“The continued existence of wildlife and wilderness is important to the quality of life of humans.”

~ Jim Fowler

Our Staff

Matt Lucia – Executive Director

Matt Lucia – Executive Director

A native of southeastern Idaho, Matt began his conservation career 16 years ago with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. There he worked in a variety of capacities, from managing wildlife habitat on the 115,000-acre Craig Mountain Wildlife Management Area, to helping farmers and ranchers access Farm Bill programs for improving wildlife habitat on their lands.

In 2005, Matt joined Teton Regional Land Trust in Driggs, Idaho as the Land Protection Specialist. For several years, he launched and closed conservation easements on working farms and ranches along the Henry’s Fork and Teton Rivers. He promoted to Stewardship Director in 2008 where he oversaw TRLT’s easement and ecological monitoring program.

In 2013, Matt joined the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Wildlife and moved to Boulder, Colorado where he managed a state –wide conservation program for the Division. Matt had stewardship oversight of 200 conservation easements and administered a grant program which provided $10,000,000 annually to fund conservation easements and public access easements throughout the state of Colorado.

While Matt has enjoyed working with landowners and conservation throughout the west, he dreamed of coming home to southeastern Idaho. Over the years, even while far away, he has served Sagebrush Steppe as a member and volunteer. When the opportunity to become executive director arose in 2016, he took it and began applying his energy and expertise to leading and building southeastern Idaho’s local land trust.

When he’s not in the office or visiting partners, landowners or supporters, Matt spends his time with friends and his dog Darby exploring all that Idaho has to offer from floating rivers and fishing creeks to backcountry skiing and bird hunting across Idaho’s uplands.

Kelly Conde - Conservation Manager

Kelly Conde - Conservation Manager

Kelly Conde joined the Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust team in July, 2016. As the Conservation Manager, Kelly spends her time working with willing landowners and partners to conserve the lands of southeastern Idaho through conservation easements. 

Before SSLT, Kelly worked for the Stanley, Idaho based conservation group the Sawtooth Society as their Outreach and Volunteer coordinator, got a master’s degree in environmental journalism from the University of Montana, a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Montana State University, and spent two years volunteering for the Peace Corps in Morocco.

Kelly is a native of Boise and spent most of her life exploring the open spaces of Idaho via raft, skis, and hiking boots. She is excited to now dedicate her time to protecting some of those spaces through her role with the Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust.

james bailey sagebrush land trust

James Bailey - Operations Associate

James joined the Sagebrush Steppe Land (SSLT) Trust in September 2017 after graduating from Idaho State University with an Associate Degree in Administrative Management and an Intermediate Technical Certificate in Accounting. 

James is from Pocatello and enjoys living in such a beautiful area. He spent much of his childhood camping and working on his family cattle ranch in Teton County, Idaho. James became acquainted with conservation easements when his family protected some of their land along the Teton River in 2009.

James is eager to apply his skills and education as the Operations Associate for SSLT and will be assisting with outreach, communications, accounting, and office administration.  

Babette Thorpe - Thorpe Fundraising Solutions, LLC.

Babette Thorpe - Thorpe Fundraising Solutions, LLC.

Babette enjoyed her time as interim executive director so much she decided, with the blessing of Board and staff, to stay on as a consultant. Babette has worked with boards, staff and volunteers to raise over $18,000,000 for conservation in Idaho and Virginia. She loves the landscape, communities and wildlife of southeastern Idaho and looks forward to continuing to help the land trust build its capacity to be an effective force for conservation in such an important place.

Our Board of Directors

John Sigler: President
Pocatello, ID

John Sigler is a westerner. And although born in Ames, Iowa in 1946, he moved to Logan, Utah with his parents and older sister in early 1947 and remained there through a Bachelor of Science degree from Utah State University College of Natural Resources and a Master’s of Science (Water Quality) degree working on Bear Lake. John then spent 3 years with the U.S. Air Force at the Air Force Armament Test Laboratory at Eglin AFB, FL and the Air Force Weapons Laboratory at Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque, NM. John completed his Ph.D. in Fisheries Biology and Management in the Cooperative Fisheries Research Unit at the University of Idaho, Moscow and returned to Logan with his growing family in 1980, working with his father in natural resources consulting.

Until 2006, John worked in environmental consulting on National Environmental Policy Act evaluations on Air Force bombing ranges in the California desert, the nuclear weapons complex at Pantex Nuclear Facility near Amarillo, TX and Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, as well as municipal water management projects on the Rio Grande. From 2006 to 2012, John was the Senior Environmental Coordinator for Pocatello, managing the newly minted Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System storm water permit.

