Ben Long - Co-Chairman - Kalispell, Montana


Ben Long grew up hunting, fishing and hiking in Idaho's Clearwater and St. Joe country. He spent his 16th birthday packing out a six-point bull elk he and his father shot deep in the backcountry. It was the best birthday of his life.

Following in the footsteps of his early hero, outdoor writer Ted Trueblood, Long pursued a degree in journalism from University of Idaho. After graduation, he spent a decade as a newspaper reporter, covering government, politics, outdoors and natural resource issues for newspapers in Idaho and Montana. He has also worked as a biological technician for the US Forest Service.

His love for Nature led him to Kalispell, Mont., near Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness, where he has lived since 1992. In 1998, he left newspaper work, making a living as a freelance writer and book author. He is the author of two books on wildlife themes, Backtracking: By Foot, Canoe and Subaru on the Lewis & Clark Trail and Great Montana Bear Stories (Riverbend Publishing), and produced the short film, "Skookum Huck."

Today, Long is the northern Rockies program director for Resource Media, a non-profit organization that helps conservation and public health advocates with strategic communication. In 2000, he helped campaign for a statewide voter initiative in Montana that banned captive shooting of game farm animals and stopped the expansion of commercial game farms.

With his wife, photographer Karen Nichols, he enjoys camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, canoeing and backpacking. He is a member of many conservation groups and the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He has one son, Aidan, born in April, 2004, and enjoys introducing him to the outdoors. He hopes to find Aidan a six-point bull elk for his 16th birthday.

About Caitlin Thompson