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.
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.
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.
Richard Martinez, El Portal FL
Exploring the Everglades and it's unique subtropical habitat has been one of my life's greatest passions. Inspired by the recreational opportunities on public land here in South Florida, I have developed a deep appreciation for it's distinct ecology. Unfortunately this rare ecology and access to it are under constant threat. BHA represents to me an opportunity to defend these wild places with the support of a group I can confidently call my tribe.
Andrew Maxwell, Auburn AL
I was fortunate that my father introduced me to hunting on Alabama's public lands at an extremely young age. Throughout my youth I hunted, fished and trapped everything that Alabama's public lands had to offer me. In recent years I have branched out and enjoyed the public lands of Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Florida, and Wyoming. The experiences I had on those public lands were not only some of the best times I've ever had in my life, but they also shaped who I am today.
As I got older I realized what public land did not always remain public. In 2015 Alabama's amount of public land was reduced by 17,725 acres with the loss of Boykin WMA. That event triggered my interest to get involved with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. For me, BHA is an organization that was long overdue for our part of the country. We southern public land owners now have a strong unified voice with BHA's Southeast chapter and I am honored to be helping in any way I can.
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.
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.
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.