Board of Directors

John D. Belkin

President
Basalt, Colorado

John Belkin has been a practicing attorney in Colorado and Wyoming since 1998, working in the areas of real estate development, land use and planning, land conservation, environmental law, mining and government relations. John is with the law firm Garfield & Hecht, P.C. in Aspen. He has served as a federal law clerk, a staffer to a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and as an aide to the United States Trade Representative. Originally from New Britain, Connecticut, John is a graduate of Hobart College and Quinnipiac University School of Law. John’s interests include skiing, ice climbing and mountain biking, and spending time with his two sons Bear and Bruin and German Shepherd Emily.

Seth Cothrun

Treasurer, Chair – Finance Committee
Tucson, Arizona

Seth Cothrun consults nonprofit and private sector clients on marketing & communication, executive management and strategic planning. As a senior executive at Sonoran Institute, Seth played a leadership role in refocusing the organization’s mission while rebuilding brand, marketing and development strategies in the U.S. and México. Previously, he managed business development and marketing initiatives throughout the Americas in the institutional asset management space, working with some of the largest public and private funds in the world. The early part of his career was spent as a program manager in the U.S. Forest Service throughout the West, in addition to serving nationally on Type 1 Incident Management and Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation teams tasked with managing high complexity wildland fire incidents and post-fire effects. He is a native of the Sonoran Desert and loves the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming where his wife is from.

Jay Dean

Lafayette, California

Jay Dean, a life-long conservationist, is creative strategy director for the John Muir Land Trust (jmlt.org), and was chief marketing officer of The Trust for Public Land for 10 years and publisher of its award-winning Land&People magazine. Jay has served on the board and as an adviser to several environmental groups, including EarthShare and ecoAmerica. During the corporate phase of his career, he was an executive vice president of Young & Rubicam, and chief marketing officer of SRS Acquiom. In his spare time he is the proud proprietor of gardencraftsman.com, and is often outside covered in either sawdust or trail dust. He lives in Lafayette, California.

Bob Fulkerson

Reno, Nevada

Bob Fulkerson is the development director and co-founder of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. He worked as Executive Director of Citizen Alert, a statewide grassroots environmental justice 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 , and serves on the board the David J. Drakulich Veterans Art Foundation. He is 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. The City of Reno recognized him as one of 150 citizens who’ve made a difference since the city’s founding 150 years ago. Bob’s premier loves are his grandson, family, yoga, folk music, the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada.

Dina Gilio-Whitaker

San Clemente, California

Dina Gilio-Whitaker (Colville Confederated Tribes) is a lecturer of American Indian Studies at California State University San Marcos, and an independent educator in American Indian environmental policy and other issues. She teaches courses on environmentalism and American Indians, traditional ecological knowledge, religion and philosophy, Native women’s activism, American Indians and sports, and decolonization. She also works within the field of critical sports studies, examining the intersections of indigeneity and the sport of surfing. She is also an award-winning journalist and the author of two books, including As Long As Grass Grows: The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock.

Laura Helmuth

Secretary
Rockville, Maryland

Laura Helmuth is the editor-in-chief of Scientific American and a past president of the National Association of Science Writers. She has been the health, science & environment editor for The Washington Post, digital news director for National Geographic, science and health editor for Slate, science editor for Smithsonian, and a reporter and editor for Science magazine's news department. She  serves on the National Academy of Science, Engineering & Medicine's standing committee on the science of science communication and the advisory board of Spectrum, an autism news magazine. She has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley. A hiker and birdwatcher, she comes West whenever she can.

Samaria Jaffe

San Rafael, California

Samaria Jaffe has more than 15 years of community organizing, fundraising and conservation experience. She has served as the executive director at the Point Reyes National Seashore Association. Before joining PRNSA, she was at The Trust for Public Land, developing conservation and fundraising programs for communities across northern California, primarily in the Sierra Nevada. She played a lead role in some of the Sierra Nevada’s most visible open space campaigns in recent years, Martis Valley and Royal Gorge at Donner Summit. She is inspired by community-driven conservation and stewardship. Samaria is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM, and spent much of her youth exploring the trails and beaches of Point Reyes.

