MWA welcomes Debo Powers and Steve Holland to its State Council
Last year, Montana Wilderness Association elected Debo Powers of Polebridge and Steve Holland of Bozeman to its State Council, the governing body of our organization that's composed of volunteers from around the state and represenatives of local chapters. We're excited to have these two join the team, both of whom offer a fresh infusion of energy, enthusiasm, and expertise.
Debo is a retired school principal who lives off-the-grid in a solar-powered cabin that she built north of Polebridge, Montana, across the North Fork of the Flathead River from Glacier National Park. An active hiker and wilderness enthusiast, Debo has been hiking the trails in the northern Whitefish Range since 1979 and backpacking in wild areas all over Montana. She volunteers as a fire lookout during the fire season, leads hikes for MWA and other organizations, and is active in the local MWA chapter.
"As a long-time member of MWA, I followed the work of the organization for decades, even when not living fulltime in Montana," Debo says. "After retiring, I wanted to take a more active role in the preservation of wild places.”
Deb also served on the Whitefish Range Partnership, a collaborative effort that brought together loggers, snowmobilers, mountain bikers, backcountry horsemen, hikers, hunters, anglers, and wilderness advocates to reach consensus on a recommendation for land management in the Flathead National Forest, which included 80,000 acres of proposed wilderness in the northern Whitefish Range. This recommendation became part of the draft Flathead Forest Plan.
Debo attended her first state council meeting last year and knew she wanted to be part of it.
"I'm inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of the people who serve on the State Council and am glad to be part of making a difference,” she says.
As Steve contemplated retirement, he knew he wanted to devote his time and energy to activities that were important to him.
"I enjoy hiking and backpacking, so working with a conservation organization was a natural choice," Steve says. "I researched a large number of environmental and conservation organizations, looking for compatibility with my interests and professional approach to finding solutions.”
Steve has BS and MS degrees in industrial and management engineering from Montana State University and is a registered professional engineer. He has a broad background in manufacturing, economic development, and outreach. Until his retirement in 2014, he led MSU's Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, a division of the College of Engineering.
Before working for MSU, Steve served two terms on the Stanly County School Board in North Carolina.
“I became interested in serving on MWA’s State Council because I want to make a contribution to our wildlands efforts utilizing my engineering background and the skills and networks I developed during my professional career,” he says.
Steve currently serves on the Montana Wilderness Association's Finance Committee and a variety of nonprofit boards and councils, including the Montana District Export Council, the Montana Manufacturing Council, the Bozeman Economic Development Council, and the Career and Technology Advisory Board.
"MWA's collaborative and balanced approach to conservation issues is impressive and highly effective,” he says. “As I got to know MWA's staff and council members, I knew I'd found a perfect fit."
- Lee Boman, MWA president