Milward Simpson joined The Nature Conservancy as State Director for the Wyoming Chapter in 2016. As a fifth generation Wyomingite from an old political family with strong ties to the land, Simpson delights in having the opportunity to continue that legacy of service by working to conserve this special place that has meant so much to him.
Milward has worked to further TNC Wyoming’s focus on strategic land protection and innovative restoration of important habitat for iconic species that have roamed the mountains and wide-open sagebrush steppe and prairie grasslands for centuries including elk, mule deer, pronghorn, golden eagles and sage grouse. The chapter also works to conserve and restore key watersheds in its drought-prone state and to influence state policy to leverage Wyoming citizens’ enduring interest in maintaining a healthy balance between natural resource development and conservation.
Prior to TNC, Simpson spent 13 years with Wyoming’s Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, the last ten as its Director. While with the department he led several important initiatives in land management, recreation, historic preservation, tourism, humanities and the arts. He oversaw the improvement and expansion of parks and trails infrastructure and identified and protected important historic sites for the public.
Simpson has served on the board of the America’s State Parks Foundation and is one of the founders of the Children and Nature Partnership of the National Park Service, National Association of State Park Directors and National Recreation and Park Association. He Chaired both Governor Matt Mead's Energy and Natural Resources Policy Team and his Jobs and Workforce Policy Team and he served as State Chair of the Wyoming Recreation Action Team (REACT), a consortium of state and federal land management agencies working to advance outdoor recreation and tourism in Wyoming and the region. He currently serves on the board of the Wyoming Humanities Council.
Simpson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Humanities from the University of Colorado at Denver. He and Amy, his wife of 28 years, enjoy reading, biking, gardening, travel, music, theater and spending time with their three children and two grandchildren.