Fátima Luna

Tucson, Arizona

Fátima Luna serves as the Climate and Sustainability Policy Advisor for City of Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, leading and managing the development and implementation of the city’s climate action plan. Luna’s experience includes serving as the environmental and natural resource economist for the Sonoran Institute in the Water and Ecosystem Restoration (formerly known as the Colorado River Delta Program). Most recently, she led an initiative to establish a small-scale conservation fund that collaborates with water users to create a network of community-led or community-owned small-scale restoration projects in the Colorado River Delta. Fátima is a mother of three and an advocate for racial and environmental justice. In her free time, she enjoys weightlifting, gardening and hiking.

Marla Painter

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Born and raised in California, Marla now resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her education focused on interdisciplinary environmental studies. She has worked in the Intermountain West since the mid 1970s, including a stint at Nevada’s Foresta Institute for Ocean and Mountain. She’s also done community organizing around issues including nuclear waste disposal and the impact of military training activities, and has worked to build an environmental movement inclusive of all the West’s cultures. Marla has also worked as staff, volunteer and fundraiser for political candidates committed to the environment and human rights.

Raynelle Rino

Oakland, California

A longtime environmental education professional, Raynelle began her career in the sciences as an ecology field researcher then moved onto environmental education and social justice at the grassroots organizational level. Her love for nature and youth development brought her to teach in unique settings like alternative high schools, environmental justice neighborhoods, parks, and juvenile justice facilities. In 2016 Raynelle started Rino Consulting Solutions, a nature-based consulting firm that provides coaching services for professionals and build bridges between mainstream environmentalism and people of color. Its mission is “to support and inspire the leaders of today to live in the confidence of their identities as they move through a world in the midst of social, racial, and environmental transformation.” Raynelle is a graduate of Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Biology, a Rising Leaders and 2042 Today fellow, and lives in Oakland with her husband and daughter.

Estee Rivera Murdock

Vice President
Estes Park, CO

Estee Rivera Murdock, is the executive director at the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, which produces educational publications, offers seminars, supports research, and provides philanthropic support to Rocky Mountain National Park and other public lands partners in Colorado and Wyoming. Born and raised in southern Arizona, Estee previously worked for the National Park Service for nearly a decade. She has an MA in geography with a focus on Hispanic community engagement and public lands and geographic information science. She also holds a B.A. in anthropology and Spanish literature, all from the University of Arizona. She currently resides with her husband and daughter in Estes Park, CO.

Andrea Otáñez

Seattle, Washington

Andrea Otáñez is an educator and journalist who has written, edited and developed online and print packages in a variety of journalistic beats, including environment, science, politics, medicine, communities, religion and consumer affairs. She is currently an associate teaching professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she has developed courses in race, gender and equity, focusing specifically on critiquing the rituals of journalistic objectivity and on the representation of Latinx people in media. Otáñez has worked as a reporter, copy editor, team editor and columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune and The Seattle Times. She also worked as an acquisitions editor and editor-at-large for the University of New Mexico Press. At root, she’s a high-desert devotee. 

Kara Teising

Nashville, Tennessee

Kara Teising is a Managing Director at Koya Partners, a national, mission-driven executive search firm committed to keeping diversity, equity and inclusion at the center of the search process. She has spent 17 years as a professional matchmaker, specializing in partnering with national conservation and environmental organizations as well as philanthropic institutions to place incredible leaders committed to making positive change for people and the planet. A former board member of the Sonoran Institute, she continues to serve on the organization’s Advisory Council and DEI Committee. The youngest child of a career Naval officer, Kara spent her childhood in the West, and loves traveling the region with her two young children. 

Luis Torres

Santa Cruz, New Mexico

Luis Torres, board member emeritus, has had a 50-year career doing social change/community organizing work. A native of northern New Mexico, Luis launched his career in 1970 when he took his first in a series of job with a Community Action Agency, a War on Poverty Program. In 1974, he opened the first ever American Friends Service Committee in New Mexico. He directed that program for 10 years. In 1984, he went to work for the Southwest Research and Information Center (SRIC) as their northern New Mexico director. In 1992 he left SRIC and since then has continued his life-long involvement in social change work  mostly as a volunteer and occasionally being paid for consulting.

