Coeur d’Alene, ID, The Kootenai Environmental Alliance announces Shelley Austin as Executive Director. A resident of Ashland, Oregon, Shelley accepted the offer from the Board of Directors on February 8, and relocated to Coeur d’Alene at the beginning of March.

An experienced non-profit executive, Shelley brings administrative and fund raising skills, along with a clear passion for the mission of KEA to conserve, protect and restore.

“I am ecstatic to be here at Kootenai Environmental Alliance. This is the oldest environmental organization in Idaho and in 2 years time we celebrate our 50th Anniversary. That says a lot about the vision of our founders and former leaders at KEA, and the mission that still resonates for us. KEA has alliances with many of the most prominent and respected environmental organizations, scientists, activists and volunteers. If you are among those people, thank you! KEA’s staff and Board of Directors just went through a huge transition, and each of them are fired-up and ready for the challenges ahead. I am getting to know our team and am confident about our capacity to address our mission and truly affect change in the future. We are standing on the shoulders of so many who acted before us, and today stand shoulder to shoulder with those who feel the same passion for our mission as they did 50 years ago. Everything is possible with KEA and I’m honored to be a part of this organization.”

At the beginning of this year, the KEA Board appointed Britt Bachtel-Browning as KEA Board President, and has recently added several new members. The new Board, along with new administration at KEA, positions the organization well to make an impact on lake water quality – an issue 90% of KEA members deemed the most important in a recent member survey.

Bachtel-Browning says “Shelley brings a valuable set of skills to KEA. As a professional with experience in all aspects of non-profit management, an outdoor enthusiast and environmental activist, she will be able to ensure KEA’s financial needs are addressed, our message is delivered and our alliances are strong and nurtured. With a new Executive Director and new Board of Directors, we look forward to reinvigorating KEA, organizing our work and projects for the most impact, and developing a broader awareness of the issues facing our watershed. Shelley is capable and enthusiastic.”

Austin’s background includes leadership positions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Yahoo!, as executive director for 4 different Southern Oregon non-profits, non-profit consultant, service on several Boards of Directors, and six years as a backcountry first responder with the Crater Lake Ski Patrol.

With deep ties to the Idaho panhandle, Shelley produced the Coeur d’Alene Film Festival in 2008. “I came to CDA with an idea for a film festival, and it was immediately well received. I got to know some of the business community, volunteers in the area, a lot about Idaho tourism and much more.”

It’s fitting that on her docket is the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, hosted by KEA and North Idaho College. The event is a fund raiser for KEA, to be held virtually May 13 – 18. Tickets will be available at kealliance.org.

“I love these films and the big messages they convey about environmental impact and climate change. Film is a powerful means of engaging people, sharing important stories, and illuminating topics with images as well as words. Entertainment with meaning – and all for a good cause: KEA. We have a great 2-hour program selected for you. Stayed tuned, your invitation is in the mail!”

For more information about Shelley Austin, KEA and the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, see Kealliance.org.

Shelley Austin, Executive Director

Kootenai Environmental Alliance


206 E Indiana Ave. #112

Coeur d’Alene, ID  83814

(208) 667-9093