Meet the Idaho Conservation League Board of Directors.
Steve Mitchell serves as chair of the Idaho Conservation League board.
Steve was born in Denver from Pennsylvania roots. His dad was a geologist with BLM, his mom a schoolteacher. Following college at Montana University and Penn State (in economics), Steve began a career with McGraw-Hill Book Company. Moving to IBM, he developed college textbooks, and eventually directed marketing and sales for Science Research Associates, an IBM subsidiary. While with IBM, Steve earned a financial planning executive certificate from the Wharton School.
Leaving IBM, Steve founded Mitchell Publishing, a company specializing in computer science and business textbooks. Based in Santa Cruz, California, the organization grew rapidly, utilizing a combination of workshops, seminars, institutes, newsletters and the networking of professionals. Steve sold Mitchell Publishing to Random House, where he continued to run the company for five more years as a Random House publisher.
Random House facilitated Steve’s move to Idaho, a condition of the acquisition. Moonlighting, he edited and published Idaho UnBound: A Scrapbook & Guide (1995) — for several years the best-selling travel book on Idaho. Living in the Wood River Valley, Steve came to admire ICL for its commitment to science and fact-based positions on environmental issues, and felt his background in marketing and growing a successful organization might also help grow ICL.
Steve grew up hunting, fishing, and camping in the Appalachian Mountains, never seeing these activities as adversarial to conservation. Those experiences inform Steve’s positions on the environmental issues of Idaho today. Steve and his wife Louisa live in Sun Valley. Kids and grandkids live in Sandpoint, Jackson Hole and Salt Lake City.
Lori Gibson Banducci serves as vice-chair of the Idaho Conservation League Board.
Lori was born in El Paso, Texas. She received a BA in economics from Stanford University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
She moved to Boise in 1979 and started a career in marketing/marketing management. Lori has worked for several organizations, including Ore-Ida Foods as a product manager and manager of public relations; Hewlett Packard as a senior communication strategist; director of communications and admissions at the College of Idaho; and VP of marketing operations at Scentsy.
Lori has been active in the Boise community, serving on the Bogus Basin Board of Directors and as a founding board member for Artisans for Hope, a nonprofit serving the refugee community. Additionally, she spent three months in rural Guatemala as a Kiva fellow, where she served as the liaison between the local Guatemalan bank and Kiva headquarters. When in Guatemala she lived with an indigenous Mayan family.
As the youngest of four kids and the only daughter, Lori learned to hunt and fish at an early age (although she was never a very good shot — because she kept closing her eyes). Lori was also an alpine ski racer and a member of the Stanford ski team. Spending time outdoors has always been an important part of her life.
Lori has been a member of ICL for many years and is most impressed by their collaborative and pragmatic approach to conservation. Lori has three children — one lives in Boise, one in St. Paul, and one is currently in Milan pursuing his international MBA.
Judy Baker serves as treasurer on the Idaho Conservation League board.
Judy’s involvement in environmental issues began with the successful drive to establish Canyonlands National Park in Utah. She feels strongly that participation in environmental organizations offers a positive means to contribute in these challenging times.
Judy worked for the U.S. Forest Service in a variety of positions at Idaho City, Lowman and Boise, leaving in 1983 for a position as special programs manager with the Idaho state office of the Bureau of Land Management. In 1988 she took advantage of early retirement to build a solar timber-framed home on the Payette River west of Emmett.
In addition, she was a ski instructor at Bogus, an avid bicyclist and backpacker, and a much less expert canoeist. In the last 25 years she has travelled extensively to all seven continents following her interest in birds and their diverse habitats.
Judy was born in California and spent her childhood in Colombia and Venezuela. She returned to the United States for high school and college (Colorado Woman’s College and Barnard College at Columbia University), majoring in Latin American affairs with a minor in journalism. Right after college she put down roots in Idaho, and recently moved back to Boise from the Emmett area.
Look for her these days on the Boise greenbelt — she’s the one on a red recumbent bike wearing binoculars.
