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Predators of the West


Experts and activists listed below discussed predator issues in the west at the Idaho Public Television studio in Boise on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2003. Click on a name or scroll down to read their biographies. View photos and read excerpts from their conversation here.

  • Paul D. Hoffman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the US Department of Interior
  • Chris Servheen, Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator for US Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Carter Niemeyer, Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Amaroq Weiss, Western Director of Species Conservation for Defenders of Wildlife
  • Steve Nadeau, Staff Biologist and Statewide Large Carnivore Coordinator for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game
  • Aaron Miles, Sr., Nez Perce tribal member and Director, Natural Resources Department
  • Levi Holt, Nez Perce tribal member and National Wildlife Federation board member
  • Jon Robinett, Wyoming rancher with experience dealing with grizzlies and wolves
  • Jennifer Ellis, Wildlife Committee Vice Chm, Idaho Cattle Association, Blackfoot rancher
  • Bill Wall, Hunter & Director of Wildlife Conservation programs, Safari International
  • Dean Miller, Managing editor of the Idaho Falls Post Register and co-author, "Cat Attacks: True Stories and Hard Lessons from Cougar Country"
  • Margaret Soulen Hinson, Third generation livestock producer, past chairman of the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission, and current member of the executive board for the American Sheep Industry
  • Jim Caswell, Head, Idaho Office of Species Conservation
  • Chuck Schwartz, Head, Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team
  • Crosby Allen, Fremont County (WY) Commissioner
  • Kent McAdoo, Biologist, Cooperative Extension, University of Nevada at Reno
  • David Gaillard, Coordinator for the Predator Conservation Alliance
  • Tom Parker, NW Connections, cougar tracker
  • Ken Hall, Vice Chairman, Umatilla Tribe Fish and Wildlife Committee
  • Carl Scheeler, Program Manager, Wildlife Department, Umatilla Tribe


Paul Hoffman serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Fish and Wildlife and Parks at the U.S. Department of Interior. He works closely with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service on pending issues and policy matters. These bureaus together have approximately 30,000 employees and combined budget of more than $3 billion.

Mr. Hoffman was born in La Jolla, California and then moved to Cody, Wyoming in 1976. He married his wife Lisa in 1979 and they have a daughter and a son, Desiree and Fritz.

Mr. Hoffman received his bachelor’s degree in Economics as a Major and Biology as a Minor at the University of California, Revelle College in San Diego, California. He is also a Graduate of the Institute for Organizational Management and the Inaugural Leadership of Wyoming Class. For community involvement, he was President and Kiwanian of the Year; volunteered at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center; President of the Wyoming Chamber of Commerce Executives; and Co-Founder of the Yellowstone Development District.

Mr. Hoffman worked as a Wilderness Guide, Carpenter, and Substitute Teacher in 1980; Loan Officer at First Wyoming Bank – Cody from 1980—1985; and State Director for then—Congressman Dick Cheney in Casper, Wyoming from 1985 – 1989. Paul was the Fundraising Coordinator for the Buffalo Bill Dam Visitors Center; Assistant Manager for the Simpson Senate Committee from 1989 – 1990; and from 1990 through 2002, he was the Executive Director for Cody Country Chamber of Commerce and Cody Economic Development Council before accepting the position as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

Chris Servheen: I have been the Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator for the USFWS for 23 years. As such, I am responsible for coordinating all the research and management on grizzly bears in the lower 48 states and working with biologists in Alberta and British Columbia. I was the EIS Team Leader for the Bitterroot Grizzly Bear Reintroduction EIS. My interests involve bear conservation and management and the relationships between human activities and bear distribution and survival. Much of my current work and that of my graduate students involve the impacts of highways and human developments on habitat fragmentation for bears and other large carnivores in the Rocky Mountains. I lead projects involving the application of Global Positioning System (GPS) collars on grizzly bears and black bears to learn more about their detailed movements in relationship to human activity. I also work with state and federal highway departments in developing ways to get animals across highways. I am also interested in international conservation issues. Each year I teach a class at the University of Montana on international wildlife conservation. I have worked in many countries in Asia and in Europe on bears and bear conservation, and I was a Fulbright Scholar in Greece in 1994. I am particularly interested in the trade of bear parts for use in traditional medicine in Asia and the impact of this trade on Asian bear conservation. Through my international work I maintain close cooperative relationships with IUCN, WWF, and other international conservation organizations.

