The Winter Wildlands Alliance Board is composed of key figures in the conservation and human-powered recreation communities. Each board member serves as a voluntary advisor, drawing on deep experience to help set organizational policy, and guiding WWA to ensure our mission and vision are fulfilled.
John Garder, Washington, DC – President
John Garder focuses on appropriations for the National Parks Conservation Association. With an M.S. from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, John has worked on federal public lands policy in Washington, DC for nearly a decade and applies that expertise to the board. He is proud to represent the East, grew up primarily in Vermont and gets out to backcountry ski in West Virginia whenever there is snow. He is a self-described mountain freak, and gets away from the city most weekends to nordic or telemark ski, paddle, climb and hike in the Appalachians. He brings his passion for backcountry recreation, winter ecosystems and public lands protection to the board. His favorite season – by far – is winter.
Katie Strong, Anchorage, AK- Vice President
Growing up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Katie developed a love for winter, wild places, and skiing at a young age. More recently, she’s developed a habit of skiing across mountain ranges in Alaska. Seeking to protect the places she plays, Katie works as an attorney at Trustees for Alaska, a public interest environmental law firm based in Anchorage. She holds a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School and an M.S. in Environmental Policy from Michigan Technological University, where she focused her studies on wilderness protection.
Tony Ferlisi, Victor, ID – Secretary
Tony is a passionate backcountry skier and is the current executive director of Mountain Bike the Tetons, the flagship IMBA Chapter of the Teton region. He holds a graduate degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Idaho, has worked as a USFS Wilderness Ranger, as a mountain bike guide and trip designer at Trek Travel for well over a decade, in wildlands conservation advocacy and mountain bike race operations. Tony strives to build bridges among the complex communities of public lands recreation and conservation in the west both through his day job and through personal community involvement. When not exploring his backyard Teton and Absoroka mountain ranges on long winter ski tours, you’ll find him on a southern Utah mountain bike mission, searching for elk in the Snake River Range or slinging dry flies at cutthroat on the Henry’s Fork.
Harold Hallstein IV, Boulder, CO – Treasurer
Hal’s interest in alpine and cross-country skiing has been evolving steadily for more than 25 years. He is an active volunteer for the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) on the Green Lakes Snow Survey, which conducts snowpack, water, and atmospheric research at the Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research Site. His time spent in that highly protected valley, and at both human-powered and motorized trailheads across the Mountain West has shown him the environmental and spiritual value that lives in these quiet places. He hopes his work with the WWA will help ensure the viability of reflective winter experiences for future generations. When he isn’t ski touring, Hal is running an investment management business based in Boulder, CO.
Jennifer Bock, Steamboat Springs, CO
Jennifer didn’t learn to ski until she moved to Colorado after college, and is still catching up, but very lucky to continue learning in Routt County’s beautiful backcountry. Jennifer is the Staff Attorney at the City of Steamboat Springs, and has a background of working in organizing, policy and law for non-profits and local and state government. Her environmental expertise is in wilderness, public lands, water, and oil and gas. Jennifer is excited to serve on the Winter Wildlands Alliance board to preserve the joy she has found in quiet winter recreation for her daughter and for generations to come. Jennifer holds a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law and a B.A. in American Studies from Georgetown University.
Michael Fiebig, Bozeman, MT
Mike serves as the Northern Rockies Associate Director for American Rivers, melding his love for snow with his love for spring runoff. An avid splitboarder and packrafter, he also splits his volunteer time between the board of Montana Backcountry Alliance and the American Packrafting Association. Mike taught wilderness education for a number of years, and has worked in the public and non-profit sectors at home and abroad. He has an M.S. in Natural Resources Policy and Conflict Resolution, a B.S. in Neuroscience and a B.A. in Philosophy. Sliding down snow with friends and family in wild places is one of his favorite things in the world.
Erik Lambert, Golden, CO
Erik started skiing at age one when his dad pushed him around the sleepy woods of Poughkeepsie on some homemade planks. He’s spent the past 10 years as a marketing and communication professional in the outdoor industry, as digital editor for Alpinist and Backcountry magazines and as marketing director for the American Alpine Club. In 2016 he launched Bonfire Collective, a consultancy and creative shop for outdoor brands and non-profits. Clients include the American Mountain Guides Association, Professional Ski Instructors of America, and Colorado Mountain School, among others. Erik serves on the Winter Wildlands Alliance board because he believes that the outdoor community has an unparalleled passion that can and should be organized to protect the unique places we play.
Rich Meyer, Berkeley, CA
Rich is a co-founder of the Tahoe Backcountry Alliance (TBA), a grassroots group of Winter Wildlands Alliance working on behalf of the human-powered winter backcountry community in the Lake Tahoe area. As a Mountain Guide leading trips around the world, Rich shares a love and respect of wild lands and wild places. Whether guiding clients in the backcountry or skiing and climbing on personal occasions, Rich strives to find pristine locations whenever possible. He believes wild peaks and passes have a special meaning and that the human powered backcountry experience is like no other. Rich believes all of us have the responsibility to protect truly quiet, natural and tranquil wild lands.
Jennifer Miller, Boise, ID
Jen spent 12 years working for Outward Bound, NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute, and for a variety of university outdoor programs. She hopes to inspire and challenge learners of all ages to follow their passions and outdoor pursuits with awareness and eagerness. After so many years in the outdoor industry as a mountain guide, ski patroller and educator she can no longer eat oatmeal or bagels, but can always rally for the chance to ski some freshies. She believes that the solace time outside provides is unparalleled and that supporting those who are advocating and protecting wild spaces is essential. Jen has a BA in International Relations and Hispanic Studies from Lewis & Clark College and is currently in medical school.
Sam Roberts, Mammoth Lakes, CA
A native Californian who has been visiting that state’s wild places since before he could walk, Sam grew up camping and backpacking, and then moved on to rock climbing and mountaineering. His climbing adventures have taken him from the granite walls of Yosemite Valley to the summit of 24,580-foot Noshaq in Afghanistan. Working as a rock climbing guide in Joshua Tree National Park, Sam discovered photography. He has been a professional photographer for 25 years, first shooting outdoor adventures, then doing commercial and corporate work, and now mainly fine art landscapes. Sam is also on the Board of Directors for Friends of the Inyo, a Winter Wildlands Alliance grassroots organization based in the Eastern Sierra where Sam resides and skis upwards of 100 days each season.
Scott White, Boise, ID
Scott relocated to Boise, Idaho after spending most of his childhood and college years in Tucson, Arizona. He is a long time endurance athlete and loved his years of climbing, cycling, and running in the Arizona desert. After landing a job in Boise after graduate school, he made the trek north and quickly realized that winter is not just a theoretical season in Idaho, Scott and his wife Mallory immediately embraced recreating on snow and have both been avid backcountry snowboarders and skiers, as well as Nordic skiers, for the better part of the last 25 years. Scott believes in the transformative power of wilderness experiences, especially in Winter, and spends as much time as possible in the mountains with friends and family.
Laura Yale, Crested Butte, CO
Growing up in Denver at the edge of the Rockies, Laura realized at a young age that the magnetism of mountains would guide a majority of her life decisions. After earning a BA in Journalism from the University of North Carolina, she has nestled herself in the magical world of ski towns across Colorado and British Columbia. She works to preserve the character of these special communities through the protection of surrounding public lands. First as a community organizer and now as a film producer, Laura collects stories from people who care for their wild backyards and disseminates them to anyone willing to listen in order to inform better policy and protection of wilderness.