Neil Keown – Chair, Calgary
Neil relocated from Northern Ontario to Calgary, Alberta. He began exploring the outdoors in his mid-thirties, first by fishing, and then hunting. Inspired by the combination of the adventure, as well as the satisfaction of preparing a meal with the results of a successful trip, has led him on adventures across Western Canada.
Whenever the season changes, there is always a new adventure waiting to be had, and most family trips are now planned in areas where he passes on the love of the outdoors to his children. The majority of free time is spent in the Rocky Mountains and Foothills, where there is always a new patch of forest, hill, or a stream, that hasn't been explored yet.
After transitioning out of the oil/gas sector, his attentions and efforts have been geared towards preserving the wilderness, and ensuring that the next generation will inherit the wilderness that we take for granted.
Andrew Baisley – Co-Chair, Calgary
Andrew grew up in Southern Ontario and relocated to Alberta to start his career. Growing up in areas surrounded by extensive tracts of private land taught him how rare and treasured the public land we take for granted in the west really is. Andrew works worldwide as an environmental scientist but focuses the majority of his time in Western Canada on mine closure and reclamation projects. When not working, Andrew enjoys partaking in the environment his work shows him to be so precious. Hunting, fishing, mountaineering and camping keep him busy year round. Andrew especially enjoys introducing new people to the outdoors, specifically the vast expanses of public lands available to Western Canadians.
Tom Habib – Treasurer, Edmonton
Tom grew up in Ontario, and has had a love of the outdoors as far back as he can remember. It probably helped that his parents shipped him off on canoe and hiking trips every summer, for which he is eternally grateful. His love of nature and wildlife eventually led him to Edmonton 10 years ago for a Master's degree in ecology at the University of Alberta, where he studied white-tailed and mule deer.
Although not from a hunting family, Tom picked it up since moving to Alberta, and is now completely hooked. His thinking on hunting and wildlife management is built around his background in ecology. So for Tom, BHA's values of maintaining large tracts of wilderness, habitat conservation, and environmental stewardship are a perfect fit.
Katie Morrison – Secretary, Calgary
Katie Morrison is a professional biologist and outdoor enthusiast. Growing up, Katie and her family spent much of their time outdoors: camping, horseback riding, canoeing and fishing. This led her to obtain a B.Sc. in Environmental and Conservation Sciences from the University of Alberta and a Masters of Environmental Design from the University of Calgary.
While Katie has worked throughout western Canada and in Latin America for university research projects, nongovernmental organizations, and environmental consulting companies, she now spends her days working on public lands conservation in Southern Alberta. Her love of the outdoors continues to pull her into the backcountry on hiking, fishing, hunting, backpacking and wilderness canoe trips. The continuing push of industrial land uses and motorized recreation into Alberta’s shrinking wilderness areas motivates her to work on keeping these areas wild for native fish, wildlife and those who experience these amazing places through traditional quiet uses.
Marc Fossi - BOD, Calgary
Marc acquired his love of fishing from his grandfather and grew up fishing lakes in the Quebec Laurentians and around the BC lower mainland. Shortly after moving to Alberta he picked up a fly rod and the addiction began in earnest. He could regularly be found on the banks of the Bow river after work and on weekends learning through trial and error. Over time he began getting further away from the city to fish, including trips to the Kanektok river in Alaska and the Skeena system in BC. He spends much of his time from June 16th to October 31st on the eastern slopes camping and chasing westslope cutthroat trout. Having witnessed first hand the damage caused on eastern slope streams by industry and motorized recreation he began volunteering for stream rehabilitation projects. After seeing some projects ruined by continued motorized use he realized that more was needed to address the cause of the problem in addition to repairing damage after the fact.
Kyle Snow - BOD, Cold Lake
Ever since his first backpacking trip with his uncle, Kyle was hooked on the outdoors. Whether it was when he completed a three-day hiking trip over Cheticamp Mountain or an extended overnight canoeing trip down the Liscomb River, he knew the outdoors is where he wanted to be. Kyle relocated from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in mid 2013 to pursue Engineering at the University of Calgary. Coming from the ocean to the mountains was a big shock for him, but he instantly fell in love with what they had to offer.
