Professional Resource Advisory Board
Chairman | British Columbia
TERM EXPIRES - 2021
Anna Fontana is the current chair of the Wild Sheep Foundation’s Professional Resource Advisory Board and joins this group with a wealth of knowledge in wild sheep population and habitat management. Anna had a 17 year career with the province of British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment in the East Kootenay region of BC, followed by a short career as a consultant specializing in wildlife inventory and then through a twist of fate for the past 15 years operating and taking part in all facets of her family guide outfitting business Elk Valley Bighorn Outfitters. Anna has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Victoria focusing on terrestrial animal biology. Her primary responsibilities as a wildlife manager in the Kootenay’s included large ungulates (elk, moose, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and goat), small game, furbearers, problem wildlife and non game, especially in respect to consumptive use.
Anna is a life member of the WSF and the Guide Outfitter Association of BC and has been involved with the Professional Resource Advisory Board for the past 12 years. Since selling her guiding business she has been focusing on running her cattle ranch, riding reining horses, mountain biking, taking excursions into the mountains with her mules and border collies, and traveling as much as possible. On her bucket list is to one-day harvest a Desert bighorn sheep.
Secretary | Idaho
TERM EXPIRES - 2020
Tricia Hosch-Hebdon is the current Secretary of the Wild Sheep Foundation’s Professional Resource Advisory Board and joins this group with a wealth of knowledge in wildlife disease, genetics, and wildlife management. Tricia has been involved with wild sheep and wild sheep issues, particularly wild sheep health for the past 20 years. In 1999, she started with Idaho Fish & Game (IDFG) working on the Nramp Bighorn Sheep Natural Disease Resistance project at the Wildlife Health Lab. In 2011, Tricia became the manager of the IDFG’s Wildlife Health and Forensic Laboratory which has statewide responsibilities for monitoring and assessing wildlife health and disease.
Tricia has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Riverside and a Master of Science degree from the University of Wyoming. Her degrees focus on wildlife ecology, population management, conservation biology, physiology and wildlife health. Over the past 20 years, Tricia has gotten to work on a myriad of projects, including representing IDFG on the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Health Committee, certifying as forensic scientist through the Society for Wildlife Forensic Sciences, training with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in rapid diagnostic testing for agents of bioterrorism, and providing training for muli-state and jurisdictional Wildlife Human Attack Response Teams.
Tricia is a Summit Life Member of the WSF, has been a board member of the Idaho FNAWS/ WSF Chapter, and has been involved with the Professional Resource Advisory Board for the past 12 years. In her other life, Tricia along with her husband are busy parenting two active teenagers and three hunting dogs. When not shuttling to and from school activities, Tricia can be found coaching the local Nampa FFA Chapter’s Environmental Natural Resource Team, working on her black belt in Martial Arts, or out and about on some hunting, fishing, or outdoor adventure with her family!
WAFWA Wild Sheep Working Group Chair | Nevada
TERM EXPIRES - 2019
Born and raised in South Dakota, I spent a great deal of my childhood on the prairie, river breaks, and cornfields hunting with my father and friends. I gained a strong desire to one day be a wildlife biologist to conserve and manage wildlife for future generations. I was exposed and fell in love with the intermountain west summer 1984 as a field technician out of Idaho Falls. Earned my B.S. and M.S.at South Dakota State and Iowa State Universities. Little did I know when I volunteered as an undergraduate to conduct a drop-net capture on bighorn sheep in Custer State Park that wild sheep would become my career and passion! I moved to Nevada in 1989 to conduct research in the Mojave Desert on tortoises, lizards, bats and small mammals. Then in 1993, I became a regional supervisor for Nevada Department of Wildlife and was quickly initiated into the world of bighorn sheep by my biologists, the Fraternity of the Desert Bighorn, and NBU-Reno. The passion, dedication, and energy of my colleagues and fellow sportsmen in Nevada was beyond anything I had ever experienced. In 1999, I became the statewide big game program coordinator/biologist and moved to Reno. I was one of the founding members of WAFWA’s Wild Sheep Working Group (WSWG) in 2007 led by Kevin Hurley. I have been fortunate to have reaped the rewards of Nevada’s successful bighorn restoration program by harvesting 3 bighorn sheep rams since 1996. Sharing our bighorn sheep and collaborating with other states has been one a huge joy in my career. In 2016, I felt I needed to give back to the greater good and became the WSWG chair after Clay Brewer retired. That also gave me the opportunity to be on WSF’s PRAB. My NDOW position is now focused solely on bighorn and mountain goat management. A big focus of mine is collaborating and building relationships with Nevada woolgrowers to improve separation and to continue to seek safe and sustainable bighorn restoration opportunities.
