Joey Bell, Nashville, TN
Joey Bell grew up on a farm in middle Tennessee. It was during his life there, he learned the value of hard work, respect for animals, and how to be a steward of the land by tending crops and maintaining habitat for wildlife.
His love for public lands was cultivated in the Duck River where he spent many days catching catfish and smallmouth bass as well as the occasional duck hunt in the winter. With a passion for the outdoors and preservation of our wildlife, he joined BHA immediately after hearing about their mission to protect our public lands. He knew he wanted to become involved and quickly volunteered for leadership roles within the Southeast Chapter."
Gunner Hall, Savannah, GA
Gunner is a lifelong outdoor enthusiast. Starting at an early age by “camping” out in his parent’s back yard with friends and backpacking the Colorado Rockies in his late teens.
His love of the outdoors remains today with hunting birds and big game mainly in the woods and swamps of Georgia’s Low Country and fishing in Georgia’s Atlantic Coastal Waterways. He is a strong advocate for conservation efforts and is committed to helping preserve public hunting land for future generations to enjoy. Gunner is a member of multiple organizations dedicated to conservation such as: Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Ruffed Grouse Society and The Ogeechee Riverkeeper.
Christopher L. Jenkins, PhD, Tiger, GA
Dr. Chris Jenkins is Founder, Director, and Chief Executive Officer of The Orianne Society. He also chairs the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Viper Specialist Group and has served in advisory and leadership roles in Partners for Reptiles and Amphibian Conservation and Gopher Tortoise Council. Since its founding the Orianne Society has worked on conservation projects for reptiles and amphibians across North America. Specifically, Orianne has protected and restored a great deal of habitat much of which is now public land that can be accessed by anyone to hunt and fish. Chris is a sportsman and hunts extensively across the southeast, northeast and the west. His interest in conservation, hunting, and wilderness brought him to serve on the board of the southeast chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Chris’ expertise is in the ecology and conservation of rattlesnakes and he travels across the country giving seminars on rattlesnake ecology, snake bite prevention, and treatment of snake bite in the field. He gives these seminars to a wide range of groups including sportmans groups, agency staff, and Boy Scout troops.
Before founding the Orianne Society Dr. Jenkins worked with Wildlife Conservation Society to conserve rare wildlife species in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. He also has worked with the United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Massachusetts, University of British Columbia, and National Geographic. Chris received a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Massachusetts in wildlife biology and wildlife conservation, respectively. Where he focused on the ecology and conservation of rare salamanders. He received his Ph.D. in biological sciences from Idaho State University where he studied the impacts of grazing and changing fire regimes on Great Basin Rattlesnakes.
Scott M. Jones, Atlanta, GA
Aldo Leopold once said that “a thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community.” BHA in my mind is built around this ethos and the preservation of the uniquely American privilege of wild publics lands feels about as “right” of an ambition that any man or organization can ever set to accomplish. Public lands have taught me more life lessons than I ever could have hoped to have learned from my father who passed away when I was a child. My aim and I believe BHA’s aim, is to preserve and expand this very fertile training ground for all those that are daring and open enough to learn from it.
Jeffrey M. Jones, Huntsville, AL
BHA is the intersection of all the things that matter to me regarding the outdoors: the sporting life, environmental conservation and mindful stewardship of natural resources. It is my tribe.
Dr. Beau Beard, Birmingham, TN
Dr. Beau Beard is a Chiropractic Physician at The FARM: Functional Athletic Rehabilitation & Movement (www.chirofarm.com) in Birmingham, which he founded with his wife in 2014. He has been featured in national publications, served as team chiropractor for local universities, taught classes across the U.S. and has also been a speaker on the TEDx Birmingham stage. Dr. Beard sits on the board of numerous non-profit organizations geared towards improving human health and fostering conservation efforts. In his spare time enjoys hunting, trail running and really any outdoor adventure
Drew Loschke, Nashville, TN
I believe that BHA will fight for me, but not just for me, but for “the number within the womb of time…the unborn generations."
Lee MacDonald, Atlanta, GA
Public Land is something uniquely American. It allows us to pay the debt to the earth for what we take. It allows us the freedoms to wander. BHA allows us to stand up for those freedoms.
