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Emily Wakild

Dr. Emily Wakild is Professor of History and Director of the Environmental Studies Program in the School of Public Service. She earned her B.A. from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon in 1999 and her Ph.D. in History from the University of Arizona in 2007. Her research interests include social and environmental change across time and space with a particular emphasis on conservation and national parks. Much of her research relates to national parks in Latin America and she has also written extensively about teaching.

She is the author or co-author of Revolutionary Parks: Conservation, Social Justice, and Mexico’s National Parks, (University of Arizona Press, 2011) with Michelle K. Berry, Primer for Teaching Environmental History (Duke 2018) and The Nature State: Rethinking the History of Conservation (Routledge 2017). In August of 2022 she will become the Cecil D. Andrus Endowed Chair for the Environment and Public Lands and she is eager to continue working with the Andrus Center in this new capacity.

Patricia G. Young

Patricia Young served as the Boise County Magistrate from 1981 to 2004. Through her innovative improvements received the Kramer Award for Excellence in judicial administration from the Idaho Supreme Court and the Award of Legal Merit from the Idaho College of Law.

In 2005 Patricia due to her love of the Stanley Basin was elected to the Sawtooth Society Board.

Sawtooth Vision 20/20 Shared Strategies for the Future of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area was the most inspiring aspect of her commitment on the board . The Sawtooth Society and the Forest Service worked together to identify the collective consensus regarding goals for the management and protection of the Sawtooths starting in 2006 to 2016. The initial 2006 report and the final report in 2016 are available on the Sawtooth Society web page.

Ken Paur

Ken Paur retired as the Regional Attorney for the Mountain Region of the USDA Office of the General Counsel at the end of 2020. Ken began working for OGC in 1991 as an attorney in the Ogden office where Ken’s legal practice included advising the Forest Service regarding administration of the SNRA. Ken began his career as a forester in 1979 working for the States of Utah, Colorado, and Virginia, as a land surveyor in the private sector, and as a Land Law Examiner and Natural Resources Specialist with the USDI Bureau of Land Management after earning degrees in forestry and land surveying from Paul Smith’s College (1979) and Utah State University (1983). He graduated from George Mason University School of Law in 1989, where he was awarded an Environmental Law Fellowship to study water law and served as a law student intern with the U.S. Department of the Interior. He was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1989. He now lives in northern Utah where he works as a consultant part time.

Mojtaba (Moji) Sadegh

Mojtaba (Moji) Sadegh is an assistant professor of Civil Engineering at Boise State University. Moji received his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Irvine in 2015, and his BS and MS degrees in the same field in 2007 and 2010. He is enthusiastic about learning how Earth functions and how climatic changes shape the future of Earth and its inhabitants. Moji is passionate about increasing the resilience of natural, built and societal infrastructure to escalating climate/weather extremes. His research interests encompass a broad range of hydroclimate extremes, including multi-hazard events, droughts, heatwaves, and wildfires. He uses geospatial analysis, machine learning, statistical methods and data fusion/integration techniques, as well as satellite and airborne imagery and products, climate reanalysis data, gridded and in situ observations, and socioeconomic data to unravel mechanisms that drive climate extremes and their societal impacts.

Kathryn Grohusky

Kathryn Davis Grohusky is serving in her third year as the executive director of the Sawtooth Society. Grohusky brings diverse skills to the role including leadership development, public-private conservation partnerships, natural resources management, not-for-profit business management and development, environmental education, and coaching. Previously, she served as Faculty for the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs Aspiring Leaders Program (vALP) offering coaching through the business she founded, CoachGro LLC. Prior to coaching, she served as the Manager of the Summit County Community & Senior Center in Frisco, CO. and as the Assistant Director of Keystone Science School in Keystone, CO. Her leadership skills also include fifteen years of guiding for The National Outdoor Leadership School and other guiding companies. Grohusky earned her MS in Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism from Colorado State University and her BS from The Colorado College.

