Nick Zagaris, Chapter & Event Committee Chair
Nick was born and raised in Northern California and spent the majority of his youth outdoors. Nick lives on his property in Auburn with beautiful wife Jessica and son Myles. Nick values public service and has worked as a firefighter for over 20 years. Nick hunts upland, waterfowl, and big game in the wilderness of California and the majority of the other Western States. Besides being the California BHA chapter chair, Nick has also served on banquet committees with the California Deer Association and the California Waterfowl Association. Nick is a pro-staff member of First Lite and Ridgeline Knife Works and wants to make sure our public lands and wildlife are around and in better shape for future generations.
Eric Hanson, Co-Vice Chair & Policy Chair
Eric was born and raised in Santa Monica, Calif. Despite growing up a city boy, he spent summers camping in national parks and learned to backpack and shoot in Boy Scouts.
After college, Eric worked at a magazine in Chicago that covered the red meat industry, where he had an insider's look at how most Americans get their meat. A spark was lit to learn and experience more about where our food really comes from. In his early 30s Eric began hunting and fishing. Soon he had his own bird dog and hunted the local national forests for quail and rabbit. Now he pursues upland and big game throughout California and across the country.
Eric feels fortunate to have had a wide range of outdoors experience on our public lands. When he joined BHA he realized he had found his people and enjoys supporting the organization’s mission by working on policy and communications issues, as well as by bringing a diverse group of emergent hunters (a term he coined) and anglers into the fold. He’s passionate about sharing his experiences--as well as wild game cooking--with friends, acquaintances, and anyone else who will listen.
Eric lives in Northeast Los Angeles with his wife, Lauren, daughter, Hannah, son, Zev, and Brittany, Barley. He graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and received his law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. He works as a lawyer, photographer, and writer.
Jason Jones, Co-Vice Chair & R3 Chair
Jason is a San Diego native and has spent countless hours enjoying California’s waters, wilderness, backcountry, and wild places. His outdoor passions include surfing, kayaking, fishing fresh and salt waters, hunting waterfowl, upland game such as turkeys, pheasants, chukar, quail, and rabbit, along with big game such as mule deer, axis deer, and wild boar. The experiences, adventures, stories, and memories, along with the friendships and bonds attained, are simply a priceless personal measure of his life’s accomplishments.
Jason joined BHA for a number of reasons, including advocacy for protecting our wild and natural resources as well as our right to fight to keep public lands in public hands, to ensure we maintain these natural resources for generations to come. He’s supported BHA through many of their events and initiatives, including teaching others on proper care and handling of game after the harvest, teaching and bringing new hunters and anglers into our community, and is especially grateful to contribute to the wild game ‘foodie’ events such as BHA’s Field To Table oriented activities and also successfully represented the California Chapter as a wild game chef at the 2019 North American Rendezvous wild game cook off.
His other passions include designing and shaping surfboards, something he’s done since his early teens, in addition to traveling for fun and business. He’s traveled most of the US and has also been fortunate to travel globally to 15+ countries, which has provided an enormous amount of influence on his life’s perspectives and fosters his passions around conservancy, traditions, heritage, and even his culinary desires. He’s fished, hunted, and enjoyed exotic and wild game dishes across different geographies and cultures. Again, something he’s deeply grateful for and tries to embed in all his various approaches and interactions in life, and especially in his cooking as an aspiring wild game chef.
Jason lives in San Diego with his wife Heidi and daughters Sydney and Sierra. In his professional life, he works as a Director of Quality and Pharmacovigilance at a local biotechnology company that’s focused on finding treatments for diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
Matt White, Treasurer
Matt White grew up fishing and hunting in California and has been spending time in wilderness areas since he was a teenager. He lives in Fresno with his wife and two sons, who he hopes will continue the outdoor tradition he was given in his youth. He runs a small investment advisory practice, which occasionally gives him the flexibility to escape the desk and spend some time in the wilderness. Matt is a Life Member of BHA and is passionate about public lands, fair chase and the experiences one gains in the backcountry.
Brett O'Mara, AFI Liason
Brett grew up in Western NY, and spent his youth in the eastern forests prior to moving to Western Oregon. It was while living up the McKenzie River in Western Oregon that he recognized the urgent need to protect and enhance our public lands and waters. Brett currently resides in Oceanside, with his wife, son, and daughter. He is an active duty Marine, and in addition to his position on the California board is also the lead for the BHA Armed Forces Initiative Pendleton Club.
He enjoys hunting both small and big game, along with upland birds. The solitude, and physical challenges experienced in the backcountry keep him focused. He enjoys imparting his knowledge on new hunters helping them become more proficient, ethical hunters.
His interest in BHA started a few years ago when he became aware of BHA’s commitment and passion to defend our public lands from the growing efforts to dispose of them, while also working to enhance public access.
Luis Fierro, Secretary
Luis is a Southern California native and grew up in the Southeast Los Angeles area. As a boy, he discovered a love for the outdoors through his father who had grown up hunting and hiking in the rural hills of Western Mexico. While Luis grew up doing some small game hunting and fishing, he became much more serious about hunting and conservation while enlisted in the US Marine Corps.
After his enlistment, he returned to California with a new sense of passion and understanding for wild things and places, as well as deep appreciation for the natural beauty of his state. The vastness of public lands provide a home away from home for Luis, as well as a classroom where he learns something new every time he sets foot in them.
Luis found BHA to be a natural fit for him, primarily because of the diversity in members, ideas, and actions that represent the organization. He now hopes to share his passion with others and ensure that public lands are here for generations to come.
Cody Ramsey, R3 Program Leader
Cody was born and raised in Northern California and spent the majority of his time outdoors hunting, fishing, and setting traplines. After graduating high school, Cody set off to serve his country in the United States Army. This gave him the opportunity to hunt and fish in several different states. After completing his commitment to the United States Army, he moved back to California. Cody enjoys hunting big game, waterfowl, and upland throughout California and most Western States. He is also active in the R3 program where he has helped several youth pheasant hunts with his German Shorthaired Pointers.
His interest in BHA grew after learning about BHA’s mission. After his first Pint Night, he was hooked for he had found a diverse group of individuals who all had the same mindset and goals for conservation as he does.
Cody lives in Willits with his wife Annikka and his son Easton. In his professional life he is currently a fulltime student seeking to obtain a bachelor’s degree in aviation.