About the Foundation
Our mission is to raise awareness of the conservation challenges facing caribou while leading the way to enhance their populations, protect caribou habitat, and promote effective caribou management in their current range.
The International Caribou Foundation was formed in Bozeman, Montana in 2019 by an eclectic group of wildlife biologists, hunters, business managers, guides, photographers and outdoorsman, collectively concerned about the fate of the species in the wake of the tragic loss of the final herd of mountain caribou in the lower 48 states.
Unfortunately, the extirpation of the Selkirk herd is just the canary in the coal mine, and all species of caribou across the world are imperiled from various threats including habitat loss, outdoor recreation, predation, poaching, and climate change.
I. BREEDING PROGRAMS
Generating funding to place breeding caribou from healthy herds in a controlled environment to safely raise their calves and eventually be released into the wild to bolster existing herds and one day re-introduce caribou into their historic range.
II. ADVOCACY OUTREACH PROGRAM
The largest hurdle for long term caribou and reindeer conservation is ensuring their habitat is protected. The ICF will work with governmental and non-governmental organizations worldwide through outreach programs and partnerships to keep caribou habitat wild.
III. CONSERVATION VISION PLAN
Funding for the research to develop a conservation vision plan that will provide our organization with the research to identify our high-priority initiatives, set tangible goals and begin maximizing our impact on challenges facing the various sub-species of caribou and the unique threats they face.
WHO WE ARE
Chairman of the Board
John is a founding member of the ICF and the Chairman of the Board. Originally from Albany, NY, John served his country in active duty with the United States Navy as a radioman on board a submarine. He is passionate about wildlife preservation and working with non-profits organizations. John has been an active member of Team Rubicon, a veteran volunteer organization that focuses on helping communities in need since 2016, and has held leadership roles within the organization. One of John's most noteworthy endeavors is the working relationship he started between Team Rubicon (TR) Montana and the Land Trust Alliance. This partnership provided TR volunteers a location to train on chainsaws and excavation equipment while assisting the land trust in caring for and maintaining their land.
Cheryl Conibear Lind
Cheryl is a founding member of the ICF and currently serves as the Executive Director overseeing all operations. Originally from Syracuse, NY, she has also lived in Chattanooga, TN and spent over a decade in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2017, Cheryl completed a degree in business psychology which provided hands on experience with marketing, accounting, and international business. Occupationally, Cheryl has experience as a Regional Training Director, an Assistant General Manager handling all aspects of daily operations for a large business in Honolulu, HI, and managing a local business in Bozeman. In her career she has launched new businesses, led effective training departments, developed a management team responsible for over 100 employees, handled financial aspects on P&L statements for a multi-million-dollar company, and now offers strong leadership skills honed over years of management experience.
Bart is the Conservation Director for the ICF and is the lead advisor on our conservation efforts and breeding programs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology from Simpson College and a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Idaho. Bart is a Wildlife Biologist for the Kalispel Tribe in Northeast Washington and had the opportunity to study and survey the last herd of caribou in the contiguous United States, which sparked his passion for caribou conservation. Bart loves the fact his work and play are one in the same. You can typically find Bart and his family wandering around the Northeastern Washington or Northern Idaho countryside with their hounds. He is an avid hunter, guide, and is deeply passionate about wildlife and habitat conservation and restoration.
Christopher Sheets was born and raised in northwestern Wyoming, where he was fortunate enough to spend his childhood in the deep wilderness surrounding the greater Yellowstone area. The environment in which he was raised afforded him many intimate encounters with wildlife and the spaces they inhabit. This upbringing solidified his passion to continue to understand the natural world and the threats to these systems. In 2007, he completed his degree in Wildlife Biology and has since worked as a backcountry guide, wilderness horse packer, and professional wildlife biologist. His newest venture is co-hosting a podcast with a great group of guys that are passionate about conservation and science-based discussion. Like most of the guys in the group, he is an avid archery hunter, horse packer and science nerd.
Marketing and Branding Advisor
Mahting Putelis was raised in southwest Michigan, where the green landscape laid the foundation for his path to outdoor-oriented careers. Mahting both guided mountain adventures and became an adventure photographer. In 2013, Mahting founded the company Hunt to Eat, which promotes the sustainable harvesting of game animals and stands for ethical hunting practices. In addition to contributing to the marketing efforts of ICF, Mahting continues to lead the creative development at Hunt To Eat, and seeks to unify a larger community of people dedicated to conserving the only home we have, Earth!
