Board of Directors
W. Stewart Wilder, President of the board, is a native of Cleveland, OH and graduate of Indiana University with a B.S. in Geology, first visited the Sawtooth country as a teenager in 1975 to spend time with relatives Martin and Marjorie Pollock who met each other in the valley after Martin arrived in 1924. Subsequent summer visits followed where Stewart met Stanley resident Debbie Osborn, daughter of Marie Osborn who pioneered the Stanley Emergency Clinic, and they have been married 20 years and have two sons. Stewart worked in the mining industry, primarily iron ore in MN and Newfoundland with Cliffs Natural Resources as well early experience working in the Yankee Fork country on gold and silver exploration projects. Upon moving from Canada to Boise in 2002 Stewart has enjoyed new career opportunities in commercial real estate development, was Interim Executive Director and former Board member of Children’s Home Society of Idaho and most recently involved in senior healthcare franchising in Southwest Idaho. A member of the Sawtooth Society, Stewart and family continue to return to the Sawtooth country to spend time on Shaw mesa, fly-fishing, hiking, exploring and sharing the rich historical significance of the people and area to preserve for future generations.
Terry Clark, Vice President of the board, divides his time between Lower Stanley and Hailey, Idaho. He is passionate about sharing his love for Central Idaho with visitors and locals alike. In 2010, Terry retired from the U.S. Forest Service after a 34-year career that took him to National Forests in six states. He spent almost half his career here, on the Sawtooth National Forest. In 1989, when he first laid eyes on the Sawtooth Mountains from Galena summit, he knew he had found his place in space. He has been dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enjoying it ever since.
Liesl Schernthanner, Treasurer of the board, has her roots “just over the hill” in the Smoky Mountains, having been born and reared in the Wood River Valley. Always eager to hear stories from Old Timers, her interest in learning about the region and its history began in early childhood and has grown with time. After a career in applied human-environmental research and subsequent years of supporting science in Antarctica, she moved to Obsidian in 2013 with husband, dog, and horses, and has made the Sawtooth Valley home since then, with occasional excursions to work in Antarctica conserving historic sites and monuments. She strongly commends the work of SIHA and believes it is important to preserve, enhance, and promote regional heritage to inform and inspire those who live, work, and visit the area.
Ed Waldapfel, Secretary of the board, retired from the U.S. Forest Service in 2007 after a 42 year career. He graduated in 1967 from Humboldt State College in Arcata, California with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forest Management. During his career he worked on the Lassen, Los Padres, Klamath and Inyo National Forests in California and the Sawtooth National Forest in Idaho. His assignments included firefighting, trail maintenance and construction, dwarf mistletoe control, campground maintenance, blister rust control, timber sale preparation, silviculture and public affairs. Ed also served for a number of years on one of the national wildland fire overhead management teams. Throughout his career, Ed has been involved with the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (Inyo NF), Los Padres Interpretive Association (Los Padres NF) the Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association. Ed and his wife Pat live in Twin Falls. His interests include their five grandchildren, camping, woodworking, golf, fishing, photography, videography and barbershop quartet singing.
Gary Gadwa, Past President of the Board, is a 1978 graduate of the University of Idaho with a M.S. in Wildlife Management. Gary devoted 28 years to protecting, perpetuating, and managing the fish and wildlife of Idaho during his career with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG). Electing to work in the field, Gary spent the majority of his career within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (NRA), the Sawtooth Wilderness, the southern end of the Frank Church Wilderness, and the White Clouds. His work in these very special wilderness and backcountry areas provided Gary with extensive opportunities to experience the country via horseback, trail cycle, snowmobile, kayak, raft, as well as aircraft as few, if any, others have ever done. His wildlife field studies included research on wolverine, elk, sheep and goats with opportunities to trap and relocate many other species from bats to small carnivores, lions, bears, and all major native big game. Gary twice earned recognition as Idaho Conservation Officer of the Year, the only IDFG Enforcement Officer with this honor. Gary is committed to preserving and interpreting the natural and cultural history of Idaho, and has been “addicted” to learning everything about the Sawtooth & Salmon River history since becoming acquainted in the early 70s with several central Idaho “pioneers”. Gary also serves on the board of the Stanley Clinic, as Commander of Sawtooth Search and Rescue, is a key EMS and fire department volunteer, and is active in Homeland Security as an amateur radio emergency coordinator. In 2004, Gary received the second annual Sawtooth Society Bethine Church Sawtooth NRA Service Award, the first such award having gone to his wife, Laurii, who also is instrumental to SIHA. Gary and Laurii raised and educated two children in Stanley and have been year-round residents since 1979. Gary enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, Harley riding, trail cycle riding, snowmobiling, restoring old Fords, amateur radio, and photography.
Erica Cole grew up in Guilderland, New York. She came to the Sawtooth Valley in 2003 for a summer job. Captivated by Stanley, she made it her year-round residence in 2006. Erica wears many hats as the office manager at the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch and is excited to transfer those skills into the SIHA board member position. Her desire to learn is evident through her A.A.S degrees in Administrative Assistant, Business Administration and Hospitality Management as well as continuing her education through online classes during the winter months. She loves to hike in the summer and cross country ski in the winter. Other hobbies include reading and writing.
