Colorado Habitat Stewardship Coordinator (Briant Wiles) Joins Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Team

Briant Wiles recently joined the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) team as Colorado Habitat Stewardship Coordinator. Briant was born and raised in Lander, Wyoming, and grew up hunting and fishing with his father, who is still his hunting and angling buddy. He loves all types of birds and big game hunting but has a special fondness for waterfowl.



Briant has a Bachelor of Business Administration & Outdoor Recreation and a Master of Environmental Management from Western Colorado University. “I worked in the ski industry for years managing terrain parks and ski guiding,” Briant explained. “My desire to be more involved in conservation led me back to school and to working in the non-profit space. I have been involved with several projects that have fueled my passion including managing a ranch, range health monitoring, climate change study, and lately fence removal and modification.”

Briant was also the president of his local Trout Unlimited chapter for many years and worked on improving irrigation infrastructure, fish habitat, and stream restoration. “I tie my own flies for fishing and love to share my knowledge and learn from others,” he added. “So, if you have a hot pattern let me know.”

He hunts multiple small- and big-game species, but his year typically revolves around chasing grouse, waterfowl, elk, deer, and rabbits in the Upper Gunnison Basin. “I fly fish in the summers and my favorite place is climbing down into the Black Canyon of the Gunnison,” Briant said. “I typically hunt with a rifle, but I have been increasingly obsessed with hunting elk with a compound bow.”

Briant lives in Gunnison with his wife. During 2012 they started a business called Rooted Apothecary. They manufacture and sell a variety of herbal healthcare products using a lot of plants found in the Gunnison area. “I initially learned about BHA from a member while volunteering on a project transplanting salmonflies from the lower to the upper Gunnison River,” he added. “I joined BHA in 2022.” Briant also held a prior position with BHA, as detailed in this November 2023 social media post (below).

“Through our national agreement with the Bureau of Land Management, BHA hired two seasonal employees for four and a half months to carry out fence removal and maintenance work on BLM land in Gunnison, Colorado. Briant Wiles, our full-time seasonal and on-the-ground lead for the project, came with extensive knowledge of fence construction which proved invaluable in accomplishing the work efficiently. Additionally, we hired a college grad-student out of Western Colorado University, Ali Aldrich, to assist Briant during the tail end of the season.”[1]

“BHA and the BLM worked closely throughout the summer to prioritize fences, converting many to wildlife friendlier fencing specs. After 18 weeks of work, Briant and Ali were able to remove fourteen exclosures, repair eight exclosures, and inventory over 10 miles of fence for future work. As we wind down the 2023 field season we want to extend a big thank you to these two for their hard work and dedication to habitat stewardship!”[2]


Are you interested in serving on the Colorado BHA Chapter Leadership Team? Learn more about our volunteer opportunities here.


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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)



[1] Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. Instagram: 11/18/23.

[2] Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. Instagram: 11/18/23.

About David Lien