Ryan Richards

Senior Policy Analyst, Public Lands


Ryan Richards

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Ryan Richards is a senior policy analyst for Public Lands at American Progress, focusing on natural resource economics and markets. His work covers a variety of environmental policy topics, including water policy, ecosystem restoration, and private lands conservation. 

Prior to joining American Progress, Richards worked on wildlife conservation projects domestically and internationally. Most recently, he conducted his doctoral research on incentive programs to encourage reforestation on farms in the watershed supplying drinking water for the city of São Paulo. He was a Fulbright visiting researcher at the University of São Paulo’s Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture and the Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas in Brazil.

He spent six years with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute as a graduate research fellow and a program associate for the Global Tiger Initiative. He has also worked on habitat restoration projects with farmers in Namibia and California’s Central Valley.

He holds a Ph.D. from George Mason University, where he focused on environmental economics and policy. He also received an M.S. in conservation biology and an M.P.P. in environmental policy from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in wildlife biology from the University of California, Davis.

Latest by Ryan Richards

Fraud in the Tongass Report

Fraud in the Tongass

The Trump administration is subsidizing the clear-cut and export of America’s largest national forest, despite evidence of logging’s high cost and meager economic return.

Ryan Richards

Understanding Our Future Report
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 09: Dishes are seen outside the National Hurricane Center as Hurricane Irma closes in on Saturday September 09, 2017 in Miami, FL. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Understanding Our Future

Having led global scientific research on climate and energy systems for decades, the United States can and should build on its expansive data collection and analysis programs to advance understanding of the changing Earth.

Luke Bassett, Kristina Costa, Ryan Richards, 1 More Dinu Krishnamoorthi

Defining Success for the Wildfire Funding Fix Report

Defining Success for the Wildfire Funding Fix

Congress has passed a solution to keep wildfires from dominating U.S. Forest Service and Interior Department budgets. Now it should give these agencies the tools to deliver the greatest benefits to public safety and forest health.

Ryan Richards

Restoring Balance Report

Restoring Balance

This report provides a path forward for federal, state, and city governments to safeguard the ecological and economic health of the American West by protecting and restoring its waterways.

Ryan Richards

Fertile Ground Report

Fertile Ground

The farm bill is America's largest funding source for private lands conservation; its programs can be better leveraged to attract billions of dollars in private investment, increasing the economic and environmental benefits of conservation on working lands.

Ryan Richards, Mary Ellen Kustin, William Murray, 1 More Caroline Kitchens

Restoring Our Investment in America’s Forests Report

Restoring Our Investment in America’s Forests

Congress can use the farm bill to sustain the nation’s forests and create thousands of jobs by encouraging smart investments in the full range of natural resources and services that forests provide.

Ryan Richards

Green Is Good Report
In this April 20, 2013 photo, male greater sage grouse perform mating rituals for a female grouse, not pictured, on a lake outside Walden, Colo. The Bureau of Land Management released a nearly 1,000-page document late Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, proposing restrictions on energy development, roads and grazing. The proposed restrictions aim to protect the rare Gunnison sage grouse, a bird found only in Colorado and Utah. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Green Is Good

Recent policy developments have spurred investment in conservation, but an executive order signed by President Trump now undermines efforts to unlock economic growth and a better future for America’s land, water, and wildlife.

Ryan Richards