BETH BRENNAN — President
Beth is a lawyer, a mother, a writer and a teacher. She has advocated on behalf of the environment throughout her 18-year career as an attorney, including cases as varied as the KMTP “big rig” litigation, the Mitchell Slough stream access case, the coalbed methane litigation that held that the discharge water was a “pollutant,” the Golden Sunlight mine reclamation case, and the defense of Initiative 137, which prohibited cyanide heap leach gold mining in Montana. After teaching at the UM Law School for five years, Beth is in private practice in Missoula, where she lives with her children and her four dogs, playing tennis and hiking the hills as often as she can.
TRACI SYLTE — Vice President
Traci grew up playing in Pend Oreille Lake, the receiving waters of the Clark Fork. Always drawn to water, she earned a civil engineering degree specializing in open-channel hydraulics, and later a master’s degree in watershed science. Traci is the soil and water program manager for the Lolo National Forest, having worked for the agency for 22 years. She also operates a small consulting firm, providing services in environmental river engineering. Traci received one of the Forest Service’s highest physical science honors — the national “Hydrologist of the Year” award, and serves as a technical advisor on the State’s Future Fisheries Panel. She can also be found watching sunrises and sunsets with her daughter, playing a guitar by a camp fire, fly fishing, rafting, hiking, reading, skiing, playing hockey and curling.
TIM FLYNN — Secretary
Tim is president and co-owner of Anaconda Disposal, Inc. His family roots in the Upper Deer Lodge Valley go back to the 1890s. A career as a golf course superintendent taught Tim the importance of water quality and management of ecosystems. He and his wife and two daughteres spend many hours outdoors throughout the seasons and landscapes of the Clark Fork drainage. Tim has a special interest in hiking and fishing the mountain lakes of the Pintler and Flint Creek ranges.
TRENT BAKER — Treasurer
Trent is an attorney with the Missoula law firm of Datsopoulos, MacDonald & Lind. He worked as a guide on Western Montana’s rivers, while obtaining his graduate degrees in environmental studies and law at the University of Montana. A passionate river advocate, Trent has served on the Milltown Redevelopment Group and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ River Recreation Advisory for Tomorrow Committee. He is active in Brennan’s Wave, a nonprofit focused on rehabilitating dangerous irrigation diversions into multiple-use structures that are better for fish, boaters and the community. Trent enjoys our mountains and rivers while skiing, hiking, biking and boating with his wife and daughters.
Mary is a retired accountant living in Missoula. She began her career as a CPA in the Denver office of Arthur Andersen & Co., later moving to World Headquarters in Chicago; she held numerous positions over time, including worldwide director of communications. Mary dedicates substantial time to charitable causes and has served on the boards of Jane Addams Hull House Association, Hadley School for the Blind, the Association of Junior Leagues International, Junior League of Denver and Alliance Francaise de Chicago. Her current board affiliations include Watson Children’s Shelter, Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Board of Regents of Sewanee, University of the South. She is also a member of the Alumnae Council of the Colorado Women’s Foundation. Mary lives in Missoula and enjoys fly fishing, exploring rivers and traveling with her husband.
Sarah is Deputy Director of the Northern Rockies and Pacific Region for the National Wildlife Federation. Prior to joining NWF, Sarah was a senior fellow with the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at the University of Montana. She has extensive expertise in western water, public resource management, and collaborative governance, and has devoted her professional life to community-based conservation that is oriented toward inclusive and practical solutions. Sarah has written and taught extensively on western resource law and policy through university appointments, conservation advocacy positions, and consulting work. When she is not working or enjoying time with her two children, Sarah is likely climbing a mountain, exploring a river or enjoying time with friends in the outdoors.
Ali has lived and worked in Western Montana for the past 18 years. Her passion and professional pursuits lie in the arena of community-based and landscape-scale conservation. She has worked for Five Valleys Land Trust and the Blackfoot Challenge, and now serves as Assistant Coordinator for the Intermountain West Joint Venture, a coalition of public and private partners seeking to conserve bird habitat through science and partnerships across 11 states in the West. When not working on conservation issues, Ali spends time with her daughter, family and friends, and enjoys meeting people, experiencing new landscapes and communities, walking outdoors and gardening.
Chris owns Eyer Electrical Construction Inc. and is a third-generation electrician in Montana. His great-grandfather homesteaded on the banks of the Blackfoor River in 1898 near Helmville. Chris lives in Stevensville with his wife and two of his three children. He holds an associate of arts degree from Marymount College Palos Verdes, a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Montana, and a master’s degree in Buddhist studies from the Univ. of Sunderland U.K. When he’s not working, Chris is pulling his string of mules through the Bob or the Bitterroots or laying a fly on a riffle while floating down the Bitterroot or the Blackfoot River.
