About Us

Montana Audubon works at the local, state and national policy levels to protect our natural heritage.


Norane Freistadt

Interim Director

Norane Freistadt joined the Montana Audubon team in 2010. She comes to us with a strong fundraising background, tremendous passion for our work, and diverse life experiences. She has lived in the Helena area for 3 decades. During that time, she ran Days of Yore, a retail antique shop, for 20 years. In the last decade, she has become increasingly involved in community groups that better fit her life-long passion for land conservation and “smart growth” issues. She is a founding member of Prickly Pear Land Trust, where she worked as Development Director before moving to the Montana Wilderness Association, where she also served in that position. She holds a degree in Anthropology from the Washington State University. Norane and her husband Rob have three adult children.

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David Cronenwett

Communications/Development Specialist

David Cronenwett joined our Team in December 2014, after several years of contract writing for Montana Audubon. He has lived in various urban, small town and rural locations around Montana over the past twenty years but has a special connection to the Rocky Mountain Front. It was here that David worked as naturalist-in-residence at The Nature Conservancy’s Pine Butte Guest Ranch for five seasons, teaching hundreds of visiting guests, local schoolkids and others about the astonishing natural history of the Front. He continues to work as an outdoor educator and wilderness guide with an emphasis on traditional “bushcraft” living and outdoor survival. David is also an accomplished writer whose naturalist-themed work has appeared in several publications including Montana Outdoors magazine. He is a longtime conservationist and lover of wild places.

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Janet Ellis

Senior Director of Policy

Janet Ellis has coordinated Montana Audubon’s public policy and legislative work on behalf of Montana’s wildlife and wildlife habitat since 1983.  She became Montana Audubon’s first staff person when its office opened in 1989.  Janet has received several awards for her work, including “Conservationist of the Year” from the Montana Environmental Information Center, Montana Wildlife Federation, and Montana Audubon; a 2016 “Lifetime Award for Conservation and Clean Energy Achievement” from the National Wildlife Federation; and a “Special Achievement Award” from the Montana Native Plant Society.  She holds a degree in biology from the University of Montana. In 2014, Janet began a new adventure by running for elected office: she now serves in the Montana Legislature as a Representative of HD 81 during legislative sessions. Janet and her husband have one adult child.

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Cathie Erickson

Accounting Specialist

Cathie Erickson joined Montana Audubon in 2010. Cathie uses her considerable experience to manage our finances on a day-to-day basis, maintaining accurate reports so that Montana Audubon remains financially strong and fiscally responsible. In addition, since 2014 Cathie has coordinated Montana Audubon’s annual Bird Festival, Wings Across the Big Sky. Cathie grew up on a ranch on the Smith River.

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Janet Johnston

Office Manager

Janet Johnston joined Montana Audubon in 2017. She brings her strong organizational skills as well as successful entrepreneurial and customer service experience. From home-school teacher to business owner, she has used her creativity to look for new perspectives and methods, while staying detail-oriented with broad vision goals.

Montana has her been home since 1993. Originally from rural Eastern Oregon, Janet has spent her life appreciating the rich landscapes and wildlife of the West. She, her husband, and three high school and college-aged daughters enjoy spending time together while hiking, fishing, hunting, and skiing. They especially like picking huckleberries.

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Trinity Pierce

Land Stewardship Coordinator, Montana Audubon Center

Trinity began working with Montana Audubon in April of 2014. She enjoys exploring our relationship with the land in partnership with the restoration community of Billings. Trinity studied History at Wheaton College (IL) and received a Master’s in Landscape Architecture at the University of Michigan. She has worked on green roofs in Germany, horticulture at the EPCOT Center in Disney World, and the development of a restoration management plan for the Wilds in Cumberland, Ohio. From Oak Park, outside Chicago, Trinity is an avid gardener and enjoys learning about the beautiful and diverse ecosystems of Montana.

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Amy Seaman

Conservation Program Manager

Amy Seaman came to Montana Audubon in 2013. She works on our Important Bird Area (IBA) Program and myriad other bird conservation projects. In 2015, Amy became our lead lobbyist at the 2015 Montana Legislative session in Helena. Amy earned her M.S in Biology in 2012 at the University of Nevada, Reno, studying the ecology of olfaction and foraging rodents in the Eastern Sierras. Her teaching experiences are varied, but include several semesters assisting field ornithology. Avian studies have been a focal point for Amy, taking her to Montana locations such as the Madison and Missouri Rivers, Charles M. Russell NWR, Bitterroot Valley, and Bridger Ridge. She also studied widely in Nevada. Amy has traveled widely throughout the west, and currently resides in Helena with her orange cat.

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Carolyn Sevier

Center Director

Carolyn has lived in Montana since 1998 and moved to Billings from Helena in 2007. As an environmental educator with the Rim Country Land Institute, Carolyn collaborated with and Center staff and supported the facility and its programs. Her professional background is in nature education, having worked in Montana and Idaho for a variety of organizations, including non-profit organizations and public agencies. Most recently, Carolyn has served as President of the Montana Environmental Education Association, a partner organization to Montana Audubon.

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Sarah Chatwood

Teacher Naturalist

Sarah  began teaching programs at the Montana Audubon Center in 2008.

During the completion of her BS in Education, Sarah discovered the world of informal education through an internship at ZooMontana.  She knew then that outdoor science education was where her heart was.  After a bit of time teaching formally in San Diego, CA Sarah returned to Montana and informal teaching.  Sarah has been “sneeking” learning into outdoor rambles, games, art projects and experiments for 15 years. Being outside and appreciating all that the world has to offer is a passion that Sarah passes on to her own children and the students that she teaches.

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Montana Audubon Board of Directors


  • Fred Weisbecker, President, Hamilton, MT
  • Rachel Van Wingen, Vice President, Ennis,  MT
  • Ron Farmer, Treasurer, Bozeman, MT
  • Cary Lund, Secretary, Helena, MT

At-Large Board Members

  • Lana Batts, Lakeside, MT
  • Bernie McHugh, Wilson, WY
  • Harriet Marble, Chester, MT
  • Bob Martinka, Helena, MT
  • Donald Seibert, Billings, MT
  • Judy Tureck, Coffee Creek, MT

Chapter Board Delegates

  • Joe Batts (alternate), Flathead Audubon
  • Jim Rogers, Mission Mountain Audubon
  • Nora Gray, Upper Missouri Breaks Audubon
  • Jack Kirkley, Pintler Audubon
  • Rose Leach, Five Valleys Audubon
  • Bob Lee, Flathead Audubon
  • Janice Miller, Last Chance Audubon
  • Becky Peters, Bitterroot Audubon
  • Jim Oates (alternate), Mission Mountain Audubon
  • Steve Turner (alternate), Last Chance Audubon
  • Mike Vivion, Sacajawea Audubon

Center Council Delegates

  • Don Roberts, Billings, MT
  • Bob Mackin (alternate) Billings, MT

Montana Audubon depends on your financial support


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  • Montana Audubon
    P.O. Box 595
    Helena, MT 59624

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  • Phone: (406) 443-3949
  • Fax: (406) 443-7144

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