Andy Wiessner

Snowmass, Colorado

Andy Wiessner, has been on the board of High Country News since 1986, and is the organization’s longest-serving board member. Andy is a public land consultant with Western Land Group, which specializes in federal land exchanges and land use issues. He served a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1969-70, and worked 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 serves on the board of the Wilderness Workshop based in Carbondale, CO, and the Wilderness Land Trust, a nonprofit 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

Washington, DC

Florence Williams has served on the board of High Country News board since 2005. Florence 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 contributing editor. She has earned awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and other organizations, and she is the author, most recently, of The Nature Fix: How Being in Nature Makes You Happier, Healthier and More Creative (2017).

High Country News Classifieds
  • RURAL ACREAGE OUTSIDE SILVER CITY, NM
    Country living just minutes from town! 20 acres with great views makes a perfect spot for your custom home. Nice oaks and juniper. Cassie Carver,...
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH ASSOCIATE
    Communications and Outreach Associate Position Opening: www.westernlaw.org/communications-outreach-associate ************************************************* Location: Western U.S., ideally in one of WELC's existing office locations (Santa Fe or Taos, NM, Helena,...
  • OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR AND BOOKKEEPER
    Posted: July 19, 2021 Application deadline: August 27 or until position is filled. Western Colorado Alliance for Community Action is seeking a fulltime Office Administrator...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Posted: July 15, 2021 Application deadline: August 21, 2021 or until position is filled Western Colorado Alliance for Community Action is seeking three full time...
  • A FIVE STAR FOREST SETTING WITH SECLUSION AND SEPARATENESS
    This home is for a discerning buyer in search of a forest setting of premier seclusion & separateness. Surrounded on all sides by USFS land...
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, HIke the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT EDITOR
    High Country News (HCN) seeks an audience editor to attract and acquire new audiences and deepen engagement with them - in our newsletters, on our...
  • COMMUNITY MARKETER
    High Country News (HCN) is looking for a Community Marketer to build and strengthen relationships between HCN and other organizations and individuals, with the aim...
  • FINANCE & OPERATIONS MANAGER
    Job Announcement: Finance and Operations Manager Announcement date: July 16, 2021 Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and first review will begin: August...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Job Announcement: Development Director Announcement date: July 16, 2021 Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and first review will begin: August 9, 2021...
  • HECHO POLICY AND ADVOCACY MANAGER
    Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) was created in 2013 to help fulfill our duty to conserve and protect our public lands for...
  • HECHO NEW MEXICO SENIOR FIELD COORDINATOR
    Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) was created in 2013 to help fulfill our duty to conserve and protect our public lands for...
  • IDAHO STATE DIRECTOR
    The Wilderness Society is seeking a full time Idaho State Director who will preferably be based in Boise, Idaho. This position is part of our...
  • CAUCASIAN OVCHARKA PUPPIES
    Strong loyal companions. Ready to protect your family and property. Proven against wolves and grizzlies. Imported bloodlines. Well socialized.
  • DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    The Nature Conservancy in Alaska is dedicated to saving the lands and waters on which all life depends. For more than 30 years, TNC has...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY, CLIMATE AND ENERGY PROGRAM
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING https://westernlaw.org/career-opportunity-climate-energy-staff-attorney/ ************************************************** Position Title: Climate and Energy Program Staff Attorney Reports to: Climate and Energy Program Director Location: Helena, Montana; other...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY, WILDLANDS AND WILDLIFE PROGRAM
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING https://westernlaw.org/career-opportunity-wildlands-staff-attorney/ ************************************************** Position Title: Wildlands and Wildlife Program Staff Attorney Reports to: Wildlands and Wildlife Program Director Location: Portland or Eugene,...
  • DISCOUNT SOLAR PANELS
    New w/25 year warranty. Shipped anywhere in the lower 48. Minimum order of 10 units. Call, text or email for current prices. .50-.80/ watt
  • SWEET MOUNTAIN HOME
    3.8 acres in pine and fir forest on a year round creek. Custom home, 2x6 framing, radiant heat, wrap around decks and established berry patch....
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!