Our Staff

Working together to preserve Idaho's air, water, land and wildlife.

Natalie Chavez

Communications Associate

Natalie Chavez

Communications Associate

Natalie works on ICL communications, actions, email alerts and grant documents. She also keeps our database ship-shape. Previously, Natalie wielded her red pen as a high school English teacher for 10 years and then formed and ran a writing/editing firm specializing in fish, wildlife, botanical, recreation, cultural and engineering reports for another 10 years.

Outside her ICL day, Natalie skis, hikes, knits, reads and travels. She and her husband find great joy in serving as host parents for Rotary youth exchange students from all over the world.

Having grown up in north-central Idaho, Natalie’s favorite place to be is along the wild and scenic Lochsa River.

Phone: 208.345.6933 x 14

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Jenny Estes

Development Director

Jenny Estes

Development Director

Jenny runs our successful membership and development program. At ICL, we love our 10,000-plus members who make our work possible, and Jenny keeps them engaged and informed about current priorities to protect Idaho’s air, water and special places. She coordinates membership trips and special events and works with other colleagues to manage ICL’s emerging leaders program.

Jenny is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has a B.A. in communication studies. She joined the staff in September 2015.

Jenny’s favorite place in Idaho is Chamberlain Basin at the base of Castle Peak in the White Cloud Mountains. In August 2015, as President Obama signed the Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness Bill and before Jenny began working for ICL, she went on a group trail maintenance trip with the Idaho Trails Association and ICL. They camped at Chamberlain Basin, enjoying its pristine natural beauty, hiking around doing trail work, taking very brisk dips into lakes and loving life. It was there that she first met ICL’s executive director, Rick Johnson, as he hiked into the wilderness just days after being in the Oval Office — with champagne to celebrate and hugs all around.

Phone: 208.345.6933 x 17

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Amanda Gardner

Development Assistant

Amanda Gardner

Development Assistant

Amanda helps us stay connected to our wonderful members and makes sure they get the thanks they deserve! She also manages our monthly giving program, Advocates for Idaho, and our workplace giving program.

Amanda spent a decade committed to cultivating sustainable communities through resource development planning. She has supported environmental organizations on local, state, national and international levels. Amanda graduated with a double major in environmental sustainability, and commercial recreation and tourism.

Combining her passions for travel and the outdoors, she has been able to contribute to the missions of organizations such as the West Virginia Sierra Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the International Ecotourism Society. She is a recognized natural leader by the Children & Nature Network, and excited to now be a part the Idaho Conservation League development team!

Inspired by her hometown of Shepherdstown, WV, Amanda is motivated to strengthen the relationships between communities, the individuals that serve them, the environments that surround them, and the organizations working to connect them. She believes this is best accomplished through collaboration, dedication and the celebration of those virtues.

Idaho has been a beautiful adventure for Amanda! There are so many places she has been and many more she would like to explore. She feels blessed to have discovered and become a part of the local community of Lowman, Idaho. Lowman is nestled along the north bank of the South Fork of the Payette River in the central part of the state. Fishing, hot springing, floating, hunting and boating with the locals have been some of the highlights of her time spent in this wild and wonderful state!

208.345.6933 x 15

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Justin Hayes

Program Director

Justin Hayes

Program Director

Justin oversees the Idaho Conservation League’s conservation programs, which protect Idaho’s water quality, wildlands, climate and the quality of life enjoyed by all Idahoans. Justin also carries out much of ICL’s more technical work related to air quality, water quality and mining. In addition, he coordinates all of the organization’s litigation. Justin has been the program director for the Idaho Conservation League since 2001.

Justin’s unique blend of science-based technical skills, public policy and lobbying experience, and expertise gained from his dual undergraduate degrees in human biology and earth systems and master’s degree from Stanford University’s School of Earth Sciences, ensures that ICL’s work is grounded in sound science and best practices. Justin also relies on experience gained during his years working as an environmental advocate in Washington, D.C., time spent lobbying in the Idaho Statehouse, and his interest in connecting people to policy makers and elected officials.

A native Idahoan, Justin rejoices in the knowledge that his work is protecting the things that make Idaho a great place to live — our spectacular landscapes, clean air and clean water.

Justin lives in Boise with his two teenagers, and enjoys spending his free time hunting and fishing in Idaho’s backcountry, mountain biking, skiing, and running Idaho’s amazing rivers.

Phone: 208.345.6933 x 24

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Shelby Herber

Community Engagement Assistant

Shelby Herber

Community Engagement Assistant

Shelby works out of the ICL North Idaho office on community outreach, events, education and development.

