October 29, 2021 – Pocatello, ID: Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust and Bear River Land Conservancy welcomed Matt Coombs as the new Conservation Coordinator for the Bear River Watershed on October 4,2021.
The Conservation Coordinator position represents a watershed-wide commitment to preserve land in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, from the headwaters of the Bear River in the Uinta Mountains to its terminus in the Great Salt Lake. Matt will work with private landowners, federal and state agencies, and several other diverse partners and supporters to accelerate the pace of land and water conservation throughout the watershed. His primary responsibilities will be to coordinate voluntary, conservation-oriented land and water transactions and help landowners access programs to enhance conservation values on their properties.
Matt grew up in northern Utah’s portion of the Bear River Watershed working on the family farm and cattle ranch. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics from the University of Idaho before moving to South America – where he spent three and a half years working with the Peace Corps to support local communities in sustainable agriculture, agribusiness, and natural resource projects. After leaving Ecuador, he spent several years working with and managing small farms and community supported agriculture programs in New York’s Hudson Valley. He later became involved with the Orange County
Land Trust and Groundwork Hudson Valley, assisting with land stewardship and developing community-based conservation projects. Matt returned to Utah in 2011 and attended graduated school at Utah State University where he studied landscape architecture and earned a master’s degree in Bioregional Planning.
His graduate work included a baseline study to support development of a comprehensive management plan for Utah’s sovereign land resources along the Bear River. Matt has spent the last seven years working with the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands as the Bear River Area Sovereign Lands Coordinator.
“I’ve always had a significant interest in the integration of agriculture, environmental conservation, and community development and, specifically, how we can work together to facilitate vibrant communities that respond to natural systems, preserve our regional identity and enhance the overall quality of life for local residents. I’m excited for this opportunity to create real value in the watershed, and I look forward to working with the many partners to deliver conservation projects in all three states.” – Matt Coombs
“We are fortunate to have Matt Coombs on our staff. Matt will be working across state and pollical boundaries to provide more landowners with more conservation options for their property(ies). Matt brings with him a high level of professional experience and a deep-rooted connection to the Watershed and the people that live and recreate here.” – Matt Lucia
“Bear River Land Conservancy is excited to work with Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust through the shared Conservation Coordinator position. Matt Coombs brings a wealth of experience and working partnerships that will make him immediately effective at conserving critical lands within the Bear River watershed.” – Glen Busch