John now enjoys hiking, cycling, motorcycling, reading and writing. He hosts “Southeast Idaho Environs,” a Channel 12 Public Access TV program exploring southeast Idaho outdoor issues.

Tom Lucia: Vice-President
Preston, ID

(Bio coming soon)

Dawn Konicek Treasurer
Pocatello, ID

Dawn moved to Pocatello during the summer of 2012 to become an accounting professor at ISU. She has approximately 14 years of public accounting experience and 4 years in teaching students tax, financial and managerial accounting.  While a tax consultant in Madison, Wisconsin, she was responsible for the not-for-profit segment of a large Midwest firm.  She loves the outdoors and especially loves wildlife.  During her spare time, she enjoys skiing, hiking, whitewater rafting, camping and anything that has to do with being outside.  She has a husband, three children and two dogs. She is very excited to serve on the board of the land trust and looks forward to protecting the natural resources and wildlife habitat of Idaho.

Jennifer Cornell, Secretary
Pocatello, ID

Jennifer came to Pocatello in 2006 with her husband who had taken a position at Idaho State University. Moving across country from Syracuse, NY, with their two small children presented a great adventure for them. It turned out to be the best place to raise their children with all the wonderful open spaces and outdoor activities that are available. Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) and a Master’s degree in Stream Ecology from Idaho State University (ISU). In Syracuse, Jennifer worked for the Syracuse and Onondaga County Planning Agency as an ArcGIS professional. Upon coming to Pocatello, she took a position as the lab coordinator for the Stream Ecology Center in the biology department of ISU conducting experiments and field work which led her to pursue her master’s degree. Currently, Jennifer works for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality as a surface water analyst monitoring the waters of Idaho in order to improve water quality. Being part of the SSLT presented an appropriate venue for her to pursue conservation efforts in southeast Idaho and she looks forward to giving back to the area that has been a great source of enjoyment for her family.

Donna Lybecker
Pocatello, ID

Donna grew up in northern Colorado, and moved to Pocatello in 2007 to take a position teaching Political Science at Idaho State University. She is now a Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Political Science Department where she specializes in Environmental Politics and International Relations. Donna’s research activities focus on the impact of borders, along with environmental and agricultural issues in the Western United States and Latin America. She is involved in local projects focused on understanding the public’s values and visions for the Portneuf River. Donna loves spending time exploring outdoor Idaho and is excited to be a part of protecting the open spaces. 

Deb Mignogno
Pocatello, ID

Deb is originally from Maryland. After high school, she joined the Air Force and became an Air Traffic Controller. Afterwards, she attended college, gaining a Bachelor’s Degree in biology, and graduate school, focusing on marine, estuarine and environmental sciences. After a series of exciting and varied jobs, she found her dream job with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a biologist. After more than 20 years with the Fish and Wildlife Service, during which she lived and worked in a number of wonderful places (including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Pocatello, Idaho), Deb retired in 2006. This is Deb’s second time on the Board. She had left the Board to travel and volunteer around the world and around the United States. She is back in Pocatello now and is excited about working with the Land Trust to help us fulfill our mission. Deb loves the outdoors and especially loves wildlife and enjoys skiing, hiking, gardening, camping and anything that has to do with being outside.

Garry Ratzlaff
Pocatello, ID

Garry is an avid sportsman who is passionate about Southeastern Idaho’s open spaces. He has a B.A. Architecture, Montana State University and has actively practiced architecture for thirty years. Garry is responsible for business development, programming, construction document preparation, and on-site construction observation. When he is not working, Garry can be found hunting, biking, and enjoying all that Southeast Idaho has to offer.

Terry Taysom
Pocatello, ID
 
Terry is a lifelong resident of Southeast Idaho who passionately supports conservation, preservation, and the perpetuation of all wildlife and their habitat. Terry was fortunate to have been exposed to and participated in the enjoyment, utilization, conservation, and preservation of our resources from a very young age which helped form his interests and passions.
 
Terry has been involved with many of the sportsmen and conservation groups in our area including but not limited to Southeast Idaho Mule Deer Foundation, Safari Club, Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and others. Terry looks forward to using his knowledge of the local area, his passion for wildlife conservation and his connections with the local area to serve on the Board of Sagebrush Steppe.
 
Terry and his family have donated numerous Conservation Easements in our service area and has working knowledge of Easements, especially from the landowner viewpoint, which will be of benefit in pursuing the goals of Sagebrush Steppe Land Trust.
 
Mark Gamblin
Pocatello, ID
 
(Bio Coming Soon)
 

Shawna Engen
Pocatello, ID

(Bio Coming Soon)

Advisors

Randy Budge
Joan Hansen
Marjanna Hulet
David Maguire
Brent Nichols
Bonnie Shaw