News for Immediate Release
November 15, 2023
Contact: Thomas Plank, 303-720-0111, [email protected]
MISSOULA, Mont. – Three BHA staff members have been chosen to fill newly-created positions focused on land stewardship and state and regional policy and conservation imperatives.
Brittany Parker has been named Habitat Stewardship Manager.
In her new role, she will work across the U.S. with BHA field staff, volunteers, state and federal land management agencies and other partners to advance meaningful land stewardship and restoration, and fish and wildlife habitat conservation on public lands and waters.
Parker on an archery hunt
Parker, of Eagle, Colorado, first served BHA as a volunteer Chapter Leader. She then joined the staff as Habitat Stewardship Coordinator for Colorado.
In that role, working with key agency partners, she spearheaded numerous projects resulting in the removal of more than 20 miles of fencing. Her dedication to this work also saw her mobilize and lead hundreds of volunteers. Those efforts were instrumental in enhancing BHA's stewardship program, positioning the organization as a prominent advocate in nonprofit habitat restoration.
Once a rafting guide and instructor and competitor in whitewater stand-up paddling and river surfing, Parker explored the globe participating in various whitewater races and river surfing competitions, earning spots on the podium year after year.
Later in life, she discovered her passion for hunting, motivated by a desire to forge a deeper connection to food and place. This new pursuit unveiled the pivotal role that hunters play in the realm of conservation. Parker’s alignment with these values led her to BHA.
These days, she likes to hunt elk with a bow and hike with her German short-haired pointer in search of blue grouse, chukar and quail.
Chris Borgatti and Devin O’Dea have been named Policy and Conservation Managers. Borgatti will cover the Eastern U.S. and O’Dea will focus on most Western states.
Borgatti and O’Dea will work closely in their respective territories with BHA chapter leaders and partner organizations. They will guide engagement on state and regional legislative and administrative actions related to the conservation of lands and waters, public access, hunting and fishing opportunities, and the stewardship of fish and wildlife habitat.
Like Parker, Borgatti’s service to BHA began in chapter leadership. He held a seat on the New England Chapter Board for three years before joining the staff as a Coordinator for New England, New York, and New Jersey in 2021.
Chris Borgatti in the marsh
In the time he has worked for BHA he has successfully supported his chapters in achieving and exceeding their goals and has elevated the organization’s stature as a leader in conservation in the Northeast.
Borgatti is a Massachusetts native who previously worked as a project engineer for an environmental engineering firm and then had a lengthy career as a high school biology and AP environmental science teacher. Outside the classroom, he led students on outdoor adventure trips – typically with a heavy dose of backcountry fishing – to some of America’s best public lands in the East, West, and Alaska, plus destinations in Europe, Central and South America.
Chris was born and raised in the suburbs west of Boston. As a boy, first with a bicycle and then with a jon boat, he spent most days after school fishing and exploring the Charles River. He has long recognized the role public lands and waters have played in his outdoor passions. An avid hunter, Borgatti spends the most days in the field waterfowl or archery deer hunting on public land. On the water he enjoys chasing striped bass and hiking to remote ponds with a float tube. When there are waves, you will find Chris surfing. To keep in shape for his hunting and surfing adventures, Chris competes in several endurance sports where he has earned spots on podiums, All American honors, and a national title.
He and his family reside in coastal Massachusetts.
O’Dea grew up backpacking and fishing the Trinity Alps and Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges of Northern California and has been abalone diving, spearfishing, and foraging in the Pacific Ocean for several decades.
O'Dea with a pronghorn buck
Professionally, he worked in the environmental consulting industry and as a marketing manager, but the allure of the backcountry, bowhunting and a love for wild places and wild food brought him to BHA.
O’Dea began at BHA as the California Chapter Coordinator, where he oversaw projects in the Golden State including: large scale wildfire restoration projects, wildlife crossings, and advancing multiple bighorn sheep habitat projects through an innovative partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps helicopter squadron HMLAT303 out of Camp Pendleton.
In addition to leading grassroots habitat stewardship throughout the state, Devin and the chapter engaged through state and federal channels to secure enduring conservation measures in California including leveraging LWCF funding to acquire priority landscapes in critical fish and wildlife habitat, advancing legislative efforts to conserve public lands and waters, and ensuring access for all to hunt, fish, forage and enjoy public lands, lakes, rivers and coastal waters.
O’Dea lives with his wife and two daughters in Southern California where he spearfishes, bow hunts and wing shoots as much as a dad with two small girls can.
O’Dea and Borgatti will join Kevin Farron, Regional Policy Manager for Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota and Kaden McArthur, Government Relations Manager, to comprise BHA’s state and federal policy staff.
“I’m excited to have these three serving BHA, our chapters, membership and mission in these new roles,” said Interim CEO and Vice President of Operations Frankie McBurney Olson. “Brittany, Devin and Chris have each proven themselves at the regional level and I can’t wait to see what they can do working with a larger pool of public land advocates across broader geographies.”
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