Perry Hall, Chair
A bit of an anomaly in the Utah chapter, Perry grew up in eastern Massachusetts, spending his summers fishing, shooting archery, and exploring what little public lands existed in the Greater Boston area. He quickly realized that his love of all things out of doors required a change. He migrated to his parents’ home state of Vermont for college, where he could pursue his passions of skiing and mountain biking. A bit of an adult onset hunter, Perry finally began pursuing the critters of New England after a roommate from Vermont got him into the deer and upland woods. Upon graduating from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Recreation Management, he moved to Alta to pursue a powder skiing master’s degree. He easily made his decision to remain in Utah after one summer spent exploring the public land opportunities in the Salt Lake Area. After an extremely comedic first duck hunt, and an encounter with a bugling bull 30 minutes into his first elk hunt, his initial apprehension and excuses disappeared and you can now find him pursuing mule deer, elk, and waterfowl from August to January. After countless days spent on public lands hunting, mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and fly-fishing, he wanted to be more involved and jumped headfirst into BHA in the fall of 2016.
Caitlin Curry, Vice Chair
Born and raised in Buffalo, NY, Caitlin grew up with an innate interest in the outdoors but without vast tracts of public land nearby. The outdoor bug eventually took hold and drove her to Utah in search of countless public land adventures. Already an active member of the NY BHA chapter and then the UT BHA Chapter, she was inspired by the opportunity to support UT BHA in a leadership capacity to defend public lands, access, and opportunity for public land hunters on the incredible Utah landscape. She first served as Chapter Secretary for two years before becoming Vice Chair. Though she pursues a vast array of wild game, her heart lies with bowhunting and can often be putting on miles in the Wasatch Mountains as a weekend-warrior during the archery season or trail running the same mountains to stay ready during the off-season. In her career, Caitlin is a finance and accounting professional with a B.S. in Business Administration and MBA from the University at Buffalo where she was a Division I Track & Field and Cross Country student-athlete.
Matthew Wohlwend, Treasurer
Matt has had the privilege of being an outdoorsman for most of his life, inspired at an early age by family camping and fishing trips. He is a Texas native and comes to Utah by way of the Midwest and Northeast after heeding the call of the mountains. Each successive move has opened up more opportunities for recreating on public lands, which has kindled the desire to leave behind a positive legacy of access and opportunity. Matt wants others to have the same opportunities as he has today, whether they choose to hike deep off-trail in search of bugling bulls, or simply to marvel at the natural world from a car window. He enjoys pursuing furred, feathered, and scaled critters as a way to find new adventures, share companionship, and bring home a meal. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MS in Systems Engineering, and currently works as a Systems Engineer.
John Fairchild, Policy Advisor
Hunter Huffman, Secretary
Hunter grew up in the outdoors with his family here in Utah, spending most of his time either skiing, mountain biking, or fishing. Later on, Hunter fell in love with fly-fishing and since then has spent many summers on the river throwing flies with friends and family. Having recognized that public lands and waters gave some much to him throughout his life, he realized he wanted to give back somehow.
Hunter joined the BHA Board most importantly to help preserve and better our public lands and waters for future generations. During his time as a board member, it is most important to him to learn and become a more knowledgeable and confident advocate when it comes to conserving our public lands and waters. Hunter is also looking forward to becoming an avid hunter and gaining as much experience as possible from fellow BHA members and board members.
Josh Liljedahl, R3 Coordinator
Josh grew up in western North Carolina in an outdoor obsessed family. Much of his childhood was spent fly fishing local streams, hunting whitetails or hiking in the mountains. After earning his Masters of Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University, he visited Utah a few times. He fell in love with the west, quit his job and moved to Salt Lake City. He now spends his free time pursuing elk, fly fishing or mountain biking.
Introducing his wife, Charlotte, to hunting helped Josh realize the barriers to entry novice hunters face and the importance of having a good mentor. His work with BHA centers around helping new hunters become good stewards of our wild areas and increasing public land hunting opportunities.
Will Peterson, Conservation Coordinator
Will grew up in Utah, His family has been here since the 1850's. Will has spent his whole life in the outdoors, from Lake Powell as it was filling, to the West Desert and everywhere in between. Will has the amazing curse of always wanting to know what is on the other side of the hill, which has given him the chance to see amazing things in the backcountry. This is something he hopes his children and grandchildren have a chance to do. Hunting has always been a part of these adventures, but is only a small part of the love for the outdoors. Being able to spend time with family using public lands is a must to keep going and that is why I have become a member of the BHA Board, to make sure that our children have a future to enjoy public lands.
Jason Kaitchuk, Conservation Coordinator
Growing up in Chicago, Illinois the outdoors was instilled on Jason at an early age. With Lake Michigan right there and many forest preserves Jason’s father made sure he appreciated the natural world. This led to him getting a wildlife degree from the University of Tennessee and his master’s in environmental geographic information sciences. Working as a wildlife biologist for different federal agencies Jason has been lucky enough to work and recreate on a variety of public lands. He is hoping to use his knowledge and passion and assist BHA in anyway possible to help public lands.
