Board of Directors
Ian Davidson is a Foreman for the Seeley Lake Trail Crew, working out of the Scapegoat Wilderness and surrounding areas. He has spent the last six months working with the Missoula Fire Science Lab, providing research assistance regarding tree growth and fire behavior. He graduated with a degree in Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Management from the University of Montana. His degree led him to work as the Communications Intern for the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964. Ian finds value in land conservation and empowerment through knowledge of our environments, which inspired him to join the Montana Conservation Corp as a Field Crew Leader out of Kalispell, Montana. This position fueled his passion for trails construction and land management. Ian got accepted into the Backcountry Trails Program with the California Conservation Corps, where he worked and lived for six months in the backcountry of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Ian spends his free time exploring Montana and Idaho through backpacking, hunting, and snowshoeing.
Matthew Kirby grew up in Wisconsin but every summer his family would take a weeks-long camping trip through the West. It was these trips that made him fall in love with wild places. After obtaining his undergraduate degree from Carleton College in Minnesota, he moved to Washington, DC to work for the Environmental Protection Agency. He quickly found himself drawn to the world of advocacy and took a position with the Sierra Club where he has been for the past seven years. For much of that time he was in DC working on wilderness, forests and endangered species federal policy and legislation.
His continued longing for the West, however, drew him away from DC in 2014 when he moved to Denver, Colorado. He currently leads the Permanent Protections Initiative at the Sierra Club, working to secure new administrative and legislative protections for special public lands across the country. He is now trying to make up for lost time and spending all his free moments hiking, skiing, backpacking, and running through the Colorado mountains.
Ann Schwaller is currently the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Program Manager on the Superior National Forest in Duluth, Minnesota and serves as Vice-Chair on the Wilderness Advisory Group. She began her career in resource conservation working in the Salmo-Priest Wilderness in Washington state as a volunteer with the Student Conservation Association in 1992. Ann eventually moved up in the Forest Service by way of the Weminuche and La Garita Wilderness areas in Colorado, Anaconda-Pintler Wilderness in Montana, and Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Idaho. She also worked for the Park Service in the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Her jobs with these organizations included wilderness ranger, trail crew, firefighter, visitor center manager and wilderness/recreation planner. Life before the government included jobs as a freelance photographer for the Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, University of Florida and Florida State Parks.She received her Bachelor’s degree in Photojournalism with a minor in Forest Resources and Conservation from the University of Florida-Gainesville, and a Master’s degree in Recreation and Wilderness Management from the University of Montana-Missoula. Ann grew up on the Wild and Scenic Loxahatchee River next to a Johnathan Dickinson State Park in southeast Florida where most weekends were spent on the river, in the woods, or in the ocean. Ann spends her free time traveling, hiking the Superior Trail, kayaking Lake Superior and of course paddling in the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park.
Secretary Sandy Skrien retired from the US Forest Service working as the National Program Manager for Wilderness for the Forest Service in Washington DC after 40 plus years. Sandy served on and chaired the Interagency Wilderness Steering Committee and with peers in the Washington Office and regional offices on wilderness policy and programs. She was the advisor to the Chief’s Wilderness Advisory Group.
Sandy grew up near the BWCAW on the Canadian border in Minnesota and began her career on the Superior National Forest writing wilderness permits, working as a wilderness ranger, winter and summer trails crews and YCC crew leader. She spent 20 years on the Tongass National Forest working in two large visitor centers and on two districts as recreation, wilderness, land and minerals staff officer. She returned to the Superior to be the Public Service Team Leader for eight years before serving in the Washington Office.
She has a BS in Biology, a minor in Environmental Studies from St. Cloud State University and an emphasis in secondary education. A lifelong learner, she completed post graduate classes in several states and completed a two-year lay ministry course in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. She has served as a lay minister and music minister in three ELCA congregations in Alaska and Minnesota.
Sandy’s lives in Minnesota with her husband Wayne and yellow labs Cedar and Juniper. They have children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in various states. Sandy and her husband enjoy boating, fishing, gardening and wood carving.
Agency Liaison Nancy Taylor is currently the Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Congressionally Designated Areas Program Manager for the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service, based in Portland, Oregon. She has been in this job since July of 2019, moving there from the Eastern Region of the Forest Service where she was in a similar position as the regional wilderness program manager. She has worked as the Recreation and Wilderness lead for the Yellowstone Ranger District of the Custer-Gallatin National Forest, and the Ruby Mountains, Jarbidge, and Mountain City Ranger Districts on the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in northeastern Nevada. She has had the privilege of stewardship for four Nevada wilderness areas: Ruby Mountains, Jarbidge, East Humboldts, and Santa Rosa-Paradise Peak; and the Absaroka- Beartooth Wilderness in Montana.
She lived in Nevada for 13 years, and enjoyed managing diverse challenges related to recreation, trails, wilderness, and natural resources. During the summer of 2015 she worked on Colorado’s Rio Grande National Forest and spent time in the South San Juan, Weminuche, La Garita, and Sangre de Cristo Wilderness areas. Nevada, Colorado, Montana and the Eastern Region have been wonderful experiences, and she looks forward to her work and new adventures in the Pacific Northwest. She has been a ski patroller and search dog handler, an EMT and Wilderness First Responder. She has always enjoyed the mountains in all seasons, beginning with hikes following her dad in the White Mountains of New Hampshire as a kid. Those early adventures in the outdoors inspired her passion for wilderness, and she now travels with her Service Dog, Kasha, hiking, backpacking, skiing, and snowshoeing in wild places at every opportunity. She has BS and MS degrees from Montana and Utah State Universities, and completed a graduate certificate in wilderness management through the University of Montana’s Wilderness Management Distance Education Program.
Leah Zamesnik is the Partnership Coordinator with the National Forest Foundation based in Missoula, Montana where she is implementing partnership strategies in forest and regions across the country in order to help build agency capacity and resources. Previously, she worked for conservation and Wilderness advocacy organizations in Jackson, Wyoming where she partnered closely with the Forest Service on multiple collaborative projects, including Wilderness inventories, educational outings, a new direction for Big Horn Sheep management, and multiple NEPA projects. It was in Jackson that her love of Wilderness grew as she spent countless hours finding Solitude in the Gros Ventre, skiing in the Jedidiah Smith, and standing in breathless awe of the beauty of the Bridger. Leah graduated from Colorado State University with a Master's of Science in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the College of William and Mary. In her spare time, you can find her in a hammock reading, chasing her dog in Wilderness throughout the country, failing at self-taught craft projects, and video-chatting with her nieces.