Careers in public lands management, conservation leadership define new board members of the growing hunter and angler group
Passionate sportsmen-conservationists Keenan Adams and Chris Jenkins bring a wealth of knowledge and management expertise to the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers North American board of directors. They were elected to the BHA board in February.
Ted Koch, chairman of BHA’s North American board, welcomed Adams and Jenkins, noting the professional expertise and passion for the outdoors they bring to the organization’s leadership team.
“As longtime members and leaders in BHA and the conservation community, Keenan and Chris typify the grassroots, get-it-done nature of our organization,” said Koch. “Every day they live their simple passion for the outdoors and for equal access. Their value added to the North American board and organization overall will be significant.”
“I’m excited to welcome two new additions to our already talented North American board,” added BHA President and CEO Land Tawney. “Not only do Chris and Keenan bring knowledge and experience that will benefit our organization in numerous ways, their passion for public lands and waters is undeniable.”
Dr. Keenan Adams has spent the last 15 years working as a land manager and scientist for several agencies in many parts of the country. He was a military brat; however, South Carolina is considered home. One of his first memories was fishing with his father at Keesler Air Force Base. He learned to hunt in college and decided to pursue a career in wildlife biology. He is serving on the board in his personal capacity and not a government representative.
After playing college football and finishing a B.S. in biology at Furman University, Adams attended Clemson University and was awarded his M.S. degree in forest resources and Ph.D. in wildlife biology with a concentration in human dimensions. Adams has become a fanatic for Caribbean fly-fishing and currently resides in Puerto Rico with his wife Delissa and daughter Paola.
“I’ve dedicated my professional and personal life to hunting and fishing access and opportunity, habitat conservation, & land protection,” said Adams. “I remember being a broke college athlete having to pay high hunt club dues so I could have a decent hunt – and thinking to myself, ‘This isn’t right.’ As a scientist I’ve spent years designing how we strategically protect land to have robust wildlife populations and increase hunter access.
“I’m thrilled to join the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers board and roll up my sleeves to support our collective mission,” Adams continued. “I’ve always admired the local chapters and national BHA organization, so serving on the board is a true honor.”
Dr. Christopher L. Jenkins lives in the Nantahala Mountains where he has built a life around conserving wildlife and wild places. He is the founding chief executive officer of The Orianne Society. He also serves on the board of the Indian Ocean Tortoise Alliance and has served leadership roles in the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Partners for Reptiles and Amphibian Conservation, and Gopher Tortoise Council. During his career, he has protected and restored tens of thousands of acres of land.
Jenkins is a sportsman who enjoys both “hunting from home” and going on hunting and fishing adventures around the world. He spends over 150 days a year hunting and fishing on public lands, primarily hunting Appalachian bigwoods whitetails and travelling the continent chasing gobbling turkeys. Chris has worked with Wildlife Conservation Society, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, University of Massachusetts, University of British Columbia and National Geographic. His interests in conservation brought him to serve on the board of the Southeast chapter of BHA and subsequently to create BHA’s Georgia chapter.
“While living a life built around studying and conserving wildlife and wild places, I have realized that public lands are one of the most critical keys to the future of the environment and our communities,” said Jenkins. “Working with Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is one of the best ways I can give back to those who have come before me and provide for those in the future. I am humbled by the opportunity and prepared for the challenge.”
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice
for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.