Carter Niemeyer is the Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Niemeyer has Bachelor’s (1970) and Masters (1973) Degrees in Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University, and started his career as a State Trapper with Montana Dept of Livestock. For 14 years he was District Supervisor for the US Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services in the western half of Montana, responsible for predator management. For the following 12 years he became the Wolf Management Specialist for the same department, responsible for conducting wolf depredation investigations in all 3 wolf recovery areas of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming as well as the wolf capture or removal programs in all 3 states.

Since 2001 he has been the Wolf Recovery Coordinator (US Fish and Wildlife Services) for the Idaho Recovery Area. He supervises and coordinates the day-day activities of wolf recovery with public, wolf advocacy groups, livestock producers, and various state, fed and country agencies. He has been called the "Old timer of the wolf recovery program in the Northwest."

Amaroq Weiss is the Western Director of Species Conservation for Defenders of Wildlife and oversees Defenders' staff work on wolves, grizzly and other species in the western United States. She has a B.S. from Iowa State University, an M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a law degree from University of California - Hastings and a certification in behavioral training for canines and other species.

Prior to joining Defenders, Weiss worked as a trial and appellate attorney in state and federal court for ten years, as the special projects leader for the California Wolf Center for three years and as a canine behavior consultant for four years. Weiss has developed and presented numerous public education programs in California, Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho on wolf biology and behavior, federal recovery efforts for the species and related legal issues; helped establish two regional coalitions, the Pacific Alliance for Wild Wolves and the Coalition to Recover Oregon's Wolves; provided testimony regarding Defenders’ wolf recovery-related programs at hearings before state legislators and county and state commissions; lobbied to maintain legal protections for the species; and helped develop socialization protocol for hand-reared wolf pups at the International Wolf Center in Minnesota.

Weiss is on the board of directors for the California Wolf Center and was recently appointed by the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission to an advisory stakeholders committee that will assist the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in developing a state management plan for wolves.

Steve Nadeau is Staff Biologist and Statewide Large Carnivore Coordinator for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in Boise. He has a B.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Maine and an M.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana. He wrote his Masters' thesis on Grizzly bear and human conflicts in Glacier National Park.

Nadeau has been working with grizzly bears, black bears, mountain lions, and wolves since 1979 for various federal and state agencies, and in Canada. Started working for Idaho Fish and Game in 1987, as a backcountry conservation officer in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness area. Became a field biologist in McCall in 1991, then in 1992 moved to Lewiston as a Regional Wildlife Biologist focusing on wildlife habitat issues and large carnivores. Have been statewide coordinator for large carnivores in Boise since 2002. Responsible for statewide program coordination for wolves, mountain lions, black bears, and grizzly bears for Idaho Department of Fish and Game. He is an avid hunter, fisherman, and backcountry horseman.

Aaron Miles, Sr. is the manager for the Nez Perce Tribe's Department of Natural Resources. Aaron received a Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources – Ecosystems Management from University of Idaho in the Fall of 1995. He grew up on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation at Lapwai, Idaho and is a Nez Perce Tribal member. His responsibilities as the Natural Resource Manager are to provide direction and oversight to the Forestry, Land Services, Cultural Resources, Environmental Restoration & Waste Management, Water Resource, and Wildlife Divisions.

Over the past couple of years, Aaron has been involved with working with the Wolf Oversight Committee that assisted in drafting the wolf management plan for Idaho, and with the USFWS regarding the tribe’s contract and year-to-year work. Currently, Aaron has been working with the Office of Species Conservation, and the Idaho Fish & Game to reach agreement on future roles and responsibilities of the tribe under the management plan for the State of Idaho.

Levi Holt is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe and a conservationist who advocates for habitat and wildlife preservation through a small business called Native Ecosystems. Levi also serves as a Tribal Liaison to the Nez Perce Tribe and other Tribes of the Northwest and Canada.  Levi is often called upon to provide cultural sensitive program presentations to schools, colleges, universities, state and federal agencies. Levi has been active in recovery, protection and enhancement projects and programs for endangered and/or threatened species and habitats through out the United States and Canada.  He has actively participated in education and advocacy programs ranging from the Gray Wolf to the Pacific Salmon.