Shelby is a Pacific Northwest girl at her core. Whether it was growing up adventuring in the forests of western Washington, learning to scuba dive in the Puget Sound, river rafting through the Skagit, skiing her first black diamond on Schweitzer, or spending weeks on oceanic research vessels off the Oregon coast, she was always eager to experience more!

With a great fascination for ecosystem diversity and an intense curiosity in understanding the mechanisms of the natural world around her, she earned her B.S. in environmental science with a minor is Spanish at Western Washington University in 2013. Following her college years, she worked for a variety of environmental and science organizations including Washington Conservation Corps, Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group and Seattle Pacific Science Center.

In 2016, Shelby took on a different approach to making a difference. Inspired by the opportunity for hands-on, grassroots-driven and lasting impact, she accepted a position through Peace Corps where she spent two years serving as a coastal resource management volunteer in the Philippines.

Having returned state-side, she is beyond thrilled and so grateful to call beautiful Sandpoint, Idaho her new home—what a magical place to reflect, heal and grow! She is eager to connect Idahoans to ICL programs. She looks forward to helping individuals to recognize, understand and foster a sense of place for our local community, natural environment and planet through outreach, education, development and a wide variety of events.

As a new Idahoan herself, Shelby is excited to ‘build her Idaho resume’ and spend more time exploring the North Idaho backcountry as well as many other wild and scenic gems across this breathtaking state!

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Austin Hopkins

Senior Conservation Associate

Austin Hopkins

Senior Conservation Associate

Austin is an avid runner, cyclist and parent to his standard poodle, Miles. These interests combined with Austin’s B.S. and M.S. in geology motivate him to advocate for Idaho’s clean air, clean water and beautiful places. Austin works to ensure that national, state and local policies are developed and implemented in a manner that protects our environment and public health. Austin’s favorite place in Idaho is the trails in and around Boise where he is frequently found running or cycling.

Phone: 208.345.6933 x23

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Josh Johnson

Conservation Associate

Josh Johnson

Conservation Associate

Josh traded in the monuments of Washington, DC, where he grew up, for the mountains of Idaho for many of the reasons you love this place — clean air, clean water and beautiful public lands to enjoy. Josh uses his technical background in geology, experience in environmental education, and love for the outdoors to protect those very things that make Idaho a special place to live. His work portfolio includes public lands, mining, air and water quality, and efforts to clean up the Snake River.

Josh earned a B.A. in geology at Middlebury College and a M.S. in geology at the University of Colorado. He also worked as an interpretive park ranger in the Tetons and a mentor naturalist at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies prior to joining ICL’s Ketchum office staff in 2017.

Josh’s favorite hobby, skiing, has turned into an ongoing streak of skiing every month of the year (5 years and counting!). Josh’s favorite place in Idaho? Castle Peak.

208.726.7485 x 2

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Rick Johnson

Executive Director

Rick Johnson

Executive Director

For over 20 years, Rick has grown the Idaho Conservation League and reshaped the practice of conservation in Idaho and beyond. He is recognized leader in conservation strategy and organizational development. Rick’s work to protect Idaho wilderness has led to invitations to the East Room and Oval Office of the White House, as the Owyhee Canyonlands and Boulder-White Clouds bills were signed into law.

His work related to protection of the Boulder-White Clouds was described in a High Country News cover story (November 22, 2004) and PBS-TV’s nationally aired public affairs program “NOW” (January 5, 2007). He received the Secretary’s Honor Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2014, and the award for outstanding conservation leadership from the Wilburforce Foundation. In 2015, an Idaho media outlet placed him at 19 of “100 Influential Idahoans.” In 2016, with Rep. Mike Simpson, he was awarded the City Club of Boise Stimpson Award for Civic Engagement. In 2018, the Idaho Business Review named him a CEO of influence.

Rick has many favorite places in Idaho. “Where I saw my first cougar, alone on a trail in the Frank? Where I found an obsidian spear point by a tributary of the Selway? How about a no-name creek where I caught a dozen cutthroat trout on nearly that many casts with the same fly? Or the spot on the Middle Fork Salmon where I hit my first perfect must-do kayak roll. Perhaps it’s the spot where I’ve sat with Rep. Mike Simpson, at the base of Castle Peak in the White Clouds, as we recounted for others our journey to the president’s desk in the White House. You know what? My favorite Idaho place might be with a group of ICL supporters just about anywhere, when we’re sharing our stories, talking about how great this place is, and why, together, I’m so honored for the opportunity to protect it.”