Dr. William “Bill” Weppner, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., is a practicing internal medicine physician with expertise in population health, primary care and medical education. He holds the office of secretary on the Idaho Conservation League board.
Bill received his medical doctorate and master’s degrees in public health at the University of Washington. He completed his training in primary care internal medicine at the University of Washington-Boise residency program, and a subsequent general internal medicine fellowship in health services and health policy. He is currently an associate professor of medicine with the University of Washington, co-director of the Center for Excellence in Primary Care Education, core faculty with the University of Washington-Boise Internal Medicine Residency and Continuity Clinic director at the Boise Veterans Administration Medical Center.
As a primary care provider and clinician-educator, he is an advocate for addressing both social determinants and environmental impacts of health. Bill has published one book, multiple book chapters, and over fourteen manuscripts on improving health care delivery and education appearing in journals such as JAMA, JAMA Internal Medicine, Academic Medicine, Journal of Graduate Medical Education and Diabetes Care. In addition, he has won multiple teaching awards from the University of Washington School of Medicine, Boise Veterans’ Administration health care training programs, and Society for General Internal Medicine, among others.
Raised in Pocatello, Idaho, Bill enjoys living in Boise with his two kids and two dogs, and is lucky enough to be able to mountain bike and ski to and from work — weather permitting.
As a faculty member at Teton Science Schools, Tanya works on both the Idaho and Wyoming sides of the Tetons creating and running educational programs for adults and coaching educators. She inspires her students to apply what they learn in the Tetons to engage more deeply in conservation in their home communities. She holds a master’s degree in environmental science from University of Massachusetts Boston, with a focus on environmental policy and economics, and a B.A. in history from the University of Rochester.
She has studied sea turtles in the Galapagos Islands and fisheries in the Atlantic; guided backpacking, canoeing, skiing and bicycling trips; taught aboard a boat that sailed around the world (twice!); taught study-abroad semesters in Central America, Ecuador and Thailand; taught at Central Wyoming College; and coordinated a graduate residency program in environmental education and nonprofit administration at the North Cascades Institute.
Tanya calls Teton Valley, Idaho, home. She served as the executive director of Teton Valley Community Recycling from 2012 to 2014 and continues to be a part of the zero-waste movement locally. She has also served on the board of the Teton Valley Hispanic Resource Center. You can find Tanya skiing, trail running and backpacking Idaho’s most beautiful places. She can also sometimes be heard practicing Japanese, Spanish and Thai, and competing in story slams.
Jerry lives in Boise, Idaho. He is a newspaper guy from Idaho Falls who backpacked the Sawtooths for 23 years with his favorite uncle, Robb Brady, and other pals—and is not done yet.
Carolyn is a native Idahoan who lives in Twin Falls and has spent time in Boise and Ketchum. She has been on the ICL Board since 2014 and is vice chair of the conservation committee. She is a retired landscape architect who started out her career as a Forest Service lookout on Sunset Mountain in the Boise National Forest.
After her lookout experience, she worked in private practices in Washington, Georgia, Colorado and Connecticut before taking a job with the U.S. Interior Department, Bureau of Reclamation in Boise, where she worked for 14 years. She was part of the team that created the Snake River Resources Review, a multi year study of the Snake River Basin and its natural resources. She then served as the resource management plan coordinator for the Pacific Northwest, working collaboratively with local, state and federal agencies, and tribal governments to complete seven resource management plans for lands in Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Carolyn was on the Boise Planning and Zoning Design Review Board for 9 years, serving as vice chair. She also served on the Southern Idaho Land Trust Board.
Carolyn and her husband Chuck are currently working to establish a nonmotorized multi-use trail on the south side of the Snake River canyon in Twin Falls County. Spending time outdoors is her favorite pastime, whether it is hiking, time on the water, skiing or gardening. You can often find her with knitting needles working on a project, usually for her two granddaughters.
As chair of the ICL board conservation committee I work closely with fellow board members and the ICL staff to protect Idaho’s air, land and water. I’m a retired resident of Boise serving my third and last term on the ICL board. I’ve lived in Boise for 25 years.
