For Wendy Connally, conservation is all about working with other people. She cultivates a collaborative and guided environment, and applies her project management and outreach experiences to help teams create valued and durable processes and products to reach their goals. Her three-decade career spans Texas Hill Country, remote west Texas, Oregon, and both sides of the Cascades in Washington. Throughout, Wendy has advanced conservation goals and objectives at local, state and national levels through public stakeholder and colleague engagement.
Wendy lived in Texas on and off for about twenty years, where she worked for The Nature Conservancy, Lower Colorado River Authority, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Atkins Global consultancy, and Travis County Natural Resources. Across these experiences, she provided natural and cultural resources technical and policy guidance for resources colleagues, policy/decision-makers, private landowners, developers, and a wide range of public and private partners. Her achievements include catalyzing statewide participation to revise and implement a State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP); working across jurisdictions to maintain the multi-partner Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan and plan for the future; and providing mutually beneficial and hands-on technical support to guide natural and cultural resources stewardship, development project review, environmental compliance, interpretive planning and presentations, and partnership-building for several Texas preserves, sanctuaries, and more than 20 State Parks across 4 ecoregions.
Wendy has also served the natural resources community in Washington state as the The Nature Conservancy’s Central Washington Area Manager in Yakima, working with landowners, donors, and volunteers on ecoregion and site conservation planning, with a focus on shrub-steppe, wetlands/bogs, enduring natural features, and water allocation, use, and quality. In Olympia, Wendy recently worked with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to strategically participate in landscape conservation (including Farm Bill delivery for wildlife conservation) and build broad internal and external stakeholder coalitions to support WDFW’s wildlife conservation and management partnerships, initiatives, and projects.
Wendy has worked to improve and deliver the promises of State Wildlife Action Plans with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies working groups, colleagues, and public stakeholders. On all this work, Wendy takes the long view – several of the successes now bearing fruit took years to ripen – and knows that laying a good foundation with stakeholders makes all the difference.
She holds a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Fisheries Management from Texas A&M University. Wendy and her husband, Kevin, are currently exploring New England while they live and work in Massachusetts. She enjoys hiking, SUP, cycling, and creating natural scenes in sewn-fabric collage wall-hangings.