About Janet

Janet is currently a member of the Montana State Legislature, representing Senate District (SD) 41. Her current term of office ends in December 2026. For information about Janet’s work at the Montana Legislature, visit the 2023 Legislature page HERE

Janet and her family visited a marsh in July 2022.

The Montana Legislature

Having an experienced legislator is important for many reasons. To begin, seasoned legislators build a knowledge base on critical issues that grows every day. In addition, they better understand how to be as effective at their legislative work as possible. And finally, building relationships with fellow legislators helps when you need to push your own legislation, attempt to stop a piece of legislation you do not support, and when you want to collaborate, coordinate, and communicate as you negotiate the legislative process.

Janet has served in the legislature since 2015. During all legislative sessions, she has served on one of the state budget committees, either Senate Finance & Claims or House Appropriations. This work has included serving as Minority Vice Chair of Senate Finance & Claims during the 2021 and 2023 Legislative sessions.During the 2023 Legislature, she also was a member of the State Administration Committee (which oversees pensions, elections, etc.) and the Energy and Telecommunications Committee.

During 2023-2024, Janet serves on 8 interim committees, including Legislative Finance (which oversees the state budget; I am Vice Chair), State Administration and Veterans Affairs, the Communication Advisory Commission (which oversees broadband internet installation with federal infrastructure money), and the Western Montana Conservation Commission (which oversees water-related issues west of the continental divide).

Personal History

As background, Janet has lived in Helena for over 30 years. She is married and has one son, who graduated from Helena High School in June 2013, and from college in May 2017. Her son started graduate school in the fall of 2021.

Janet retired in 2018 from her work at Montana Audubon, a science-based, citizen conservation organization dedicated to promoting “appreciation, knowledge and conservation of Montana’s native birds, other wildlife, and natural ecosystems to safeguard biological diversity for current and future generations.” As Audubon’s Senior Director of Policy, Janet coordinated Montana Audubon’s legislative and public policy work on behalf of Montana’s wildlife and wildlife habitat between 1983 and 2018.

Janet still helps count birds on the Helena Christmas Bird Count.

Her work at Audubon resulted in Janet receiving several awards, including “Conservationist of the Year” from the Montana Environmental Information Center, Montana Wildlife Federation, and Montana Audubon; a 2016 “Lifetime Award for Conservation and Clean Energy Achievement” from the National Wildlife Federation; and a 2013 “Special Achievement Award” from the Montana Native Plant Society.

Before joining Audubon, Janet worked as a ranger and naturalist for Yellowstone and Zion National Parks, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park. She has a degree in biology from the University of Montana.

Among other adventures, Janet has bicycled from Missoula to Denali, Alaska, and from Oregon to the tip of Baja, Mexico. In college, she also spent four months in Churchill, Manitoba, studying polar bears.