Idaho State Director
Mark Menlove Idaho State Director © Dev Khalsa

Our People

Mark Menlove

State Director, Idaho

Boise, Idaho

  • Areas of Expertise

    conservation strategy, fundraising, government relations, outdoor recreation/business

Biography

Mark came to The Nature Conservancy after serving 14 years as the Executive Director for the Idaho-based Winter Wildlands Alliance. His recent accomplishments also include co-founding the Outdoor Alliance and the Idaho Outdoor Business Council. Prior to that, Mark served as President of the Utah Ski Association/Ski Utah and in communications positions with the U.S. Ski Team, 2002 Winter Olympic Games and Park City Ski Area.

Through these efforts, Mark has been a leading voice and advocate for federal and state conservation funding, public lands policy, climate science and engaging the outdoor recreation community in conservation. Mark feeds his passion for and commitment to Idaho’s wild places through fly fishing, whitewater rafting, backcountry skiing, camping and hiking, most often with his wife, Dana, and teenaged children Asa and Eliza.

Mark understands that as the nation’s fastest growing state, Idaho faces unprecedented challenges to the health of its lands, waters and wildlife. And he believes that The Nature Conservancy is uniquely positioned to meet these challenges. Mark earned a BA in Journalism from the University of Utah and a MFA in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Arizona.

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Wild Heart of Idaho

April, 2020

Dear Friends,

Salmon and steelhead have been called the “wild heart” of Idaho. For good reason. No other wild creatures are more integrally tied to our way of life and the health of our natural systems than salmon and steelhead.

Beginning life in the gravel beds of cold, clear freshwater streams high in our Idaho mountains, these magical fish make their way to the Pacific Ocean, grow to adulthood at sea, and return to the streams of their birth to spawn and die. Their decaying bodies leave nutrients from the ocean on which some 140 species of Idaho plants and animals depend.

Going back thousands of years, the indigenous communities of this area have built entire cultures and a way of life around salmon. Those of us who are newcomers have also built a way of life, a culture and an economy around salmon. Today, these fish are in trouble. And despite the efforts of government agencies, tribes, and community groups, we are perilously close to losing them.

Restoring wild salmon and steelhead in Idaho is of the utmost importance to The Nature Conservancy. We are committed to taking undaunted action to bring these fish back in abundant and sustainable numbers.

For two decades we’ve been working with a variety of partners from Salmon to Stanley. We’ve helped to return water back to streams that were dry for over a century, effectively opening up miles of previously inaccessible habitat. All of this is to ensure that when more wild fish return, they have adequate spawning, rearing and overwintering areas. While there is much more habitat work needed, we recognize it is only one piece of the puzzle and we are expanding our efforts.

In light of Congressman Mike Simpson’s and Governor Brad Little’s recent remarks and renewed attention on salmon recovery, we at the Idaho chapter, together with the Washington and Oregon chapters, are exploring holistic solutions that address the fish’s needs across the Columbia River Basin.

We are one of 20 stakeholders working in partnership on the Governor’s Salmon Workgroup, tasked with providing policy recommendations to the state that will increase the abundance of Idaho salmon and steelhead. Working with a stakeholder group like this is part of our organizational DNA. It’s the way we approach all our work—reaching across the fence, working with partners and communities on all sides of an issue to find solutions. We recognize that nothing works unless we make it work for the people of Idaho.

The challenges facing salmon and steelhead are complex and interconnected. Some issues we can address in Idaho—improving habitat, hatchery management, and water management—while others, such as addressing passage in the lower Snake and Columbia Rivers, predator issues, harvest, and ocean conditions, require broader attention. Focusing on any one of these challenges in a vacuum will not bring our salmon back. All solutions need to be brought to light and stakeholders need to work together.

The Nature Conservancy is no stranger to complexity. This is exactly the kind of challenge where our ability to integrate science into our collaborative solutions oriented approach, combined with our resolute commitment to our mission, enables us to play a meaningful role in recovering Idaho’s salmon and steelhead.

It’s supporters like you who make this work possible.
Thank you!

Your friend in conservation,

Mark Menlove

State Director

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When the forest burns, the fire can extend into the crowns, killing large swaths of trees.","articleDate":null,"articleAuthor":null,"contentTypeTag":"Feature","geoLocationTag":["Idaho","United States"],"topicTag":["land conservation","conservation work","forests","fire"],"placesWeProtectTag":[],"businesstags":["Idaho","United States"],"businesstags_ids":["tnc:business-group/united-states/idaho","tnc:business-group/united-states"],"pageImage":{"small":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/Tree_Story_Unthinned_02.jpg?crop=0,0,1193,895&wid=300&hei=225&scl=3.977777777777778","default":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/Tree_Story_Unthinned_02.jpg?crop=0,0,1193,895&wid=300&hei=225&scl=3.977777777777778","medium2x":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/Tree_Story_Unthinned_02.jpg?crop=0,0,1193,895&wid=800&hei=600&scl=1.4916666666666667","large":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/Tree_Story_Unthinned_02.jpg?crop=0,0,1193,895&wid=800&hei=600&scl=1.4916666666666667","small2x":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/Tree_Story_Unthinned_02.jpg?crop=0,0,1193,895&wid=600&hei=450&scl=1.988888888888889","medium":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/Tree_Story_Unthinned_02.jpg?crop=0,0,1193,895&wid=800&hei=600&scl=1.4916666666666667","large2x":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/Tree_Story_Unthinned_02.jpg?crop=0,0,1193,895&wid=1600&hei=1200&scl=0.7458333333333333"}},{"title":"Sustainable Food and Water in Idaho","description":"The Healthy Soil, Clean Water Program is rooted in the belief that it is possible to sustainably feed a growing population while promoting a healthy environment and helping communities thrive.","link":"https://www.nature.org/en-us/about-us/where-we-work/united-states/idaho/stories-in-idaho/sustainable-food-and-water-in-idaho/","target":"_self","desktopImageCrop":"left-top","mobileImageCrop":"left-top","pageImageAlt":"Agricultural lands provide valuable habitat for wildlife like deer ","articleDate":null,"articleAuthor":null,"contentTypeTag":"Program Overview","geoLocationTag":["Idaho","United States"],"topicTag":["carbon sequestration","carbon","climate change","conservation work","sustainable agriculture","agriculture","soil health"],"placesWeProtectTag":[],"businesstags":["Idaho","United States"],"businesstags_ids":["tnc:business-group/united-states/idaho","tnc:business-group/united-states"],"pageImage":{"small":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/tncidaho69636229.jpg?crop=0,0,4992,3744&wid=300&hei=225&scl=16.64","default":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/tncidaho69636229.jpg?crop=0,0,4992,3744&wid=300&hei=225&scl=16.64","medium2x":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/tncidaho69636229.jpg?crop=0,0,4992,3744&wid=800&hei=600&scl=6.24","large":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/tncidaho69636229.jpg?crop=0,0,4992,3744&wid=800&hei=600&scl=6.24","small2x":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/tncidaho69636229.jpg?crop=0,0,4992,3744&wid=600&hei=450&scl=8.32","medium":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/tncidaho69636229.jpg?crop=0,0,4992,3744&wid=800&hei=600&scl=6.24","large2x":"https://natureconservancy-h.assetsadobe.com/is/image/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/photos/tncidaho69636229.jpg?crop=0,0,4992,3744&wid=1600&hei=1200&scl=3.12"}}]

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