Currently Levi serves as a active member on the Board of Directors for the National Wildlife Federation, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Hells Canyon Preservation Council and the Friends of the Clearwater. These organizations have been actively working to protect and enhance the habitats and species populations located with in the United States and Canada. Of past Levi has served on the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee, which is the governing body of the Nez Perce Tribe. Levi has represented many of the tribes and organizations of the Northwest and Canada, such as the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Affiliated Tribes of the Northwest, and the Alliance of Idaho Tribes. He has provided testimony before numerous Congressional Committees and has been the tribal delegate to the U.S. / Canadian Pacific Salmon Treaty Negotiations.

Levi is a traditional Eagle bustle dancer, story teller (Nez Perce Tribal legends), and enjoys playing the Nez Perce traditional flute. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and Appaloosa horse back riding.

Jon Robinett is the fourth generation of a ranching family. His Great Grandfather, Dan Speas, came to Wyoming in 1880 and started the Cottonwood Land & Cattle Company near Casper. Jon is currently managing the Diamond G Ranch in the Dunoir Valley, west of Dubois. The ranch raises Red Angus and Composite cattle. He has been involved with import and export issues in the cattle industry. Jon was on the Board of Directors of the National Red Angus Association of America and The National Big Horn Sheep Center. Before coming to the Diamond G Ranch, Jon managed ranches in the Rock River area where there was a Sage Chicken population. He has worked with the University of Wyoming on their research and on improving habitat for the Sage Chickens.

Jon has been involved with grizzly bears since 1990. He implements a co-existence program for the ranch. He has worked closely with the Wyoming Game & Fish on grizzly bear home ranges. Jon also participated in the book, The Grizzly Bears of Yellowstone, by Craighead, Sumner and Mitchell. Jon became involved with wolves in 1996, when the first pair came to the Dunoir Valley. Jon has held discussion groups with The Teton Science School and with Yale University students, sharing his views and experiences with grizzlies and wolves.

Jon and his wife, Deb have two children and three grandchildren.

Jennifer Ellis is a rancher from Blackfoot, Idaho. Along with her husband Shawn and three kids, she is engaged in the day to day operations of the family ranch and farm. Jennifer is an active member of her community where she donates her time to many local and state organizations. Jennifer currently serves as a board member of the Idaho Cattle Association where she is also the Wildlife Vice Committee Chairman.

Bill Wall is Director of the Wildlife Conservation Programs and Senior Scientist for Safari Club International Foundation. He joined the Foundation five years ago after having worked for several forest products corporations in the southern and western US on hunting, wildlife management and endangered species programs. Bill has expertise in both wildlife population and ecosystem management and serves on the board of the Ecosystem Management Research Institute. Bill’s work currently focuses on the development and implementation of conservation hunting programs through SCIF’s wildlife conservation programs in Central Asia, Africa and North America. These programs demonstrate the role of hunting in conservation by engaging local people with incentives to support conservation. These programs support science based management of both prey and carnivore species. SCI Foundation has established and supports research and conservation projects on jaguars in Mexico, lions in Zimbabwe and bears in Russia. Through his work, Bill has established partnerships with many international conservation organizations and he serves on the International Union for the Conservation Natures Caprinae Specialist Group. This sort of international work has been his dream since graduating with his PhD in Forest wildlife management from Stephen F. Austin State University. Bill has been recognized by his peers with several awards including the prestigious "Chuck Yeager Award" from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for "outstanding service in the field" of wildlife conservation. Bill loves to hunt, which fuels his passion to manage and conserve wild resources, and enjoys camping, canoeing and fishing with his wife and daughter.

Dean Miller is the managing editor of the Post Register, an employee-owned newspaper in Idaho Falls, Idaho, about 100 miles west of Yellowstone Park.

He is the co-author, with former Boisean Jo Deurbrouck, of a book on living with big predators: "Cat Attacks: True Stories and Hard Lessons from Cougar Country" (Sasquatch Books, Seattle), and is contributing to a new book on whitewater disaster.

He covered Idaho politics for about 10 years, writing for the Twin Falls Times-News, the Idaho edition of The Spokesman-Review, and as a stringer for The Christian Science Monitor, U.S. News & World Report and High Country News, among other publications.

His last major assignment for the Spokesman-Review was the Randy Weaver/Ruby Ridge trial, which he helped Jess Walter chronicle for HarperCollins' book on the case: "Every Knee Shall Bow."