Mike is founder and owner of the Montana River Guides rafting company and also co-founded the Whitewater Rescue Institute, which teaches river rescue and provides safety and cleanup response for industrial rivers spills. Previously, Mike was a backcountry and law enforcement ranger in Yellowstone, Acadia and Glacier national parks. Mike works with the Lolo School Board of Trustees, the Missoula Whitewater Association, Traveler’s Rest Preservation Project, the Highway 93 Bike Path Project,and Missoula County Search & Rescue. He and his wife have five children, three of which are college athletes and river guides, and two who are still home causing trouble and fun.
Daniel is a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in Missoula. He covered a lot of terrain to get here, having grown up in Birmingham, Alabama, attended DePauw University in Indiana, and traded commodities in Chicago. After a visit to see his freshly re-located mom and dad—a now-retired chemistry professor who taught at the University of Montana—Daniel and his wife, Kay, decided to leave the urban rush for a life around rivers. Daniel immediately began volunteering for CFC, leading the floating entourage during annual river cleanups, raising funds for program work, and recruiting members. He went on to serve on the CFC board between 2006 and 2012 and is eager to roll up his sleeves for a second tour of duty. A dedicated angler, Daniel spends free time exploring local rivers with his two children, and playing drums in a band.
Cameron is an associate professor and the Poe Family Faculty Fellow in the School of Business Administration at the University of Montana. He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and has completed a program at the Harvard Business School on improving corporate governance. He teaches both graduate and undergraduate levels and has won numerous teaching awards. In addition to his academic career, he sits on the board of directors for a national consumer electronics retailer. Cameron’s outdoor interests include skiing, fly-fishing, biking and sporting clays. Prior to entering the business world and academia, he spent six years as a smokejumper.
Caryn is the Executive Director of the Flathead Basin Commission (FBC), a small state agency charged with protecting water quality and other natural resources in the Flathead Basin. A passionate advocate, her work focuses on Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention efforts; safe transport of hazardous materials by rail; and a variety of transboundary issues, including the successful campaign against British Columbia to prohibit mining in the headwaters of the Flathead River. Prior to joining the FBC, Caryn worked as a land use attorney and as a consultant at a land use planning firm. She currently serves on the West Valley Community Council and the Missoula County Open Lands Committee. Caryn lives in Frenchtown with her daughter Colette, and their menagerie of horses, dogs and cats.
Paul owns the Ruby Springs Lodge on the banks of the Ruby River near Twin Bridges, Montana, and has been a fly fishing guide for over 20 years. He holds a degree in business management from the University of La Verne in L.A. and is active in diverse organizations. Paul currently serves on the Stewardship Council of Montana Trout Unlimited; he is on the board of directors for Madison County Economic Development; he is board member for Kamilche Co. in Seattle; and he is a trustee for the University of La Verne. Paul lives in Missoula, and enjoys spending time with his wife, two children and friends, particularly when it involves fly-fishing, travel, skiing, camping, tennis, mountain biking and soccer.
Perk is CEO of Orvis, which has been owned by his family since 1965. Starting in 1977 as a copywriter for the company, he’s worked in nearly every department and several of its acquisitions. Though Vermont’s treasury claims him as a resident, Perk lives most of the year in Wyoming with his wife, Laurie, with frequent visits to the Blackfoot valley where he’s been a landowner since 1990. He’s served on the boards of local, national and international conservation groups since the 1980s and in the last 15 years has not broken stride working on the boards of Montana Nature Conservancy, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, World Wildlife Fund and Northern Great Plains Council. Usually seen with canoe paddles, 4-weights, binoculars, Labradors and English pointers, he is as much a naturalist as a sportsman and has felt strongly that since his life is so enriched by the outdoors, he must invest time and money to protect and enhance nature’s habitats in balance with human use of them.
Holly is the founder and director of the University of Montana’s spectrUM Discovery Area, an in-museum and mobile science program designed to inspire a culture of learning and discovery. Holly is also an adjunct professor in social marketing at UM and a consultant for social marketing campaigns that benefit target audiences and society, working with clients such as the Missoula City-County Health Department, the DUI Task Force, Hospice of Missoula and Salish Kootenai College. Holly lives in Missoula with her husband and son, along with a flock of urban chickens. She enjoys running and hiking, and exploring with her son, who recently learned to dance and talk.
Vicki Watson, Ph.D., Missoula, Montana
Jim Kuipers, P.E., Boulder, Montana