Speakers & Presentations

Pat Basting

Basting - Keys to Building Partnerships

Pat has over 30 years of experience in natural resource management, transportation ecology, and the application of tribal, state, and federal environmental laws and regulations in California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. He worked for 20 years as a biologist for the Montana Department of Transportation (MDT).

During his tenure in the Missoula District at MDT, Pat worked on the planning, design, construction and monitoring of more than 80 wildlife crossings, with over 20 more planned for design in future projects. Pat was the driving force in helping MDT sponsor more than $1 million of various post-construction research projects evaluating the efficacy of constructed wildlife crossings. He's worked on over five miles of stream restoration associated with MDT projects, and more than 70 acres of wetland mitigation.

He is the recipient of national and multiple state awards, most recently as the Biologist of the Year for the Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society in March 2014. He is now a senior biologist at Jacobs Engineering, in Denver, Colo.

Currently Pat is working with Jacobs and its partners, Eco-resolutions and Conservation Science Partners, to conduct the West Slope Wildlife Prioritization Study contracted through the Colorado Department of Transportation and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Renee Callahan

Callahan - Funding Sources for Wildlife Mitigation

Renee is the executive director of ARC Solutions, an interdisciplinary partnership working to lead new thinking, new methods, new materials and new solutions for the next generation of wildlife crossing structures to (re)connect landscapes.

She concurrently serves as the senior policy analyst at the Center for Large Landscape Conservation in Bozeman, Mont., where she works to promote policies that facilitate ecological connectivity and large landscape conservation—with a focus on reducing the disruptive effect of roads on motorists and wildlife.

Renee has over a decade of professional legal experience working on federal regulatory law and public policy issues in Washington, D.C., where she was a partner in the law firm of Lawler, Metzger, Milkman & Keeney, LLC.

Michelle Cowardin

Michelle has worked as a wildlife biologist with Colorado Parks and Wildlife since 2005. She got her bachelor’s degree in wildlife and fisheries science from Penn State and her master's degree in ecology from Colorado State University.

Her work ranges from wildlife management of species—including upland game birds, small mammals and raptors—to protecting ranches with conservation easements. Over the last several years, she has been working with CDOT on the Colorado Highway 9 project, including design, construction and long-term monitoring to mitigate for wildlife vehicle collisions.

Patricia Cramer

 Cramer - How to Win at Saving Wildlife and Making Roads Safer

Patricia is an independent wildlife researcher in Logan, Utah. Her work for the past 13 years has been focused on researching wildlife crossing structures, and working at the state and national levels to include wildlife concerns in the transportation-planning process.

Her research projects include transportation and wildlife professionals who work together to find collaborative solutions. She has led projects at the national level and in Utah, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, South Dakota, Colorado and Nevada.

Recent awards include the Denver Zoo Conservationist of the Year and Federal Highways Environmental Excellence Award in Research.

George Fosha

Fosha - Public/Private Partnerships: A Model for the Future?

George is a consulting civil engineer with over 44 years' experience in the field of water resources, water supply planning and project engineering. He has provided consulting services to a wide variety of clients including the State of Colorado, Northern Water, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Public Service Company, Denver Water, various agricultural ditch companies and several large ranching operations in Colorado.

He served as project engineer for the water supply and tailing disposal facilities during the construction and start-up of the Henderson Mill (Climax Molybdenum Co.); the re-construction of the Tacoma Hydro-electric project (Colorado-Ute Electric Association); and a number of projects related to the construction and/or rehabilitation of earth dams for agricultural and industrial water users.

George has also assisted clients in obtaining state and federal permits for construction projects, including earth dam construction, pipeline installations and river restoration projects. He has been qualified as an expert witness for water supply and water right issues in five of the state water courts and in civil court. For the Colorado Highway 9 Safety Project, he participated in the design review and permitting on behalf of Blue Valley Ranch and Grand County.

Andy Holland

Holland - Colorado Big Game Perspective

Andy is the statewide big game manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. His 16-year career in big game conservation and management includes positions as a CPW wildlife biologist in both Hot Sulphur Springs and Durango.

He holds bachelors of science degree and masters of science degrees in wildlife biology from Colorado State University.