Justin Hayes

Justin was appointed executive director of the Idaho Conservation League in May 2019 after serving more than 18 years as ICL’s program director. Before ICL, Justin worked tirelessly as an environmental advocate in Idaho and Washington, D.C. for organizations such as Idaho Rivers United, Save our Wild Salmon, and American Rivers.

Justin’s unique blend of science-based technical skills, public policy and lobbying experience, and expertise gained from his dual undergraduate degrees in human biology and earth systems and master’s degree from Stanford University’s School of Earth Sciences, ensures that ICL’s work is grounded in sound science and best practices. Justin also relies on experience gained during his years working as an environmental advocate in Washington, D.C., time spent lobbying in the Idaho Statehouse, and his interest in connecting people to policymakers and elected officials.

A native Idahoan, Justin rejoices in the knowledge that his work is protecting the things that make Idaho a great place to live – our spectacular landscapes, wildlife, clean air, and clean water.

Justin lives in Boise and enjoys spending his free time hunting and fishing in Idaho’s backcountry, mountain biking, skiing, and running Idaho’s amazing rivers.

Jeff Clegg

Born and raised in Soda Springs, Idaho. Honeymooned at Redfish Lake Lodge 33 years ago. Father of six children. Grandfather of three grandchildren. Graduated from Brigham Young University. Degree in Advertising/Marketing. Retail District Manager for Franklin Covey for nine years. Entering 24th year as General Manager of Redfish Lake Lodge.

Craig Gehrke

Craig Gehrke was the Idaho State Director for The Wilderness Society for over 3 1/2 decades. Craig helped lead the effort to secure congressional wilderness designation for the Owyhee Canyonlands and the Boulder-White Clouds. As part of the wilderness effort for the Owyhee Canyonlands Craig was a key member of the successful Owyhee Initiative collaborative of ranchers, elected officials, recreationists, outfitters and landowners.

Craig worked with the Nez Perce Tribe, sportsmen groups and others for nearly a decade to protect bighorn sheep habitat in Hells Canyon and the Salmon River Canyon.

Over the course of his career Craig also helped shape much of environmental work in Idaho on national forest roadless area protection, national forest and BLM land use planning, and other issues pertaining to public lands.
Craig is an Idaho native and he and his wife still own the ranch where he was raised, which has been in his family for over 100 years.

Angenie McCleary

Angenie McCleary has served as Blaine County Commissioner since 2008. Her background in health and human services with a strong emphasis on work with youth and youth issues. She has a Masters in Social Work with a focus on policy. Prior to being a commissioner she founded YAK! (Youth Adult Konnections), a healthy youth development program of St. Luke’s Wood River Valley and was the Wood River Middle School Social Worker. Angenie’s experience helps her understand the challenges facing Blaine County families and her community organizing experience led to her desire to serve in public office. Of particular interest to Angenie are the issues of mental health and substance abuse services, environmental protection, fire restoration and mitigation, public transportation and mobility, affordable housing, and integration of Blaine County’s growing Latino population.

Paul Ries

(Rees) retired from the US Forest Service as an Associate Deputy Chief after 40+ years of public service. He worked a variety of jobs in the field before moving into leadership positions- first at the local, then at the regional and national levels of the agency.

Paul was the Area Ranger for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area from 1993 to 1999. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Harriman Trail and the arrangement with Blaine County to manage Galena Lodge. He was worked closely with Bethine Church to establish the
Sawtooth Society which was envisioned to help protect and preserve the Recreation Area.

Upon retiring, Paul and his wife Linda left Washington DC and their home in Alexandria, VA to move back to Hailey, Idaho where they are both active in their community.

In retirement, Paul has served as Co-Chair of the Sustainable Urban Forest Coalition, a Washington, D.C. based coalition of 35 national organizations that all come together around community forests. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the Boise State Public
Radio Citizen’s Advisory Board where he represented the Wood River Valley. He manages the student scholarship program for his local church, is on the Executive Committee and manages membership for the Intermountain Forest Service Retirees, and serves as Treasurer for the Wood River Chapter of the Idaho Native Plant Society. Paul was active in leadership development during the latter part of his career, and in retirement, has continued mentoring and coaching a number of Senior Executives and Natural Resource Professionals across a variety
of agencies and departments.

