Board of Directors
Mr. Benton came to Montana from the Midwest 17 years ago. He and his wife fly-fish the Blackfoot, Bitterroot and various “nameless” places; Sean also hunts. He’s the creative director and an owner of Partners Creative, an advertising and PR firm in Missoula that works with companies of all kinds, including social change and conservation organizations. Sean’s agency has developed communications on many of the West’s lightning-rod issues like clean water protection, dam removal and wolves.
Bob Fulkerson is the State Director and co-founder of PLAN. He worked as Executive Director of Citizen Alert, a statewide grassroots watchdog organization, from 1984 to 1994. He has also served as adjunct faculty at the UNR School of Social Work, teaching classes on oppression and privilege. A fifth-generation Nevadan, Bob was on the staff of Senator Paul Laxalt while attending George Washington University. Bob serves on the boards of ProgressNowNevada, High Country News and The Note Ables, a performing arts group for the disabled. He is a 2006-7 fellow in the Rockwood Leadership Program’s yearlong National Fellowship for Transformative Leadership in the nonprofit sector, and a recipient of the “Leadership for A Changing World” Award from the Ford Foundation. Bob received the Arcus Social Justice Leadership Fellowship at Kalamazoo College in 2011. In addition to his work, Bob’s premier loves are his life partner and family, teaching yoga, and all aspects of nature in the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada.
Grand Junction, Colorado
A long-ago transplant from the East, Wayne Hare became a “native Westerner” while working as a ranger with the Bureau of Land Management in western Colorado, patrolling the Colorado River and McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. Prior to that, he spent several years as an interpretive ranger and later worked as a backcountry ranger with the National Park Service at Canyonlands and Rocky Mountain national parks. Mr. Hare has served as a team-building instructor for Outward Bound in Boston and as assistant director of Outdoor Programs at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Before he was a ranger, Mr. Hare worked on several projects with the National Park Service to increase the cultural diversity of both staff and visitors to natural parks. He has written and spoken about the lack of diversity on public lands and its causes and effects. Mr. Hare has also spent many years in the business world of information technology.
John Heyneman, current board president has served on the board of High Country News since 2004. He resides in Wyoming where he is the Wyo. Project Manager for the Sonoran Institute. Mr. Heyneman has also ranched, managed the North Rim Ranch on behalf of the Grand Canyon Trust, managed a Venezuelan dairy and fruit farm, worked on a Montana governor’s race, and been on the board of the Powder River Basin Resource Council and the Yellowstone Art Museum.
Nicole Lampe heads the digital team at Resource Media, a nonprofit consulting firm that focuses on conservation campaigns. She previously managed public affairs for the Trust for Public Land's Western regional office, and is fluent in social media, but old school in her approach to communications. She counsels discipline around goal setting, audience targeting and measurement to help streamline the care and feeding of multiple channels.
Wendy J. Pabich (pronounced PA-bick) is an environmental scientist, educator, adventurer and artist obsessed with all things water. She is the founder and president of Water Futures Inc., which helps communities find solutions for sustainable water management. Her passion for outdoor adventure and other cultures has taken her to Alaska, Patagonia and the Himalayas. When she isn’t working on water projects, making art or teaching (she has taught at MIT and the Sierra Institute), Wendy is writing. She is the author of Idaho: An Explorer’s Guide and Taking on Water: How One Water Expert Challenged Her Inner Hypocrite, Reduced Her Water Footprint (Without Sacrificing a Toasty Shower), and Found Nirvana.
Born and raised in the West; Lou Patterson has spent more than 35 years working to develop brands, businesses and leaders. After 25 years working in the sporting goods and outdoors industry, he created Category One, providing consumer insight driven strategies. Other board service includes the American Mountain Guide Association. When not working, Patterson can be found, with great difficulty, in remote corners of the West.
Dan Stonington has served on the board of High Country News since 2005. Mr. Stonington, who is the Executive Director for the Northwest Natural Resource Group, was formerly the program manager for the Cascade Land Conservancy, and also worked as a field organizer for the “NO on Initiative 933” campaign. Prior to that, Mr. Stonington worked for three years as an environmental consultant for Ross & Associates in Seattle.
Rick Tallman is a man of many passions, one of which is renewable energy; he is the founder of Renova Capital Partners, a private equity group that develops renewable power, and of Main Street Power Company, an international solar development firm. Mr. Tallman served as a company commander in the U.S. Army during the Persian Gulf War, and he holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He and his wife, Lisa Flores, are active education reformers and urban farmers.
Santa Cruz, New Mexico
Luis Torres, who has served on the board of High Country News since 1996, has been a community organizer since the 1960s. His work in community forestry began in the late 1980s, when he was employed by the Southwest Research and Information Center. Mr. Torres helped organize the Madera Forest Products Association, which worked on developing a new forestry economy based on cutting small trees, and he co-founded the National Network of Forest Practitioners.
Andy Wiessner, who has served on the board of High Country News since 1986, is the organization’s longest-serving board member. Mr. Wiessner is public lands consultant with Western Land Group, which specializes in federal land exchanges and land use issues. He served as staff assistant and counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittees on Mines and Mining (1975-1976) and the Subcommittee on Public Lands in Washington, D.C. (1977-1985). Andy also serves on the board of the Wilderness Workshop and the Wilderness Land Trust, -- a non-profit specializing in the acquisition of wilderness inholdings. Other past board service has included organizations such as: Eagle Valley Land Trust, American Wilderness Alliance, Clear Creek Land Conservancy and Eagle County Citizens for Open Space.
Florence Williams is the immediate past president of the High Country News board and has served on the board since 2005. Ms. Williams is a former High Country News intern and staff writer who has gone on to write for many publications, including High Country News, The New York Times, The New Republic and Outside Magazine, where she is a contributing editor. She has earned awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and other organizations.