Oregon Board


Ian Isaacson

Chair

Like most people living in Bend, Oregon, Ian is a transplant from a far off land. He hails from the Great Lakes State and like many Michiganders before him, followed in the footsteps of his father, hunting and fishing the millions of acres of public land and water available in the state. In 2012, after reading an Outdoor Life magazine article naming Bend the #1 town for sportsman, his sense of adventure took over and he, his now wife Devin and their Springer Spaniel Archer packed up and made the 2,300 mile trip to Bend that Summer.

With a degree in Landscape Architecture, Ian now works for the Bend Park & Recreation District as a Landscape Designer and owns his own residential landscape design business. Since taking the biggest, scariest and most amazing chance of their lives, many of Ian and Devin’s most cherished memories have come while hiking, camping and exploring some of Oregon’s most wild and scenic places.

In the Spring and Summer months, you will find Ian on weekend adventures with Devin, wetting a line in the nearest stream, racing in Triathlons all across the Pacific Northwest and continuously talking about the upcoming hunting season (Devin can verify this).

Come fall and winter, Ian will be doing one of four things; chasing deer and elk with his bow, trying to keep up with Archer and Atlas (his Yellow Labrador Retriever and the only native born Oregonian in the family) as they find and flush birds, playing ice hockey or watching Jim Harbaugh lead Ian’s beloved Wolverines back into national prominence.

No matter the season, one common thread weaves many of Ian’s passions and loves together, our public lands and waters. Fighting to maintain and enhance access to these wild places for all citizens is why Ian is proud to serve as the Chair for the Oregon Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.


Chelsea Cassens

Secretary/Treasurer

Chelsea was born in Eastern Oregon where she was raised on public lands and wild places. Her passion for public lands comes from previous generations of parents and grandparents who exposed her to the beauty of the outdoors and built memories to last a lifetime.  

After spending 9 years in the Portland area attending the School of Nursing at the University of Portland and beginning her nursing career, her and her husband Tanner were lucky enough to move back home to Eastern Oregon where they are raising their two children Brynlee and Lane. As a family they enjoy hunting big game and upland birds during the fall. During the winter you can find them chasing waterfowl and steelhead fishing. In spring and summer they are enjoying multiple public land activities whether it is trying to outsmart the elusive Rio Grande turkey, to mushroom and huckleberry picking, to spending time in the woods scouting and camping with friends and family.  As a family the Cassens’ crew is a Life Time Member of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, members of Oregon Hunters Association, Wild Sheep Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a sustaining member of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, and 2% for Conservation. They enjoy being active in their small community and being an advocate for the public land their livelihood depends on.

Chelsea is also the Oregon Ambassador for Artemis Sportswomen, a non-profit organization of women protecting sporting traditions, supporting women as leaders in the conservation movement, and fostering the next generation of conservationists. She also enjoys photography and capturing the memories of her time spent on public lands with her family to cherish forever.  Chelsea believes that everyone at some level cares for fish and wildlife as well as clean air and clean water, and joining a bipartisan organization like BHA brings us the most common sense solution to get the most realistic outcomes for our future generations.


Tristan Henry

Communications Director

An Oregon native, Tristan has a lot of gratitude for the trails that lead people to their passions. In 1994 his parents bought a farm in the Yamhill River valley. They partnered with NRCS and ODFW and Tristan got to see first hand his father's vision of stewardship realized and a native ecology restored. In the wetlands and in the woods, every day after school, he was free to 

explore, hunt and fish and learn on his own the natural side of the world's order. He cultivated a passion and a fascination with the natural world that is as persistent now as ever.

Upon graduating from Oregon State University in 2011, Tristan moved to central Oregon to work in the Outdoor Industry. Now, still in Bend, he owns & operates a small marketing agency, and takes every opportunity to retreat to the rivers, lakes, woods and mountains to fish, ride bikes, snowboard, wing shoot and bow hunt.

He's only a recently converted to chasing larger game, but even as a novice it’s easy to see that Tristan is enthralled with the learning process and has found that pursuing deer, elk, or turkey with a bow to be one of the most rewarding and exhilarating pursuits of his life so far.


Like many, Tristan relies largely on #PublicLands his my hunting, fishing and other assorted outdoor endeavors, and he's proud to be working with BHA to be an ambassador for the conservation ethos that we lovers of the outdoors and all humanity benefit so much from.


Nic Collero

Policy Director

A Pacific NW native and University of Oregon graduate, Nic has worked the majority of his professional career in the non-profit conservation field working to protect wildlife and the large swaths of public lands they call home. Working 7 years for the National Wildlife Federation Nic organized sportsmen and women on conservation issues dealing with renewable energy, LWCF funding, protecting public lands and impacts to ESA listed species from proposed development and changing climates. It was not uncommon to find Nic wandering the halls of the Senate and House buildings in Washington DC with Oregonian hunters and anglers in tow bird dogging Members of Congress. Currently Nic works for a non profit that focusses specifically on protecting BLM land across the west.

