Our Board

Only 5% of the entire United States, including Alaska, is protected as wilderness.

Karen Fisher

Chair

Karen is a retired molecular biologist and project manager in the biotechnology industry. She has spent more than 30 years at Genentech, most recently preparing strategies and business cases for cancer drug development projects.  She has published more than 20 peer-reviewed manuscripts in scientific journals and holds two US patents. She led the whitewater kayak program for Outdoors Unlimited, a group dedicated to sharing their outdoor expertise with others. She lives with her husband in Mammoth Lakes, CA exploring wild places on foot, in boats and through the viewfinder of her camera.

Jean Hocker

Vice Chair

Jean is president of Conservation Service Co., LLC, a consulting firm in Alexandria. Drawing on more than 30 years experience, she advises organizations and agencies across the country on management and conservation issues. She was president and CEO of the national Land Trust Alliance from 1987 to 2002, during which time she helped it become a force for conservation, tripling the open space protected by its member land trusts. Before that, she was the founding executive director of the Jackson Hole Land Trust in Wyoming. She served on the Land Trust Accreditation Commission for five years and boards of other conservation-related organizations.

Denise Schlener

Treasurer

Denise Schlener has served as chief of staff to the COO at Humane Society of the United States. Prior to that, she served as vice president of strategic advancement at Island Press, an environmental book publisher. Over a three decade career in land conservation and environmental advocacy, Denise has served in a variety of roles, ranging from co-founding the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters and leading the Connecticut Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, to serving as national director of the Land Trust Alliance where she led programs to strengthen the nation’s 1600 land trusts. She serves on the boards of the Tregaron Conservancy in Washington, DC and the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Rice Center for Environmental Life Sciences.

Andy Wiessner

Secretary

Since 1988, Andy has worked for Western Land Group, which specializes in public and nonprofit land transactions. His extensive experience in legislative affairs includes serving as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Public Lands and National Parks, and the Subcommittee on Mines and Mining. Andy serves on the boards of the Wilderness Workshop and High Country News.

Jim Babbitt

Jim has been a trustee of the Grand Canyon Trust since 1993, working to preserve and protect the landscapes and Native Peoples of the Colorado Plateau. He is also a longtime advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, helping to preserve our country’s historic buildings, neighborhoods and communities. Jim is an Arizona native, recently retired as a retailer of outdoor apparel and equipment, and as a wholesale distributor for Pendleton Woolen Mills.

Jim Blomquist

Jim is a consultant to nonprofit groups in campaign strategy and lobbying. He worked for Sierra Club for 25 years as the regional representative in the Pacific Northwest and Southern California, and as a representative in Washington, D.C. specializing in national forest and national park issues during the legislative fights over the endangered spotted owl. Jim also worked on the legislation establishing the Smith River National Recreation Area in California. He served on the board of the Smith River Alliance. He is an avid fisherman.

Danna Bowers

Danna grew up in Bellingham, WA with a passion for science.  It all started with observing polliwogs during backpacking trips as a kid and evolved to researching nudibranchs while getting her degree in marine biology at UC Santa Cruz. Danna followed her passion for science across the ocean, spending two years in Australia playing with fish in the GBR and kangaroos in the Outback while earning her Masters in Conservation Biology. After school, Danna followed in her family’s footsteps, moving into fundraising for the cause she is most passionate about- conservation, at the non-profit Forterra and is now the corporate relations officer at the Seattle Aquarium. A true weekend warrior, Danna can be found anywhere in nature- diving, climbing, and hiking with her puppy, Huck, in tow.

Craig Groves

Craig is a conservation scientist and planner who retired in late 2017 as the executive director for the Science for Nature and People Partnership or SNAPP, a collaboration of The Nature Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the National Center for Ecological Analysis & Synthesis at University of CA Santa Barbara. He currently serves as the co-chair of the board of directors of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. He is also the series editor for IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) Best Practice Guidelines. He has written and published two books on conservation planning as well as more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles on conservation planning, protected areas, climate adaptation, and the ecology of at-risk species. His second book, Conservation Planning: Informed Decisions for a Healthier Planet (with co-author Edward Game) was published by MacMillan in 2016. He recently served on a National Academy of Sciences panel to evaluate US Fish & Wildlife Service Landscape Conservation Cooperatives.

Bill Pope

Bill is a recovering attorney, born and raised in Seattle but now living in Mazama, WA. He has served on the boards of Earthjustice, the Nature Conservancy of Washington, and the Washington Trails Association. In addition to the WLT, Bill is currently a board member of Washington Conservation Voters. He is a longtime outdoorsman and wilderness advocate, and the owner of the Mazama Country Inn, a rustic mountain lodge located in the Methow Valley in Washington State. He formerly served as corporate counsel at Microsoft.