Miller edited the "The Insiders' Guide to Greater Yellowstone," by Deurbrouck and Candace Burns of Salmon, and the final two volumes in the "Byways" series of S.U.V. guidebooks by Tony Huegel.

He is a backcountry telemark skier, kayaker, fly fisherman and a lover of small towns and independent newspapers.

Margaret Soulen Hinson is a third generation livestock producer. Along with her father, Phil Soulen, and brother, Harry Soulen, she runs a range sheep and cattle operation. Soulen Livestock runs approximately 8,000 head of ewes and 1,000 cows. They have been in business since the early 1920’s. Their business is headquartered in Weiser, Idaho and operates in six Idaho counties. Soulen Livestock’s base property is comprised of approximately 50,000 acres that is used in conjunction with various state, BLM, Forest Service and private land leases.

Margaret attended the University of Idaho from 1 majoring in Special Education and Elementary Education. After graduation she came back to the family livestock business and has been actively involved in various industry associations.

Margaret is past chairman of the Idaho Rangeland Resource Commission. Margaret currently is a member of the University of Idaho’s Citizen’s Advisory Board for the Policy Analysis Group and an advisory board member for the College of Natural Resources. She is on the board of directors for Associated Taxpayers of Idaho, an advisory board member for the Center for Conservation Incentives, and serves on the Third Judicial Magistrate Commission. She chairs the Weiser Memorial Hospital Board, and is on the executive board for the American Sheep Industry Association.

Jim Caswell is currently the Administrator for the Office of Species Conservation, under an appointment by Governor Kempthorne.

Previously Jim had been with the Forest Service for 33 years with his last position as a Supervisor of the Clearwater National Forest until December 2, 2000 when he retired and took on the new role of administrator for the Office of Species Conservation.

Jim graduated from Michigan State University with a B.S. in Forest Management. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters and Rotary.

Other than a three-year stint in the army where he served as an American Advisor to Vietnamese combat troops, Jim has spent his entire career working in natural resource management. He has worked for three federal agencies, six national forests within three Forest Service regions, and for two Forest Service regional offices.

Jim began his career as a temporary employee on the Umatilla National Forest. From there, he moved on to the Bureau of Land Management and Bonneville Power Administration before returning to the Forest Service in 1974. During those early years, Jim held various positions including District Ranger on the Willamette National Forest and the Regional Appeals and Litigation Coordinator in Portland.

In 1986, he was promoted to Deputy Forest Supervisor on the Boise National Forest, and in 1989 assumed the Forest Supervisor position on the Targhee National Forest. Jim became supervisor of the 1.8 million acre Clearwater National Forest in September 1993.

Jim believes strongly in multiple use management and in ecosystem management. His love of hunting, fishing and river running keeps him outdoors in much of his free time.

Dr. Chuck Schwartz is with the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, and is currently the leader of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study team based in Bozeman, Montana. This interdisciplinary group is responsible for the long-term research and monitoring of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Chuck is a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) bear specialist group and has worked on projects with grizzly bears in Alaska, Russia, Pakistan, and Japan. Chuck also worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game for more than 20 years conducting research and providing management recommendations on moose, brown and black bears and ecological issues related to predator-prey dynamics, carrying capacity, and nutrition and physiology. His current research focuses on grizzly bear demographics, particularly the role of human caused mortality on grizzly bear population health. He also has projects addressing grizzly and black bear habitat use that employ state of the art Global Positioning System Technology and Geographic Information Systems. He has authored more than 200 scientific publications during his career.

Crosby Allen, a fifth generation Fremont County, Wyoming resident, is currently serving his second term as Fremont County Commissioner. Allen has a well rounded background with first hand working knowledge of natural resources having worked in the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the outfitting/guiding and ranching industries, as well as having some on-the-ground oil field and timbering experience.

Kent McAdoo has a BS in Wildlife Management from the University of Idaho and a MS in Renewable Natural Resources from the University of Nevada-Reno (UNR). Kent’s entire 27-year professional career has been spent in the Great Basin. His experience includes 9 years as a research associate with UNR (conducting wildlife/range research), 7 years as an ecologist with the mining industry, and 6 years as senior ecologist/operations leader with an environmental consulting firm. Since late 1998, he has worked for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension as a natural resources specialist, stationed in Elko. Kent is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and a Certified Professional in Rangeland Management. He is past president of both the Nevada Chapter of the Wildlife Society and Nevada Section of the Society for Range Management.

