BOZEMAN, Mont. – Governor-elect Greg Gianforte today announced his appointment of Amanda Kaster to lead the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
“I campaigned on the promise of responsibly developing our natural resources while simultaneously protecting our environment, and with Amanda’s leadership, we will get this done. I look forward to working with Amanda to eliminate needless permitting delays, protect our environment, and create more good-paying Montana jobs,” Governor-elect Gianforte said.
Amanda brings a decade of experience working on energy and natural resources issues, most recently serving as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In this role, she directed the policy-related activities of the Bureau of Land Management, including timber management, non-energy solid leasable mineral development, oil and gas production and reporting, and administration of the grazing program.
She previously served as acting chief of staff and senior advisor at the Bureau of Land Management, where she supervised the day-to-day operations of the agency and led efforts to increase recreational access to public lands, meaningfully reduce wildfire risk, and relocate the agency’s headquarters to the West.
“It is humbling to be selected by Governor-Elect Gianforte to join his administration, and I thank him and Lt. Governor-Elect Juras for the opportunity to serve the people of Montana,” incoming director of natural resources and conservation Amanda Kaster said. “I can’t wait to get to work ensuring the Treasure State achieves its full potential by responsibly managing and developing its land and water resources and continuing efforts to make the Department responsive for all Montanans.”
Kaster began her service at DOI as an advisor in the Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs. Before joining the administration, she worked for the people of Montana by serving then-Congressman Ryan Zinke as his legislative assistant focused on natural resources, energy, water, and tribal issues.
Amanda Kaster has received numerous statements of support for her appointment:
BLAKE HENNING, chief conservation officer at Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
“The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation congratulates Amanda Kaster on her selection to be the next director of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. RMEF has had the pleasure of working with Amanda in the past on several natural resource issues and we look forward to working with her again on priority issues such as forest management and conservation.”
ALAN OLSON, executive director of the Montana Petroleum Association
“We are delighted to see the appointment of Amanda Kaster as Montana’s new Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Ms. Kaster’s experience with the U.S. Department of Interior in natural resource matters will be a great benefit in managing Montana’s School Trust lands and other resource related issues.”
JIM STEINBEISSER, president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association
“With a strong natural resource background, Amanda Kaster is the clear choice to lead the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. Ms. Kaster’s past work experience in land management has shown she will be an effective leader for the department.”
Born and raised in an Air Force family, Kaster graduated summa cum laude from Wilkes University.