Land is a 5th generation Montanan who garnered his conservation ethic from a young age in duck blinds on warm water sloughs in the Bitterroot Valley, at the end of a flyrod during the salmon fly hatch on the Big Hole River, and chasing the wily wapiti in Cinnabar Basin. Land received a BS in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana in 2000 and a PHD in post hole digging fencing in the family Quarter horses and mules. Fresh out of college, he worked for a newly formed sportsmen organization called the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) as their National Grassroots Coordinator. Much of his work at TRCP was aimed at protecting quality places to hunt and fish via roadless areas and promoting volunteer incentives for landowners to provide public access to private lands. After four years working for TRCP, Land joined the staff of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) as Regional Representative in Missoula, Montana.
John Gale is a 5th generation Idahoan who grew up hunting and fishing the backcountry with his family. Engaged in politics at a young age, John finished high school early to take his first job with the Idaho State Senate. Later on, while feeding an outdoors addiction as a whitewater river guide and ranger, John received his degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Idaho. After a two year stint in Morocco with the Peace Corps managing biodiversity and water projects, John found a niche for his ecumenical angling habits in Washington, D.C. directing a variety of grassroots conservation programs for Trout Unlimited. Eventually he succumbed to the calls of western topography and returned to the high country directing sportsmen campaigns and public lands policy for 9 years with the National Wildlife Federation. As BHA’s Conservation Director, John is committed to defending our wild public lands, waters, and wildlife for future generations. In his personal time, John enjoys the outdoors with his wife and daughter and prefers the solitude of lonely backcountry mountains where the elk bugle and cold streams run with wild trout.
Caitlin was born and raised in Missoula, MT, where she grew up fishing and camping with her family. She attended the University of Oregon for college in Eugene, OR where she majored in Business and Communications. Following graduation Caitlin moved back to Montana, where she balanced her time between rafting and skiing tight tree lines in fresh powder. Her love for the open spaces, snow-capped mountains, and bountiful rivers of Montana brought her to BHA, where she can now advocate for the conservation of these special landscapes. Caitlin is pleased to work for an organization that strives to preserve the kind of outdoor experience that was so influential in her young life, and continues to be a source of refuge and adventure, today.
Born and raised in Southern California, Grant knew at an early age that he would someday live in Montana. Fascinated by animals his whole life, he learned the finer points of hunting from his Grandpa when he was old enough to carry a gun. After graduating from Humboldt State with a degree in Wildlife Management, Grant spent most of the next decade as a biological science technician, doing everything from studying spotted owls in the northwest to eradicating feral pigs from California’s islands, to spending 5 seasons in Montana’s backcountry collecting grizzly bear hair. Grant now enjoys elk and antelope hunting and guiding his wonderful wife down Montana’s rivers while she casts to rising cutthroats. Grant is thrilled to be a part of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and feels privileged to be able to help protect the wild places that means so much to him.
Descendant of coal miners, fur trappers, ice fishermen and schoolteachers from Pennsylvania, Katie McKalip grew up with a front row seat to the politicking of Washington, D.C., thanks to her military upbringing. After college in Virginia, she landed in western Montana, where she spends a lot of time outdoors and engages in policy making from a distance.
Katie joined the BHA team following a seven-year stint with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, where she led the TRCP’s media outreach and other communications work. She also helped realize founder Jim Range’s vision of the TRCP as an influencer of sportsmen-driven conservation policy and a center point in the outdoors and hunting and angling constituencies. She is actively involved with the boards of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, where she directed communications before moving to the TRCP, and Conservation Hawks, which levies sportsmen’s political muscle to advance effective approaches to climate change.
She has an M.S. from the University of Montana and a B.A. from The College of William & Mary. For her master’s thesis, she wrote a manuscript on the history of mining – camps, communities and colorful characters – in the area now known as Rocky Mountain National Park.
Married to a Montanan who’s hunted since he was 12, Katie especially enjoys upland hunting with good friends and great dogs, cross country skiing Montana’s hills and river bottoms, and summertime paddles in sun dappled mountain streams, ideally with her two kids in tow.
Toni has a Ph.D. in Wildlife Resources, a M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Science and a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology. She has done extensive field work on cougars; collected data for IDFG on muledeer, peregrine falcons and flammulated owls; worked with the Concervacìon Patagonica research program in Southern Chile; trapped and transported feral Russian hogs in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and worked on brook trout restoration. Toni has lived in Salmon for nine years and is a board member of Salmon Valley Stewardship. BHA is asking Toni to foster community awareness of the intersection of wildlife habitat and security with land use, both public and private, to provide a healthy ecosystem for wildlife that will also support sustainable agricultural and forestry practices to build a strong local economy. Toni is a hunter and angler who enjoys hiking and riding her horse in the rugged land of the High Divide. BHA is pleased to have a wildlife biologist of Toni’s stature join our team!
Ty Stubblefield grew up in Oregon's Umpqua Valley with access to some of the west coasts most diverse landscape and wildlife. From coastal blacktail's to desert mule deer and Rocky Mountain elk to rainforest Roosevelts he has taken full advantage of the opportunity to seek out the wild critters and public lands Oregon has to offer. At an early age he came to the realization that hunters and fishermen are the true conservationists and stewards of the land. Recognizing the need to give back Ty jumped on the conservation band wagon getting involved with state policy while volunteering for Oregon Bow Hunters from 2001 to 2008. In 2008 he was blessed with the opportunity to work with Oregon's largest state based conservation group - Oregon Hunters Association - as Field Administrator. In this position he worked with Oregon hunters to conserve Oregon's wildlife, habitat and hunters rights. Joining BHA and the AWESOME people who make up this organization is described as the apex of his career in conservation! "BHA'ers are an elite group of people who understand that these lands we hold so dear are not free and must be fought for" - says Ty. When not working for the betterment of wild public places and wildlife he can be found enjoying them with a bow or fly pole in hand.
Sawyer Connelly hails from the Acadian forests of northern Vermont. From a young age his mother taught him all the beauty the natural world has to offer, while his father educated him on the importance of civic engagement. It didn’t take him long to find a fishing pole and explore the rivers and shores of New England, trying to catch whatever swam, while getting his first taste of politics at the age of 14, working as a legislative page in the Vermont State Legislature.
After graduating from Northfield Mount Hermon School in western Massachusetts he lost the pastels, packed a suitcase and headed to South Africa for a year. From there the call of the West led him to Colorado and Colorado College. While there, his already strong passion and appreciation for wilderness and wildlife flourished as he chased Elk and Mule Deer in vast tracts of wilderness throughout Colorado and ripped lips in every watershed throughout the state. He took his passions to the classroom, pursuing a degree in Environmental Science and a minor in English, while performing research with the Colorado College State of the Rockies Project on large landscape conservation in 2013-2014. When not in the classroom or backcountry, he could be found dabbling with the theatrical arts and helping found the Colorado College fly-fishing club.
Graduating in May 2015, he packed his bags to enjoy a humbling stint chasing Atlantic Salmon in Norway, but soon found the West was calling him back. New to Missoula, when not in the office, he’ll most likely be found exploring new waters and lands of the area, downhill or x-c skiing, trying to improve his writing with the life motto “what will make for a better memoir?”, and possibly training a GSP pup. He plans to attend graduate school related to conservation/natural resource management in a few years and is excited to be part of BHA!