BOISE RIVER ENHANCEMENT NETWORK
The BREN Coordinating Team represents diverse stakeholder groups from resource development, agriculture, advocacy, recreation, universities, environmental consulting, flood control, among others.
The Coordinating Team is made up of 7 to 13 members, two of whom are appointed by the Board of Directors. The remaining members are elected directly by BREN membership. The Coordinating Team is delegated authority to act on behalf of the Boise River Enhancement Network. Elections are held annually and each CT member is elected to a 2-year term. CT member responsibilities
The 2021-2022 BREN Coordinating Team members: Erv Ballou, Adam Bass, Tamsen Binggeli, Louisa Evers, Ben Everson, Mike Homza, Jane Kreller, Jonathan Lucas, Maria Minicucci, Christy Meyer, Danielle Terhaar and Rob Tiedemann.
I have managed and enforced the Idaho Stream Channel Protection Act for over 34 years while employed by the Idaho Department of Water Resources – chiefly responsible for the existing program, rules, and operation. I have acted as an advisor to the Boise River Flood Control District (FCD) #10 since 2007.
I’m serving my second term on the Coordinating Team. I serve as Treasurer and Chair of the fundraising committee. I co-authored the Boise River Water Trail Guidebook BREN published in 2021. My experience with the Boise River is recreating along it since childhood and I continue to do so. I kayaked from the New York Canal Diversion to the Confluence with the Snake River which was neat to see all the different areas along the River. Growing up here has helps me appreciate what a great asset the valley has and I believe it’s important to help the public understand the river better. I’m a Founding Friend of BREN and I like to dedicate my effort and time to what BREN is accomplishing. Improving water quality, habitat, recreation, and economy along the river in a sustainable way is something I strongly believe in and will continue to strive for in my free time as well as in my occupation.
I am a Founding member of Boise River Enhancement Network and a key author of the Boise River Enhancement Plan. I currently serve on the Board of Directors and Coordinating Team, and work as an Environmental Project Manager at T-O Engineers. I have a Master of Science in Environmental Science from the University of Idaho and have experience working in a variety of ecological systems, with a focus on riverine‐riparian and wetland ecology.
During my tenure, I’ve worked to guide planning efforts, perform enhancement activities, provide scientific advice, and work cooperatively with stakeholders. It is through collaborative action that I believe we can make significant strides to improve the health of the Boise River. I am passionate about the Boise River and will seek to advance BREN’s Mission in whatever capacity I can.
I joined BREN shortly after I moved to the Treasure Valley in 2019. This is my second term on the Coordinating Team. I have contributed several blogs and assisted in several volunteer efforts, such as the Make It Pretty events in 2020 and 2021, clean-up at the Shakespeare Festival grounds, and others. I participated in developing BREN’s strategic plan. I lead bird walks at the former Les Bois racetrack infield to provide information to the Ada County Commissioners as they chart a new course for that property. I have expertise in evaluating environmental documents, fire ecology, and birds. I look forward to carrying out the vision in the strategic plan to continue improving conditions along the lower Boise River. In addition to being an active member and volunteer with BREN, I am active in the Golden Eagle Audubon Society and the Southwestern Idaho Birders Association and member of the boards in both of those organizations.
I am a 50 year Idaho resident and retired college administrator. Prior to that I owned and operated a business for 20 years that worked with agriculture and municipalities on water wells for both domestic and agricultural use. I attended both the University of Idaho and Boise State, graduating with a degree in Education and History.
I have floated, fished, and recreated along the rivers of the American West all of my adult life. In many ways I am typical of those who live along and derive benefits from the Boise River corridor. The decisions we and our communities make concerning the Boise River need information and perspective a group like BREN can help provide. The choices made during this period of rapid growth will affect the Boise River and the communities along it for years to come. I served on the Coordinating Team in 2021 and helped with the BREN crayfish research project.
The protection and enhancement of the Boise River corridor is the defining metric when looking at the quality of life in the Treasure Valley and the surrounding areas. This group can raise awareness of issues that are important to the resource and the community going forward.
Mike Homza, PE
This is my third term on the Coordinating Team. I was involved with BREN from its inception, including BREN’s very first organizing meetings (before BREN even had a name), meeting with Dr. Kustra inviting him to speak at BREN’s 2011 public event, and assisting with the public event as well as other BREN events. I am a river restoration/civil engineer well versed in many aspects of river and habitat planning, design, modeling, permitting and construction. I am a resident of Boise and frequently float, stroll along and bike along the Boise River: I truly believe the Boise River is the lifeblood of the Valley and want to do what I can as a responsible citizen to protect and enhance the river, its water quality and associated habitat. I was also a founding member and President of the Idaho section on the American Water Resources Association (IDAWRA) and understand the roles and responsibilities associated with professional/non-profit organizations such as BREN. I believe my history with BREN, my professional expertise, commitment to the community and passion of rivers in general – and the Boise River in particular – can benefit BREN.
I’m the Capital Projects and Consumer Engagement Manager for SUEZ. In that capacity, I help with graphics, press relations, guide tours of the plant, and lead our social media efforts. I have passion for our community and treating our resources with respect. Anything that helps protect and preserve the Boise River is good for the community and good for SUEZ Water Idaho. This is my second term on the Coordinating Team.