I have also lived and worked in California and Colorado. I graduated from Utah State after which I served in the U.S. Navy. I attended graduate school at Fresno State and then worked in the Idaho Budget and Planning Office. I was asked by Idaho Gov. Evans to serve as his natural resources assistant where I coordinated and collaborated with both state and federal natural resource agencies. Following my tenure in Gov. Evan’s office, I was chosen to serve as executive director of the Western Governors’ Association in Denver. After six years with WGA I decided to move into consulting. I did consulting work until I took a job with the Imperial Irrigation District in California, after which I returned to consulting until I retired. Since retiring I have served on the Boise State Public Radio board and the Boise Airport Commission.
As a birder, cyclist, skier and hiker, I’m an active user and supporter of our public lands.
Jim DeWitt was elected to the Board of Directors of ICL in 2018.
Jim lived in Alaska from 1954–2015, before moving to Boise, Idaho, in August 2015. Jim’s spouse, Nancy, was born and raised in Idaho and came to Alaska in 1991 “for a few weeks” that ended up being almost 25 years. You might say Jim married in to ICL membership. Annual trips to visit Nancy’s family generally included an extended trip around Idaho’s outdoors.
In Alaska, Jim lived in Bethel, a Yu’pik Alaska Native community on the Kuskokwim River, where he was the only “gussik” — Caucasian — in his elementary school. In 1959, his family moved to Fairbanks in Alaska’s interior, where he lived until 2015.
Jim attended the University of Oregon, graduating with honors in 1972, and then Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, graduating in 1975. He returned to Alaska to practice law and remains unsuccessfully retired since.
Jim’s law practice included nonprofit law, which led to his writing the “Volunteer’s Legal Handbook,” and serving on the boards of United Way of the Tanana Valley, American Red Cross, Fairbanks Resource Agency — and, most recently, Alaska Conservation Foundation, where he was board chair from 2015-2017.
Jim’s hobbies include birding and bird photography, fly-fishing and hiking. Most vacations involve two or more of those hobbies. He’s also an unrepentant blogger, writing “Wickersham’s Conscience” since 2008.
David has been an Idahoan for almost 15 years, treasuring Idaho’s quality of life, natural wonder and special places. An ICL member since moving to the state and now a second-term board member, David believes that community members should take an active role in ensuring the clean air, clean water and public lands they love are there for all and for future generations to enjoy. As a corporate sustainability practitioner, David can attest that economic, environmental and social benefit are not inherent trade-offs but can go together, increasing the triple bottom line and shared value for both business and society.
David believes in a purpose-driven life that guides what we each seek to achieve for ourselves, our families, our work and our communities. David finds his own purpose in personal and professional pursuits that help to create a better world. He has over two decades of experience in corporate sustainability, marketing and communications and public policy working at HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Company, Business for Social Responsibility, and the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment. Having worked in the private, public and non-profit sectors, he is a champion of cross-sector engagement and collaboration.
David is proud to serve on the board of ICL — an organization that not only champions conservation in Idaho but also works in ways that create shared value, serve as models for other communities, and yield benefits across Idaho and beyond.
Scott Friedman, M.D., is a graduate of Washington College in Maryland magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He is also a graduate of University of Maryland Medical School magna cum laude, after which he was a resident there in internal medicine. His fellowship in cardiology was at Boston University Medical Center. He subsequently practiced cardiology for 30 years on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. He became medical director of cardiology services at University of Maryland Shore Regional Medical Center, and director of the catheterization laboratory. His special interest was in cardiac device implantation and management. He served on multiple hospital board committees including strategic planning, ethics, and technology assessment committees.
In his community, he formed a group to start a private co-ed high school and then served on the board of that school for 12 years. He was a member of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for 30 years.
Scott and his wife retired from careers in medicine and decided to move to the Wood River Valley after coming every year for 18 years. Retirement has allowed Scott to rekindle some old interests for which he now has time. These include lots of outdoor activities and conservation. He has done volunteer work for ICL for the past three years, including reviewing mining sites and documents and serving as a wilderness steward.