When he is not in the office he is either backcountry salmon and steelhead fishing somewhere in the coastal rainforest, chasing stupid blacktail deer, elk hunting, dreaming about elk hunting, rock climbing in the Pacific Cascades, while preparing to soon teach all of these to his newborn daughter Mia.


Bill Welch

Volunteer Director

He holds an Associate’s Degree from Central Oregon Community College and attended Central Washington University. Bill has been a firefighter for 25 years.

Bill is an avid archery hunter. Credit for becoming an archery hunter goes to his oldest daughter who did archery through our local 4H chapter. When not chasing elk, Bill and his family enjoy mountain biking, hiking and fishing.

Bill is fairly new to Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and has found its mission to protect special places and keep public lands public to resonate with him. Wanting to do more than just pay dues, Bill sought an opportunity to bring his leadership strengths to serve BHA.

Bill, his wife and three children live in Redmond.

 


Morgan Olson

Conservation/Habitat Director

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Born and raised in Oregon.  Grew up in the Gresham area and then moved to LaGrande to attend college at Eastern Oregon University.  Graduated from Oregon State University with a degree Range Management and Crop Science.

Morgan is involved in a number of outdoor related groups which support public access for hunting and fishing...

  • President of the Union/Wallowa County Chapter of the Oregon Hunters Association
  • Chairmen of ODFW Access and Habitat East Region
  • ODFW Bear and Cougar Agent
  • Member of Wallow Mountains Hells Canyon Trails Association

Morgan is a strong supporter of multi-use on public land, sustainable forestry and grazing management, and ensuring that public land stays public.  “Everyone needs to have their place to recreate on public lands…I choose to spend most of my time in the backcountry so it’s important to me that we preserve these resources for current and future generations to experience”.

In his spare time you will find Morgan in a drift boat stocking trout and steelhead, leading a pack string, running his hounds, hunting and fishing across the Western US and around the world.


Sara McClendon

Northwest Region Director I

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Sara McClendon was born and raised in the one and only Tillamook, Oregon; land of cheese, trees and ocean breeze. Along with the beauty and unique location of this incredible part of Oregon comes the bounties that await the outdoor lover in Sara.

As a child, Sara was greatly involved in the local 4H clubs, always baking delicious handpicked blackberry pies in the summertime with mom, hunting Grouse with dad in the fall, and camping at the lake with her family for 9 days catching Bluegill, Bass, Trout and Crawdads from the time she was old enough to stand and hold a fishing rod.

Now, an avid Steelhead fisherman, Blacktail Deer and newly acclaimed Roosevelt Elk archery hunter, she still spends most of her free time in the backcountry. Being only 10 minutes away from prime hiking, hunting, fishing, crabbing and loads of other outdoor activities, it’s easy to disappear from the rest of the world and pretty difficult to stay home. With her husband of 8 years (and high school sweetheart) Russell, and beloved German Shorthaired Pointer, Sawyer, they all enjoy soaking in and exploring all the amazing opportunities these beautiful public lands have to offer them.

“We are so blessed to live and thrive in this special place we call home. I know that someday when we decide to start a family, we will be spending every free moment we have teaching our kids to love, respect & cherish these public lands that we spend so much of our precious outdoor time in, just like our families did with us. That is one of the biggest reasons why I wanted to represent BHA in the first place, to keep those family traditions alive in this fast-paced, digital world we live in and never forgotten about.”

Sara holds an Associate’s degree in Science and is also a Forestry student at OSU and excited to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources. She is proud to serve as being “a voice for our wild public lands, waters & wildlife” with Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and will continue to pursue her dream in making sure that the land she loves is well-taken care of and protected for future generations to come.


Jack Lander

Northwest Region Director II

jack_lander_2019.jpgMy name is Jack Lander. I am on the board of the Oregon chapter of BHA. I grew up in Gold Beach Oregon. My favorite things to do growing up included playing football, wrestling, hunting, and fishing. I grew up hunting private timber lands chasing Roosevelt elk, Blacktail deer, and black bear. As I got older, the timber lands that we hunted began closing down to public use and it made it very difficult to hunt. We had limited access to public land.

I began to realize how important it is to stand up and fight for public lands. I joined BHA in 2017 because I wanted my voice to be heard. I have been blessed to be a part of the board for a year now. I love helping others and I love being able to help make a difference in the world. Standing up for our land is something that I am passionate about and I look forward to what the coming years have in store for us at BHA. 

 


Chris Hager

Northwest Region Director III

Bio coming soon.


Brian Sexton

Southwest Region Director I

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Brian Sexton grew up in Southern Oregon with unlimited opportunities to chase fish and game from Oregon’s rocky beaches to the sagebrush seas of the Eastern high desert. Brian was taught the value of public land early on with tales of how his grandfather, Pop, eloped with his new bride from Texas to Washington, homesteading on the banks of the Hoh river. When asked why he did Pop would only say “the fishing and hunting was better”.

