John B. Sullivan III, Board Chair
John has been working in the outdoor/hunting/fishing industry since he was 16, starting as an assistant (more like a pack mule dropping off equipment at various locations) for a fly fishing outfitter in the Swan Valley. While attending The University of Montana for degrees in Resource Conservation and Economics, he worked at a local hunting shop and was a river guide leading multi-day wilderness trips out of West Glacier in the summers. After graduating, he moved to southeast Alaska to help develop new fly fishing channels of business for various salmon fishing lodges.
He began to miss Montana too much, so he returned to Missoula and is active in Montana's hunting and fishing communities. John has firsthand experience watching smart policy protect and improve habitat, wildlife populations and opportunities for hunting and fishing. He is passionate about protecting backcountry, restoring degraded habitat and working with the state and private landowners to improve access.
Thomas Baumeister, Montana Chapter Vice Chair & Capital Leader
Born and raised in Germany, Thomas fell in love with the great American outdoors early in his life. So much in fact that he left his home country and moved to the Rocky Mountain West for good. He became a wildlife biologist and worked for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks for two decades. While serving as conservation education bureau chief for FWP, Thomas facilitated the establishment of Montana WILD, wrote the state’s hunter education manual and chaired the committee for the International Hunter Education Association to establish U.S. hunter education standards, and worked on many fish and wildlife issues.
These days Thomas champions our outdoor heritage via non-profits and business. Thomas is the founding member of the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame and serves on the board of Orion—The Hunter’s Institute, as well as Helena Hunters and Anglers. He founded the company Access WILD to provide backcountry adventures in the heart of Yellowstone National Park and other wild places using a fleet of hearty pack llamas.
Thomas holds two masters and a Ph.D. in Biology and Wildlife Biology from Universities in Germany and Montana. As faculty associate at Carroll College and Arizona State University, he teaches various courses on the science, ethics and practice of the human-nature connection and the notion of wildness. He lives in Helena with his wife and two teenagers, loves to hunt and fish all things wild and believes that America’s - and especially Montana’s - wild and public outdoor heritage is second to none.
Lou Bahin, Board Treasurer/Secretary
Lou is a lifetime- and legacy-member of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers who spends much of his time exploring Montana's wild places on foot and bicycle. One of his favorite activities is backpacking to secluded fishing holes or traversing public lands along the continental divide on two wheels.
Lou recently retired from a career in the publishing and software industries, and lives in Missoula with his wife, Lila, and two sons. He spends his time in the front country experimenting with wild game recipes, coddling two dogs, and when summer comes to Montana, tending bees and a rapidly expanding garden.
Returning to Montana from several years in Washington D.C. and Chicago has only increased Lou's passion to explore the outdoors and kindled a desire to pass along the backcountry experiences we cherish to future generations.
Dane Rider, Montana Chapter Federal Policy Leader
Dane was born in Bozeman then spent much of his childhood and post-college years bouncing around the Heartland, New England and the Gulf Coast of Florida. During this time, one constant remained: he must return to Montana. In 2015 the opportunity presented itself and Dane seized the opportunity, jumping in with both feet. The biggest draw for Dane had been the blue-ribbon trout streams of Montana, recalling childhood trips back to the Boulder River and float trips on the Big Hole and Yellowstone; but as an adult the greatest appeal became the large swaths of public lands in which he could chase elk, mule deer and mountain grouse. After discovering that the access to and use of our public lands and waters was threatened, Dane became active in advocating for these wild places. He became a BHA life member in 2016.
When Dane is not talking with people about the benefits of the public estate, he can be found making the most of the varied environments that Montana has to offer. You can often find him searching for an alpine lake full of uneducated trout, or foraging for mushrooms, berries and other wild edibles. Dane is at home in the mountains and will continue to fight to make sure these lands, waters and wildlife are here for generations to come.
Scott Mylnechuk, Missoula Valley Board Member
From climbing most of Central Oregon’s peaks to chasing trout in the rivers below, Scott grew up exploring all that the PNW has to offer. His mother is a 4th generation Montanan out of Anaconda where many of the family’s clan resides. Scott was born and raised in Oregon, but his family spent countless hours road-tripping back to Montana to visit and vacation.
In 2003, Scott began college at the University of Montana where he spent most of his free time chasing trout in the Blackfoot and wading into hidden holes up Rock Creek. He now co-owns a business that ensures federal contractors are kept in compliance.
