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
Even before the first Earth Day in 1970, scientists, biologists, and environmental visionaries harnessed technologies to protect the natural world and the species that rely on it for survival—for example, research in the 1960s led to the 1972 ban of the pesticide DDT. On this 48th anniversary of the founding of Earth Day The Pew Charitable Trusts showcases one case of how scientists,... Read More
To survive, wildlife needs the freedom to move, including traveling between summer and winter habitats. This is critical for many species across the Western United States, where a growing human population is increasingly obstructing migration corridors, stranding animals in the wrong place at the wrong time. Highways, energy and housing developments, and even poorly designed fences are... Read More
The Pew Charitable Trusts expressed disappointment today with the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to reopen California’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP), which lays out a blueprint for balancing renewable energy development with conservation on our nation’s public lands. The bureau also announced its intention to cancel its work to prohibit industrial... Read More