Beau Cleland – BOD, Calgary
Beau Cleland is an avid angler and a relatively recent convert to fly fishing who fishes and camps almost exclusively on public lands and waters. Originally from the United States, he has lived in Calgary since 2011. He spends his outdoor time roaming western Canada and the United States, camping, hiking, and fishing with his wife and three boys. Beau served for eight years in the United States Army, with service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He holds a masters in international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in history from the University of Calgary, where he currently works. Beau is eager to help with BHA’s mission to preserve and protect our publicly-owned lands for current and future generations.
Devon Rundvall - BOD, Edmonton
Devon is a new hunter that almost exclusively hunts public land in Alberta. As a public land hunter he was drawn to BHA for it's focus on keeping public land in public hand. He joined the Alberta chapter during the first pint night held in Edmonton and hasn’t missed one since. For the last two years, Devon has helped organize pint nights and represented BHA during events. Despite these efforts no one has given up a honey hole where he can find a nice bull elk. Frustrated with all the secrecy, he decided to join the ABHA board in hopes of getting a peek at everyone else's GPS maps.
Levi Williams-Whitney, Lethbridge
Levi was born in Slake Lake, Alberta and spent the majority of his grade school years trailing his determined mother around Western Canada. Summers were spent with his Dad on the farm and in the bush where the simplicities of life were of most importance. After graduating high school, Levi pursued a Lacrosse Scholarship in the United States and eventually found his way back home with a deeper appreciation for his Northern roots. His love and respect for the wild continues to grow as hunting, angling, and exploring continues to take precedent in his life.
Levi now resides in Southern Alberta where he studies Environmental Science and spends every minute outside of a textbook enjoying the incredible backcountry opportunities of the badlands, prairies, foothills, and mountain tops. He is thrilled to give back and stand up for the areas and wildlife that enrich his soul and fill his plate.
Erik Koskela – BOD, Calgary
Erik was born in Sudbury, Ontario, spent most of his adult life in Ottawa, and relocated to Calgary in July 2019. He spent much of his childhood hunting and fishing with his father and grandfather, but largely stopped after he went to university. After graduation, he spent several years trying to reconcile urban life with his childhood passions but struggled to find hunting opportunities that weren’t on private land. His passions were later re-ignited after a friend introduced him to public land turkey hunting opportunities near Ottawa.
Since moving to Alberta, Erik’s free time is spent dreaming about elk, fly fishing, and learning about the importance of backcountry nutrition.
Kevin Lee – BOD, Calgary
Kevin was born in Seoul, South Korea, and moved to Calgary in 1992.
After moving to Lethbridge for his university studies, he met his future wife, who is the reason why he got into hunting, and began the love affair with the outdoors, and the sports of hunting and angling.
Being introduced to hunting in his mid-twenties, he felt a bit lost and intimidated. He tagged alongside his wife’s family on a couple hunts, and then with some friends at work. As things progressed, the appreciation for how difficult it can be, and how delicate nature is, grew and grew. After witnessing two hard winters, and the population dropped dramatically, it highlighted how easily the things we take for granted can vanish. This is the reason why he feels the need to help preserve the environment, in particular public land.
Xavier Schurtenberger – BOD, Calgary
Xavier grew up in the Canadian Rockies, where his obsession for hunting and fishing was ignited. This obsession was fuelled by his father at an early age, bringing him along on many wild adventures. His summers were spent fishing the waterways of the Bow Valley and attempting to tie his own flies. While in the fall he joined his father on hunting trips into the North Ghost and other Public lands.
Fast forward to 2020, Xavier is still chasing bugling elk, casting for lake trout, and has recently taken up bird hunting with his pup Trigger.
Over the years Xavier has seen an ongoing need for an organization like Backcountry Hunters and Anglers to come together to promote conservation and public land awareness in Alberta. So when he discovered BHA he jumped on board.
“If you are not working to protect hunting, then you are working to destroy it.” - Fred Bear
Riley Epp – BOD, Calgary
Riley was introduced to hunting at age 26 when a friend brought him along on a mule deer hunt. He has since taken a keen interest in big game hunting, and more recently, game birds and fishing. He joined BHA in 2018, embracing the commonly held values of conservation and advocacy for wilderness and its dependents.