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Josh Lefers named Director of Conservation for Audubon Great Plains

Lefers was previously the Working Lands Program Manager covering North and South Dakota

(FARGO, NORTH DAKOTA – December 1, 2023) Today, Kristal Stoner, Executive Director of Audubon Great Plains, announced that Josh Lefers, Audubon Great Plains Working Lands Program Manager will become Director of Conservation for Audubon Great Plains, covering North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska.

As Director of Conservation, Lefers will manage all of Audubon Great Plains’ conservation programs, including habitat conservation, working lands partnerships, and strategies for clean water, sustainable energy, and bird-friendly communities. In his previous role as Working Lands Program Manager, he worked closely with private landowners, coordinating landowner engagement and enrollment, and coordinating habitat management, plan development and implementation, and securing grants for agricultural programs.

"Josh brings a wealth of knowledge about prairie ecology, restoration, working lands, partnerships, grant writing, and management,” said Stoner. “We have big visions of conserving and restoring grassland habitat across the Great Plains and Josh will be leading much of this work. The growth of our working lands programs under his management are proof of his talents and leadership.”

Examples of his successes include securing and leading a team to fulfill grant proposals for Prairie Management Toolbox projects, providing financial and technical assistance to producers interested in improving forage availability and quality. Additionally, under Lefers’ leadership we launched the North Dakota Conservation Forage program aimed at improving wildlife habitat, forage availability and quality, and improving soil health by establishing grassland and integrating grazing and haying land management techniques.

Lefers has been with Audubon since May 2017. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from South Dakota State University. He also runs a small ranch in south central South Dakota, and has years of experience in both the natural resource and agricultural sectors.

Media Contact: Melissa Amarawardana,, 402.999.3404

About Audubon

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive.

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