This November the Public Land Water Access Association welcomed new Executive Director Drewry Hanes to its leadership team. While not new to PLWA, Drew is excited to take on a new role at the organization. Prior to this winter, Drew served on the Board of Directors for PLWA and handled the organization’s social media accounts. A long-time supporter, she is passionate about public access and outdoor recreation. “I grew up on a cattle farm, and some of my first memories are of my brother and me throwing bareback saddles onto our horses and taking off through the fields to camp and fish. Hunting, fishing, skiing, foraging – these are the things I grew up doing and the reason I live in Montana.”

Like many in Montana and across the country, Drew’s career as a researcher and Family Nurse Practitioner took her away from the farm. “I love our farm. Maybe I don’t love waking up at the crack of dawn to put in fence or shovel out cattle scales, but I love that life.” However, being an hour from a grocery store and even further from a university or clinic where she could teach and work meant a move. “My brother lives down the road from me here in Bozeman. We both love the outdoors, but now we can’t rely on the fields and mountains we grew up among to meet that need. So, public lands and waters are how we hunt, fish, ski, hike, bike – you name it. I  am part of the generation that relies on public access to carry on the traditions we grew up with, and that also brings with it an obligation to protect access to public lands and waters for generations to come.”

Drew’s goals as Executive Director are to carry the storied history of PLWA forward into a new era. “PLWA is a landmark organization – The Stream Access Law, The Bridge Access Law, the amazing alliances and partnerships it has formed over the years, the support and loyalty it has garnered among Montana recreationalists – it is an honor to be part of it. I want to increase our outreach, strengthen those partnerships and alliances with organizations that share our goals – really put our name out there and bring people into the organization that are excited about what we are doing and where we want to go. If you love Montana and public lands, we are an organization you should be part of!”

Drew can be reached at General PLWA inquiries can be sent to

Public Land/Water Access Association Inc. or PLWA,
is a citizen group organized and operated under the Montana nonprofit corporation act.
The Internal Revenue Service has made a determination that PLWA qualifies as a tax- exempt
organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and that it is a public charity.

Articles and Information on this site represent the opinion of the writer and are not intended as legal advice.
Legal counsel may be needed in dealing with specific access situations and issues.

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