In his free time, he is usually exploring new public lands through hunting and fishing. When Spring hits he can usually be found chasing gobbles and in the fall will be chasing mule deer and elk. Spending most of his free time on public lands he understands the importance of multiuse.
Katie Stewart, Event Coordinator
Avid outdoorswoman and passionate angler, Katie is excited to join the Utah Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. Born in Montana, raised in Texas, and settled in Utah, Katie has been a lover of the outdoors her entire life. Her passion for fly fishing and dedication to stewardism led her to join BHA. Conservation of Utah's water, land, and wildlife is a sacred oath Katie believes is every Utahan's responsibility. Utah's wild places are profoundly special, and need community support and protection.
Garrit Slatcoff, Policy & Access Coordinator
Garritt grew up in northwest Indiana, where his dad and grandpa taught him the importance of being connected to nature and wildlife. At a young age, they began taking him into the woods with them, spending countless hours chasing turkeys in the spring and whitetails in the fall. While in the woods, he would listen to stories from their past, when they went on western adventures hunting mule deer and elk. They spoke of beautiful, rugged mountains and vast public land that was open for anyone to explore. Having only experienced the flatlands of Indiana at that point in his life, Garritt quickly fell in love with their stories and couldn’t wait to begin making his own. During high school and college, he would go on multiple camping trips out West each year with friends and family. They spent their time visiting National Parks, BLM land, & National Forests. During this time, he was able to fully understand the stories he grew up listening to and realized the importance of our public lands. After graduating college and moving to Utah, Garritt joined BHA so he could begin supporting conservation efforts and protecting public land access. He believes that everyone should have the opportunity to access our public land and experience the outdoors. He has a passion for pursuing big game, with his birddog Gryphon always at his side. Garritt graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Economic Consulting, and currently works as a Business Consultant.
Tate Myers, Development Coordinator
Growing up in the farm country of west central Ohio, Tate did not have much access to public land. However, he did find his first love of fishing at a very early age. By the age of 11, he had acquired his first fly rod setup and began to teach himself the ropes. After being introduced to waterfowl and deer hunting in high school, the obsession for the outdoors really took off.
After graduating college in Ohio, Tate headed west in hopes to have more access to our wild lands and waters. Since being here, he now partakes in nearly all of the hunting and fishing opportunities that Utah and its surrounding states have to offer. At any point throughout the year, you can find Tate on his drift boat chasing browns, or up in the mountains chasing deer, elk, bear, & coyotes all over our public lands.
Ben Kraja, Board Member at Large
Ben grew up waterfowl and big game hunting with his family in Utah and developed a deep appreciation for public lands at a very young age. During college he taught himself how to fly fish and while he was there he also earned a BS in Environmental & Sustainability Studies and an MS in Natural Resource Recreation Planning and Management.
Ben has worked for the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and currently works for the US Forest Service in Salt Lake City. His favorite thing to do is bird hunt with his dog Arrow and he is looking forward to having his two young boys tag along for future adventures.
Trish Hedin, Board Member at Large
Trish has been an avid outdoorswoman her entire life. Growing up in a logging family requires not only being tough, but enjoying all the outdoors has to offer. Trish has trapped and hunted throughout her whole life and believes in access to public lands and the bounty that they provide. She is an educator who has taught all ages and is currently a professor for the Utah State University with the Department of Environment and Society, as well as working for her local school district. Trish is also enthusiastically involved with the UDWR as both a regional RAC Chair and a hunter education instructor.
Tony Mancuso, Southeastern Region Board
I grew up hunting whitetail and upland birds in the mixed hardwood forests of eastern Pennsylvania. My family tried hard to pique my curiosity in the outdoor world, and it worked. For me, the best thing about living in the West is the abundance of space where a person can explore and discover. That inspiration led me to pursue a lifelong career outdoors as a guide, wildlife tech, and land manager. It's really a privilege to call Utah home. The same passion that drives me to get outside; demands that I work to protect the places I go.
Joshua Lenart, Special Advisor / Past Chair
Although his dad is a bird hunter and his brother a deer hunter, Joshua is an archery elk hunter. A lifelong outdoorsman, he moved to Montana to chase wapiti across the public lands that support them after a chance encounter with a traditional archer in the Gallatin National Forest in 2002. Joshua holds an MA in English from Montana State University and a PhD in Rhetoric and Writing Studies from the University of Utah where he currently teaches technical communication in the Communication, Leadership, Ethics, and Research (CLEAR) Program. His appointment is in the Departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Chemical Engineering. His research focuses on land management policy as it relates to landscape-scale infrastructure and its impacts on wildlife, habitat, and adaptation planning. Currently, he is working closely with several local and national organizations to research stakeholder discourse on the sale, transfer, and management of federal public lands. Joshua also serves on the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Regional Advisory Council (Central Region).
Feel free to email Joshua at [email protected] with any issues, ideas, questions you have relating to wildlife and public lands in and around the Intermountain West.
Sam Donnelson - Northern Region
Brandon Savaiinaea - Southern Region