David Abate's passion for the outdoors was sparked at a young age when he moved to Switzerland as a child, a fervor rekindled later in life when he left corporate work in New York City to travel and explore the West, eventually leading him to settle in Bozeman, Montana. Boasting a diverse career, David has worked at marketing agencies nationwide, delivering standout campaigns and brand strategy for his clients. He brings his combined marketing skills and outdoors experience to the ICF to help with all aspects of building awareness and developing fundraising for our conservation efforts.
Cory DeStein is a wildlife photographer in Missoula, Montana. Having relocated from western Pennsylvania in 2013, the wilderness on his new doorstep invigorated his passion for the outdoors. Since arriving, exploration of the area’s ample backcountry with camera in hand has occupied much of Cory’s free time. This immersion has fostered keen eyes that now play a large role in tracking down seldom-seen wildlife. Cory has used his photography to help raise awareness for multiple species including mountain caribou, harlequin ducks, Canada lynx, grizzly bears and more. Combining passion with an artistic vision, Cory strives to make images that advocate for the appreciation and protection of many beautiful landscapes and the creatures dwelling within them.
Advisor to the Board
Jared is the Executive Director of 2% for Conservation, a start-up nonprofit whose mission is to "ensure the future of hunting and angling by creating an alliance of businesses and individuals that give their time and dollars to fish and wildlife conservation." Prior to taking the helm at "2%", he was living the "2% standard" through his private business as a web and graphic designer - volunteering well over 500 hours annually to fish and wildlife conservation causes. Having lived a life volunteering and working on both the non-profit and and for-profit sides of conservation work and advocacy, Jared seeks to help anyone and everyone give back to boots-on-the-ground conservation work and advocacy. "Anyone can conquer an ecosystem, and anyone can give something to bring one back.
Janna Long grew up in Montana, where she spent a considerable amount of time in the great outdoors, gaining an appreciation for wild places at an early age. In addition to Janna’s involvement with International Caribou Foundation, she is currently an active volunteer for the Wild Sheep Foundation and works as a Brand Manager for American Prairie Reserve, a non-profit organization building the largest wildlife refuge in the continental United States. She holds a Master’s in Professional Accountancy from Montana State University and a BS in Business Administration from Montana State University-Northern, and is actively pursuing her Certified Public Accountant license. She is excited to serve on the Board of Directors for the International Caribou Foundation and is delighted to be a part of the early impacts that the ICF will have on caribou conservation in North America.
David Moskowitz works in the fields of photography, wildlife biology and education. He is the photographer and author of three books: Caribou Rainforest, Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest and Wolves in the Land of Salmon. He has contributed his technical expertise to a wide variety of wildlife studies regionally and in the Canadian and U.S. Rocky mountains, focusing on using tracking and other non-invasive methods to study wildlife ecology and promote conservation. He helped establish the Cascade Citizen Wildlife Monitoring Project, a citizen science effort to search for and monitor rare and sensitive wildlife in the Cascades and other Northwest wildlands. You can find his work at davidmoskowitz.net.
Being raised in rural Minnesota allowed Bret to enjoy the outdoors through cross country skiing, hiking, and rock climbing. Her love of wildlife led her to Montana where she studies Fish & Wildlife Ecology and Management at Montana State University. From translocating bighorn sheep in the Spanish peaks to identifying African wild dogs for studies in Zambia, she continues be engaged in conservation and management.
Carl is currently an undergraduate student at Montana State University studying Fish & Wildlife Management & Ecology. A Pennsylvania native, his desire for adventure brought him to Montana to explore what the Rocky Mountains have to offer. He is an avid hunter and fisher and loves the outdoors, which is unsurprising considering his major. Carl is also the President of Montana State University’s student chapter of The Wildlife Society and has been since his brief stint as Vice President during the spring semester in 2018.
Cindy Stites was born, raised and still resides in West Central Indiana. She is a career Horticulturist and Arborist, spanning twenty-five years, working in all aspects of the green industry, including ornamental plant propagation, native tree production, nursery management, and everything in-between. While she loves hunting the wide open spaces of Wyoming and Montana with her partner, Chance, mentoring new hunters right in her own backyard in Indiana, is Cindy’s passion. Whether it be man, woman or child, she feels it is her responsibility to pass on the hunting tradition and the importance of conservation, to anyone who expresses an interest.