Julia Kintsch

Kintsch - Mitigating Wildlife: Highway Conflict in Colorado- Priorities, Projects & Partnerships

Following a career in non-profit conservation, Julia launched her consulting company, ECO-resolutions, in 2008 to integrate wildlife movement considerations into land management and transportation planning. She consults primarily with transportation, wildlife and land management agencies to initiate conservation strategies across large landscapes and develop recommendations for mitigating road-wildlife conflicts.

Julia has received awards for her work in conservation planning, and is recognized as an expert in wildlife crossing siting and design—developing guidelines and recommendations for road-wildlife mitigation and researching the effectiveness of wildlife mitigation. She also teaches workshops to improve discourse and information sharing among diverse disciplines, and works to integrate the knowledge, interests and concerns of biologists, planners and engineers.

Julia is a certified senior ecologist endorsed by the Ecological Society of America, and a member of the Colorado Natural Areas Council, and the Transportation Research Board ADC30 Committee on Ecology and Transportation. She earned a master's degree in landscape ecology from Duke University and a bachelor's degree in environmental studies and German from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Dean Riggs

Riggs - Scope of the Issue

Dean is the Deputy Regional Manager of Colorado Parks & Wildlife, and has extensive experience working throughout Colorado. He received a Bachelor's degree in Animal Science from CSU, that he has applied to 28 years of state service with Colorado Department of Corrections, and the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Below outlines his prolific credentials as a wildlife savant.

10 years private sector employment out of college in the Agriculture Industry.
3 years working for Corrections as the Wild Horse Program Manager and 6 other Agribusiness Operations that employed inmates.
3 years in Pueblo as a Wildlife Technician
4 years in Pueblo as a District Wildlife Manager (DWM)
5 years in Canon City as DWM
5 years in Grand Junction as the Area Wildlife Manager
8 years in Grand Junction as the Assistant/Deputy Regional Manager 

David Swenka

Swenka - Vehicle Collisions With Wildlife Costs & Safety Impacts

David is the CDOT Safety Analysis Engineer that has been with the headquarters traffic and safety engineering branch since 2006. Prior to that, he had spent several years in consulting as a roadway design engineer.

His work with CDOT primary involves safety analysis along Colorado highways and administering safety programs (HSIP and FASTER Safety) that are able to fund projects specifically aimed at reducing crashes around the state, including crashes with wild animals.

Dave Theobald

Dave is a geographer, conservation biologist and landscape ecologist who specializes in assessing the effects of land use change on wildlife habitat and biodiversity at local to national to global scales.

For over 20 years, he has collaborated on landscape assessments and interdisciplinary projects, including resource assessments, inventories of protected lands, connectivity and permeability studies and analyses of proposed policy changes on natural resource sustainability.

A long-time member of the Society for Conservation Biology (SCB), Dave currently serves on the board of directors for SCB's North American section. He is active with the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow program, is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, & Conservation Biology at Colorado State University, and is a member of the IUCN Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group.

Ann Timberman

Timberman - USFWS Ecological Services

Ann has been with the USFWS since 1989. Most of her career was with the Division of Refuges

She worked on National Wildlife Refuges in agricultural communities across the Northern and Southern Plains and Western Colorado. Ann transferred from Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge Complex to Ecological Services in Grand Junction, and has been the field supervisor since June 2015.

Michael Vanderhoof

Vanderhoof - Transportation Funding Problem

Michael was the regional planning and environmental manager for CDOT Region 3, which includes 15 counties in Northwest Colorado. He has 23 years of experience in transportation planning and project development for state and federal government.

Mike has considerable experience with statewide program management, developing policy and guidance, and delivering training in planning and a broad range of environmental compliance topics. He has delivered projects or managed programs in many Western states—including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii and Utah—and has a broad understanding of environmental impact analysis for transportation projects.

Hillary White

Hillary is a wildlife ecologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 6. She serves as a liaison between the Western Golden Eagle Team and the Division of Migratory Bird Management to engage USFWS staff and Partners in the use, development, and refinement of products and conservation strategies to minimize threats and mitigate impacts to Golden Eagles in the western U.S.

Hillary has a master's of science degree in ecology, and has focused on avian research and conservation planning for 17 years.