Zack Porter

Zack has worked in wilderness stewardship and advocacy for the past fifteen years, beginning as a wilderness ranger for the US Forest Service in Washington and Idaho. From 2011 to 2018, Zack served as the NexGen Wilderness Leaders program director and Western Montana field director for the Montana Wilderness Association in Missoula, where he led efforts to protect wildlands on the Lolo and Bitterroot National Forests. Today, Zack is back in his native New England working as outreach and communications coordinator at Northeast Wilderness Trust. When not working for wild places, Zack and his wife Kassia can be found exploring them with their daughter, Celeste, and black lab, Stella.

Doug Scott

Doug began his career in 1968 with The Wilderness Society in Washington, DC. For 17 years, Doug served as conservation director and associate executive director of the Sierra Club. Doug was involved in the enactment of the Eastern Wilderness Areas Act (1975), the Endangered American Wilderness Act (1978), the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness (1980), the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (1980) and the California Desert Protection Act (1994) among many other wilderness designation statutes.  He is the author of The Enduring Wilderness: Protecting our Natural Heritage through the Wilderness Act (Fulcrum Publishing, 2004).

Sarah Chase Shaw

Sarah Chase Shaw is a Basalt, Colorado-based freelance writer and landscape architect. A native of Flagstaff, Arizona, Sarah holds a graduate degree from Cornell University in landscape architecture. As an associate at the Aspen-based landscape architecture and land planning firm Design Workshop, Inc., she worked on several conservation-based development plans with The Conservation Fund, including the I-25 Conservation Corridor between Colorado Springs and Denver, Barr Lake State Park, and the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. Sarah is the author of two books on residential gardens.  In September 2018, her most recent book Living Beneath the Colorado Peaks: the Story of Knapp Ranch was released.  In addition to WLT, Sarah serves on the board of Aspen Words, and two private foundations.

Paul Torrence

Paul Torrence began his wilderness odyssey in 1970 when he helped scout potential wilderness areas in Shenandoah National Park in the run–up to the passage of the Eastern Wilderness Areas act (1975). He has hiked, backpacked, and climbed in wilderness from New Hampshire’s White Mountains and New York’s Adirondacks to the lush, biodiverse Southern Appalachians. Not content with only eastern wilderness, Paul has also climbed in Alaska’s Brooks Range, run the Hula Hula River to the Arctic Ocean, climbed the great volcanoes of the Cascades, traversed the high peaks of Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains and summited more than half of Colorado’s fourteeners.

For 30 years, Paul employed his PhD in chemistry to research cancer and virus diseases at the National Institutes of Health. He then became a professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he is now emeritus professor. He has published more than 200 scientific papers and edited four volumes in drug discovery and medicinal chemistry. Most recently he authored, “Molecules of Nature: Biodiversity, the Sixth Mass Extinction, and the Future of  Medicine.”

Mark Trautwein

Mark served on the staff of the U.S. House Interior Committee from 1979 until 1995 under Chairmen Mo Udall and George Miller. He was responsible for the committee’s jurisdiction over parks, public lands and wilderness. During that time, the Committee led Congress to double the size of the National Parks System, triple the lands in the National Wilderness System and enact landmark conservation laws including the Alaska Lands Act. Previously, he was a staff writer for Congress’s Environmental Study Conference. He holds a degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, and worked as a newspaper reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is now an independent consultant and editor at KQED Public Radio in San Francisco.

Jacqueline Van Dine

Jacqueline is the vice president of merchandising at Birkenstock, leading all product development and portfolio management functions. Jacqueline was the co-founder and brand director for Ahnu Footwear. She was awarded Sporting Goods Business “Top 40 under 40” in recognition during Ahnu’s first year in business. She previously managed product design and developed trade and consumer marketing strategies for Birkenstock and Keen Footwear.

Liz Wilson

A 20-year veteran of the active apparel industry, Liz is currently the vice president of product for Outdoor Research. Previously, she served as the vice president of merchandising and design at Royal Robbins where she was responsible for product development and innovation worldwide.  Liz has also held the position of global director of outdoor apparel at The North Face, where she created business strategies and led the collaboration between world-class athletes and the product creation team. She also worked at Nike building partnerships with such renowned sports figures as Lance Armstrong and Serena Williams. Liz is an active mentor and member of Camber, teaching women to take charge of their careers, encouraging them to excel. She lives in Seattle and often runs the trails with her four-legged friend Remy.

Jon Mulford, Emeritus

Jon is an attorney and is founder and past president of The Wilderness Land Trust. He formerly practiced law in Denver and Aspen, specializing in federal public land law. He is a fellow of the University of Colorado Natural Resources Law Center.

Past Board Members

John Fielder
Lucy Hibberd
Thomas Hoots
Sydney Macy
Linda McNulty
Christine McRoy
Buck Parker
Giles Toll
John Toth
Eleanor Towns
Jay Watson