TALASI BROOKS, Idaho
A veteran of trail crews across the United States, Talasi joins the Board after earning a Master of Science in Environmental Studies and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Montana. Her wilderness ethic was shaped by the wilderness staff on the Sierra National Forest and by the staff at Wilderness Watch, who supervised her in two internships. After clerking for the Montana Supreme Court for a year, Talasi moved to Boise, Idaho, where she practices public land law and environmental law for a nonprofit law firm. She is a die-hard commuter biker, aspiring backcountry skier, weekend backpacker, intermittent rock climber, voracious reader and dog lover.
TRACY DAVIDS, North Carolina
Tracy is the Southeast Program Coordinator for Defenders of Wildlife in their Asheville, NC field office and the former Executive Director of Wild South and Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project. A New Hampshire native, she has been an ardent advocate for public lands protection, imperiled species, and individual ecological footprint reduction since 1998. Tracy's current work focuses on connecting people with the wild world around us and engaging Southeastern communities in wildlife/habitat protection efforts. Her experience also includes non-profit consulting/coaching/training, the practice of civil law, and volunteer board service for local, regional, and national conservation organizations including Fund for Wild Nature, Dogwood Alliance, Cherokee Forest Voices, National Forest Protection Alliance, and Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition. When she's not advocating for wild places, she's spending time in them.
LOUISE LASLEY, New Mexico, President
Louise is a New Mexico native, who recently found her way back to the Land of Enchantment. She spent the previous 30 years living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Her advocacy work includes eight years as lead staff person for public lands and wildlife issues for the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, as well as work for the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, and Africa Rainforest and River Conservation. She also has consulted on wildlife biology issues and worked as a naturalist for the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Louise has a wide breadth of knowledge and experience about the land and wildlife of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
GARY MACFARLANE, Idaho, Secretary
Gary is Ecosystem Defense Director for Friends of the Clearwater, where he is responsible for tracking public land issues in the Clearwater Basin. His duties include analyzing public land agency proposals and policy, submitting public comments, filing appeals of federal agency decisions, and when necessary coordinating litigation. Gary has over 30 years of activist experience and is very familiar with Forest Service policy. He has been recognized as one of the most effective activists in the northern Rockies, and was a recipient of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies Conservation Award in 1997. Gary holds a B.S. degree from Utah State University’s College of Natural Resources.
MARK PEARSON, Colorado
Mark Pearson is a long-time advocate for Colorado’s wilderness, wildlife and public lands. Mark currently serves as the Executive Director of the San Juan Citizens Alliance in Durango, a position he has filled for 15 years. He has been engaged with public lands and wilderness advocacy in western Colorado for almost 40 years, in both staff and volunteer positions. Mark previously worked with the Wilderness Land Trust purchasing inholdings within designated and proposed wilderness for conveyance into public ownership. Mark holds a M.S. from Colorado State University in Natural Resource Management and a B.S. in Engineering Physics from the University of Colorado. He has authored several guidebooks to existing and proposed Colorado wilderness areas.
MARK PETERSON, Wisconsin, Vice President
Dr. Mark Peterson has camped, hiked, kayaked, sailed and skied his way throughout national parks and wilderness areas. He’s pursued his outdoor recreation passions on campus with a Ph.D. in park and wilderness management from Colorado State University and also in the workplace serving as the Rocky Mountain Regional Director for the National Parks Conservation Association, a Vice-President for the National Audubon Society, and the Executive Director of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College. Peterson's efforts to advocate for conservation measures span worldwide as he is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas with the International Union for Conservation of Nature. He has served on a number of regional boards, including the Listening Point Foundation, St. Croix River Association, Friends of the Apostle Islands and the Minnesota DNR’s Council for Scientific and Natural Areas.
CYNDI TUELL, Arizona
Cyndi has worked as an attorney, consultant, and activist since 2007, focusing on public lands management issues related to roads and motorized recreation in national forests in New Mexico and Arizona. Recently, she has focused her public lands work on protecting natural resources in the borderlands. A native of Tucson, Arizona, Cyndi is an avid hiker, backpacker, and defender of wild places. She received the Nancy Zierenberg Sky Island Alliance Advocate award in 2013 and was named the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter’s 2015 Conservationist of the Year.
RENE VOSS, California, Treasurer
René Voss is a solo attorney in San Anselmo, California where he works to protect our National Forests, wildlife, and wild lands from harmful development. He started his environmental career 25 years ago as Campaign Director for Georgia ForestWatch and helped protect the remaining roadless lands of the Chattahoochee National Forest and helped stop most new logging on that forest. He then moved to Washington, D.C., to lobby Congress on behalf of the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute to end commercial logging of our National Forests. He is a life member and long-time Sierra Club leader, and was elected to the Sierra Club Board of Directors in 1999. During his time in D.C., while continuing his work, he returned to school to study law and in 2008 passed the California Bar Exam. He then moved to California and has been practicing public interest natural resources law from his solo practice in San Anselmo. He helps many clients, but he is most passionate about defending the Sequoia National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument on behalf of Sequoia ForestKeeper. He is a member of the Town of San Anselmo’s Open Space Commission, whose goal is to acquire, protect, and restore undeveloped open space lands for the public.
HOWIE WOLKE, Montana
Howie Wolke is a retired wilderness guide/outfitter who has led over 500 multi-day wilderness backpack treks from northern Alaska to Mexico. He has been a wilderness activist in the Northern Rockies since the mid-1970s including many years as a board director of Wilderness Watch. He has authored two books on wildland conservation, and enjoys backpacking, canoeing, backcountry skiing, whitewater rafting, hunting, wildlife viewing and bird-watching. He and his wife Marilyn Olsen and their dog Rio live in the foothills of the Gallatin Range in southern Montana just a few miles from the northern border of Yellowstone National Park.