David A. Lien - Colorado BHA Co-Chair
David grew up in the small northern Minnesota town of Grand Rapids and started fishing at the age of four. He shot his first squirrel when he was eight, was hunting ruffed grouse at age eleven and started deer hunting the next fall. At thirteen, David killed his first deer with a Ruger .44 Magnum rifle handed down to him by his grandfather, World War II/U.S. Navy veteran, John Boyce.
After completing high school, David was offered an Air Force ROTC scholarship at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and went on to graduate with a BA in political science and second lieutenant bars. He completed four years of military service as a missile launch officer at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, while also completing a master’s degree in administration (MSA). After finishing his service commitment and a second undergraduate degree (in accounting), David accepted another federal job and moved to Colorado.
David served on the BHA national Board of Directors for eight years. He is the founder and former chair of the Minnesota BHA chapter and has been either the chair or co-chair of the Colorado chapter since July 2006. He’s also a Life Member of both Trout Unlimited (TU) and the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA). In addition, David has climbed all 54 of Colorado’s fourteeners (i.e., peaks over 14,000 feet), six of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each continent), and has set foot on each of the fifty state highpoints. He has also traveled to forty-one countries and been to all seven continents.
David has contributed stories, articles, essays, letters and photos to numerous periodicals, books and newspapers, including American Hunter, the Backcountry Journal, Boundary Waters Journal, Bugle and Fur-Fish-Game. He has also published six books, including Age-Old Quests II: Hunting, Climbing & Trekking and, most recently, Hunting for Experience II: Tales of Hunting & Habitat Conservation.
In 2014 David was recognized by Field & Stream as a “Hero of Conservation.” He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, Melinda, and works as a federal financial institution examiner for the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).
Don Holmstrom - Colorado BHA Co-Chair
Don was born and raised in Southern California near Pasadena. He was fishing at the age of 5 in the salt water of California and in the trout streams of New Mexico. His grandfather, who lived in New Mexico, started taking him hunting for doves and waterfowl at the age of 10. His big game hunting started when he moved to Colorado in the mid-70s. “I transitioned to bow in the early 1980s,” Don said. “Today I primarily hunt and fish in Colorado and the greater Rockies.”
He hunts both small and big game, including elk, deer, antelope, buffalo, grouse, turkeys, waterfowl and pheasants; and fishes primarily for trout, but also bass, salmon and catfish. Don was an early BHA member, joining in 2005, the same year the Colorado chapter (the first official BHA state chapter) formed. He was also one of the chapter’s first Habitat Watch Volunteers (HWVs), joining their ranks in September 2009, the same month the program started. In addition, Don has been the chapter HWV Program Coordinator since early 2017.
Don went to college at Stanford University and Law School at the University of Colorado. He worked for a French oil company for 19 years and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board for 16 years as Director of the Western Regional Office. He has a legal background in occupational safety and health, environmental law, toxic tort and administrative law. Don lives in Boulder, Colorado.
David Kinn - Colorado BHA Treasurer
David was raised in western New York. He started fishing local streams and lakes as a kid, hunting small game in his early teens, and then deer hunting with his dad and brother a few years later. “My father was an awesome hunter and outdoorsman,” he says, “and a huge positive influence and mentor for my brother and me growing up.”
“I credit my dad for everything related to my reverence and passion for hunting, fishing and exploring the incredible public lands we all have access to here in the greatest country in the world,” David adds. Today he lives in Durango and hunts (with rifle and bow) elk, deer and turkey in the San Juan Mountains. He also fishes the San Juans and up along the western slope. David learned about Backcountry Hunters & Anglers from his good friends, Angie and Kevin Timm, owners of Seek Outside and longtime BHA corporate sponsors.
“I’m primarily a meat hunter and eat everything I take,” he says. “We have awesome fisheries in southwest Colorado and I’ve had my fair share of trout for dinner.” David has also had diverse career experiences, including various technical and go-to-market leadership roles in the high-tech industry as well as muddy boot seasonal jobs in the USFS, and even a repo man stint “stealing” (i.e., repossessing) cars in New Mexico. “I have several undergrad degrees,” David adds, “but all those pale in comparison to the schooling I get every year chasing elk in the backcountry wilderness.”
Ivan James - Vice Chair/Legislative Liaison
Ivan 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 went on to spend a decade honing his skills as a dedicated muzzleloader hunter and has been a traditional bowhunter for over 20 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 BS in civil engineering and MS 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 Colorado Bowhunters Association Board of Directors, the last 11 as their Vice-Chair 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.
