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 which 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.
Welcome new 2018-2019 BREN Coordinating Team members: Erv Ballou, Phil Bandy, Adam Bass, Tamsen Binggeli, Erin Brooks, Charissa Bujak, Lisa Harloe, Jessica Harrold, Mike Homza, Greg Kaltenecker, Maria Minicucci and Jessie Sherburne.
Thank you to our past Coordinating Team members: Tim Breuer, Whitney Byrd, Kati Carberry, Bill Carr, Tom Chelstrom, Mike Dimmick, Megan Dixon, Alex Johnson, Doug Fowler, Gary Grimm, LeeAnn Garton, Michael McConnell, Christy Meyer, Liz Paul, Derek Risso, Julie Scanlin, Mike Somerville, Alan Winkle, and Becky Yzaguirre.
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.
The Boise River is a treasure for me and my family. As a young man I explored the riverbanks when they were mostly unimproved and the river itself still functioned as a “working” river. Over the past 45+ years I have seen the river transformed from its former state to a significant recreational, social, and cultural component of Boise and the Treasure Valley. I would like to do my part to maintain, enhance, and perpetuate this important amenity of our community.
I intend to support BREN by applying the leadership, management, communication, analytical, and organizational skills I have developed through my academic and career experiences. I hold a Master of Public Administration degree (MPA) with an emphasis on Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, as well as a Master of Science degree in Geology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geosciences. I worked for the State of Idaho for over 17 years in several natural resources agencies (Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, INEL Oversight, Office of Species Conservation, and Idaho State Department of Agriculture). My primary focus while working for the State was nonpoint source pollution of ground and surface waters and watershed protection.
I have direct experience with policies affecting the river from my tenure as Mayor, Councilman, and Commissioner for the City of Eagle. During my seven years with the City, I lead many short and long term strategic planning efforts in a complex economic and natural resource environment. I served during challenging times of rapid development along the Boise River and proposed development in the foothills above the city.
I am currently Senior Environmental Scientist at HECO Engineers. I have over 25 years of experience in environmental and natural resources projects, including information management and technology, outreach and education, project and program management, regulation, and administration. I am skilled in interpersonal communications, problem-solving, and collaboration. I plan to use the knowledge I have gained through these experiences and efforts to support BREN’s goal to enrich the Valley’s quality of life.
I have been involved with BREN information sessions and have coordinated with current members. My experience with the Boise River is recreating along it since childhood and I continue to do so. Last year, 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 given me the appreciation of what a great asset the Valley has and why better understanding of the river needs to be demonstrated to the public.
By becoming a founding member of BREN and getting involved by attending information sessions, I’d like to further dedicate my effort and time to what BREN is accomplishing. Being involved with projects such as the Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve, Cottonwood Creek Daylighting, and the North Alkali Drain would make me absolutely ecstatic to give something back to the drainage that has provided me so much. 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 currently a Transportation Engineer/Consultant for the firm Forsgren Associates, Inc. My work has included assessing the impacts of various Bridge Alternative Alignments over the Boise River in Caldwell at Old Hwy 30. I am also becoming involved with transportation planning for a local jurisdiction in Canyon County. This experience/occupation of developing/planning infrastructure within the Boise River drainage would benefit BREN and its intents with a unique perspective and problem solving.
I would be thrilled to become a part of the BREN team and look forward to accomplishing a great deal.
I currently serve as Treasurer on the BREN Board of Directors and have been involved with BREN for over 5 years. I am passionate about the Boise River and finding opportunities for enhancement through collaborative action. During my tenor I’ve worked to guide planning efforts, facilitate meetings, perform outreach and work cooperatively with stakeholders. I also helped research and write the Boise River Enhancement Plan.
I currently work as an Environmental Planner for T-O Engineers in Meridian. I have a Master’s 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. I am dedicated to BREN’s mission and am looking forward to working with the BREN Coordinating Team in whatever capacity I can.
I work for the Natural Resources Conservation Service which is an agency under the Department of Agriculture. I am a soil conservationist in the Caldwell Field Office, helping farmers and ranchers to address environmental resource concerns associated with their agricultural operations in both Ada and Canyon counties. Here in the Boise River Watershed we are particularly concerned with water quality issues and have several initiatives and programs to help producers reduce offsite impacts. I have been working for NRCS for 10 years and hope to help bring the Ag perspective to the BREN Team. I have a BS in Environmental Science from Oregon State University and also spent time in Washington working for the North Olympic Salmon Coalition. My family has been in Boise for 4 generations so I most certainly have a personal commitment to the Boise River and its future health.
