Richard Lyon, president
Richard Lyon is a corporate lawyer who moved to Bozeman from Dallas, Texas in 2012. For the past twenty years he has actively participated in volunteer backcountry trail maintenance, weed and erosion control, fence removal, and similar tasks, working with the Forest Service, Park Service, and a number of private volunteer organizations to plan and lead this work. He served as a member of the governance committee of the Gallatin Community Collaborative and remains active in conservation-oriented nonprofit organizations in Bozeman and elsewhere in Montana. He is an avid hiker, backpacker, skier, and flyfisherman in his spare time.
Bernard Quetchenbach, secretary
Bernie teaches at Montana State University Billings. His most recent book, Accidental Gravity, an essay collection from Oregon State University Press, won an honorable mention in the 2017 Foreword Indies Book of the Year contest. He edited The Bunch Grass Motel: The Collected Poems of Randall Gloege, a High Plains Book Awards finalist. He is a fellow with the International League of Conservation Writers and was a 2015 ABWF Artist-in-Residence.
Peter Aengst, director
Peter is a conservation advocate based in Bozeman. He has worked for The Wilderness Society since 2001 and currently serves as their Senior Regional Director for the Northern Rockies and Alaska. In that role he provides overall strategic, fundraising, and management leadership for the organization’s program over four states. He has also worked for other conservation non-profits and served on the boards of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, and Gallatin Park chapter of Montana Conservation Voters. He holds bachelor’s degrees from Williams College and a master’s degree in Natural Resource Policy from the University of Michigan. A passionate hiker, climber, and backcountry skier, Peter has fond memories of past trips into the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness – as well as plans for future outings there with his wife and son.
Carol Endicott, director
Carol is a fish and wildlife biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks based in Livingston. Her particular areas of interest include conservation of native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout populations — the cold, alpine waters of the A-B could provide critical habitat for the sensitive species in the face of climate change — and making the language of science more accessible to the general public. She brings more than 30 years of science, conservation policy, and fundraising experience to the ABWF, which she hopes will continue facilitating safe and responsible enjoyment of the A-B, educating the public on its glories, and providing a clearinghouse of information celebrating its natural beauty and conservation value.
William Hopkins, director
Bill Hopkins lives in Bozeman and has called the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem home for over 35 years. He is an avid, four season, back country enthusiast. Bill has explored mountain ranges throughout North America, New Zealand and Europe, yet he maintains a soft spot for the mountains of southwest Montana. Originally from Spokane, he is a 1980 graduate of Western Washington University. He worked for the National Park Service in Yellowstone for 37 years, retiring in 2018. Most of his career was spent working in the back country trails program, managing volunteer and corps groups. He is gratified to have had a career that contributed to greater access to our public lands.
Francine D. Spang-Willis, director
Francine is of the Tsitsistas and Suhtaio people or the Northern Cheyenne Nation. She is a lifelong resident of Montana. Among other things, she is an oral historian, ice and rock climber, skier, and hiker. She also enjoys an off-grid cabin with her husband and beagle near Cooke City. She has served as a director, executive director, and board director for a few Montana nonprofits. She has served as an adjunct instructor, program manager, and program director for the Native American Studies Department at Montana State University. She has also done archeology survey work for the Custer Gallatin National Forest and other private businesses.
Grace Stephens, director
Grace is delighted to be joining the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation after years of hiking and skiing in this Wilderness with her husband, three kids, and giant dog. She has worked in conservation for 15 years for the National Park Service in Washington, DC and in Yellowstone National Park, specializing in legislation, partnerships, and outreach. She hopes to bring her expertise to bear on challenges facing the ABWF, especially expanding their profile along the west side of Wilderness down the Paradise Valley.
Advisors to the Board
Kimiko Barrett, communications advisor
Kimiko Barrett is the lead wildfire research and policy analyst at Headwaters Economics, a non-partisan independent research organization based in Bozeman, Montana. Born and raised in Bozeman, Montana, Kimi now lives in nearby Livingston and has a deep appreciation for the outdoors and the connections people have with the land. As a researcher, she enjoys engaging with people on complex issues such as community resilience, adaptation, and vulnerability. Kimi completed her dissertation work examining climate change impacts in high mountain ecosystems of the western Himalayas. She is an avid downhill skier, backpacker, trail runner, and huckleberry picker.
Jim Boelter, IT advisor
Jim is a technology geek and an avid outdoor recreationalist. Raised in Minnesota, he spent much of his youth roaming the woods, lakes, sloughs and creeks of south central Minnesota. Jim attended college at Minnesota State University at Mankato. His hobbies include fishing, biking, snowboarding, hiking, birding and most of all spending time with his wife and daughter. After spending 15 years in Montana recreating in and around the AB Wilderness, he relocated to Denver, CO in 2018. Jim’s excited to provide technical guidance to the operations of the ABWF and to spread the word of the AB Wilderness and its splendors.