From 2018-2020, Scott served on the board of The WestSlope Chapter of Trout Unlimited where he held a handful of roles and duties. Scott is a life member of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and is passionate about keeping public lands public and improving hunting and fishing access. Scott and his wife, Libby, along with their two bird dogs, will welcome their first kiddo to the family in March of '21. In the fall he likes to hunt big game with his recurve but is transitioning to a compound bow for “practical purposes.” The Smith and the South Fork of the Flathead Rivers are the his most memorable multiday floats, and he jumps at any chance to take friends on his raft.
Doug Krings, Central Montana Board Member
Born and raised in central Montana, Doug's travels around the country were enough to convince him that Montana truly is the Last Best Place. He lives in Lewistown with his family, and when he's not chasing elk with his stick bow he works for a structural steel fabricator.
For the last 15 or so years, when not hunting, Doug has volunteered with conservation organizations dedicated to preserving our outdoor heritage and protecting traditional uses. Specifically, his work has focused on public access to great elk habitat in central & eastern Montana. Doug is a former board member of the Traditional Bowhunters of Montana, Montana Bowhunters Association and a handful of FWP Committees. He's also currently on the board of the Lewistown Bowhunters Association and Central Montana Outdoors. Recently, Doug and his daughter, Emma, were featured on The Durfees, a film by Mission: Montana.
Aaron Agosto, Flathead Valley Board Member
Aaron's journey with American public lands started with exploring the Allegheny National Forest with friends, and he has been enthralled with public lands, and the freedoms and opportunities they provide, ever since. Born in Cape Cod, he grew up fishing and foraging for shellfish with his grandfather and then chasing trout and deer in the wilds of Pennsylvania before moving out west to Montana’s Flathead Valley. He's lived in Bigfork, MT since 2017 and works as a freelance photographer and finish carpenter.
Aaron is a lifetime member of BHA, and when not working behind the lens or on a job site he can be found exploring the rivers by foot or drift boat in search of wild trout, or chasing deer and elk in the mountains in the fall. Aaron lives for wild places and the experiences they provide, and is passionate about ensuring that others are allowed the same opportunities to enjoy them.
Scott Desena, Southwest Montana Board Member
Scott's journey to Montana began on the east coast where he cut his teeth fishing farm ponds in the Hudson Valley, exploring the Adirondacks and skiing the Catskill Mountains. It was the latter that brought him west where he eventually moved in 1993, but it was a combination of mountain biking, backpacking, rock climbing, adult onset hunting and his greatest passion - fly fishing - that kept him here. His greatest catch, however, was a Butte girl who brought him to Montana in 2012. That Butte girl is now his wife and he and Shawna have three beautiful children.
Scott's greatest joys in life are sharing his passions in the outdoors with his family. Whether it’s chasing upland birds with their Brittany, hunting big/small game, backpacking or fly fishing, it's all made possible by public lands and waters, and all seems better with family. When he's not on the river or in the mountains, Scott works as a heavy equipment operator for a contractor in Butte focusing on reclamation in the Butte/Anaconda area.
Chris McCarthy, Gallatin Board Member
Chris grew up on Montana’s Rocky Mountain Front, where he learned the value of public land from his father, a Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist based out of Augusta. He has vivid memories of being out on public lands with his father, marveling at the fact that he could just go there to hunt. It took him a while to fully realize that they weren’t trespassing; these were their lands, our lands.
A recent empty-nester, Chris lives with his wife Danielle in Belgrade and is part owner of Outside Media Group, publishers of Outside Bozeman magazine. When not working you will likely find Chris, of course, on public lands and waters where he enjoys hunting, fishing, skiing, trail running, mountain biking and not taking himself too seriously.
Anne Jolliff, Helena Board Member
A native Montanan, Anne Jolliff enjoys anything outdoors with her husband, 6-year-old triplet girls, and dogs: a German Wirehaired Pointer and a Griff. As an infant, Anne was taken fishing at Lake Elmo; at six, she caught her first rainbow trout in Corvallis; at ten, her grandpa taught her how to shoot a rifle on public land outside of Billings; at twelve, she was caught in the midst of a chaotic elk herd on a hunt with her dad and great-uncle in Lolo. And at 32, she hunted a mule deer near Helena, quartered it in the field and packed it out, solo. She welcomes the chance to continue growing in both knowledge and capability each season.
