Ken Rait began directing Pew’s western lands initiative in September 2011. For 10 years prior, he headed up the campaigns team of the Campaign for America’s Wilderness, which became part of The Pew Charitable Trusts in 2010.
Rait is also the former director of the Heritage Forests Campaign, an initiative that successfully advocated for the conservation of nearly 60 million acres of roadless, wild national forestlands.
Before joining Pew, Rait was conservation director of the Oregon Natural Resources Council and spent seven years as issues director for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. Previously, he was the conservation chair of the Sierra Club's Rincon Group in Tucson, where he lobbied for passage of the Arizona Bureau of Land Management wilderness bill. He also held a faculty position with the University of Arizona's Department of Agricultural Economics as a research associate. His work has been published in various legal and economics journals.
Rait holds a bachelor’s degree in physical geography and a master's degree in environmental affairs and water resource management, both from Clark University.
Recent WorkView All
Because the health of sage-grouse habitat is linked to the vibrancy of 350 other species of wildlife—including mule deer, elk, and antelope, whose well-being is closely monitored by sportsmen—safeguarding sage-grouse habitat is good for more than just the bird. Read More
Charles Russell, the world-renowned 19th-century artist who documented the wild frontier of the American West, used his drawings and paintings to warn that those landscapes were at risk of vanishing. But because of conservation and planning, the prairies and rich natural habitat of central Montana’s Russell Country—named for its famous resident—continue to thrive. Read More