ABWF Staff

Patrick Cross, Executive Director

One of Patrick’s earliest memories is from the Beartooths, when his mom scooped him up and ran from what may have been a bear (but was more likely just a big brown stump). Those family hikes, and later Boy Scout camp outs and adventures with Billings high school buddies, helped instill his interest in nature and conservation, along with the goal of finding a “dream job” in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. After more than a decade at an ecology research nonprofit, during which time he studied foxes on the Beartooth Plateau for his master’s thesis, he joined the ABWF in 2020. Now in this latest “dream job”, he is excited to not just be working in the A-B Wilderness, but to be working for the A-B as well.

Lauren Swett, Program Manager

Lauren is joining us in Gardiner, MT, the tiny high desert that grabbed her heart during one of two seasons as a research assistant in Yellowstone. Her introduction to the Beartooth backcountry took place with the Wilderness Institute and later evolved into LAC monitoring as an intern on the Gardiner Ranger District in 2017. A few seasons as an educator in field ecology here, a few seasons as a habitat restoration specialist in her home grounds in Oregon there, and a wonderful summer leading volunteer crews in the Bob eventually led her to us. Lauren believes in community as knowing and caring for place. She looks forward to continuing to learn and grow in this landscape with ABWFs volunteers.

Jarret Kostrba, Operations Manager

After over a decade as Park Manager for Pictograph Cave State Park and Fishing Access Sites along the Stillwater River Jarret’s thrilled the road has brought him closer to home in Red Lodge, MT. “The opportunity to work for the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness Foundation is an absolute honor. Dedicating my time supporting the stewardship of these vast mountains is something I had only dreamed of.” Born in Butte and raised in the Gallatin Valley, he attended college at UM-Western and majored in Environmental Interpretation with minors in both Biology and Geology. Jarret spends free time with his family backpacking and fishing the AB Wilderness, trying to knock off a new location every summer while returning to old haunts where memories stay clear as the water.