Brian now makes his home in Grants Pass, OR with his wife Suzanne and two young daughters, Brooks and Kinley. Brian is committed to fighting for the health of public lands to ensure that his girls will have the opportunity to enjoy their own outdoor pursuits. Brian first became engaged with BHA in 2010 while living in Alaska. The focus on keeping access to public lands and protecting vulnerable habitat made BHA the perfect fit.

Brian makes his living managing a small family practice medical office outside of Grants Pass. He also enjoys writing about the conservation movement and the dilemmas that the modern hunters and anglers face.  When left to his own devices you will likely find Brian with a fly rod in hand chasing native trout, or trying to follow his German Wirehair into the chukar mountains of Southeastern Oregon.


Justin Gindlesperger

Southwest Region Director II

Justin was born and raised in western Pennsylvania; although, a few centuries behind the westward expansion he began his own westward journey after college. His love of adventure and wild places led him first to Colorado and then on to Oregon. With ample places to roam, Justin is a 4-season athlete and you can find him hunting, fishing, hiking, running or skiing – sometimes combining more than 1 on a single trip – in the mountains of Southern Oregon where he calls home.

He’s been fortunate to call several states home and soon realized that hunting, fishing and an understanding of the outdoors is not a given.  But there’s a common thread that can unite a lot of different groups – public lands. When he saw an ad for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, he found an exciting group of sportsmen and women lending a new voice for conservation.

Justin is eager to share his passion with others and he’s happy to teach new hunters the ropes or share the harvest with his skeptical, largely vegetarian, neighbors. He’s been fortunate to share many great memories hunting with his dad and his wife, and looks forward to passing the torch to his 4 kids. 


Ed Putnam

Central Region Director I

Ed came west in 1991 with little more than a backpack and a fly rod. Since then he's worn out many pairs of boots traveling Oregon's backcountry. Whether he's carrying a

 longbow for elk, a shotgun for chukar, a fly rod for trout, or a spey rod for steelhead, he always brings with him a deep respect for the land and its natural ecosystems.

Ed is active with Traditional Archers of Central Oregon, promoting the sport of archery, and has served on the USFS's Travel Management Plan for the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests. For Ed, hunting and fishing are not just pastimes, but adventures that allow him to be connected to nature. Working with BHA is his way of setting an example to others. Through BHA he helps ensure that our relationship to the natural world is not lost to the ages, but is carried on to future generations.

 


Ryan Hibler

Central Region Director II

Ryan’s introduction to hunting was bouncing on the back of a horse at the age of three in the rugged roadless areas of the Oquirrh Mountains in Utah.  Twenty-five years, a couple states, and many hunts later he found himself visiting Bend, Oregon.  The close proximity of public land to hike, ski, bike, fish, and hunt convinced him to invest his future in the beautiful state of Oregon.

Ryan has always held not just the animals he hunts but the land and environment they call home in high regard.   An understanding that our impacts on wild places continue well after we have left the field has lead him to install solar, invest in energy efficiency upgrades on his home, and to minimize wasteful use of resources.  

After moving to Oregon, Ryan traded in hooves for boots but loves the backcountry all the same (but misses those hooves dearly on successful hunts far from the truck).  Through BHA he looks forward to protecting the quality and integrity of the wild places that belong to every American.


Zach Mansfield

Eastern Region Director I

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Zach is a fourth Generation Oregonian. His roots run deep in the Oregon landscape, and can be traced as far back to his great great grandparents walking the Oregon trail to seek a new life out west.  After a stint in the Navy, Zach made it his life mission to get back to his roots, and make North Eastern Oregon his home. He is happy to report the mission is complete. He lives in a sleepy little town where a public land adventure can be accessed 15 minutes out his front door.

For money, Zach is a licensed electrician, for fun, Zach finds time in his busy schedule to pen articles and snap photos for both local and national outdoor publications. If you ask him, He “stumbled” into writing and photography out of a hobby that has spiraled out of control. 

Any given weekend, you can find him chasing whatever is in season in Eastern Oregon. His favorite pursuits are where maximum suffering and success collide by accident or by design to create the ultimate adventure and story to last a lifetime. What he loves to chase most though are his two kids.  The BHA mission ensures that his two little daughters ,will get to see some of the same public land experiences that have helped shaped the kind-of man he is today, which is exactly why he finds it easy to be a-part of the organization.

Between all of that, Zach’s rock, his wife Chelcee, supports everything he does. In return, he promises to make her a delicious duck surprise, the occasional elk backstrap dinner, and find countless reasons to take her, and the girls, on as many public land adventures as possible.


OPEN COMMITTEE POSITIONS

Ambassador Level Volunteers

Do you have experience or expertise in communications, policy, conservation or organizing volunteers? 

We are currently looking to fill our newly developed committees with super volunteers from each region (Northwest, Southwest, Central, Eastern).

For more information on our Ambassador program and committees, please reach out to us at oregon@backcountryhunters.org.


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