JENNIFER FIELDER, MT - CEO
Jennifer resides in a beautiful river valley nestled among steep, thickly forested mountains of Northwest Montana. Elected to the Montana State Senate in 2012, she holds degrees in Parks & Recreation and Ski Instruction and Coaching.
Jennifer and her husband Paul, a retired wildlife biologist, are avid outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy living close to the land. They hunt, fish, firewood, and raise a garden for wholesome sustenance. They manage a modest parcel of timber land for optimal forest health, wildlife habitat, and scenic values.
For over twenty years, Jennifer successfully operated a small business specializing in planning, design, and development of outdoor recreation, urban and natural landscapes, and community enhancement projects. In this capacity she worked extensively with local, state, and federal government agencies as well as nonprofit organizations and citizens.
Recognizing the critical need for better management of federally controlled public lands, Senator Fielder introduced legislation in 2013 to study problems with federal land management and identify solutions. She was appointed to chair the bi-partisan Montana study and soon became a leading expert on the issue of transferring federal public lands to the states. After the final legislative session of her term concluded, she accepted an unpaid position on the ALC Executive Committee and later as CEO.
Jennifer is a graduate of Western State College of Colorado where she earned a Bachelor Degree in Recreation, and a Minor in Coaching. She also holds an Associate Degree in Ski Instruction and Coaching and an Associate in Arts and Sciences from Wenatchee Valley College in Washington State. Jennifer completed Montana State University’s Forest Stewardship training and holds vocational certification in Horticulture.
Based on decades of professional experience and her intensive study of public lands issue, Jennifer understands that restoring balance and strengthening the local voice in public land management can lead to better outcomes in environmental quality, economic productivity, and recreational opportunities for all.
DOUG HEATON, UT - Chairman of the Board
Doug was born June 15, 1949 in Panguitch, Utah to Vard and Florence Heaton of Alton, Utah and spent his early years in a happy family supported by a livestock operation. He worked on the family ranch when he wasn't in school until he was 19 years old, when he was called to serve a mission in Canada for the LDS Church. He returned in 1970 and went to Brigham Young University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973. While he was at BYU he met his sweetheart Coleen Christensen were married in August of that year.
He and his wife them moved to Florida where they became partners in a logging business which venture they enjoyed for 5 years. In 1978 they returned to Utah and went to work for Kiabab Industries as a timber faller until 1992 when Kiabab closed and then became a General Contractor. In 2008 he filed for political office, running for the Kane County Commission which is still where he spends his time.
Along the way Doug and Coleen became parents of fourteen children, thirteen of whom are still living. She and they are his greatest accomplishment. Doug also loves flying and trying to find and learn the things which the Founding Fathers understood as they are amongst his greatest heroes. Among his goals is a quest to implement the Founding Fathers’ political principles in County and State Government....for starters.
ALAN GARDNER, UT - Chair Elect
Alan D Gardner, grew up in SW Utah, where he remains active as part of the 4th generation on the family ranch. He married Kathryn Dawkins of Buckeye, Arizona, in 1971 and they have made Southern Utah their home. They are the parents of five children and have 14 grandchildren.
Alan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Brigham Young University. He has served as president of the Washington County Cattlemen’s Association, the Dixie Jr. Livestock Show and the Washington County Diabetes Association. He is also active in his church, serving in leadership roles.
Since winning election in 1996, Alan has been serving as a Washington County, Utah, Commissioner and has been active in the Utah Association of Counties (UAC); being chosen as one of the outstanding elected officials. Also active in the National Association of Counties, (NACo), he has served on NACo’s Public Land Steering Committee since 1996 and as Chair of the Public Lands Management Sub Committee for over eight years.
He is past President of the Western Interstate Region (WIR), the Western fifteen states in NACo, and received its Dale Soward’s Award for his service to public lands. Alan is dedicated to the transfer of public lands to state control and continues to work hard on this important issue.
JIM MATSON, UT - Vice President of Finance, Secretary, Treasurer
Jim is a professional forester with over 40 years of personal experience in forest land stewardship and business management, and 30 years of private sector business experience in the Forest Products Industry within the states of the Four Corners Area (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada). He works well in both structured and unstructured environments with a clear focus on the needs of rural entities, he is an innovator and advocate for improvement and change, a participative person, and believes in empowering and encouraging others for the overall success of an organization.
Since 2011 he has served on the Kane County, UT Board of Commissioners where he has focused on public land use issues, including grazing Grand Staircase EscalanteNational Monument, timber harvest National Forest, and wild land fire program management. He is a member of the Utah Association of Counties Public Lands Committee, Board Member of the Utah Community Impact Board (CIB) which specializes in managing and utilizing mineral lease revenues for the benefit of rural and local governments.
He operates Vermillion Services, Inc., a firm specializing in planning services for local governments in management, planning, economic development, and natural resource business planning.
In 1999 Jim established and administered the Kane County Resource Development Committee which supervised and recommended to the Kane County Commission the revision and implementation of Kane County’s General Land Use Plan covering 5,000 square miles of area. In 1999 and 2001 he promoted and directed the establishment of the Arizona Strip Alliance for Northern Arizona and Southern Utah. The Alliance provides critical coordination between local community and county governments within the respective States of Utah and Arizona including the federal land management Agencies, involving the U. S. Forest Service, BLM and National Park Service.