Staff


Jennifer Downing

Jennifer Downing

Executive Director

(406) 960-4855

Jennifer Downing is the BHWC’s Executive Director. Jennifer joined the Big Hole Watershed Committee in 2010. She lived in the Big Hole 11 years and today lives with her family in Missoula, Montana. Her diverse background with more than 15 years’ experience in fisheries, watershed health, and nonprofit management provides her a foundation to help position the Big Hole Watershed Committee for effective, sustainable, and meaningful conservation and work. Jen received her Master’s degree from West Virginia University in Fish Management and her Bachelor’s degree from Alfred University in Environmental Science/Hydrology.
Tana Nulph

Tana Nulph

Conservation Programs Coordinator

(406) 267-3421

Tana Nulph is the BHWC’s Conservation Programs Coordinator and resides in the Big Hole near Divide, Montana. Tana coordinates BHWC activities and manages projects in addition to working with education & outreach, social media, and fundraising. Tana completed her Master of Natural Resources degree as well as a Graduate Certificate in Restoration Ecology at the University of Idaho and received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science/Biology from the University of Montana Western. Her background includes experience in fisheries, water quality, wildlife issues, and education & outreach. Tana joined BHWC in 2014.
Pedro Marques

Pedro Marques

Restoration Programs Manager

(406) 552-2369

Pedro Marques is the BHWC's Restoration Programs Manager. Pedro provides project management and support for restoration work throughout the Big Hole River watershed. Pedro has worked in the Big Hole since 2009 and joined the Big Hole Watershed Committee as staff in 2016. Pedro has more than 10 years restoration and project experience in private consulting in Montana, and he has been instrumental in the recovery of smelter-impacted lands in the Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area on behalf of the Natural Resource Damages Program, BHWC, and MFWP.  His experience in Montana also includes stream ecology, from stream and habitat assessments to landscape-scale watershed restoration planning, project management and oversight.  He and his family reside in Missoula, Montana.

Chet Robertson

Upper Big Hole Range Rider
Chet Robertson is the BHWC's Upper Big Hole Range Rider. Chet has been with BHWC since 2010; he monitors 8 USFS and BLM grazing allotments in the Upper Big Hole basin for predator activity, cattle behavior, and range health during the summer, and reports any predator activity to the livestock producers who can then adjust their cattle accordingly. If livestock predation is suspected, Chet reports to both the livestock producer and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wolf biologists, who then investigate the situation to determine if the producer can be reimbursed for their loss.

Kim Bingen

Wildlife Programs Technician

(406) 660-2158

Kim Bingen is the BHWC's Wildlife Programs Technician. Kim joined BHWC in 2015; she provides livestock carcass removal in the Upper Big Hole and manages our Upper Big Hole Livestock Carcass Compost Facility near Wisdom, Montana.

Governing Board

The Big Hole Watershed Committee Governing Board is made up of directors who have agreed to represent their particular interest area and participate in consensus. We may have between 16 and 26 directors at any given time, 50% of whom must represent ranching. The intent of the Governing Board is to include a diverse range of interests in the Big Hole. State and Federal Agencies participate as technical advisors. The Governing Board is led by a 4-member Steering Committee of officers.


Randy Smith

Randy Smith

Chairman
Representing: Ranching – Middle Big Hole River
Randy and his family have ranched in the Big Hole near Glen since the 1970’s and have participated in the Big Hole Watershed Committee since its inception. Randy is a champion of the Big Hole River Drought Management plan. In 2016 Randy received the Governors “Good Neighbor Award” for his leadership and conservation work in Montana. When it comes to our work in the Big Hole, Randy always maintains - “It’s about the resource”.
Jim Hagenbarth

Jim Hagenbarth

Vice Chairman
Representing: Ranching – Middle Big Hole River
Jim is a passionate believer in a healthy land ethic and working together on the landscape. Jim’s involvement with the Big Hole Watershed Committee as well as other conservation interests is visionary and always astute and often speaks publically on conservation issues. Jim and his family operate ranches in the Big Hole and in Idaho. Jim is a leader in the Big Hole River Drought Management Plan.
Steve Luebeck

Steve Luebeck

Treasurer
Representing: Sportsman
A lifelong angler, Steve Luebeck almost exclusively hunts, fishes and floats in the Big Hole. As the general manager of Fairmont Hotsprings in Anaconda, Steve offers his business expertise in the form of directorship and treasurer duties. Steve believes in conserving the Big Hole so that future generations will have the same recreation opportunities he enjoys today. Steve eloquently recognizes the delicate balance between private lands and public recreation and strongly advocates for a maintained balance for the benefit of all.
Roy Morris

Roy Morris

Secretary
Representing: Local Residents/George Grant Trout Unlimited
Roy represents the George Grant Chapter of Trout Unlimited based in Butte. Roy also is a Big Hole River fishing guide. The George Grant Chapter enthusiastically supports the Big Hole River fishery by financially supporting restoration projects, promoting the needs of the fishery, and providing education opportunities.
Harold Peterson

Harold Peterson

Representing: Beaverhead Conservation District
Harold Peterson is a 3rd generation producer in the Upper Big Hole of Peterson Brothers Cattle Company. He has a passion for the land, and is committed to conserving the Big Hole. Serving on the Watershed Committee since its start in 1995, Harold believes that by helping the river, we help everyone. In the 1990’s Harold advocated that the community needed to work together to address the challenges brought on by drought and a declining Arctic Grayling population.
Dean Peterson