I have my Bachelors of Science in Plant Ecology from the University of Ohio and am currently in a Masters program with the University of Idaho in Restoration Ecology and Habitat Management. After graduating, I spent two years working in environmental education; this experience helped prepare me to be better able to share my passion for the environment with others. I have worked in the field of ecological science out west for the last 8 years. I’ve worked with nonprofits, consulting companies, and private industry. Currently I work for the U.S. Forest Service at the Lucky Peak Nursery growing native plants for the purpose of restoration, mainly for replanting efforts after fires but some wetland/riparian restoration as well.
In my free time I like to get out on the water and I enjoy rafting, boating, and fishing. I have a deep passion for keeping wild places wild and conserving our natural resources. Living in Boise I spend a good amount of time recreating within the Boise river watershed and feel that protecting and preserving this ecosystem is incredibly important. I want to become more involved with active restoration projects locally specifically dealing with water.
I have been involved with BREN since its inception and am a Founding Friend of BREN. I am newly retired from a 30-year career in public service; I spent time with the Idaho Department of Water Resources as a field agent and a planner, the City of Boise’s Department of Parks & Recreation as their Property Administrator, the Idaho Soil and Water Conservation Commission, and finally with the Idaho Department of Purchasing. I am a former Board member of two small irrigation companies in Boise and have worked with many companies and districts that use Boise River water. I’ve done extensive field work and extensive paperwork, sometimes in tandem. These experiences have given me comprehensive knowledge of the issues and concerns on the Boise River system, including ecological, legal, and cultural perspectives.
I have been concerned about the increasing impact of floaters. I am also heartened by the increased interest in ecological enhancement in the lower section of the drainage. There are and will be exciting projects on the river and I’d like to contribute what I can to their success.
I’ve been involved with BREN since 2015. I served on the Coordinating Team Member and now serve on the Board and represent the Board on the Coordinating Team. I contributed to the development of BREN’s Strategic Plan by conducting stakeholder outreach and collaborating with BREN Board and Coordinating Team members to develop the primary themes for the Plan. My favorite thing about BREN – collaborating on projects with the wonderful network of BREN supporters. My professional background includes developing and managing aquatic and riparian habitat enhancement projects in the Pacific Northwest and managing economic development projects in Africa and Southeast Asia. I currently work as an Ecologist and Project Manager for Tetra Tech in Boise. My work focuses on river restoration planning and design, project prioritization, and watershed assessments.
I am a new addition to the BREN Coordinating Team and I love everything about the Boise River and this beautiful state. I am a 5th generation Idahoan from a farming and ranching family in the Grangeville area with a B.S. in Geosciences, emphasis on Geology. I currently work as a Water Quality Analyst for the Department of Environmental Quality. In the past I have enjoyed working and volunteering to teach children environmental science and outdoors skills. Nothing gives me greater joy than sharing my deep seeded love for Idaho and the people who live here.
In brief, I have served as an officer or President of several 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations including as a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley and the East End Neighborhood Association, and as President of the Harris Ranch Wildlife Mitigation Association (HRWMA) and The Grapevine, Inc. Like BREN, these organizations serve the public interest, and are staffed by volunteers with a common purpose of doing greater good.
I have produced and presented at several events for BREN including the following peer to peer presentations: (1) Fundamentals of River Restoration, Idaho Chapter of American Water Resources Association (November 14, 2018); (2) A Reconstruction of the Geomorphic and Ecological History of Barber Pool (April 5, 2019); and (3) Volunteers, Citizen Scientists, and Natural Resource Professionals . . . the Role of Non-Profits in the Protection of Idaho Rivers, Idaho Water Quality Workshop (January 26, 2021) AND the following invited presentations: (1) Ada County EXPO Idaho Citizens Advisory Committee, Key Informants Interview, Natural History of the Boise River and a Vision for its Future (August 12, 2020); and (2) Invited Interview by the Urban Land Institute, Advisory Services Panel, Future Use of the Expo Idaho Property (June 22, 2021). And, I have provided technical assistance at the request of BREN to Ada County, City of Boise, City of Middleton, HRWMA, Wood Duck Island Homeowners Association, Wood’s Ranch Homeowners Association, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, and the BREN black cottonwood education and propagation project.
My interest in continuing to serve as a member of the Coordinating Team is largely founded on building a bridge from the past to the future. As one of the principal authors of the Boise River System Ordinance (1993) I have witnessed the value of the public process in building consensus for the conservation of the Boise River and its floodplain. I wish to share that, and other experiences throughout my professional career, with those who are eager to educate the community and advocate for the river.
Thank you to our past Coordinating Team members: Zack Autin, Phil Bandy, Erin Brooks, Charissa Bujak, Tim Breuer, Whitney Byrd, Kati Carberry, Heidi Ware Carlisle, Bill Carr, Tom Chelstrom, Cassidy Connolly, Mike Dimmick, Megan Dixon, Doug Fowler, Gary Grimm, LeeAnn Garton, Lisa Harloe, Jessica Harrold, Emiline Hogg, Alex Johnson, Greg Kaltenecker, Michael McConnell, Christy Meyer, Jim Nunley, Liz Paul, Derek Risso, Julie Scanlin, Jessie Sherburne, Mike Somerville, Brandon Watson, Alan Winkle and Becky Yzaguirre.