Board of Directors
(Chair) is a nationally prominent nature and environmental writer. He is one of the founders of the YVFC and has been invaluable to the development of the organization. He has also taken board positions on the Montana Wilderness Association, the Cabinet Resources Group, and Round River Conservation Studies. Rick's numerous books and articles on the Yaak's wildlands and the need to protect remaining roadless cores have brought national attention to our small grassroots organization. Rick has supervised two anthology book projects for the YVFC and offers countless hours of volunteer field support as well as written articles and op-ed pieces.
(Member) grew up spending as much time as possible in the woods or on the prairie surrounding her grandparents' farm in Minnesota. She has a B.A. in Anthropology from Luther College, and worked on archaeological digs on a Mississippi River floodplain. She was a long-time volunteer at Minnesota's Wildlife Science Center, helping with animal care for wolves, bears, coyotes, cougars, and raptors. For several years she headed the International Wolf Center’s outreach program dedicated to teaching facts about wolves. Tara is establishing a traveling environmental education business and is the proud mom of three children and a pack of dogs. She spends as much time as possible hiking and camping in the wilds of Montana and Wyoming. She initially visited the Yaak in 1996 and helped Board Chair Rick Bass with the first website dedicated to obtaining protection for the Yaak's roadless areas.
(Secretary) prefers to be in the company of grizzly bears. Over the years, he has worked as a backcountry ranger in Glacier National Park, a high school English teacher, and now helps tutor and mentor students of all ages. Matt has published essays and short stories, and is the fiction editor at Whitefish Review. The Yaak has always held a special place in his heart because of its solitude, quiet, and wildness. Matt lives with his family in Columbia Falls, Montana.
Matthew C. Chappell
(Member) grew up on a farm in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri where he spent most of his free time outside hunting, fishing, and canoeing. During his high school summers he volunteered for the Student Conservation Association in Yellowstone National Park, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and the Flathead National Forest doing trail work and wildland firefighting. He has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Missouri. Matthew has worked as a biological science technician for the Lincoln and Flathead National Forests; a backcountry ranger for Glacier National Park, a trail laborer for Big Bend National Park, a hunting guide and packer for various outfitters in the Bob Marshall and Scapegoat Wilderness; a packer for Grand Canyon, Olympic, and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks and the Sawtooth and Payette National Forests. Matthew has published a variety of op-eds in various Montana newspapers. He lives in Choteau, Montana and is currently serving active duty in the U.S. Navy.