I currently am employed with the Environmental Protection Agency as a Biologist and practicing wetland ecology with a focus on environment review and project management. I have a B.S. in Biology and M.S. in Plant Science which has helped provide a strong technical background and given me the resources to make sound environmentally-based decisions in my profession. I am a lifelong learner and lover of the outdoors. I am dedicated to environmental protection efforts both professionally and personally. As a lover of the outdoors, I enjoy anything from riparian clean-up projects to a walk in the woods with other outdoor enthusiasts. I am thrilled to know that BREN is present in our Boise community and excited to see what great things are planned next for this group. I envision my role as being a resource or providing assistance in environmental efforts in the Boise community, especially with a focus on aquatic resources, to BREN and its members. I am excited to get my hands dirty and be of help in any way needed to the BREN team.
I am a botanist and river recreationist living in Boise for nearly 15 years. As most residents of Boise and the Treasure Valley, I love the Boise River and all of the important aspects it brings to our daily lives. I commute by bike along the greenbelt to my riverfront office at Tetra Tech, an environmental consulting firm. I appreciate the river and want to take a more active role in helping promote its ecological enhancement. As a recent graduate of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Leadership Boise Program (Class of 2017), I have solidified my commitment and understand the importance to give back to the community we call home. With my current role as a botanist, biology team lead, and project manager at Tetra Tech, I feel I have the tools and expertise to contribute to the vision of the Boise River Enhancement Network. I have worked on interdisciplinary teams for many projects, small and large, that have helped me develop the organizational and interpersonal skills to work well with others and get things done. I am a longtime member of the Idaho Native Plant Society, the Rare Plant Conference Planning Committee, and Southern Idaho Rare Plant Working Group.
The future for the Boise River is bright as many partners join to plan, outreach, educate and fundraise for the ecological enhancement of the lifeblood of our growing city. My ecological and botanical background, passion for helping others and giving back to the community, and vast network of individuals I’ve met as an active professional in the Valley makes me an excellent candidate to be a part of the BREN Coordinating Team. I appreciate the opportunity to work with BREN and its many important team members and partners to help the future of the Boise River.
I work for the Ada Soil & Water Conservation District as their Programs and Administrative Coordinator. We work with local landowners, agencies, and other partners to promote soil and water conservation efforts in Ada County. I have a strong passion for natural resources conservation, and can bring my agricultural background to bring to the table. I also have extensive experience in organizing and event management.
As a lifetime resident of Boise, I treasure the Boise River and all our open spaces. Witnessing the rapid growth of our community, I see how important it is to make sure we protect these resources as the local impact on them increases. I believe that teaching good land stewardship to the community is an important task that will help the people that live in the Boise River watershed see their role in protecting our local environment.
Mike Homza, PE
I was initially 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, assisting with the public event as well as other BREN events. I have been a “casual” participant in a number of Coordinating Team (CT) meetings, have assisted with fundraising and have taken on other tasks as requested by the CT. I am a river restoration/civil engineer well versed in many aspects of river and habitat planning, design, modeling, permitting and construction. I therefore believe I can contribute to the CT from the technical/practical/regulatory aspects as well. 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.
We propose a shared position for the BREN Coordinating team for both Greg Kaltenecker and Heidi Ware. Greg is the Executive Director and Heidi is the Education Director of the Intermountain Bird Observatory of Boise State University. Both Greg and Heidi are biologists who have experience working on the Boise River. Boise State owns a key property in Barber Pool that is currently being developed to restore fish and wildlife habitat, create trail systems, and to create a year‐round education/outreach program. Both Greg and Heidi are committed to achieve the vision of a Boise River that is both functional and contains a network of natural areas that provide habitat for fish and wildlife while also providing access, recreation, and educational/outreach opportunities for the local public. Both Greg and Heidi share a vision of creating and maintaining a working partnership of interested and active stakeholders to accomplish these tasks.
I have a Master’s of Science degree in Raptor Biology from Boise State University (BSU) and 4.5 years’ experience working for non-profits. I’m currently a lecturer in the Biological Sciences Department at BSU. Through my master’s work at BSU, I studied how the water cycle can be a vector for emerging contaminants that can then potentially affect local watersheds, foodsheds, surrounding wildlife, and urban areas. This work demonstrated to me firsthand how important the connections between land and water are, and how seemingly disparate actions can have ecosystem-wide effects.
As a member of the BREN Coordinating Team, I can bring extensive experience promoting and managing events, networking, writing grants, doing public education, and locating funding sources. I have strong interest in protecting the Boise River, promoting awareness about water use/abuse in a dry climate, and working with the diverse and talented BREN team who has been doing such important work over the past few years.