About Us


Meet The Staff


Shelley Austin

Shelley Austin

Executive Director

I’m a 5th generation New Mexican who grew up in Boulder, Colorado. At 6 years old, I took my first backpacking trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. My parents made me sleep in a survival tube all by myself, but it was OK and I ended up going again and again – backpacking all over the US, Canada and luckily Patagonia too in 2019! I grew up skiing, looking for the best swimming holes in the summers, fishing, hiking, and did my first 2-week survival course at age 10. When I asked my Dad why we didn’t go to church every Sunday, he said it’s because we went to the mountains like God wanted us to on those days. The mountains were our church.

Like most of us at KEA, I was raised with the notion of taking only pictures and leaving only footprints. Children learn reverence, respect, self-assurance, responsibility, camaraderie and mindfulness from these wonderful wilderness experiences, and I am ever grateful for learning them from my family.

Keen passion for my causes has driven my entire career. With my skill sets, I can contribute to many causes near to my heart without being a (fill in the blank) scientist, artist, actor… I am compelled to work on issues/causes as a fund raiser and non-profit leader so that my efforts will show progress on the mission.

I’m keenly passion about working with an environmental organization as I cannot think of anything more urgent for myself, my family and my future progeny than addressing stress on the environment. It is imperative that we all do all we can to mitigate the impact of our behaviors and prepare for the future of climate change. I do so by raising money, and bringing attention to the goals of the organization I am associated with. I’m thrilled to be here, to work on these issues, to be in North Idaho and with all the others dedicated to this cause, make significant change in the issues facing the Kootenai Basin.

Want to know more? Let us know how we can get in touch.