Board of Directors

Ben Pursley

Board Member

As a fifth-generation Idahoan, Ben has had the good fortune to spend his childhood adventuring in Idaho’s remote backcountry. He has spent countless days in a family-owned, off-the-grid, log cabin near Lowman, where he mastered archery, bugling for elk, and the art of wilderness survival. Fishing with his family along the headwaters of river drainages across the state afforded him the opportunity to witness the times when rivers turned blood red with returning and spawning salmon.  

Ben is no stranger to the conservation community; his mother, Marcia, was ICL’s first executive director, while his father was a key figure on the original Green Belt Committee. Growing up with these influences, Ben learned and integrated a profound environmental ethic and commitment to civic engagement and duty. Ben enjoys solo adventures into the Frank Church Wilderness of No Return, backcountry skiing in the Boise National Forest, and exploring trails and canyons in southern Idaho. He intimately knows and cherishes Idaho’s mountains, forests, clean air, rivers, and the great opportunities for access to public lands that ICL preserves and protects.

Having studied history at the College of Idaho, Ben taught music in Treasure Valley schools. While raising a family of 3 amazing children, Ben got his BA in Philosophy and a minor in music at Boise State University. For over a decade, he worked in Idaho’s service industry (including at Redfish Lake Lodge, where ICL holds their annual Wild Idaho! conference). Ben understands the importance of the agricultural impacts of climate change, not only from a greenhouse gas emissions standpoint, but also the impacts to agricultural workers throughout the state.

Ben is a founder of the local non-profit Drum Central, and recently was selected to join the Board of Advisors for Treasure Valley Institute for Children’s Arts (TRICA). He brings a wealth of experience to multicultural awareness and a deep appreciation for diversity, culture, music, dance, and the arts that help make Idaho a more inclusive and welcoming community.   

Ben is the asset manager for an Idaho-based commercial real estate development and investment group that focuses on LEED certified medical offices and sustainable community development (leading a team on project management, capital deployment strategies, and budgeting and financial analysis). He is committed to fair and affordable housing, bringing collaborative negotiation expertise and a strong network of Idaho-based business relationships to the ICL Board.  

Ben ran for the U.S. Senate in 2022, committed to protecting the environment and sustainably revitalizing Idaho’s rural economy. His goal was to create and sponsor policy that addresses the negative impacts of wealth and income inequality, and to tackle campaign finance reformations and expand voter access. As a life-long outdoor enthusiast and active mountain biker, alpine and cross-country skier, rafter, and backpacker, Ben is excited to continue the ICL legacy and contribute to its mission and vision.