Andrew Monaghan, Magnolia Springs, AL
I am drawn to BHA’s commitment to public land advocacy, outdoor traditions, and intelligent use. Furthermore, I believe BHA will be an effective and powerful voice for public lands in the Southeast.
Chad A. Rischar, Keystone Heights, FL
I’m a member of several personal and professional organizations, but BHA is the center stone of my values and beliefs. Access to public lands, conservation, and improving “ the well, not the pump” are vital to our nation’s future. I am actively engaged in BHA because I enjoy being a Public Land Owner and protecting public access in perpetuity.
Joshua Watts, Wesson MS
I grew up in Mississippi, enjoying the public woods and waters that the state has to offer. While the southeast region has some great public access and opportunity, it doesn't have the amount that the western states enjoy. This makes the public land we have even more precious. I know BHA is committed to preserving these lands and I will stand with them to do my part.
Gerald Cook, Nashville, TN
Gerald Cook took his first week-long backcountry trip when he was 6 years old, paddling & portaging the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with his dad. Since that time he’s spent many a night in backcountry camps around the country hiking, hunting or fishing. He’s fished “Bucket List” states and rivers, hunted waterfowl in 3 of the 4 flyways, followed his bird dog on upland hunts and hiked over 3 different continental divides in North America. Although he resides in Tennessee he has contributed conservation dollars to 12 different states (and counting) through licensing. Next on the list: a cast & blast return trip to Alaska.
Gerald’s passion for Public Land began in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and he fuels that passion often with return trips. He fights passionately for clean water, access, and conservation.
Andrew Martin, AL
My youth was steeped in rich outdoor traditions of the Deep South. From fishing in the Lowcountry of Georgia to hunting the ridges of the Appalachians, I experienced the greatest landscapes the Southeast had to offer. After graduating from the University of Georgia, I began a career in landscape architecture, and my passion for wildlife habitats, native plants, and diverse ecosystems continued to grow. I believe public land gives people the opportunity to embark on adventures, harvest sustainable game, and steward our treasured natural resources.
American sportsmen lay claim to many of our nation’s past conservation victories. My desire is that hunters and anglers uphold this legacy and champion the preservation of wildlife and wild places. For this reason, I am a proud member of BHA.
Kurt Holmes, Nashville TN
I grew up hunting, fishing and exploring our public lands and waters in West TN. It is that time that nurtured my deep appreciation and love for the natural world. I joined BHA because I wanted to be involved with an organization that would work to protect our wild places.
James Brandenburg, AR
When the term "adult onset outdoorsman", came into fashion, I had already been living the dream for a number of years. I started with a fly fishing lesson and then got into hunting when my own young boys showed an interest in chasing whitetail deer. You might say we all grew up together in the outdoors.
It wasn't until we vacationed with family friends that I truly realized the value of our vast public lands. That summer we fished several beautiful streams in Colorado. When the boys asked what "public land" meant, I had to do some research to be able to answer their question thoroughly. It was only then that I came to understand the treasure held in trust for us.
When I came back to Arkansas, I started to look around for new public land and water adventures. I have found the best of what I can be as a father and husband in the outdoors, and I am excited to be able to work on behalf of our Southeast Chapter members to advocate for our unique public lands and waters.
Scott Penka, FL
I grew up in Vermont, where my father was and remains an avid hunter and angler, at a young age he became my mentor. Learning about hunting and the value of preserving our lands and the sustainability of wildlife. After high school I joined the Marine Corps. Unfortunately I was only able to Hunt a few times while stationed in North Carolina. At the end of my enlistment I moved to Florida. Once Settled I discovered the vast amounts of public lands Florida has to offer. Whether it’s whitetail deer, wild hogs, alligators, small game or being able to fish fresh and saltwater, the ability to hunt Public lands means a lot to me. It is a therapeutic relief from the everyday stress of life. I became involved with BHA because I wanted to support an organization that would stand up for all sportsman, protect our public lands, and keep it protected from development in an ever growing suburbia. Volunteering for a leadership role to be a spokesman for BHA and what they stand for is not just for me but my children and the future generations that follow. I believe that by being involved with BHA, that they will have the same opportunities I have.