Executive Director, Greater Yellowstone Coalition
Caroline Byrd has a deep and varied background in conservation and outdoor work throughout the West. Since 2013, Caroline has been the Executive Director of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition leading the organization’s mission of working with people to protect the lands, waters and wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem now and for future generations. At GYC, Caroline heads a staff of 30 in six offices spread through Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. She came to GYC from The Nature Conservancy where she was the Western Montana Program Director based out of Missoula. With TNC she worked on the Montana Legacy Project and the Blackfoot Community Project, two landscape scale conservation efforts in which the Conservancy purchased and protected more than 400,000 acres of Plum Creek Timber lands in and around the Crown of the Continent. Before coming back to Montana, Caroline was The Nature Conservancy’s Southwest Colorado Program Manager in Telluride, CO. In Wyoming, she was a staff attorney and the Greater Yellowstone Program Director for the Wyoming Outdoor Council in Lander. Also, out of Lander, she led National Outdoor Leadership School courses in leadership and outdoor skills in the Rocky Mountains, Southwest deserts, North Cascades, Canada, Alaska and East Africa. She also taught for Earlham College; she directed their Kenya program as well as their Southwest Field Semester. Caroline has served on many boards including the Blackfoot Challenge and High Country News. She worked seasonally for the Forest Service as a wilderness ranger and trail crew in Wyoming and Alaska. She has several mountaineering highpoints to her name, including being the first woman to climb the Northwest Buttress of Denali and as a member of the first American women’s expedition to climb an 8,000-meter peak (Cho Oyu) without oxygen or Sherpa support. Throughout her career, Caroline has worked with a wide array of partners and communities to come to long term conservation solutions. She has an undergraduate degree in environmental studies and anthropology from the University of California Santa Cruz, a master’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana and a law degree from the University of Montana, School of Law.
End the day with no regrets.
Balance and resilience will keep you from falling.
Do what I’ve been avoiding.
Calling a friend who’s asking for advice.
Stay calm, you’ll get off the plane and your bag will find you.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
Access to countless mountain trails and river miles.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
Lots of fresh fruit, really good whole milk yogurt and fresh-made granola. The Emerson Grill, it’s in an old school building that’s been converted to a community art center.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Getting out of bed, throwing the frisbee for the border collie who wakes up ready to work.
10:00 AM – In the office at a meeting.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Little Star Diner, down the alley from our building, they do great things with eggs, toast and tomatoes.
7:00 PM – Home, finishing dinner with my family.
11:00 PM – Bed, hopefully asleep.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Cup of tea first thing in the morning, then coffee, glass of red wine at the end of the day.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
NY Times and Words with Friends
What should everyone try at least once?
Getting to the top of a mountain.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In the alpine.