To support chapter development and volunteer engagement, the Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) recently hired three new regional directors. Josh Westley will serve as the regional director for Washington and western Oregon, Seth Reed will cover Idaho and eastern Oregon, and Sara Wagner will be responsible for North Dakota and Minnesota. MDF’s regional directors play a key role in working with members and chapters at the state level, as well as supporting fundraising efforts for mission accomplishment. The three new staff members started working for the organization in August and early September.
“Our chapters and local volunteers are absolutely critical to our organization, and the Mule Deer Foundation is excited to add to our outstanding field staff to carry our mission forward,” commented Mule Deer Foundation President/CEO Joel Pedersen. “Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and North Dakota provide important habitat for mule deer and black-tailed deer and actively engaging with our local chapters and volunteers to fundraise and get projects done on the ground is essential.”
The new MDF regional director for Washington and western Oregon, Josh Westley, was born and raised in western Washington and has been hunting and fishing since he was a small child. As his love for hunting grew, he also became aware of the importance of conservation and just after high school, he began volunteering with various organizations to help with conservation and land management efforts. Before joining MDF, Westley had a career in sales, service, and management, most recently at Rogers Machinery Company.
Sara Wagner, the new RD for North Dakota and Minnesota, was born and raised in Southern Illinois and moved to northwestern North Dakota in 2015 where she discovered her passion for hunting and conservation. Before coming to MDF, she co-created a women’s hunting platform to share experiences and encourage other women to find adventure and confidence in the outdoors, hosting several women’s outdoor events. Sara’s volunteer experience with various conservation groups helped get the MDF chapter up and running in Tioga, ND. Sara’s previous work experience as a community liaison for a local non-profit agency has her well versed in fundraising events and making community connections. She is excited to share her skills and passion to support the MDF mission.
Seth Reed, who started as the regional director for eastern Oregon and Idaho on September 6, is a native of Idaho, growing up on a farm in the Snake River Valley. From an early age he spent time working on the family farm, riding horses, fishing up and down the Snake River, and hunting. Seth, who has a degree in horticulture and is an ISA Certified Arborist, has worked throughout the Intermountain West on plant health and design consultations in urban interfaces. After seeing his daughter harvest her first mule deer in 2021, he had a renewed desire to make a difference in conservation which led to his position with the Mule Deer Foundation.
“We have a phenomenal group of regional directors who bring significant experience and enthusiasm to the work that MDF does,” concluded MDF director of field operations, Marshall Johnson. “We are excited to see Sara, Josh, and Seth hit the ground running in their states.”
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and protecting mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.