Becky is mama to Addy, Myla, and Kaia, and calls southwest Montana home. Her motto is “never, ever, ever give up”, which has served her well climbing mountains around the globe, starting conservation non-profits, and negotiating bedtimes. What inspires and drives Becky most in her work with the Mountain Mamas is witnessing and sharing the “mama-bear instincts” women of all stripes have for their children, and channeling that fierceness into advocacy for the next generation.
Becky has worked in communications for nearly two decades, and for the past ten years has worked to advance federal legislation which ensures our kids and grandkids have fresh air, clean water, and plenty of access to public lands.
Colorado State Director
Jen’s love of nature began when she was a kid growing up in Colorado and inspired her decades of work on conservation issues. Once her daughter was born it became even more important to Jen to protect our air, water, wildlife, and land. She has worked extensively for conservation organizations including Wilburforce Foundation, Defenders of Wildlife, The Wildlands Project and Progressive Animal Welfare Society. Her experience also consists of positions with elected officials including as the District Press Secretary and Senior Policy Advisory for Congresswoman Diana DeGette, Deputy Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, Operations Director for Mark Udall’s 2008 U.S. Senate Campaign, and as a senior aide to Denver City Councilman Doug Linkhart. She has served on the Board of Directors for Center for Native Ecosystems and Sinapu, and was appointed by Governor Ritter to serve on the Colorado Wildlife Habitat Stamp Committee.
Colorado Program Director
Sara grew up in Colorado and loves seeing her two children discover all the things this beautiful state has to offer. She comes to us with over 15 years of experience in the labor movement, working to elect pro-worker lawmakers and advance legislation through grassroots advocacy at the local, state and federal levels. Her passion has always been to lift all boats, working to ensure everyone has equal opportunities to provide for their families and live a dignified life. Sara is excited to bring that same passion to ensuring our kids have access to clean air and clean water, along with a brighter future that all of our kids deserve.
Mamas Rural Organizer – Sanders County, Montana
The daughter of a Special Olympics coach, Kayla saw how her dad showed people how to have fun outdoors, despite physical challenges. She saw the powerful effect that the outdoors has on people’s physical, mental, and emotional wellness. She knew from a young age that she wanted to help people to discover the benefits of spending time outdoors, not only in sports, but in all areas.
At the University of Montana, she augmented her double-major in Parks Tourism and Recreation Management and Resource Conservation with a minor in Wilderness Studies. She interned with Challenge Aspen, a nonprofit in Colorado that teaches disabled persons to alpine ski. She also worked for the USFS on a trail crew in Thompson Falls.
When Kayla isn’t leading our Mamas Rural organizing efforts for Sanders County from her home in Thompson Falls, she is spending time with her husband, two small children, and three dogs in the wilds and the waters of Montana.
Amy is grounded in leadership, collaboration, and creative storytelling and combines them all through her creative agency, Studio Verde Creative, as well as her multiple positions on Montana state-wide initiatives that further women’s self-reliance, health, and community leadership. It’s Amy’s collaborative experience and leadership that have the distinctive mark of a Mountain Mama. “Right now (during COVID-19) we’re seeing the power of standing in solidarity for our public lands and public health. We’re feeling our way forward, and I’m thankful we’re working through this together.”
Alison grew up near Helena and is deeply grateful that her parents chose to plant her in Montana. “I believe that everyone, new and old, should work together to care for each other and our extra-special places, and that’s why I’m a part of the Mountain Mamas.” Alison has worked in education and for nonprofits supporting reproductive choice, health care, public lands, and other human rights. She loves traveling with her husband Jason, and she especially loves coming home.
Paola, a proud native of Laguna Hills, CA now living in Denver, CO, began her educational career with Teach for America, teaching for a variety of bilingual schools. While taking time off to raise her two children, she has served on several boards including the Teach for America Alumni Board, Denver Discovery School, and most recently the Colorado Soccer Federation. Paola and her family are often found exploring the mountains of Colorado and rainforests of Guatemala, and she is committed to advocating for and creating environments that are supportive of Black, Latinx and Indigenouse children and families.
For MacKenzie, growing up in the Black Hills of South Dakota instilled a love of the outdoors and the importance of public lands for all to explore. Since becoming a mama, her desire to have an impact in ensuring son Cashel and his generation have amazing outdoor spaces to explore has only strengthened. She feels strongly that by influencing governments and industry to make sustainable choices, the planet has a fighting chance to bounce back from the climate crisis. As a busy business executive and mama, MacKenzie loves to effectively connect the dots on sustainability back to the bottom line.
Shauna parlayed her “nerdy” letters to the nearby coal-fired power plant to “please pollute less,” to her grown-up job as a national communications director. “Being a Mountain Mama means understanding, valuing, and cultivating that connection to the outdoors whether it is through children or friends or neighbors. It might be the best gift we can give. But like mamas from all species, the nurturing of that connection comes with the responsibility of protecting it.”
Maggie Neal Doherty was raised on the Inland Seas of the Great Lakes and lives in the Interior Mountain West of northwest Montana with her two kids and her husband. She is a freelance writer and opinion columnist who sparks conversation about the value of the environment and how it connects to our entire ecosystems of community, politics, and culture. As the bookish ski bum and river rat, she brings over a decade of experience serving on nonprofit boards and civic engagement advocacy to the Mountain Mamas alongside her active commitment to public land access and a clean and healthy environment. She loves to raise her kids under Montana’s big skies, wild mountain ranges, and free-flowing rivers.
Ciara was born and raised in Taos, NM, spending most of her time outdoors splashing in the Rio Grande, hiking in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, and skiing in the winter. She appreciated how the Taos Pueblo indigenous people care for the environment and treat it as sacred. Now, she lives in Denver, Colorado, seeking nature at every opportunity. Needless to say, she has kept the mountains close to her heart and home. She is a public interest attorney with a focus on helping marginalized communities, and has proudly worked for the Native American Rights Fund and a global human rights project through the University of Denver. She has two young children, and hopes to instill in them a love and reverence for nature and a commitment to protecting it.
Nici Holt Cline
Nici is a fourth-generation Montana Mountain Mama raising a fifth. As the founder and owner of Dig This Chick, her work is to inspire connection, adventure, and experience. She uses her voice to advocate for environmental education and women’s rights. “Everything my family does for fun depends on access to public lands. It’s a big reason we made the choice to raise a family in Montana. Advocacy begins with a person caring. And it’s impossible to be in nature and not care about it.”
Jenn is a river seeker, hunter, hiker, gardener, Mama, and leads the permanent land protection program for a leading national nonprofit. While a love of our shared wild places guides her work, a passion for family adventures and river time guide her soul. Her philosophy of “Do one thing every day that scares you,” is just the kind of passion the Mountain Mamas value.
More than two decades ago the mountains of Montana called Sara home from the Midwest. A love of people, words, and nature have guided her work, while the call of family, rivers, and mountains have guided her soul. A recent trip to Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Land & Water Conservation Fund sealed her passion for raising her voice for the issues that matter most to her and her family – clean water to fish and raft, public lands for exploring and hunting, and a climate crisis that requires our best fight. Sharing the diversity of stories of Mountain Mamas is inspirational and aspirational. And leaves her thinking she needs to become an ultra runner and run for president…or just stay home and take a bath and read a book.