Dan Parkinson - Vice Chair/Southwest Colo. Regional Director
Colorado BHA Southwest Regional Director (& BHA life member), Dan Parkinson, was born and raised in Denver/Lakewood and says, as a boy, the area seemed to on the western edge of civilization. “As a child I roamed the fields of seemingly wild places west of our home and dreamed of hiking/backpacking from our house over and through the mountains—just to see what was out there,” he says.
Dan’s parents encouraged each of their children to “get out there and explore the fields and mountains,” and some of his fondest family memories are of camping and fishing trips in the mountains of Colorado and the West. “Mom and Dad planted the seed of appreciation for wild places and wild things in me and it is a gift that I hope to share with others,” Dan says.
Aside from some plinking, field archery and an occasional rabbit hunt, Dan didn’t really start hunting until a college buddy got him hooked on archery elk hunting. “The perfect combination of backcountry challenge, adventure and wonder and awe,” he says. His angling preferences have changed from dedicated bait-bobber fishing for “anything that you could eat,” as a kid, to small stream fly-fishing for wild trout.
Dan and his wife, Laurie, moved to Durango in 1982, where they raised two children, Tommy and Erin, and built a family cabin on the nearby Pine River. Dan worked for years as a small-animal house-call veterinarian serving a large area of southwest Colorado.
Later, as owner and managing veterinarian of Riverview Animal Hospital, Dan developed a special interest in pain management. He retired in 2013, but still lectures around the country, assisting veterinarians in efforts to improve patient comfort and safety. Dan also provides specialized end-of-life care for pets in La Plata County through TenderHeart Pet Hospice.
Dan and Laurie live on the Pine River near Vallecito where Dan hunts elk, deer, turkey and occasionally grouse, ducks and geese. “I am an avid traditional archer who prefers the simplicity of the longbow, but will occasionally use a shotgun,” Dan adds. He’s also leading Colorado BHA’s Volunteer Signage and Bighorn Observation Program.
 Jan Reeder. “Good grief: Local veterinarian offers specialized end-of-life care for pets.” The Durango Telegraph: 1/28/15.
 Paige Blankenbuehler. “Agricultural interests steer Colorado’s wildlife management: Sheep grazing in the state’s largest wilderness area could endanger a dwindling bighorn sheep herd.” High Country News: 8/31/18.
Craig Grother - Vice Chair/Central West Slope Regional Director
Craig was born and raised in southern California and has lived in the western U.S. his entire life. “My parents took my brother and me camping in the mountains and beaches of California and Mexico,” he says. “My dad took us fishing in the lakes and streams of the Sierras, and fishing in the ocean off the coast of southern California and northern Mexico.”
Grandpa Otto, from Iowa, was Craig’s first hunting mentor. “My grandfather introduced me to pheasant hunting on his farm in Iowa at an early age as well, first as the assistant bird dog, and then as one of the hunters,” he said. “My biggest ocean-fishing mentor has been my nephew, Nick, and I continue to learn more about trout fishing from my buddy John here in Colorado.”
Craig has a BS in Wildlife Biology from Utah State University. He started working with the U.S. Forest Service soon after graduation, which led to a 33-year career as a wildlife biologist on ranger districts in Idaho, Nevada and Colorado. Craig worked the last 20 years of his career for the Norwood and Ouray Ranger Districts of the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests in Colorado. He retired in 2009.
Craig joined BHA in 2007 while attending a Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation convention in Reno, Nevada, and has served as a Habitat Watch Volunteer (HWV) for the Uncompahgre National Forest since 2009. “I mostly hunt elk and deer on public lands, as well as turkey and grouse,” Craig adds. “I also fish for trout in Colorado and Idaho, and make the trip to Southeast Alaska to fish for salmon and halibut with my nephew off the Prince of Whales Island. I am fortunate to have a son-in-law from western Kansas and my chocolate lab, Ozzie, and I get to hunt pheasant on their farm around the Thanksgiving holiday.”
During 2013, Craig received one of BHA’s highest national awards, the Aldo Leopold Award, which recognizes significant contributions made towards preserving wildlife habitat. During 2015, Craig was recognized as BHA’s Volunteer of the Month (for January), and was appointed by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to serve on the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area Advisory Council. He has been Colorado BHA’s Central West Slope Regional Director since January 2016.
“I spend time giving back to the conservation of our fish and wildlife resources by teaching hunter education and as an active member of BHA,” Craig says. “Through BHA, I currently serve as the sportsman’s representative on the Colorado Forest Health Advisory Council and Adaptive Management Group for the Spruce Beetle Epidemic and Aspen Decline Management Response program on the GMUG National Forest.” Craig and his wife, Sheila, live in Norwood, Colorado.