J. Bernice Hartz‘s professional career centered in secondary public education in the areas of geography and history in addition to serving as a field hockey coach, student council advisor and department chair in several Pennsylvania schools. Her Bachelor and Master degrees were awarded at Shippensburg University. Employment with the US Forest Service in the Sawtooth NRA included three assignments within the visitor information services/visitor service division with much of that time serving at the Redfish Lake Visitor Center. Bernice received the initial Bethine Church award while employed by the US Forest Service. In addition, she was employed as a teacher’s aide at the Stanley school and an instructor for Elder Hostel and volunteered on the Gem Community, the Stanley Independent School Board, the Sawtooth Mountain Mamas, and as a Redfish Center naturalist. In Arizona she volunteered as a cave tour guide at Kartchner Cavern State Park for fourteen winter seasons and has served six years in the Pima County Sheriff Auxiliary. It has been a joy to share the beauty, history and flora/fauna with many visitors in central Idaho. SIHA offers numerous opportunities to enhance the appreciation of the Gem of Idaho.
Ken Hartz – After achieving his Bachelor and Master degrees in education, Ken’s professional career was in public education in the fields of English and History. While teaching in Pennsylvania, he officiated and coached track and field and coached field hockey. Living seasonally in the Stanley area since 1976, he was employed by the US Forest Service and volunteered as an EMT and ambulance driver, a member of Sawtooth Valley Search and Rescue, an Idaho Fish and Game reservist, board chairman of the Gem Community, president of the Stanley Library Board, and Stanley Museum docent. Ken was the recipient of the Bethine Church award for service to the SNRA while working for the Forest Service. While in AZ he has volunteered at Kartchner Caverns State Park and as a member of the Pima County Sheriff Auxiliary. Having fallen in love with the Sawtooth area, as evidenced by over forty years of service to the SNRA, his wish is to continue helping preserve the history and natural beauty through service to the SIHA.
Paul Hill and his wife, Ann, have been coming to the Sawtooth NRA for 30 years. After a 35 year business career in Atlanta, Georgia, including ten years in private law practice and 25 years in executive management positions (including chief executive officer) at two major banks headquartered in Atlanta, Paul and Ann retired to live in Stanley and Ashland, Oregon. Both are active in a number of civic and community organizations in both locations, including the Sawtooth Society and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Paul serves on both Boards). Paul’s passions, which serve him well as a director of SIHA and President of the Sawtooth Society, include a love of things wild and a fascination with American history.
Jenny MacNichol, board member since 2020, was born in Northern California and raised in Portland, Oregon. Jenny is a retired internal medicine physician, having practiced for 30 years in Portland. She and her husband, Carter, have been coming to the Stanley Basin to recreate and spend time with the MacNichol family at the Headwaters Ranch in Obsidian since 1982. They have two adult children who also visit regularly. Jenny loves the many outdoor opportunities available in the Sawtooths, including hiking, fishing and horseback riding. Jenny’s long history and rich experiences in Stanley have made her passionate about preserving important local history and natural resources to share with visitors, residents and generations to come.
Roland Miller first arrived in the Sawtooth Mountains as a Student Conservation Association volunteer in 1980. From 1981 to 2001, he spent 17 more summers in seasonal roles for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area including natural interpreter, backcountry ranger, and Forest Protection Officer. From 1983 to 1984, Roland worked at Grey Towers/The Gifford Pinchot Institute for Conservation Studies in Milford, Pennsylvania. He ended his service at Grey Towers as the lead natural and cultural interpreter. Like most of the residents of Sawtooth Valley, Roland wore many hats. Trained in high-angle and whitewater rescue, he was active as an EMT for the Stanley Ambulance and participated in many backcountry rescue operations. For ten years, Roland entertained guests at the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch with guitar and vocals. Roland earned both his BFA and MFA in Visual Art from Utah State University. He recently completed his 32-year career in higher education as a Photography professor and then as Humanities dean at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. Roland’s photography of the United States’ space program includes projects documenting the abandoned space launch and test facilities around the United States and the Space Shuttle Program. He completed a project collaboratively photographing the interior of the International Space Station with Italian Astronaut, Paolo Nespoli. Roland’s photographs are included in numerous permanent museum and archive collections. He is happy to have the opportunity to give back to an area that has given him so much joy.
Becky Obletz was born and raised in Boise, ID. She spent her weekends exploring the Sawtooth Mountains from her family cabin in Grandjean. Becky is a retired physical therapist. She received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a graduate degree in Physical Therapy from Pacific University. Becky married Doug Obletz in 1989 at Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch. They have two sons; Sam and Nick. Becky and Doug spend summers in Stanley and their winters in Portland, OR or Molokai, HI. Becky’s hobbies include hiking, mountain biking, trail running, and the many other outdoor opportunities that the Sawtooth Mountains provide.
Caitlin Straubinger, a Florida native, cultivated her love of the outdoors while leading backpacking and paddling trips throughout the southeast and the Appalachians. After a stint working in the Colorado high country, Caitlin moved to Idaho in 2014 and has been busy exploring our wild rivers and diverse landscapes on foot, bike, and boat with her husband. She served as the SIHA Lead Naturalist in 2019 and loves everything about the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Caitlin currently works as the Membership & Outreach Coordinator for Idaho Rivers United and enjoys connecting with people and helping turn their passion for rivers into meaningful action. In the Sawtooths, you can often find her on the boardwalk at the Redfish Visitors Center looking for beavers, paddleboarding around an alpine lake, or on a trail with her dog.