TERM EXPIRES - 2021
Karen Gordon has lived in Alaska for more than 45 years. She grew up in a military family with a tradition of hunting and fishing. She was first captivated by wild sheep when her grandfather, who was a sheep hunter, brought home a trophy Dall ram from Alaska. While not a formally-trained biologist, Karen has worked with Alaskan Dall sheep biologists since her early days with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Karen began shooting competitively when she was 14. And upon entering university, a well-meaning career counselor told her to avoid what she wanted - biology – because, “Everybody wants to be Jacques Cousteau – you’ll never get a job.” While pursuing her bachelor’s degree in business, she shot on the University of Alaska Rifle Team for three years.
Karen holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Professionally, Karen has worked to manage and administer natural resource conservation programs in Alaska for more than three decades. Many of these involved wild sheep and wild lands. She has also worked in banking and with private sector Alaska Native Corporations. She understands money and business as well as natural resource management, and loves trying to be better informed on wild sheep issues due to her service in the Wild Sheep Foundation at the Chapter and National levels for the last two decades. Though she’d already been on the Alaska Chapter Board for five years, Karen’s formal involvement at the national level began in 2005 when she began service on the FNAWS Grant Review Committee. Subsequently she was appointed to the WSF Professional Resources Advisory Board (PRAB) when it was created. She has written and/or edited biological policy positions for the Foundation on predation, ewe harvesting, federal to state land transfers, and disease.
A WSF Summit Life member and Chadwick Ram Society member, Karen was active in the Alaska FNAWS/WSF Chapter for about a decade as a board member and as vice president, secretary and treasurer. She represented the Alaska Chapter at Chapter & Affiliate Summits for many years. In 2004 she was the logistical coordinator of the 2004 Northern Wild Sheep and Goat Council Biennial Symposium in Canada and Alaska’s Inside Passage and also held that same position for the National Association of State Foresters’ annual meeting in Alaska in 2006. She has also written a variety of wildlife conservation/hunting-oriented stories for magazines including Wild Sheep.
Karen is an avid scuba diver, was a Red Cross disaster instructor for two decades, worked a month in American Samoa for Red Cross after Cyclone Val, worked in New York City at Ground Zero after 9/11 as part of her job, and has led a multitude of adventure-focused group scuba diving trips to exotic tropical locales in the Western and South Pacific, Atlantic, the Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean. She brings an unusual breadth of perspective to the PRAB from business to biology along with extensive knowledge of Dall sheep and federal land management issues in Alaska that so significantly affect them.
TERM EXPIRES - 2020
Helen is the Wildlife Veterinarian for British Columbia. She was hired by the BC government in 1992. She graduated from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981, followed by practice in BC in mixed animals, zoo animal practice and completed a Masters of Science in Veterinary Pathology (specialty in wildlife diseases) in 1987, with her thesis on the evaluation of health status of bighorn sheep herds in the East Kootenai region of BC. Her work with wild sheep continues but many other priorities compete with that focus. In her other life, she purchased a now 100+ year old farm in 1986 where she has a live off the land hobby, raising domestic sheep and other edibles. Fortunately, her husband is a great cook.
PRA Board Staff Assistant | Montana
Jessica joined the WSF team in November of 2017. She is a native Montanan, who first left the state to pursue interior design studies in Spain, later finishing her degree in Portland, OR. While she certainly enjoyed the creative aspects of designing interiors, her true passion has always been for all things outdoors.
Jessica was fortunate to grow up with parents who made time outside a priority with weekends and family vacations always consisting of hiking, camping, backpacking and hunting in remote, beautiful places. She is happy to be a part of such a talented team whose goal is to preserve both the wild places and valued traditions she holds dear.