leadership, Western Lands

Office Location

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Area of Focus

Jeremy leads a team on a mission to protect at least 50% of the lands in the organization’s seven-state region. In tandem with his staff of experts, he identifies smart policy solutions that will allow Westerners to preserve the wild places and wildlife populations that make the region so unique, all in the face of unprecedented growth and climate crises.

With a focus on state-level policy, he works with coalitions, community groups, and conservation organizations to protect lands through three key drivers: shielding wild lands from development, restoring and safeguarding the health of vital wildlife habitats, and guaranteeing equitable access to public lands for outdoor recreation opportunities.


Jeremy grew up along the Bighorn River in southeastern Montana and has lived in New Mexico since 2002. Prior to joining WRA in 2019, he served as senior field director at the Conservation Lands Foundation, where he directed more than $1 million in annual grant funding to local community organizations. Among other accomplishments, the group was the first grantor to support the tribal nation-led effort for Bears Ears to become a National Monument. Jeremy also led the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, which he and board volunteers rebuilt from a storied history of being founded in 1914 as the state’s first conservation organization. It had nearly fallen apart when he took the reins as the first executive director in several decades, and it is now known as a powerhouse in the conservation movement. He also played an integral role in protecting the Marquez Wildlife Area in New Mexico after it was nearly sold for private development. Today, thanks to recent public land purchases to expand the area, the Marquez is poised to become one of the largest state wildlife areas in the nation.

Outside of his role at WRA, Jeremy sits on the board of directors for Amigos Bravos, a group working to keep rivers and streams in New Mexico clean, and for the New Mexico Wild Action Fund, a 501(c)4 organization dedicated to advancing policies that protect the state’s wilderness, wildlife, and water. He has also served as vice chair of the state game commission and as a state mining commissioner in New Mexico.


  • Bachelor of Science from University of Wisconsin-Madison in Biological Aspects of Conservation (an early conservation biology degree designed by Aldo Leopold).

Favorite thing about the West

Elk hunting in the Gila with my daughters, backpacking the Beartooths with my daughters and nephews, canoeing the Missouri Breaks with the whole family, and just generally exploring places I’ve never been – but where I can still walk all day without hitting a no-trespassing sign.

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