STAFF

David Page
Executive Director (Mammoth Lakes, California)

David took over the helm of Winter Wildlands Alliance in June 2022. Previously, he served six years as Advocacy Director. He is also a national award-winning journalist, a former senior correspondent for Powder magazine, and a finalist for a 2015 National Magazine Award. His work includes essays like “Rituals: The Last Run” (The New York Times), “If You Haven’t Driven Through a Snowstorm You Haven’t Lived” (SKI), and “The Human Factor” (Powder). He serves on the boards of Wasatch Backcountry Alliance and Outdoor Alliance, working with backcountry skiers/splitboarders, climbers, paddlers, skiers, mountain bikers and others to improve land protections, climate resilience, and equitable access to quality recreation on public lands.

Email David at dpage@winterwildlands.org.

Hilary Eisen
Policy Director (Bozeman, Montana)

Hilary is an avid backcountry skier and ice climber with a passion for wild landscapes. She leads WWA’s work on National Forest winter travel management, forest planning, and other policy issues. Hilary works with our members, grassroots and grasstops partners, agency staff, and elected officials to protect wild snowscapes across the United States.

Hilary started her career in public lands in the backcountry, maintaining Forest Service trails and educating the public about Wilderness stewardship as a Wilderness Ranger while spending winters working on wildlife research projects. Prior to joining WWA in 2014, she worked on public lands conservation in Wyoming and Montana. She received her B.A. in conservation biology from Middlebury College and a Master’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Montana.

Email Hilary at heisen@winterwildlands.org.

Kerry McClay
National SnowSchool Director (Boise, Idaho)

Kerry joined WWA in 2013 after helping establish the National Flagship SnowSchool site with Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area and the Boise National Forest. Kerry is a graduate of the University of Montana and Prescott College, and completed a Doctorate of Education at Boise State University. Working collaboratively with snow scientists and educators, Kerry designed the innovative SnowSchool curriculum now utilized across the US snow-belt to introduce thousands of children to the joy of exploring their local winter wildlands every season. Kerry lives in Boise and enjoys being outside whenever possible with his wife and their young daughter.

Email Kerry at kmcclay@winterwildlands.org.

Kate Thorpe
Membership Director (Boise, Idaho)

Kate joined the WWA team in 2021. Previously, Kate worked for 8.5 years as the Deputy Director at Conservation Voters for Idaho. She has worked for the Energy Policy Institute at Boise State, the Idaho Conservation League, the Idaho Nonprofit Center, the New York State Department of Environment Conservation, Environment Connecticut, and served on the board of the Snake River Alliance. She holds a Masters of Public Administration with an emphasis in environmental and natural resource policy from Boise State University. Kate is a Long Trail end-to-ender, avid whitewater kayaker, mountain biker, skier, and loves animals. She resides in Boise with her partner Tj and their two dogs and two cats.

Email Kate at kthorpe@winterwildlands.org.

Melinda Quick Jones
Events and Marketing Director (Boise, Idaho)

As a born and raised Idaho spud, Melinda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Literature from Sarah Lawrence College and loves creating innovative engagement opportunities for communities of all kinds. After spending most of her twenties living and working around the world, she found herself grounded in her hometown of Boise, Idaho. She loves working for non-profits, specifically those that work to conserve our access and protect wild spaces. One of her favorite indoor activities is organizing her email inbox, but you can usually find her outside floating the Boise river, hiking, skiing, or snowshoeing with her dog (Harley), cats (MJ + Bowser) and husband (Kyle). As the Events and Marketing Director, Melinda primarily runs our Backcountry Film Festival, manages our Trail Break magazine, and oversees all other wild winter events and marketing campaigns.

Email Melinda at mquick@winterwildlands.org.

Emily Scott
Operations Coordinator (Boise, Idaho)

Emily’s life has been shaped by the awe-inspiring beauty of nature, from the snowy peaks of her childhood in Sun Valley to the rainforests of her travels in Central America. Earning a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies at Boise State University (BSU), she explored the delicate balance of ecosystems and their urgent need for protection and restoration. As an Environmental Sustainability Research Intern at BSU and a Data Entry and Analysis Intern at The Peregrine Fund, she has contributed to informed decision-making for conservation. At Winter Wildlands Alliance, she loves supporting her team because the mission and commitment to diversity resonate with her belief in protecting nature for all. Outside of work, she enjoys hiking, camping, yoga, river swimming, dancing, and cuddling with her beloved cat, Milo. Her commitment to conservation and the fight against climate change guides her every step.

Email Emily at escott@winterwildlands.org. 

Kelly Bessem
California Stewardship Manager (South Lake Tahoe, California)

Kelly is a splitboarder and backpacker drawn to the watersheds and granite landscapes of the Sierra Nevada. Raised in Southern CA, she has backpacked across the American Southwest and Europe and spent time living in Costa Rica and New Zealand. She got a job in Yosemite NP at 18 that ultimately set her on the path of environmental management and conservation, completing degrees in Geography, Water Policy, Geospatial Science, and Journalism (Humboldt) and Climate Science & Solutions (Flagstaff). She’s contributed to land management planning and data collection throughout the Sierra, from Sequoia to Tahoe, most recently as a Forest Service Technician in Desolation Wilderness.

Email Kelly at kbessem@winterwildlands.org.

Brittany Leffel
Colorado Policy Coordinator (Durango, CO)

Brittany began a career dedicated to building climate resilience and ensuring equitable access to the outdoors as a high school outdoor education leader with the YMCA of the Rockies. She has since worked for conservation organizations like the Association of Northwest Steelheaders, Oregon Natural Desert Association, and Tualatin Riverkeepers; and served as a board member for Friends of Trees. Most recently, she was a legislative assistant for Representative Pam Marsh in the Oregon State Legislature, where she enhanced public engagement and worked on climate resilience, wildfire mitigation, and wildfire recovery. She holds a B.S. in Urban and Public Affairs with a minor in Sustainability from Portland State University. Brittany is excited to be back in Colorado where she can snowshoe, hike, paddle, or camp in her small trailer. She joins WWA in 2024 as a contractor to help with grassroots organizing, winter recreation data collection, and Forest Service engagement as OSV planning gears up in southwest Colorado.

Email Brittany at bleffel@winterwildlands.org.

Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization working to
inspire and empower people to protect America’s wild snowscapes.