Tauzha Grantham, programs advisor
Tauzha (she/her) is thankful for being born and raised in Montana to a family who loved the outdoors. She spent the last 15 years with the Montana Conservation Corps (MCC) working alongside young people from all walks of life to complete hands-on service learning opportunities on the land. Tauzha has spent her entire adulthood working alongside young people, and most recently, works with youth experiencing homelessness in the community. She enjoys gardening, exploring new places with her dog, Dulcinea, and a good pun or joke.
Jessica Howell, programs advisor
Jessica is a Human Resources Manager at Red Lodge Mountain. At an early age Jess was immersed in the wilds around Livingston, MT. After a short stint in Tucson, AZ, she realized her heart was in Montana and returned to Missoula to study the relationship between people and nature (Wilderness/Recreation Management). Her first year of college at the University of Montana also led to her first position with the Forest Service on a Trail Crew in the Absarokas. A Wilderness Ranger position brought her to the Beartooth Mountains for a summer (that turned into nine), where she immersed herself in Wilderness and Trails work. Jess loves to run, eat donuts, and hang out with her family. After a seven year hiatus she is excited to again be involved in Wilderness stewardship and help protect the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness.
Bob Hughes, advisor at large
Bob is the award-winning author of novels and short stories of mystery and crime. Bone Mountain, the first novel in his Brian and Darcy McKay series of mysteries, was published in 2017, with the second novel, Dirty Money, following in 2019. He’s a University of Michigan MBA and a CPA. He was Controller of a corporation in Chicago before moving to Livingston, Montana in 1999. Bob has served on several non-profit boards in Montana, most recently the ABWF, Park County Environmental Council and People and Carnivores. He is an avid hiker, cross-country skier and fly-fisherman, especially in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Crazy Mountains and Yellowstone National Park. He and his wife Sally live east of Livingston, Montana.
Jesse A. Logan, science advisor
Ecologist Jesse Logan is a recognized authority on the condition of Greater Yellowstone’s whitebark pine forests and the communities they support. After retiring in 2006 from a career in academia (Colorado State University and Virginia Tech.) and the US Forest Service (Rocky Mountain Research Station), he continues advocacy for high elevation ecosystems of the Greater Yellowstone. A primary interest in this regard is the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, the largest contiguous area above 10,000 ft. in the continental United States. In summer he is a Contract Instructor for Yellowstone Forever, and is a backcountry ski guide during winter, working out of Cooke City, MT for Yellowstone Ski Tours. He is co-Editor and contributing Map Editor for the award winning (Big Sky Award, Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal, and finalist for the High Plains Book award) Voices of Yellowstone’s Capstone: A Narrative Atlas of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.
Linus Metzler, Chief Technology Consultant
Linus is from Switzerland and has been working as a volunteer for the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation (ABWF) since 2013. His work with the ABWF includes working on trails as well as developing and operating the ABWF’s donor and volunteer database. He has a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and, among other jobs, works as a developer in his company, limenet.ch creating websites and developing custom solutions for clients. In his spare time, you can find him running or hiking on trails (preferably in the A-B), traveling, and horse riding.
Bernie Rose, advisor at large
Bernie is an emeritus professor of economics at Rocky Mountain College. He is the President of the Billings Community Foundation. He has served on over 20 not-for-profit Boards over the past few years, mainly environmental or cultural. He is currently active in a number of local not-for-profits beyond the BCF, including the Billings Public Library Foundation, the Montana Audubon Center, the Yellowstone County Park Board, the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Foundation, and he is director of the One Book Billings program at the Billings Public Library. In his spare time, he likes to read, walk with his Bernese Mountain dog in local parks and the Beartooth Mountains.
Kimberly Schlenker, advisor at large
Kimberly has had a long love affair with wild places, spending her entire 37 year career with the US Forest Service as a wilderness and recreation manager. Her introduction to wilderness stewardship began in the 70’s as a Wilderness Ranger in the Hells Canyon NRA and Gospel Hump Wilderness as well as a tour in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness. Kimberly worked for 25 years as the Coordinating Committee Chairperson for the Absaroka Beartooth and Lee Metcalf Wildernesses in SW Montana and served on the National team that developed many of today’s current wilderness character monitoring protocols and performance standards. Now retired, she gladly spends as much time as possible on foot, skis or in a canoe in wild places, and volunteers to engage youth in outdoors activities nurturing the next generation of wilderness supporters.