He also remains active in his profession. He is a 45+ year member of the Society of American Foresters and is a member of the Idaho’s Project Learning Tree Steering Committee. Paul also does volunteer work taking teams of retired US and Canadian natural resource professionals to Mongolia where they help the people and government of Mongolia with their forestry issues and their natural resource programs. In fact, he just returned from Mongolia a few weeks ago!

Jim Lyons

Jim Lyons was a Lecturer and Research Scholar at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (now the Yale School of the Environment) from 2000 – 2003 and continued to lecture in natural resource policy until 2020.  Last summer, Jim also taught at the University of Montana and served as an advisor to the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West. Previously he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.

Jim was Senior Staff on the House Committee on Agriculture from 1986 – 1992 where he helped develop the conservation and forestry titles of the 1990 Farm Bill and led congressional efforts to resolve the emerging conflict over old-growth forest management in the Pacific NW and the fate of Pacific salmon and the northern spotted owl.

Under President Clinton, Jim served as USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment (1992-2000) where he oversaw the Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.  He was an architect of President Clinton’s Northwest forest plan and helped lead the effort to protect 58 million acres of National Forest roadless areas.  Jim also helped initiate and lead the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project directing the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service to develop a scientifically sound and ecosystem-based strategy for management of “eastside forests” in the northern Rockies.

Under President Obama, Jim was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Lands and Minerals Management in the Interior Department (DOI) from 2013-2016 where he advanced a number of public land management initiatives.   At DOI, Jim helped lead the effort to protect the Greater sage grouse across 11 western states, developed policies to mitigate the impacts of public land use on natural resources and the environment, established an interagency strategy for addressing the threat of rangeland fires, and advanced efforts to promote clean energy production on public lands.

Jim has been recognized as a distinguished alum by Rutgers University (1995) and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (2019) for his contributions to the fields of conservation and natural resource management.

Steve Smith

My wife “Michelle” and I have three kids, oldest is in the Doctorate program at Palmer Chiropractic College, my second will be attending LaGrange Bible College for a second year, and my third will be a senior at Mackay High School.  We are ranchers in the Big Lost River Valley in a cow/calf operation.  Live at 6200′ elevation where we can get snow any month of the year and things struggle to grow.  Attended College in Portland Oregon at Multnomah Bible University where I earned my Assoc. in Bible education and my Bachelor of Science with geology studies at Portland State University, Astronomy and Aviation Science at Mt. Hood Community College obtaining Single Engine Commercial Instrument Pilot’s license. Received my Multi-Engine Commercial Instrument rating in Arlington, Texas.

I earned my Ham Radio Operator’s license  “Tech”, “General” and “Extra” “Advanced” classes and helped my daughter and nephew’s study and obtain their “Tech” Ham licenses.

Serve on “CITC” Central Idaho Transportation Committee, “RDA” Regional Development Alliance Board”, LRED “Lost River Economic Development Board”, Forest Service RAC “Resource Advisory Committee” appointed term by Secretary Perdue, Chairman of FFA Advisory Council, Idaho Association of Counties “Public Lands Committee”, Idaho Association of Counties “Intergovernmental Affairs Committee” NACO “National Association of Counties Organization” Public Lands Committee, Republican National Committee “Presidential Advisory Board” 359570670 2020.   Enjoy Hobbies of woodworking, music – fiddle (Idaho State Champion 2000) piano, drums and harmonica. Who’s Who in Music 1987 Award. I bought a 1966 airplane in boxes in Franklin North Carolina, hauled it out on a 40′ semi flatbed for a 9 year restoration project.  These models flew in the Vietnam War.