 For additional information on Colorado BHA’s Habitat Watch Volunteer program see: http://www.backcountryhunters.org/index.php/state-chapters/colorado-bha/habitat-watchmen
 For additional information see: “Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Recognize Two Conservationists.” Fly Rod and Reel.com: 3/25/13. http://www.flyrodreel.com/blogs/tedwilliams/2013/march/backcountry-cnoservationists; “BHA’s Craig Grother & David Petersen Recognized For Protecting Backcountry Habitat.” AmmoLand.com: 3/25/13. http://www.ammoland.com/2013/03/bhas-craig-grother-david-petersen-recognized-for-protecting-backcountry-habitat/#axzz2OZN0hH00
 “Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Appoint Central West Slope Regional Director.” AmmoLand.com: 1/26/16. http://www.ammoland.com/2016/01/colorado-backcountry-hunters-anglers-appoint-regional-director/
Tyrell Woodward - Board Member/Southeast Colo. Regional Director
Ty was born and raised in Lamar, Colorado. He grew up hunting small game and upland birds (pheasant, quail and doves), along with fishing the lakes—for walleye, crappie, catfish, small and largemouth bass—in southeast Colorado. Ty moved to Colorado Springs for college and started hunting elk, mule deer and Arkansas River Valley whitetails, in addition to working as a seasonal employee for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and in the hunting department at Sportsmans Warehouse.
He heard about BHA through the Steven Rinella MeatEater podcasts. “After listening to the podcasts and discussions with guests,” Ty said, “I decided that an organization with the caliber of hunters/conservationists represented in his podcast was worth my involvement and money.”
Ty has a BS in Biology from Colorado College and a MS in Wildlife Biology from CSU-Pueblo. He was a CPW seasonal technician for nine years and currently lives in Florissant, working as a Private Lands Wildlife Biologist—with a focus on Forested Habitat—for CPW, NRCS and the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. “I hunt elk, whitetail, mule deer and small game (still chase pheasants, too), as well as turkeys,” Ty says. He hunts with both a rifle and compound bow. He’s also the Sportsman’s Representative on the Arkansas River Habitat Partnership Program (HPP) Committee.
“I would also like to note that I am excited to be able to pass along the traditions of hunting and fishing to my children as they grow older like my dad did for me. I have the support of a wonderful wife, which allows me to spend time in the woods each year and increases the gratification of filling the freezer with game meat,” Ty adds. “I am excited for the future of BHA and my personal involvement. The more I invest in the organization the more I get out of it. I am continually finding that there are more and more like-minded hunters and anglers who also call BHA home.”
Russell Bassett - Board Member/Front Range Sponsor-Events Coordinator
Russell Bassett is a U.S. Army veteran and was born in the Panama Canal Zone when it was a U.S. territory. He was raised in Missouri and Nebraska, shipped all over the country and world by the Army (including a tour in Iraq, following in the footsteps of his father, who served in Korea), then spent ten years in Oregon before moving to Colorado, during 2014, to be near family in western Nebraska.
“I’ve fished since I was old enough to hold a rod, and hunted since I got my first BB gun in elementary school,” Russ said. He was a journalist during his eight years in the military—and worked for a community newspaper in Oregon—half of which was active duty and the other half in the Oregon National Guard. Russ has also worked for conservation nonprofits with a focus on fish habitat and sporting opportunity, including as executive director of the Northwest Steelheaders.
“While in Oregon, my passion was salmon and steelhead fishing, also off shore bottom fish, tuna and crabbing,” he said. In Colorado, Russ focuses on high alpine lake and stream fishing year-round on the fly and through the ice, as well as duck, goose, turkey, pheasant and dove hunting. “I mostly target trout on the fly, but will use gear and even bait if that’s what works. I am duck hunting most weekends during the season and ice fish during the winter months.”
Although Russ didn’t learn to hunt and fish via family, he’s had plenty of hunting and fishing buddies over the years, adding: “Right now, I’d say the friends I’ve met through BHA are my mentors. They are a wealth of knowledge that I learn a lot from.” He lives in Denver and is the Membership and Projects Specialist at the Colorado Press Association & SYNC2 Media. Russ also started Colorado BHA’s “Hike to Hunt and Fish” (H2HF) program, which facilitates group hunting/fishing (and other) backcountry activities for Colorado’s Front Range BHA members.
“When I was in Iraq, it was memories of fishing our public lands and looking forward to doing so again that kept me going,” Russ said. “It’s an honor to serve with other BHA members in protecting and enhancing the wild places and wildlife that bring me so much peace and happiness.” Russ has served as the Colorado BHA Front Range Sponsor/Events Coordinator since December 2017 and was recognized as BHA’s Member of the Month for February 2018.