The Colorado chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers recently appointed Lewis French as an Assistant Regional Director for the Central West Slope Group.
Lew was born in Long Island, New York, and raised in West Newbury, Vermont. “I started hunting at age 12 protecting our vegetable garden from wood chucks,” Lew said. “No one in my family hunted but there was a vintage copy of ‘Camping and Woodcraft’ by Horace Kephart in the house that I read many times.”
He attended college at the University of Vermont and completed a B.S. in Forestry (1969). Lew went on to serve in the U.S. Army at Fort Dix, New Jersey (1969-1970). Then, from 1970-72 he was assigned to the U.S. Army Signal Center and School, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, where he worked as an Air Defense Radar Repairman and Instructor of Solid State Electronics, Specialist E-5.
Lew started a career with the U.S. Forest Service in 1972. Through 1977 he worked on the Black Hills National Forest, Harney Ranger District, doing timber sale preparation and administration and timber stand improvement through thinning. Then he relocated to Colorado and from 1977-1981 worked on the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forest, Ouray Ranger District, as a Forester and Certified Silviculturist.
From 1981-2003 he continued his GMUG work, which encompassed a wide array of duties/assignments, including (in part): recreation, minerals, wilderness, trails, outfitter/guides, Level 3 law enforcement, public information, strike team leader crew, dozer, helicopter manager in the fire organization, etc.
“My primary pursuit is of elk here in Colorado. I occasionally hunt deer and pronghorn also in Colorado,” Lew said. “I hunted bear in Colorado for three seasons, finally taking one a year ago. When I had bird dogs, I hunted upland birds and waterfowl. In addition to Colorado my hunting has been in Vermont, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho. I chase small game and fish with my grandsons. My big game hunting partner is most often my adult son although one grandson shot his first deer with me last season.”
Lew lives in Montrose, Colorado, with his wife Bobbi. As of 2022 they have been married 50 years. He has been President of the Montrose Amateur Radio Club and currently serves as Activities Coordinator and Public Information Officer for the Club. He’s licensed as an Amateur Extra Class operator and is an Instructor of Technician and General Class amateur license training. He’s also a SKYWARN weather spotter for National Weather Service and Coordinator for the Montrose County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service. In addition, he’s a Member Amateur Radio Emergency Service and American Radio Relay League.
Additional BHA/Colorado BHA Information:
-Colorado BHA Upcoming Events.
-Colorado BHA Habitat Watch Volunteer (HWV) program information.
-BHA Take Action Center.
-Check out BHA’s North American Action Map, tracking examples of our accomplishments as an organization across the continent.
-Colorado BHA Corporate Partners; Hunting For Sustainability (H4S); BHA’s Public Waters Access campaign; BHA’s Collegiate Program.
-Trevor Hubbs. “What is the AFI.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 3/3/23.
-BHA’s Armed Forces Initiative. “Armed Forces Initiative-Get Involved.”
-Become An AFI Volunteer; Armed Forces Initiative Leadership.
-“Giving Veterans a New Mission in Conservation”
-“Public lands = Freedom”
David “Elkheart” Petersen (founder of the first BHA state chapter, here in Colorado, and a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot) books. Also see his “On the Wild Edge” documentary at:
Founded by Mike Beagle, a former U.S. Army field artillery officer, and formed around an Oregon campfire, in 2004, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice for our nation’s wild public lands, waters and wildlife. With members spread out across all 50 states and 13 Canadian provinces and territories—including chapters in 48 states, two Canadian provinces and one territory, and Washington, D.C.—BHA brings an authentic, informed, boots-on-the-ground voice to the conservation of public lands. The Colorado BHA chapter was founded by David Petersen (a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot) in 2005, the first official BHA chapter.