Kirk Flannigan

Kirk Flannigan is the Area Ranger for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, where he oversees the management of this area since the summer of 2015. In October 2021 Kirk was named Ranger of the Year for the U.S. Forest Service’s Intermountain Region, which covers the National Forest System in Utah, Nevada, southern Idaho and western Wyoming. Prior to coming to the Sawtooth NRA Kirk was at the Deschutes National Forest in Bend, Oregon, where he served as deputy district ranger for the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District. He previously served as the acting district ranger for the Santa Catalina Ranger District in Tucson, Arizona, and as a recreation and lands staffer for both the Sisters Ranger District in Sisters, Oregon, and the Pine Valley Ranger District in St. George, Utah. Kirk holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Utah in natural resource recreation management and planning. Originally from Georgia, he has resided in the West since 1994

Dan Issak

Dan is a Fisheries Scientist with the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. His research focuses on understanding the effects of climate change and natural disturbance on stream habitats and fish populations, monitoring and modeling of stream temperature and fish populations, development and application of spatial statistical models for stream networks, and use of digital and social media to connect people, information, and landscapes.

Some of Dan’s recent research includes Understanding effects of climate change on stream habitats and fish communities, Development and implementation of basinscale and regional monitoring programs for bull trout and other aquatic organisms. Development and implementation of basinscale and regional stream temperature models and monitoring protocols . Effects of fire and disturbance on streams. Development of bioclimatic models to predict distributions of trout species to climate scenarios at regional and basinscales.

Cliff Hansen

Cliff Hansen was raised in Custer County.  He attended grade school in Stanley, ID and high school in Challis, ID.  Cliff began his entrepreneurial pursuits in construction soon after graduating from high school in 1960.  In 1979 Cliff purchased a ranch in Challis, ID which he still owns today. Cliff also managed the family ranch in Stanley, ID and did construction work on the side.

Cliff has always taken his civic duty to his community very seriously. Cliff was a member and the president of the Sawtooth Valley Association for many years during the late 60’s.  This organization fought against turning the Sawtooth Valley near Stanley, ID into a park and helped establish the multiple use concept of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Cliff also served as a board member for School District 171 for 6 years and a Custer County Commissioner for 20 years. He has long been respected for his integrity in these positions.

At 80 years old Cliff continues to ranch in the Stanley Basin.

Dr. Katherine Himes

Dr. Katherine Himes directs the University of Idaho James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research. She practices muddy boots science policy and collaborative governance. Katherine’s expertise spans a variety of topics, including natural resources and science diplomacy at local, state, federal and international levels. Before coming to Idaho, Katherine led a variety of science policy topics in Washington state; served as a science policy adviser at the U.S. Agency for International Development (in Washington, D.C. and the Foreign Service); and worked in higher education administration at the University of Minnesota. Katherine holds a Ph.D. and B.S. in neuroscience from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA in entrepreneurship from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Deb Bitton

Deb Bitton was raised on a potato farm in Central Oregon. She went to Oregon State University to receive her Bachelor degree in Education and meet her future husband. Her first teaching job was in Horseshoe Bend Idaho where she taught for four years before marrying an inspiring young Outfitter, Jeff Bitton, living in Stanley Idaho. They immediately purchased the Outfitting business, Mystic Saddle Ranch, from Jeff’s parents and dove into the tourism business in the Sawtooth Valley, the heart of the SNRA.

Mystic Saddle Ranch provided summer horseback pack trips into the Sawtooth Wilderness and the Frank Church Wilderness, hunting trips in the fall, and provided trail rides at Redfish Lake and Galena. Over two hundred thousand guests were introduced to the memory making adventures of the SNRA during the Bitton’s ownership of Mystic Saddle Ranch. After 37 years, the Bittons handed over the reins of the business to Mystic Saddle Ranch guides, Mat and Bekah Cain, in 2016.

Some of Deb’s many responsibilities included guest reservations, meeting and greeting guests, food preparations, training guides and advertising the businesses. One of the best joys of her job was sharing this special place with people from all over the world.

In addition to managing the Outfitting business, Deb also became a Real Estate agent, handling property sales in the SNRA. She has a great understanding of the Scenic Easement process in the SNRA.

Deb and Jeff own property at Fisher Creek where they have enjoyed countless mornings watching the sunlight dance it’s way down the Sawtooth Mountains. They feel blessed to have been able to live and work in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.