Lill Erickson founded Western Sustainability Exchange (WSE) in 1994 to conserve what is best about the West — open space, wildlife habitat, and farming and ranching heritage — while strengthening rural economies. WSE works at a landscape scale focused in critical habitat areas. Erickson has been the executive director since its inception. Her expertise lies in the areas of sustainable agriculture and the use of market-based conservation strategies to achieve environmental protection and economic development goals. She specializes in strategies that incentivize agricultural and food service businesses to convert to sustainable practices.
In addition to fundraising and overall management of the organization, Erickson supervises development and implementation of all WSE program initiatives.
Erickson served as an advisor to the Western Regional Team of the Natural Resource Committee of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, whichcrafted a strategy to promote sustainable development in the U.S.
Prior to forming WSE, Erickson was caretaker of a cattle ranch bordering Yellowstone National Park. She also worked for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition and the Idaho Conservation League. For over 33 years she has organized citizen participation in natural resource issues throughout the rural west.
Erickson has authored two citizen guides on hard rock mining and the Idaho Legislature and was a contributing writer to Sustaining Greater Yellowstone: A Blueprint for the Future.
Erickson graduated cum laude from the University of Northern Colorado with a Bachelor degree in Journalism with minors in environmental studies and biology.
About Western Sustainablity Exchange (Livingston, MT): The mission of the Western Sustainability Exchange is to advance sustainable choices that enhance economic opportunities which preserve open space, wildlife habitat, farm and ranch lands, and quality of life for future generations.