Phone: 208.345.6933 x19

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Marie Callaway Kellner

Water Associate

Marie Callaway Kellner

Water Associate

Marie is ICL’s lead on how we use water in Idaho as well as our lead on all things related to the flow of water in Idaho’s lakes and rivers. She is in charge of ICL’s work on issues related to water rights, dams, endangered fish and more.

Marie holds a J.D. from the University of Idaho College of Law with a focus on water policy. Prior to joining the ICL staff, she held clerkships at Idaho’s 4th District Court and Idaho’s U.S. District Court. Before entering law school she was an educator and commercial river guide in Tennessee, Colorado and Alaska. She also holds a B.A. and M.Ed. from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Marie grew up in southeastern Tennessee where she went on her first whitewater river trip on the Ocoee River at age 10. That trip stoked a lifelong love of rivers that ultimately led her to her position with ICL today. She and her husband look forward to sharing their love of Idaho’s epic rivers with their young daughter.

Phone: 208.345.6933 x32

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Betsy Mizell

Central Idaho Director

Betsy Mizell

Central Idaho Director

Betsy runs the Ketchum field office and manages its activities. She is very passionate about protecting the beautiful state of Idaho and actively works to connect people with conservation issues and the Idaho Conservation League. Betsy loves meeting people and learning about why they care about Idaho, which is why she thoroughly enjoys working with our major donors and membership base across central and eastern Idaho.

Betsy has a B.A. from New England College in environmental studies, with a minor in outdoor leadership. In the years since she graduated from college she has earned additional certifications in outdoor safety and recreation.

Betsy realized that she wanted to help protect the amazing planet we live on at an early age while traveling to some of the world’s most remote and wild places — exceptional places like Antarctica, Papua New Guinea and the Galapagos. Betsy’s favorite place in Idaho is tucked away in the White Cloud WIlderness.

Phone: 208.726.7485 x 1

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Matt Nykiel

Conservation Associate

Matt Nykiel

Conservation Associate

Matt is part of a team of ICL conservation associates who monitor and protect clean air and clean water across the state of Idaho. He is responsible for watchdogging pollution in North Idaho, north of the Salmon River. As a licensed attorney, Matt ensures that polluters are held accountable to federal and state environmental laws.

Matt committed to a career in environmental advocacy after exploring wild and remote places in the western United States as a wildland firefighter with the U.S. Forest Service. He holds a B.A. from University of Montana and a J.D. from University of Colorado.

One of Matt’s favorite places in Idaho is an old-growth cedar-hemlock forest in the Upper Priest River area of the Panhandle.

Phone 208.265.9565 x 2

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Jonathan Oppenheimer

Government Relations Director

Jonathan Oppenheimer

Government Relations Director

Jonathan directs ICL’s work in the Idaho Legislature, oversees our campaign to make the Snake River swimmable and fishable again, and contributes to ICL’s public lands work.

Jonathan is a leading authority on forest policy, wildfire management, and public land law. His work led to the protection of 9 million acres of Idaho’s roadless national forests and protect for 259 miles of the Salmon River. He has received awards from both Sen. Mike Crapo and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for his work with coalitions, and was appointed to the Idaho Roadless Commission by Gov. Butch Otter. He’s been with ICL since 2002.

Jonathan’s favorite spots in Idaho include the remote forests of the Clearwater, the South Fork Salmon River, and whatever is “just a little bit further” along the trail — which he explores with his wife and two daughters. He is a year-round bike commuter and enjoys camping, fishing, hunting mushrooms, or doing just about anything outside. He supports his community as a volunteer with the YMCA, PTS and his local neighborhood association.

Phone: 208.345.6933 x 26

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Ben Otto

Energy Associate

Ben Otto

Energy Associate

Ben protects Idaho’s air quality and climate stability by helping our state transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. He engages directly with utilities and state regulators to advocate for replacing fossil fuels with clean energy options. Over his tenure, ICL’s energy program has caused Idaho’s energy conservation programs to expand, supported a growing solar power sector, and achieved agreements for Idaho utilities to divest from the North Valmy and Colstrip coal plants.

Ben serves on the boards of the Northwest Energy Coalition, Renewable Northwest, the Idaho Clean Energy Association, and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and holds a degree in experiential education from Prescott College, a master’s degree in environmental law from Vermont Law School, and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School.

Outside of work, Ben enjoys everything Idaho has to offer — including his current favorite spot, Loon Creek hot springs.

Phone: 208.345.6933 x 12

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Mallory Parsons

Accounting Assistant

Mallory Parsons

Accounting Assistant

Mallory assists with ICL’s accounting needs, processes and audits. She grew up in Western Washington where loved the lush foliage and hiking Mount Rainier. But in 2007, she moved to Idaho and fell in love with the diverse landscapes and beauty of Idaho — and having less rain! She holds a bachelor’s degree in business and loves contributing to the conservation of Idaho’s beautiful landscapes by supporting ICL’s accounting needs.

