Ryan Callaghan is the conservation director for MeatEater and a member of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, as well as a national board member. Ryan has been a passionate member of the outdoor community, growing up guiding hunting and fishing and playing in the West.
Senator Martin Heinrich
An avid sportsman and conservationist, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich has long worked to protect New Mexico’s public lands, watersheds and wildlife for future generations. Heinrich is a champion for the outdoor recreation industry, which is a major economic driver in New Mexico, particularly in rural communities.
Heinrich, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and co-chair of the bipartisan Outdoor Recreation Caucus, is leading the effort to pass bipartisan legislation to expand public access to our public lands across the country. A longtime supporter of enhancing outdoor educational opportunities for youth, he is working to pass the Every Kid Outdoors Act to provide America's fourth graders and their families free entrance to America's public lands, waters and historic sites. He is sponsoring bipartisan sportsmen’s legislation that would extend key conservation programs,improve the permitting process for commercial outfitters, and open up public access for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation.
Heinrich worked with local communities to designate the Río Grande del Norte and Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monuments. He played a key role in establishing the 570-acre Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, the Southwest's first urban wildlife refuge. Heinrich also led the effort to create the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Area, unlock public access to the Sabinoso Wilderness, establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and transition the Valles Caldera National Preserve to National Park Service management. He is now leading the effort to make Bandelier and White Sands National Monuments full-fledged national parks.
Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate, Heinrich served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and served four years as an Albuquerque City Councilor. Early in his career, Heinrich served in AmeriCorps for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and was the Executive Director of the Cottonwood Gulch Foundation, where he led youth educational wilderness expeditions and outdoor programs in the American Southwest. He also served as New Mexico’s Natural Resources Trustee, working to conserve the state’s outdoor heritage.
“A meal is not just what we eat, but a rich story of who we are!”
Eduardo Garcia is a lover of nature and passionate outdoorsman who works as a chef, entrepreneur and public speaker. Eduardo calls Paradise Valley, Montana his home. He has traveled extensively, and his adventures at home or abroad always revolve around anything and everything to do with food, the outdoors and an active, healthy lifestyle.
Cooking found him early in life, and through numerous restaurant jobs he found his calling. After graduating from culinary school, Eduardo set off on a decade long adventure cooking on yachts and honing his skills across the globe. He made a name for himself as a chef in this prestigious industry by inviting others into his kitchen and sharing his belief that "a meal" is more than just what we eat but an integral and creative part of what brings people together, building both community and culture.
As a founder and Chef of the national food brand, Montana Mex, Eduardo works alongside a passionate team to bring clean label condiments to hungry consumers across the country. Eduardo’s love of wide-open spaces, and his belief in the inherent value of the outdoors, is a common value among his fellow partners. Together, as a business, they support organizations like BHA and deliberately work to highlight the importance of the great outdoors in their marketing.
Eduardo is also a survivor. In 2011 while bow hunting in the Montana backcountry, he was electrocuted by an exposed high voltage power source, where he suffered extensive, life-threatening injuries and had to have his arm amputated. Today, Eduardo is the subject of the award-winning, feature-length documentary “Charged,” which chronicles his life leading up to the day of his injury and follows him through the remarkable journey of recovery and discovering oneself in the wake of tremendous trauma.
Most recently he hosted an outdoor series called "A Hungry Life," produced in partnership with YETI coolers. Eduardo believes that telling one's story is paramount to the preservation and continuation of a meaningful and purpose-driven life. The importance of connecting with wild, open spaces is core to Eduardo’s sense of place and peace in an ever-evolving and fast paced world. As a storyteller, Eduardo spins yarns wherever he can and to audiences small and large, aiming to inspire greater admiration and respect in others towards the value of the outdoors and the need to protect that resource.
Katie is a native New Mexican and avid hunter. She comes from a family of biologists and at a young age was instilled with a commitment to responsible land and wildlife management. Whether it’s a backcountry hunt or archery competition, she deeply values the challenge, unpredictability and unmatched sustenance a hunting lifestyle provides. It’s her aim to share this lifestyle with others and have a lasting impact on conservation throughout the Southwest.
Eeland Stribling was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. His first experience with nature was with his grandfather, who was the head of the Division of Wildlife, sitting with him watching Animal Planet and Steve Irwin's Crocodile Hunter. He recently graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Wildlife Biology and Conservation. While at CSU he began tying flies and fishing, and quickly found himself in New Zealand and South Africa, fly-fishing. He helped create the CSU fly-fishing club and loves working on conservation projects with PigFarmInk. His love for public lands shadows his love for fishing. Eeland is also a stand-up comedian who has performed in North Carolina, Nashville, Wyoming and all over Colorado. He believes in connecting with people, whether that means teaching kids to catch browns on a hopper or taking friends to his favorite Colorado valley (he'll never tell) or laughing with strangers about human experiences. And he believes that public lands are for everyone, and must be protected for everyone by everyone.
In a perfect world there would be endless amounts of public land with no threats to losing them. I could spend every second outdoors, make a solid living doing it and consume bacon cheeseburgers and fries without getting fat… we can all dream, right? With public land issues arising more and more frequently, I aspire to use my passion and experience aiding to help with conservation and keeping our public lands in public hands.
I am Ashley Kurtenbach, a born and raised Iowa farm girl, now residing in the Black Hills of South Dakota. I spend my spare time as an avid hunter of big game and upland birds, fitness fanatic and outdoor enthusiast. Public lands play a large role in the things I love to do in my free time. I couldn’t be happier to work with an organization like BHA, and I bring a dynamic drive and work ethic to the SD committee to protect these lands present us and for future generations to come.
Jenny Ly, born and raised in British Columbia, Canada, is a rookie hunter and a regional leader for the BC chapter of the BHA. The kicker is, she lives in a tiny apartment in the glass canyons of downtown Vancouver, does not own a car and up until recently had never shot a rifle. She runs a blog called Chasing Food Club to serve a movement of mindful eaters, erase the stigma of hunters and encourage others to do what they love (and do it often).