Scott’s wife, Cathy, has retired from the practice of obstetrics and gynecology. They have two children. Their son is a research biologist with a doctorate in molecular evolution, and their daughter is in marketing and web design and works in Ketchum.
Steve lives in Sandpoint, Idaho, where he has served on the local school board, planning and zoning commission, city council and urban renewal board. Steve values Idaho’s outstanding public lands, variety of habitats and recreational opportunities, and growing diversity of job opportunities.
Steve was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, where he grew up hiking and canoeing. His first memories of feeling truly successful are from his high school years, during week-long backpacks and ascents of several mountain peaks in the Oregon and Washington Cascades. In the early 1970s, Steve started getting involved with local government at city, regional and state levels. As a volunteer, he served on planning, budget, air quality, and public outreach committees for the regional government.
Steve retired from AT&T after a career as operations manager for long distance and leased services for Oregon. Steve and his wife Molly sailed their boat to the South Pacific. After a few years there they decided to sail back, and in 1999 moved to Sandpoint, where children and grandchildren are located.
Jim has been a professional river guide and naturalist for the last 25 years. He has worked in North America, China, Chile, and New Zealand, and now primarily guides in the Grand Canyon and Central Idaho. Along the way, Jim learned to tolerate the front country by becoming active in the effort to restore rivers and pacific salmon populations, for which he has spoken from community halls to Congress.
Jim developed, wrote, and produced “Salmon: Running the Gauntlet” for PBS’s Nature series. This one-hour program explored the natural history of Columbia River salmon and the unnatural history of our 150-year interventions in every stage of their life cycle — what is now the oldest and most expensive species recovery effort in U.S. history.
Between river trips, he is the project coordinator for Columbia Rediviva, an intentional dis-organization of activists re-examining our relationship to salmon and power in the Columbia River Basin.
Jim is also involved with numerous social enterprises — companies, organizations, and philanthropies deploying investment capital in service of the institution’s larger public purpose.
Jim has a B.S. in biology and environmental science from Bowdoin College — but prefers the BS around campfires (everywhere).
John came to be in rural western Washington, when there was such a place. He grew up with frogs, toads and crayfish, and it was only natural he was in the founding class of Mr. Little’s Ecology Club in seventh grade. He entered Washington State University with the lowest GPA ever allowed into the honors program there. But college couldn’t hold him: he wanted to be immersed in the working world beyond the ivory.
John moved to northern Idaho as a budding adult, joined his local ICL chapter, and began a life as independent and responsible as he could contrive. He built his house. He lives off the grid with his lovely wife. They garden, attempt to embody worthy causes, and use a composting outhouse. Hikes are taken, bikes are shaken, and lots of print books are read. John commutes by bicycle year-round, and has spent more than three decades at his right livelihood: running what is arguably the best bookstore in Bonners Ferry.
After two decades in the private sector, Rebecca moved full-time to conservation in 2000, working at an executive level at The Nature Conservancy for over 7 years. As regional director, her responsibilities included TNC’s on-the-ground conservation programs in the western U.S., and as chief conservation strategies officer she guided TNC’s science and policy initiatives, including its climate change program.
She has been on the boards of Point Blue Conservation Science and Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and is now on the boards of the Wood River Land Trust and the Wildlife Conservation Network — as well as ICL’s board.
She and her husband Tom live in Hailey and love hiking and skiing. They are passionate about protecting the spectacular public lands, rivers and wildlife in Idaho and also have a deep interest in sustainable agriculture. They are restoring and stewarding a working ranch in the Pioneer Mountains with a focus on improving wildlife habitat. The ranch provides habitat for sage grouse as well as elk, pronghorn, moose and numerous bird species.
Although she grew up in Florida, Rebecca credits the seeds of her love for the West to early weeks-long family camping trips in the iconic national parks of the west during the summers. She moved west in 1977 and discovered the beauty of Idaho a decade later on a trip to the Sawtooths.
She has degrees from Duke and Stanford Universities.
Buddy Paul chairs the board’s governance committee and has served on the ICL board for over 8 years.