Dean Peterson

Representing: Ranching – Upper Big Hole River
Dean Peterson is a 4th generation producer in the Upper Big Hole, of Peterson Brothers Cattle Company. He would like to see his kids become 5th generation ranchers. In order to accomplish this, Dean believes we need to maintain a healthy watershed for all users.
Dean’s greatest contribution is his leadership of wildlife conflict programs for the Upper Big Hole, beginning with the Upper Big Hole Range Rider. Dean is a community leader, also serving on the Vigilante Electric Cooperative Board as well as many other community groups.
Ray Weaver

Ray Weaver

Representing: Ranching – Upper Big Hole River
Ray and his family operate a ranch near Wisdom. Ray provides a voice for long-time ranching families and what needs are important those families to continue ranching.
Peter Frick

Peter Frick

Representing: Resident
Peter is a successful conservation-minded business owner and operates a ranch near Wisdom. Peter joined the Governing Board in 2014. He provides thoughtful leadership of the organization to astutely meet the needs of the watershed.
Hans Humbert

Hans Humbert

Representing: Ranching – Upper Big Hole River
Hans Humbert is a 4th generation producer with the Dell Bacon Ranch near Wise River. He enjoys fishing and hunting along the Big Hole and would like to ensure that his kids will be able to play and live in the same environment they grew up in. He has served on the committee for more than 10 years, ensuring that generations of knowledge gained by working the land are used in conjunction with modern conservation efforts.
Jim Berkey

Jim Berkey

High Divide Headwaters Director
Representing: The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a long-time important partner in the Big Hole, offering support of programs, long-term conservation through easements, advisement, and a voice for framing conservation leadership on a regional and national scale. Jim believes that community based conservation is the key to sustainability and hopes to further community conservation efforts in the Big Hole.
Liz Jones

Liz Jones

Representing: Ranching – Middle Big Hole River
Liz and her family operate a ranch near Wise River. Liz joined the Big Hole Watershed Committee at its beginning serving as its first secretary. Liz is a proud, driven, community leader. Liz leads by doing, serving attentively on many boards and committees from county boards, 4-H, fire department, and so much more. Liz has also long committed to noxious weed treatment and programs.
John Reinhardt

John Reinhardt

Representing: Ranching – Middle Big Hole River
John Reinhardt is a producer with the Reinhardt Ranch. John stresses the need to work collaboratively, finding common ground. He believes that staying current and sharing information is the best solution for effective conservation and successful ranching.
John also participates in the CCAA program.
Phil Ralston

Phil Ralston

Representing: Ranching – Middle Big Hole River
Phil and his family operate a ranch upstream of Wise River. Phil was the first rancher to complete a restoration project under the CCAA program to benefit Arctic grayling when the program began in the late 1990’s.
Jim Dennehy

Jim Dennehy

Representing: Butte-Silver Bow County Water Department
Jim represents the Big Hole River diversion that withdrawals water from the Big Hole River to serve the residents of Butte. Jim leads county participation in the Big Hole River Drought Management Plan. Jim’s primary interest lies in protecting water quality and quantity to make sure locals both human and non-human, have access to clean clear water.
Mark Kambich

Mark Kambich

Representing: Ranching – Middle Big Hole River
A producer with the Divide Kambich Ranch, Mark Kambich has been with the committee since its start. Mark believes that good conservation starts with the people and to sustain livelihoods into the future, we must make the right decisions now. Mark has led noxious weed treatment and programs for the Big Hole for several years and is also a leader for the Drought Management Plan.
Erik Kalsta

Erik Kalsta

Representing: Ranching – Middle Big Hole River
Erik joined the Governing Board in 2014, but has been an active participant on conservation work for decades. He and his family operate a ranch near Glen. Erik’s interests are most notably in river floodplain corridors for maintaining water quality and quantity and enjoys employing innovative projects to benefit both their ranch and the river.
VACANT

VACANT

Representing: Fishing Guiding & Outfitting
Representatives for this position are being solicited.
Cindy Ashcraft

Cindy Ashcraft

Representing: Ranching – Lower Big Hole River
Cindy and her husband Dave operate a ranch and destination fishing opportunity near Twin Bridges near the mouth of the Big Hole River. Cindy is a leader for the Big Hole River Drought Management Plan in the lower Big Hole river. Cindy and Dave see conservation work benefitting both their operations and the river as a win-win and offer creative solutions for combatting the challenges of the lower Big Hole river.
Tom Welsch

Tom Welsch

Big Hole River Foundation President
Representing: Big Hole River Foundation
The Big Hole River Foundation is interested in a healthy, free flowing river and fishery for the Big Hole River. They provide opportunities for involvement through education and river enhancement work. This seat creates a vital link between conservation groups.

Technical Advisors

The Governing Board is supported by state and federal agency technical advisors. Technical advisors are not formally appointed and could be any agency representative. However, the following are agency representatives that are highly involved and invested in the Big Hole and in the Big Hole Watershed Committee.


Jim Olsen

Big Hole River Fisheries Biologist
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Mike Roberts

Hydrologist, CCAA Program
Montana Department of Natural Resources

Emma Cayer

Grayling Specialist, CCAA Program
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Jim Magee

Wildlife Biologist, Partners Program, CCAA Program
US Fish & Wildlife Services

Ginette Abdo

Geologist
Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology

Dave Amman

Hydrologist
Montana Department of Natural Resources

Ann Schwend

Water Planner
Montana Department of Natural Resources