Greetings from my new horizon, the Idaho Conservation League headquarters in Boise, Idaho! My name is Amanda Gardner and I am honored to hold the title of ICL’s development assistant.

I have lived on the East Coast for the majority of my life, but have always been proud to have spent the first eight years of it in Washington. The wilderness, wildlife and coastlines of New England and the extensive beauty of the Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountains have inspired my passion for the environment and its conservation. I graduated from Shepherd University in my "beautiful black hole" of Shepherdstown, WV, with a double major in environmental sustainability and commercial recreation and tourism.

Along my journey, I have been able to contribute to the efforts of organizations such as the West Virginia Sierra Club, the American Conservation Film Festival, The Children and Nature Network, No Pollution Enterprises, The International Ecotourism Society and The Appalachian Trail Conservancy. My professional work is in community development, specifically nonprofit management, administrative assistance, event planning, program development and volunteer coordinating.

My Idaho story began long before I moved here in 2016. My mother was on the Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue Unit over 30 years ago, so I’ve been hearing all my life about the beautiful landscape of the foothills and beyond. She joined some of her fellow rescuers on the East Coast for the holidays and met my father. In a lot of ways, I have the wilderness of Idaho to thank for my very creation.

Since migrating to Idaho, I have done a lot of fishing, hiking, hot springing – and I even went hunting for the first time last October for mule deer. I look forward to diving deeper into the wonders Idaho has to offer. My goal for 2018 is to dedicate some time to exploring North Idaho and begin a section hike of the Idaho Centennial Trail.

I have been so warmly welcomed to the Idaho Conservation League team and I am grateful for this opportunity to support what I am passionate about within such an influential organization. Cheers to this new adventure! I hope our paths cross along the way!