Anne believes strongly in protecting outdoors opportunities for future generations, providing game meat for her family, and teaching others how to do the same. Formerly a high school school teacher, Anne has been a volunteer ambassador for both Montana Wildlife Federation and Artemis, and is beginning a new conservation career in 2022 with Wild Montana. Her biggest ambition is to raise strong, outdoors-loving girls who can pass on the tradition of hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and living a healthy life to their own children someday, which is why she wanted to join the board of Montana BHA.
Jake Schwaller, Eastern Montana Board Member
A 4th generation Montanan, Jake was born in Bozeman, raised in East Helena and now calls Billings home. His father started taking him to elk camp when he was 7 years old, where he learned about public lands and wildlife around a campfire. Over the years, Jake earned the title of “designated elk dragger.” He later turned his love of the outdoors into a master’s in environmental literary theory and a law degree. In graduate school at the University of Idaho, Jake served as an editor for ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature and Environment, and in law school at the University of Montana, Jake served as an editor for the Public Land and Resources Law Review.
Through graduate school, Jake spent seven summers battling thirty-foot tides and sleep deprivation as a commercial salmon fisherman in Bristol Bay, AK. Steeped in the Pebble Mine controversy, Jake learned about the value of joining conservation organizations and making one’s voice heard by policymakers. He joined BHA in 2015 and is excited to now serve on the Montana BHA board as an advocate for Montana’s public lands, waters and wildlife.
Jake loves taking the back roads and discovering new pockets of public lands and waters to explore with his bow, rifle or his fishing rod. When not hunting, fishing or working as an attorney, Jake can be found busy in the kitchen cooking up wild salmon and wild game dishes with new friends and old.
Corey Ellis, Montana Chapter Stewardship Leader
Corey is a jack of all trades. Working in fine restaurants, on farms, in construction and managing conservation properties – this lifestyle has allowed him to live, hunt, fish and explore all over North America including the desert Southwest, northern New England, Alaska and the Rocky Mountains top to bottom. He studied environmental studies and philosophy at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO where he developed a passion for protecting all things wild. Corey was also on the founding board of the New England Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers where he helped to affect several policy changes that benefitted wildlife and hunting. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors for Orion: The Hunters Institute.
Now living in Missoula, Corey has spent the last few years as a local Montana BHA committee member and is looking forward to a greater level of participation and action as a board member. He believes sportsmen and women have much to be proud of in their heritage, but they must continue to evolve and lead if hunting, angling and the habitat that these pursuits depend on are to survive. Corey and his long-time partner, Julie, believe in working as little as possible so that they can spend as much time as possible advocating for and enjoying wild places and wildlife.
Tyler Nickolisen, Montana Chapter Access Solutions Leader
Born in the midwest, Tyler grew up spending his summers on the public lands and waters of southwest Montana camping and fishing with his family. It was always his plan to move to Montana as soon as possible, but it took til college for his plan all came together. While studying Environmental Science at Iowa State University, he spent a semester at the University of Montana’s Lubrecht Experimental Forest living in a train caboose and studying the ecology of the Blackfoot River Valley. He then confirmed Montana would be his home. Upon graduating he got himself a job and relocated to Sidney, MT where he regularly found himself leaving work early to fish on the Yellowstone and chase antelope and mule deer on the public lands of eastern Montana. Since then, he's moved around the state and has landed before making his home in Billings.
When not advocating for your public lands and waters, you can find Tyler behind the oars of a drift boat, on a mountain bike, picking up sheds with his dog Quigley, or on horseback in the backcountry; but he may be harder to find come September…
Board Members - Officers
John Sullivan: Board Chair - Missoula
Thomas Baumeister: Vice Chair & Montana Chapter Capital Leader – Helena
Lou Bahin: Board Secretary-Treasurer - Missoula
Dane Rider: Montana Chapter Federal Policy Leader - Lewistown
Board Members - Regional
Aaron Agosto: Flathead Board Member - Bigfork
Scott Mylnechuk: Missoula Valley Board Member - Missoula
Doug Krings: Central Montana Board Member - Lewistown
Scott Desena: Southwest Montana Board Member - Butte
Chris McCarthy: Gallatin Board Member - Belgrade
Anne Jolliff: Helena Board Member - Montana City
Jake Schwaller: Eastern Montana Board Member - Billings
Board Members - Specialists
Corey Ellis: Montana Chapter Stewardship Leader - Missoula
Tyler Nickolisen Montana Chapter Access Solutions Leader - Billings