Montana Chapter Board

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John B. Sullivan III, Board Chair

John Sullivan image

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 & Capitol Conservation Policy 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.

Jake Schwaller, Eastern Conservation Policy Leader


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.

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.

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.

Sunni Heikes-Knapton, Madison Valley Board Member

There is no place Sunni is happier than adventuring in wild places. Born in Norway, raised in South Dakota, and living in Montana since 1993, Sunni is passionate about strengthening our connection, understanding, and access to the outdoors. Fishing and hunting has been a way of life since her youngest memories, and she attributes these experiences as the inspiration for her education and career in biology and natural resource management.

Sunni has worked with habitat projects and natural resource education for over 25 years and is glad to use this background to support the work of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. She currently lives in Ennis and serves as the Madison Valley Board Representative. She has a 16-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter, both of whom share her passion for the outdoors in their own adventurous pursuits.

Caleb Teigen, Gallatin Valley Board Member

Caleb is an avid outdoorsman with Montana roots dating back to the late 1800’s when his family homesteaded on the Little Missouri River near Capitol, MT. He has spent his life hunting, fishing, and recreating in Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, and North Dakota. He now lives in Bozeman with his wife Jaime, daughter Lillian and spends the weekends in the mountains, on a river or the snow with those closest to him. When not benefiting from the vast landscapes of Montana, he is still able to enjoy the outdoors as a Construction Manager for Big Sky Resort.

Caleb is passionate about introducing people to the outdoors and truly enjoys teaching the necessary skills it takes to harvest, process, and cook wild game. He enjoys being part of the outdoor community and strives to protect our natural resources to ensure future generations can create the same memories we are.

Dan Tracey, Missoula Valley Board Member

Hailing from the hardwoods and cornfields of Ohio, Dan embraced the outdoor lifestyle at a young age. Cutting his teeth chasing deer, turkey and small game during hunting season and wrangling farm pond largemouth and Great Lakes walleye and steelhead, Dan ventured west in 2001 to attend the University of Montana. After graduation, Dan worked in the outdoor retail industry for several years allowing him to live and recreate in many states including Alaska. Later Dan obtained his CPA license and joined a public accounting firm in the Bitterroot, where he resides with his wife and son.

It has been said the world is run by those who show up and Dan quickly realized this was also the case in protecting our outdoor heritage. As a past committee chair with Ducks Unlimited and board member of the Ravalli County Fish and Wildlife Association, Dan is committed to ensuring outdoor access, opportunity, and wild places are available for generations to come.

Manning Rushton, Northeastern Montana Board Member

Born in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in South Carolina, Manning grew up fishing the beautiful public waters in the region. While his dad was an experienced outdoorsman, the women in his family also fostered his passion for the outdoors. His mom took him on annual family trips to a coastal town where they would catch their favorite seafood: redfish, shrimp and crabs. After moving to Charleston, he pursued the bounty of fish and game the public swamplands and marshes provided.

In 2022, Manning moved to Montana to work as a Bison Specialist with American Prairie near Malta. He is proud to work for an organization that is ambitiously pursuing wildlife and habitat restoration while simultaneously opening up large tracts of land to public access.

Manning moved to Montana for its incredible public lands, waters and intact wildlife populations. As a Board Member, he is looking forward to fighting for the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and the public land hunting and fishing that supports it.

Micah Fields, Stewardship Leader

Micah grew up in Texas and attended the University of Montana to study English after serving four years in the Marine Corps as an infantry squad leader. While in Missoula, he worked as an outdoor educator and participated in local watershed rehabilitation projects. He is a lifelong volunteer and a firm believer in the power of collective action in the fight to maintain quality access to public land and water. His outdoor passions include wildlife habitat restoration, bowhunting, wild game cooking, and all methods of fishing. As the Stewardship Leader for the Montana chapter, he’s driven by the sense of accountability we have as forward-thinking hunters and anglers, drawing inspiration from Audubon’s assertion that “a true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” Micah now lives in Helena with his family, where he works as a writer and fly-fishing guide on the Missouri and Blackfoot Rivers.

John Acott, Events Leader

John has been a proud public land and waters owner and user for decades. Growing up John was fortunate to explore northern Wisconsin for seemingly endless summers and shorter adventures in the fall. Those early days gave an ineradicable dedication to all things outdoors. Public woods and waters gave access to miles of memories and endless opportunities to share with his seven children raised in the Chicago area. John has been able to explore much of the US in outdoor adventures but always favors time flushing (!) woodcock, grouse, wetting a line and slinging an arrow now and then. John is a former United States Marine and graduate of Marquette University. John also works with a foster child organization to introduce underprivileged youngsters to the outdoors via an outdoor camp in northern Wisconsin.

Luke Assenmacher, Marketing Leader

For the past decade, Luke has been on a relentless journey, crisscrossing continents and delving into the heartbeats of communities and their stories around the world. China, Morocco, Europe, Central America, Vietnam, & as of the last several years, you could find him hoofing it in the jungles of Hawaii chasing down billy goats or under a tree journaling sweet nothings.

Many would call him a “Digital Nomad”, regardless of the negative connotations, one thing is for certain he does know his way around the internet, where he has carved out a livin as founder of The Herd Studios, a full service video production agency.

Despite his globe-trotting adventures, Luke remains deeply rooted in his small-town roots, finding solace and inspiration amidst the rolling plains and tranquil rivers of Iowa and with amily in Montana. His work and optimism serves as a testament to the power of storytelling in engaging our youth & preserving the delicate balance of our ecosystems, ensuring that future generations inherit a world where wilderness and wild people thrive.

Board Members - Officers

John Sullivan:            Board Chair - Missoula

Thomas Baumeister:  Vice Chair & Montana Chapter Capital Leader – Helena

Lou Bahin:                 Board Secretary-Treasurer - Missoula

Jake Schwaller:          Eastern Montana Conservation Leader - Billings


Board Members - Regional

Aaron Agosto:                  Flathead Board Member - Bigfork

Doug Krings:                    Central Montana Board Member - Lewistown

Anne Jolliff:                      Helena Board Member - Montana City

Caleb Teigen:                   Gallatin Valley Board Member - Bozeman

Dan Tracey:                     Missoula Valley Board Member - Corvallis

Sunni Heikes-Knapton:     Madison Valley Board Member - Ennis

Manning Rushton:            Northeastern Montana Board Member - Malta


Board Members - Specialists

Micah Fields:                    Stewardship Leader - Helena

Luke Assenmacher:           Marketing Leader

John Acott:                       Events Leader - Red Lodge

Click here to contact the Montana chapter board.  

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