Rochelle Plocek - Chair
Rochelle was born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She didn’t know how lucky she was to grow up constantly adventuring on public land right out her backdoor. It wasn’t until in her 20’s, when for a short stint she lived in to New England, that she learned just how valuable public lands are. After two years of driving significant distances to access public lands, she returned to the west and the lands that she loved to played on.
Rochelle currently lives in Spearfish, SD with her hunting buddies, a daughter and two bird dogs. She enjoys any kind of outdoor adventure, especially when it involves sharing her love with the next generation. While Rochelle has hunted both big game and birds, she currently spends her spare time following her dogs across the prairies on public-land bird chases. She also can be found whiling away the hours attempting to convince trout to take a fly.
Rochelle is a graduate of the University of Montana with a B.S. in Resource Conservation. During her land management career she has worked for federal and state land management agencies as well as conservation non-profits. While her work has provided her opportunities to advocate for public lands, she has also learned conservation groups stand the best chance to protect public lands. Rochelle believes that public lands are among of our most valuable resources and that conservation organizations are the uniquely positioned to protect them.
William Busse - Treasurer
I am a 5th generation South Dakotan, and an avid hunter, hiker, cyclist, and skier. I am a BHSU alum, past Forest Service & Student Conservation Association employee, and have been in the real estate industry for the past nine years. I like to research game units and maps across the west, monitor wildlife management regulations, state legislation, and federal resource management objectives that affect public land, habitat, and wildlife. I look forward to further promoting conservation efforts in our state as I serve on the BHA South Dakota board. My aim is to improve habitat, access, and to give back to the wildlife that provide for us.
Travis Entenman - Policy Lead
Travis is the Managing Director of Friends of the Big Sioux River, Executive Director of Northern Prairies Land Trust, and sits on the Board of Supervisors at the Minnehaha Conservation District. He received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from South Dakota State University and his master’s in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School.
Growing up in South Dakota left him with a deep desire to sustain his natural environment. The idea of future generations not having a connection to the natural world imparted a sense of responsibility to leave the land as he found it and minimize the impacts of human activities. This drives his want to conserve our native prairies and clean our watersheds while educating the community on the importance of leaving the earth better than we found it, not letting the status quo continue just because, and showing what is possible when we care.
Travis resides in Sioux Falls with his wife and two sons.
Cody Grewing - Stewardship Lead
Cody is a South Dakota native and received a degree in Rangeland Ecology from South Dakota State University. As a career conservationist, Cody has spent many hours working on conservation projects on both sides of the River along with stints in other areas of the Great Plains. Cody subscribes to the notion that “ variety is the spice of life” and South Dakota’s numerous landscapes, resources, and public access allow for lots of opportunities in pursuit of fur,fish, and fowl. Cody is excited to be part of the team at SD BHA and help find creative ways to get members involved in rewarding stewardship projects that enhance habitats and foster long lasting friendships.
Kyle Gall - Social Media Coordinator
Kyle Gall was born and raised in South Dakota, grew up on the family farm just outside of Lesterville, SD. Kyle went to College at Dakota State University and earned a degree in Network and Systems Administration. Kyle, his wife and 3 kids currently live out on the farm. Kyle is always outside, doing chores, helping dad with broken equipment or chasing after kids. He loves working with his German Shorthaired Pointer- Kiba chasing upland birds or on the water following ducks.
His favorite memories growing up are hunting with his dad and hopes to pass those types of memories onto his child as well
Ashley Kurtenbach – Board of Directors
In a perfect world, there would be endless amounts of public land with no posing threats to losing it, I could spend every second outdoors and 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, and potential loss of these lands, I aspire to use my passion and experience in aiding to help with conservation and keeping our public lands in public hands.
I am Ashley Kurtenbach, a born and raised Iowa farm girl, and love brought me across South Dakota to the Black Hills area. I spend my spare time as an avid hunter of big game and upland birds, fitness fanatic, and outdoor enthusiast, and public lands play a large role in what I love doing 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 for us and for future generations to come.
Jesse Kurtenbach – Board of Directors
As a young boy Jesse was fortunate enough to spend his early years chasing his father around Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife refuge in Montana. Vivid memories of feeding swans, catching grayling, and trapping beavers resound from childhood. Like many, all of this time spent in the field chasing his father around was just preparation for when it was his turn to spend time in the great outdoors. Fast forward and Jesse has become an avid backcountry hunter and spends as much time possible in the western states chasing big game. The importance of our public lands has been drilled into his existence by a father who has spent the last 40 years in conservation. Doing his part to protect the future of these lands for future generations is the driving force behind the commitment to BHA.
Paul Lepisto- Board of Directors
Paul Lepisto works for the Izaak Walton League of America in South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa on issues affecting the Missouri River and resource conservation. Lepisto is a member of the Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee (MRRIC) that provides guidance on habitat recovery to the Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service. Lepisto also organizes river clean-ups and raises public awareness to issues facing the river and conservation. Paul is proud to have produced Tony Dean Outdoors TV and Dakota Backroads Radio for 18 years, he received numerous awards for programming excellence. A lifelong hunter and angler, Paul is passionate about the outdoors. He and his wife, Donna Leslie, live in Pierre.