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As Political Director, Staush expands the power and influence of conservation voters throughout the state by leading Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters’ endorsement process and electoral strategy. Staush also leads our work to hold legislators accountable for their votes on conservation and brings the political lens to our daily efforts. Staush manages the Green Bay field office and works with our political partners to build winning coalitions for conservation candidates. Because we know you are wondering – “Staush” rhymes with “Josh.”
I’m a conservation voter because Wisconsin has the most beautiful natural resources in the country and is also home to the best hunting and fishing. I want to make sure that future generations will have the same outdoor experiences that I was lucky enough to enjoy as a child, and now as an adult.
As a kid growing up in Marinette, when I wasn’t on a construction site helping my father remodel homes, you were most likely to find me hunting and fishing. As I grew up, I came to understand the connection between those two worlds. The same trees that were swaying in the breeze as I made my way to the bank of a backwater flowage, a rod and tackle box in hand, would soon be harvested, replanted, and potentially used on my father’s construction site. Later, we would use the scrap from that same material to build forts and deer stands. It’s just one example of how we lived our conservation ethic – conserving resources, so they could be used and enjoyed by us and future generations.
My conservation ethic was further developed on my grandparent’s family farm. There, I spent time riding the logging trailer as my dad scouted trees for firewood, tapping maple trees, and bagging my first whitetail buck. These early experiences continue to drive my spirit – calling me to get my hands dirty and enjoy our natural spaces.
It’s that spirit that took me to University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and across Europe, where I studied Political Science and Public Administration. While studying classical and contemporary political theory across different borders, I learned the way politics affects nearly everything we experience or do as a society.
At Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, I’ve paired my passion for the outdoors with my competitive nature and applied it to politics – making sure that legislators represent the concerns of Wisconsinites who value places to hike, hunt, fish, and spend time with their families. Every day that I work to foster our collective conservation ethic, I draw upon the obligation I feel each time I harvest a whitetail or a walleye – an obligation to give back to the resource.
- University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh: Bachelor of Science, Political Science and Public Administration. Studied abroad in Germany and the United Kingdom
- Wisconsin Conservation Congress Executive Committee Member, Brown County Chair, and delegate
- Green Bay Trout Unlimited Board Member: Legislative Chair
- 2012 Izaak Walton League Award Recipient: “Community action around a legislative issue”
- Field Lead for 2012 primary campaigns where five pro-conservation representatives were elected – managed 22 paid staff and a volunteer program, knocked 20,000 doors, raised over $300,000, and managed a paid mail program
- 2013 UW Oshkosh Political Science Banquet for Academic Excellence: Keynote Speaker
- 2014 Election to Brown County Board of Supervisors
- 2015 University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Political Science Alumni Association – President
- Whitetail hunting in the fall, ice fishing in the winter, fishing openers in the spring, and camping and hiking in the summer
Favorite Place in Wisconsin
- Anywhere outdoors in Wisconsin that is as far away from concrete as possible