The Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) recently appointed Ivan James to serve on their chapter leadership team as Legislative Liaison, and Bill Roden has volunteered to be a Colorado BHA Habitat Watch Volunteer (HWV) for the Routt National Forest.
Ivan James was raised on a farm in northeast Kansas and started fishing at the age of four. He was handling a shotgun by age ten, followed by a bow at thirteen. “I grew up hunting small game and waterfowl, and fishing ponds and streams, then got into trout fishing and ocean fishing when I moved to New England,” he says. “Now fishing is secondary to bowhunting.”
His hunting-angling mentors and best friends were his father, uncles and two cousins. “They are all gone now, but hardly a day goes by that I do not think of them and the great times that we had together,” Ivan said. He spent some 10 years as a dedicated muzzleloader hunter and has been a traditional bowhunter for 19 years.
And during his hunting career, Ivan has had the opportunity to bowhunt 9 of the 10 big game species extant in Colorado and has been fortunate to bowhunt in 10 states and two foreign countries, including three Canadian provinces. His most memorable backcountry hunts were in Montana’s Bob Marshall Wilderness, Colorado’s Weminuche Wilderness, and northwest of the Alaska Range near Denali/Mount McKinley.
Ivan has a B.S. in civil engineering and M.S in water resources engineering from the University of Kansas and completed advanced graduate work in environmental engineering at Harvard. He spent over 40 years with the U.S. Geological Survey in their Water Resources Division and has done consulting in hydraulics, hydrology and statistical analysis since then.
After retiring Ivan also spent 13 years on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Bowhunters Association, the last 11 as their Vice-Chairman for Legislation. Ivan lives north of Colorado Springs (between Black Forest and Monument), but also has a farm in Kansas, and has been “married to the same understanding woman” for over 50 years. They have two sons, both trained as aerospace engineers.
Colorado BHA chairman, David Lien, says: “Ivan’s innate enthusiasm for hunting, fishing and exploring the great public lands estate passed down to us by generations of hunter-conservationists and others is a testament to his personal values and commitment to protecting our unequaled hunting and angling heritage for current and future generations.”
Bill Roden grew up in a small town outside of Madison, Wisconsin, and was greatly influenced by the world’s greatest hunter-conservationist, Theodore Roosevelt. When just eight years old, Bill gave a speech for the Boy Scouts on Roosevelt and says: “I ended up reading everything he wrote. Today, I read everything I can get my hands on about TR.”
Like Ivan and TR, Bill is a passionate public lands hunting-angling advocate and he hunts and fishes all over Colorado. He has been fly fishing for 20 years and chases big game with a trad bow, but transitions to a rifle during the late season. Bill adds: “I hunt every chance I get. I run a hard-charging English Setter on birds all over Colorado. There’s also turkey, elk, mule deer and pronghorn. I’m finally getting on ducks … And I mainly fish for trout in high alpine lakes, in the big rivers … and occasionally head down to FL to get on Tarpon.”
Bill attended the University of Minnesota and is a copywriter by trade, but calls Fort Collins home these days, where he’s the Director of Marketing for an outdoor brand. He also enjoys connecting with fellow hunters and fishers on social media. “Can’t tell you how many trips I’ve gone on with new friends and kindred spirits made through those connections,” he says. “You can find me at @billroden on Instagram.”
Chapter chair David Lien (a U.S. Air Force veteran) said: “Like Bill, we believe, as Medal of Honor recipient Theodore Roosevelt said: ‘Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.’”
Since the Colorado BHA chapter was founded by David Petersen (a U.S. Marine Corps veteran) in 2005 (the first official BHA chapter), they’ve grown their boots-on-the-ground presence to 900 dedicated hunters and anglers. In addition, the chapter has Habitat Watch Volunteers (HWVs) serving as their “eyes and ears” on all 11 of Colorado’s National Forests and one National Grassland, and they still have Habitat Watch Volunteer openings. Contact chapter Habitat Watch Volunteer Program Coordinator, Don Holmstrom, for additional information:firstname.lastname@example.org
Formed around an Oregon campfire in 2004, BHA is the sportsmen’s voice for our nation’s wild public lands, waters and wildlife. With 15,000 members spread out across all 50 states and Canada, including 26 state-based chapters and two international chapters, in Alberta and British Columbia, BHA brings an authentic, informed, boots-on-the-ground voice to the conservation of public lands.