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Haley Robinson

Development & Marketing Associate

Haley Robinson

Development & Marketing Associate

Haley has persistently asked questions since she learned how to talk — and now she puts her insatiable curiosity in the service of ICL’s mission. Haley works with ICL’s direct mail, social media and digital marketing to reach new and current members while evaluating best tactics for building connections. She uses data and analytics to help the development and communications team create strategies for keeping members informed and reaching out to new audiences.

Haley received her undergraduate degree in journalism and her master’s in public administration from Boise State University. While earning her master’s, Haley worked full time in the Office of Communications and Marketing at Boise State as a marketing coordinator. There, at Idaho’s largest university, she cut her teeth working with branding, outreach and marketing. Her education and experience have cultivated her passion for learning people’s stories and understanding what motivates their decisions.

An extrovert through and through, Haley spends her personal time filling her calendar with social engagements. Her hobbies include adventuring with her husband and dogs, exploring delicious beers, trying new activities, basking in hot weather and laughing at good jokes (sometimes her own). Haley loves many places in Idaho, but holds a special place in her heart for Island Park, where she’s spent many glorious summer days swimming, hiking and exploring.

208.345.6933 x22

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John Robison

Public Lands Director

John Robison

Public Lands Director

John oversees work to protect public lands across the state and enjoys being on the water whenever he can.

Phone: 208.345.6933 x13

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Julia Rundberg

Director of Finance and Administration

Julia Rundberg

Director of Finance and Administration

Julia ensures the organization’s business and financial systems run smoothly. She’s thankful to work at a place where she can combine her loves for nature and data.

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Brad Smith

North Idaho Director

Brad Smith

North Idaho Director

In addition to overseeing ICL’s northern operations, Brad is responsible for protecting the public lands, fish and wildlife north of the Salmon River.

Brad grew up hiking the mountains of North Idaho where he was fortunate to spot a rare mountain caribou. This transformative experience motivated Brad to study conservation and take up a career in the field. He earned a degree in environmental science from the University of Idaho and later went on to receive a masters of public policy and administration from Boise State University.

Brad’s favorite place in Idaho is the Selkirk Crest, where he enjoys scenic views of large inland waterways and lush green forests. He enjoys hiking, camping, fishing and skiing with his wife and daughter.

Phone: 208.265.9565

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Lana Weber

Community Engagement Coordinator

Lana Weber

Community Engagement Coordinator

Lana is an avid trail user, river runner and lover of the wild desert. She grew up near the foothills of Boise with dirt between her toes and a sprig of rabbitbrush in her pigtails.

Having spent over 15 years in the nonprofit sector with local and national groups, today she works to bridge the gap between people, ICL programs and place through outreach, partnerships and events. She works closely with the city of Boise on sustainable community issues and sits on the board of the Idaho Trails Association and the executive committee of the Idaho Outdoor Business Council.

Lana joined the Idaho Conservation League staff in 2013.

Phone: 208.345.6933 x16

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Mary Beth Whitaker

Editor & Designer

Mary Beth Whitaker

Editor & Designer

Mary Beth makes ICL’s publications, communications, designs, social media and website look and sound great. She oversees ICL’s artist in residence program and is in charge of ICL’s visual brand.

Mary Beth has 25 years of experience as a graphic designer, editor and communications specialist, working for ICL. She holds a degree from Yale University.

In her spare time, Mary Beth may be found outdoors hiking with a camera and box of paints. She performs regularly as a singer-songwriter, creates art, and studies Spanish and French.

Mary Beth’s favorite Idaho places are along its many beautiful riverbanks, and the North Fork of the Boise River holds a special place in her heart.

Phone: 208.345.6933 x 11

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Erin Zaleski

Office Manager

Erin Zaleski

Office Manager

Erin is the welcoming presence at ICL headquarters in Boise. She processes accounts payable and accounts receivable, maintains the efficiency of the office and coordinates volunteers.

Phone: 208.345.6933 x10

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Dagny Deutchman

Conservation Fellow

Dagny Deutchman

Conservation Fellow

Dagny Deutchman is ICL’s conservation fellow. She works to bolster the relationship between Idaho’s outdoor recreation industry and Idaho’s conservation resources, and working on important water-related issues.

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Emily Williams

Community Engagement Assistant

Emily Williams

Community Engagement Assistant

Emily works out of our Ketchum office to get people to join the ICL conservation community and engage in our issues.

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