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.

nick schou 2019

Nick Schou

Utah Government Affairs Manager

Department

Government Affairs

Office Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Area of Focus

Nick works to advance innovative legislative and administrative policy solutions critical to addressing the state’s most pressing conservation challenges. He is advancing WRA policy priorities by building consensus and collaboration with government entities, including the legislature and state agencies, and through coalition building with other stakeholders.

Schou’s dedication and nimble approach to addressing the climate crisis has yielded countless advantageous results. In addition to blocking legislation that would have had detrimental impacts on Utah’s natural resources, including punitive measures for electric vehicle adoption, he has been instrumental in the creation of beneficial new policies. Most recently Schou played a critical role in changing how Utah accounts for and prices water use, helping to ensure that more users are conserving the West’s ever-dwindling supply of water. In a similar move, he helped to pass legislation implementing the state’s first ever turf buy-back program and earmarked $250 million for secondary water metering on untreated irrigation water, the implementation of which reduces outdoor water use by 40%.

Background

A native of Utah, the outdoors is a huge part of Nick’s identity. He grew up enjoying the state’s wide variety of wilderness areas and a deep desire to protect these resources was forged early in his life. Before joining WRA in 2019, he had more than a decade of experience in environmental work, including serving as Conservation Director for the Utah Rivers Council where he led policy initiatives, created strategy, drafted legislation, spearheaded lobbying efforts at the Utah Legislature, and coordinated large conservation campaigns.

He also worked for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in remote river canyons to restore endangered fish populations, as part of the Colorado River Fish Recovery Program. It was this work that helped Nick recognize that while everyone has a part to play in protecting the West’s most vibrant ecosystems, it was policy interventions that would ultimately play the biggest role in securing our environmental treasures. What the West needed was a sustainable framework for long-term solutions that work for communities, businesses, Indigenous peoples, and the environment, alike.

Accomplishments

Nick’s dedication and nimble approach to addressing the climate crisis has yielded countless advantageous results. In addition to blocking legislation that would have had detrimental impacts on Utah’s natural resources, including punitive measures for electric vehicle adoption, he has been instrumental in the creation of beneficial new policies. Most recently Nick played a critical role in changing how Utah accounts for and prices water use, helping to ensure that more users are conserving the West’s ever-dwindling supply of water. In a similar move, he helped to pass legislation implementing the state’s first ever turf buy-back program and earmarked $250 million for secondary water metering on untreated irrigation water, the implementation of which reduces outdoor water use by 40%.

His expertise hasn’t gone untapped in the public sphere; Nick is on The Salt Lake Chamber’s infrastructure committee, and he also served on the Salt Lake City public utilities water rate advisory committee.

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts in History from Westminster College
  • Master of Science in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah

Favorite thing about the West

Exploring public land, running wild rivers and skiing deep powder.

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