His graduate research evaluated coyote predation on domestic sheep. Subsequent research experience and publications have addressed predator/prey relationships, wildlife/habitat interactions, and revegetation of disturbed lands. Current educational and research programs include projects related to sustainable biodiversity/multiple use of rangelands, restoration of rangeland health, and resource conflict resolution.

Kent is currently active in several grassroots collaborative resource stewardship efforts in Nevada and serves as vice-president of the Northeast Nevada Stewardship Group (NNSG). In that capacity he is assisting with preparation of the Elko County Sagebrush Ecosystem Conservation Strategy, being developed to improve habitat for sage grouse, a species recently petitioned for federal listing as threatened or endangered. He also serves as technical team leader for implementation of the recently completed Columbia Spotted Frog Conservation and Strategy (for northeastern Great Basin subpopulations).

David Gaillard works for Predator Conservation Alliance, a non-profit wildlife conservation group based in Bozeman, Montana, that works to help people and predators coexist in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Northern Great Plains. David coordinates the Alliance's Forest Predator Program, where he works to conserve wolves, grizzly bears, lynx, wolverines and other carnivores native to the U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains. David achieves this goal by compiling the best available scientific information on their conservation status and needs, and working to ensure that these needs are met in land and wildlife management decisions across the Northern Rockies region. Much of this information is compiled in the quarterly publication David produces, "Keeping the Wild in the West," a forum for predator conservation research and ideas. With his wife and daughter, David lives in Bozeman, where he has worked since 1990 to conserve carnivores and their habitat. David holds a Masters degree in environmental studies from Yale University, focused on the policy of conserving large, wide-ranging carnivores.

Tom Parker has been a licensed hunting guide and outfitter in Western Montana for 25 years.  Much of his time has been spent tracking cougars with and without dogs for work and for pleasure.  During the past ten years, he has worked on a number of predator research projects including four seasons with the Hornocker Wildlife Research Institute studying cougar-predator interactions in Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.  Tom and his wife co-founded Northwest Connections, a non-profit organization that involves rural citizens and students in the conservation of habitat linkages in the Northern Rockies.

Ken Hall is the Vice Chair of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation's Fish and Wildlife Committee.

Mr. Hall is a past Tribal Board of Trustees Chairman, and worked for over 13 years for the Tribal Department of Natural Resources in fish and wildlife conservation and restoration. He served as a founding Board Member on the Umatilla Watershed Council addressing the diversity of natural resource issues in the Basin. He has served in a policy role for the Tribes on the CTUIR Fish and Wildlife Committee for the last 4 years and is our current member responsible for tracking the wolf recovery in Oregon. In this role, he is the primary Tribal representative advising the policy bodies of the Tribes on issues regarding wolves. He has participated in all the State Fish and Wildlife Commission educational meetings and in the USFWS Wolf Information Group meetings. He is well versed regarding the biological, social/cultural and economic issues surrounding wolf recovery in Oregon.

Carl Scheeler is the Tribal Wildlife Program Manager with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s Department of Natural Resources.

Scheeler received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Wildlife from Oregon State University in 1985 with major course of study in wildlife biology, fisheries, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, botany, and biochemistry. He continued his education working for the University conducting field research on elk/habitat interactions in the National Parks of Oregon and Washington. In 1985, he took a position with the US Forest Service as Fisheries Biologist implementing habitat restoration projects in the John Day River Basin. Scheeler joined the Tribal staff in 1988 as Habitat Biologist, responsible for development and implementation of habitat restoration, protection and enhancement efforts on the Umatilla Indian Reservation and within the ceded territories. In 1992 he transferred to the Tribe's Environmental Planning and Rights Protection Program cover terrestrial habitat and wildlife protection and management issues. Scheeler established the Tribe's first Wildlife Program in 1994 and currently manages the program under the Department of Natural Resources.

Scheeler has been involved with the wolf recovery issues in the State of Oregon since wolves began migrating into the state from the experimental populations in Idaho. He heads the Tribe's wolf recovery coordination and monitoring efforts in Oregon and Washington. He serves on the Oregon Wolf Information Group established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to facilitate information sharing and public education on wolf recovery in the state. He is actively involved with the regional hydropower fish and wildlife mitigation efforts and chairs the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority’s Wildlife Committee.

Scheeler lives on a small ranch outside of Pendleton Oregon with his wife and two daughters.

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