The Mountain-Prairie Region consists of 8 states in the heart of the American west including Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. The region is defined by three distinct landscapes. In the east lie the central and northern Great Plains, primarily the vast mixed- and short-grass prairies. To the west rise the Rocky Mountains and the intermountain areas beyond the Continental Divide, including parts of the sprawling Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin. The northeastern part of the Region contains millions of shallow wetlands known as the “prairie potholes,” which produce a large portion of the continent’s waterfowl.
Some of the nation’s greatest rivers rise in the Region including the Missouri, Colorado, and Platte rivers. The fish and wildlife that make their home on the Region’s prairies and in its mountains are among the nation’s most iconic species: grizzly bear, gray wolf, the American bison, and cutthroat trout.
People, too, live here and are an active presence on the land. The Region includes 40 Indian Tribes, many of whom manage large land holdings, as do other federal agencies such as the Department of Defense. Energy development, agricultural trends and urbanization all exert influences on the Region’s landscapes.
Noreen Walsh - Regional Director
In her capacity as Regional Director, Noreen Walsh oversees Service activities for all 8 states in the Mountain-Prairie Region – one of the largest geographic jurisdictions in the Service. She leads more than one thousand employees across the region, from the regional office in Lakewood, CO to the Bozeman Fish Technology Center in Montana to the Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas.
Walsh also oversees the protection and conservation of some of the last intact habitat for native species in the Region, such as grizzly bears, wolves, sage grouse, black-footed ferrets and millions of migratory birds who journey through and breed in the Region’s Prairie Pothole landscape every year.
As Deputy Regional Director, Walsh served as the chief operating officer for the Mountain-Prairie Region, working to conserve fish, wildlife, and habitat for the continuing benefit of the American people. She coordinated activities of the region’s senior leadership team to pursue priority resource conservation goals in conjunction with state, federal and non-governmental partners. Her responsibilities ranged from overseeing the streamlining of business processes, to furthering a culture of strategic habitat conservation, to planning for the future workforce needs of the agency. She leads the Service’s role in a west-wide conservation initiative focused on greater sage-grouse and its sagebrush habitat, and has supported the “working landscape” conservation model under the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.
Before becoming Deputy Regional Director, Walsh served in three other regions of the Service, as well as in the Headquarters office. Immediately prior to her time as Deputy Regional Director, she served as the Assistant Regional Director for Ecological Services in the agency’s Southeast Region headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. In that position, she led over 300 employees in 14 offices and managed an annual budget of over $44 million. She played a key role in many southeastern Endangered Species Act conservation efforts, as well as conservation on private lands through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife program.
Prior to that, Walsh served as a biologist at the Service’s Headquarters in Washington D.C. She also worked in the Oklahoma Ecological Services Field Office during the late 1990s. She spent the first five years of her Service career as a research biologist working out of Fairbanks, Alaska, investigating biological issues on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Walsh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University.
Matt Hogan - Deputy Regional Director
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York, Matt Hogan started his career as a legislative director and legislative assistant for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Hogan has served as Executive Director of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, where he worked with state fish and wildlife conservation agencies to promote a unified vision for sound management and conservation of fish and wildlife
Mr. Hogan has also served in executive leadership roles in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the Department of the Interior. He has extensive conservation experience in the NGO community developing networks and alliances to achieve conservation goals.