Buddy has long had an interest in the environment and has worked on numerous water and lake protection efforts in North Idaho. As an attorney, Buddy clerked for a U.S. District Court judge, participated in over 100 jury trials, was president of a 15-person law firm, and is a part-time law professor at the University of Idaho. He worked in the U.S. House of Representatives for environmental champion Rep. Morris Udall. He has been a filmmaker and newsman.
Buddy splits his time between Coeur d’Alene and Ketchum. He is a pilot and salt-water sailor, fisherman, and a long-time metal sculptor represented in galleries throughout the Northwest.
Julie Richardson serves as on the governance committee for the Idaho Conservation League board of directors.
Born and educated in the Midwest, Julie spent her legal career of nearly forty years in Washington, D.C.
She was one of a handful of women at the University of Michigan Law School to successfully press for a ban on discrimination by law firms against hiring women, and one of the founders of the Women Law Students Association.
In Washington, she served as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives, litigator at the Federal Energy Administration, and lawyer at the Carter White House — where she worked on the Carter energy legislation, including laws designed to promote energy competition and conservation. She then went into private practice in the fields of natural gas and electricity, specializing in regulatory law and transactions.
She retired from the firm of Van Ness Feldman at the end of 2007, and moved with her husband to Hailey, Idaho, in 2008. They are the parents of two sons and three grandchildren. They are extremely happy to have relocated to Idaho.
It is an honor to be a member of the board of ICL. Over the years I have been involved with several environmental organizations. I was a founding board member of the Greater Sawtooth Preservation Council and the Idaho Environmental Council. I also served on the boards of The Nature Conservancy in Idaho and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
I can sum up my feelings about conservation by quoting the words of Aldo Leopold in the forward to A Sand County Almanac: “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
I was born in 1936 and grew up in the little town of Jerome. My father was in the sheep business and some of my boyhood memories are of helping to trail sheep from pasture to pasture in the fall when I was not in school, and standing on a hayrack and driving a team of horses while the sheepherders fed the hay. In the spring when school was out, I went with my father as we trailed the sheep to our summer range in Montana.
I graduated from New Mexico Military Institute high school and attended University of Colorado for two years until my father’s health problems made it necessary for me to return to the ranch. I later received an associate degree in Farm Business Management from Idaho State University.
In the early sixties, I took over the family ranching business, which now included a cow-calf and yearling steer operation. Over the years, I got out of the sheep business and went strictly to cattle. In 1991 I became a partner in a row-crop farming operation near Idaho Falls, and I retired in 2012.
My wife Carrie and I make our home in Idaho Falls.
Kim Trotter lives in Driggs, Idaho. She was raised in eastern Idaho and now lives in Teton Valley, Idaho, with her husband and two children. Whenever possible, she loves to ski, trail run, mountain bike, and generally play and rejuvenate in the Tetons and on eastern Idaho’s rivers.
Margrit von Braun is an environmental engineer, working in the areas of hazardous waste management and risk assessment.
She holds degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Idaho, and Washington State University. After working for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Atlanta, Margrit moved to Idaho in 1977 to work for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality. She joined the faculty at UI in 1980, where she helped found and directed the environmental science and environmental engineering programs for 10 years and then served as dean of the College of Graduate Studies for 10 years.
Margrit received a three-year leadership fellowship from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and Outstanding Faculty and Graduate Teaching Excellence Awards from UI. She served as president of the Western Association of Graduate Schools. In 2012, she was elected as a fellow of the Collegium Ramazzini, an independent, international academy comprised of 180 international experts in the fields of occupational and environmental health.
In 1984, she and her husband, Ian von Lindern, founded an environmental engineering company focused on remediation of hazardous waste sites, particularly in mining districts. Since retiring from UI and selling their company, Margrit and Ian founded TerraGraphics International Foundation (TIFO), a nongovernmental organization assisting communities in reducing their environmental exposures. TIFO has partnered with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) on environmental health projects in Nigeria, Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh.
Although her travel photos are often of polluted places, Margrit’s favorite photos are from beautiful, unpolluted places in Idaho. Margit and Ian are always happy to come home to Idaho’s exquisite nature.