Salmon Valley Stewardship Staff
Toni Ruth, Executive Director
Toni moved to Salmon in 2005 and has been with Salmon Valley Stewardship as a founding member since her arrival to Lemhi County. She became the new Executive Director of SVS in October 2016. Toni studied mountain lions for over 25 years, publishing numerous scientific articles, popular articles and is in the final stages of completing a book, Yellowstone Cougars: Ecology Before and During Wolf Restoration. Toni also worked seasonally for Idaho Department of Fish and Game and was the High Divide Coordinator for Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Toni enjoys horseback riding on Idaho’s beautiful public lands and playing hockey.
Rachel Layman, Director of Operations & Outreach
B.A., Social Entrepreneurship, 2015 (Southern New Hampshire University)
Rachel first joined Salmon Valley Stewardship’s staff early in 2011, as the Lemhi County Farmers Market manager and eventually joined the staff full time in early 2013. Upon moving to Salmon in 2009, Rachel was delighted to learn that SVS had begun a farmers’ market and was working to create a vibrant local foods community – among countless other community improvement efforts. In 2012, she was also a founding board member for Idaho Farmers Market Association (IFMA) and recently served on the board of directors for Idaho Center for Sustainable Agriculture (ICSA). Rachel is a digital content designer, website creator, podcast director, and general new media guru who manages much of SVS’ digital presence and communications work. Outside of the office, Rachel enjoys gardening, mountain biking, skiing, rafting and is a long-time member of Salmon’s “Cold Muthas” women’s hockey dynasty.
Jenny Gonyer, Natural Resources Program Manager
B.A., Biology, Environmental Studies, 2014 (Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA)
Jenny was introduced to Salmon in the summer of 2013, when she worked as an intern for Salmon Valley Stewardship and Lemhi Regional Land Trust, working on aspen/range/conservation easement monitoring. She then returned to Salmon following college graduation in 2014 as the range monitoring crew leader and sage grouse resource specialist, and became program manager in 2015. Jenny’s prior experience includes being part of a Forest Service archaeology crew in the Black Hills, South Dakota (where she grew up). Jenny also studied Tropical Island Biodiversity and Conservation abroad in Panama. Jenny fell in love with Salmon, and enjoys how one can never stop exploring here; she loves backpacking, biking, hiking, rafting – anything outdoors.
Mindy Crowell, Fund Development and Collaboration Specialist
B.A., Communications, 2003 (Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA)
Mindy was born and raised in Idaho and has fallen in love with Salmon since moving here from Boise with her husband 2 years ago. A B.A in Communication from Gonzaga University and 5 years of experience as a Program Director for a Developmental Disabilities Agency provided her with valuable experience in organizational leadership, conflict resolution and community outreach. In 2015, Mindy joined Salmon Valley Stewardship to help address local foods issues in Salmon by providing support to the Salmon Local Foods Group and the School Garden Project as part of SVS’s Americorps VISTA program. Following her VISTA service, Mindy was thrilled to continue on with SVS becoming the new Fund Development and Collaboration Specialist. She has been helping organize, convene, and facilitate the Central Idaho’s public lands planning group, spearheaded by SVS, since late 2015. Mindy is also pursuing a graduate certificate through the University of Montana’s Natural Resource Conflict Resolution Program. Mindy loves exploring Idaho with her husband, skiing, and running Salmon’s many rugged and vast trails with her dog, Archer.
Seth McFarland, Supervisory Rangeland Specialist
B.S., Rangeland Ecology and Management, 2010 (University of Idaho, Moscow, ID)
Seth was raised on his family ranch up Carmen Creek, where he developed a deep interest in ranching, wildlife and the land. Seth has been employed by Salmon Valley Stewardship since 2013 as a Supervisory Rangeland Specialist. In this position, he has collected long term vegetation trend data in relation to livestock grazing on many of the Salmon-Challis National Forest’s grazing allotments. Seth continues to be actively involved in the ranching industry, serving as one of the board of directors for the Lemhi Cattle and Horse Growers Association. He enjoys exploring Lemhi County via horse or foot and has a serious addiction for shed antler hunting with his loyal dog Sage.
Liz Heck, Farm to School Coordinator
A.A., Biology-Health Care Emphasis, 2013 (College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls)
B.S., Dietetics, 2015 (Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho)
Liz grew up in Southern Idaho for most of her childhood but moved to Salmon her freshman year of high school through graduation. She then returned to Southern Idaho to attend CSI where she received her associate’s degree in Biology-Health Care Emphasis. Upon completing her associate’s degree, she then transferred to unknown territory – Pocatello, Idaho and received a Bachelors in Dietetics. Liz is very passionate about nutrition and absolutely fell in love with the field. She is truly fascinated with the impacts that nutrition and good health have on the human body. She is beyond grateful to have come across this awesome job opportunity in the wonderful community of Salmon as the Farm to School Coordinator for the Salmon School Garden Project. It will be a great experience to utilize her educational background, along with gaining further significant skills that this unique position will most definitely provide. In her free time, Liz enjoys reading fiction thrillers, watching movies, and has a fierce love for animals – especially her quite-large Calico cat named Pancake. “The body is your temple. Keep it pure and clean for the soul to reside in.”
Dan Hobbs, Education, Outreach, and Communications Coordinator
B.S., Environmental Policy, 2014 (Champlain College, Burlington, Vermont)
Dan’s mission at Salmon Valley Stewardship is to engage youth in outdoor recreation to create effective community members through science-based experiential education. Dan has focused the critical, strategic, and systems thinking skills learned at Champlain College through an ecological economic lens to gain experience as a community developer. In 2014-15, as an AmeriCorps volunteer at the Tucker County, West Virginia Economic Development Authority, Dan developed strategies to manage growth and connect community organizations with State leadership. In fall 2015, Dan moved to Spruce Knob, West Virginia, the state’s highest peak, to work at The Mountain Institute, a nonprofit outdoor education center. On Spruce Knob, Dan gained about 2500’ of elevation (occupying the unofficial highest trailer in West Virginia) and invaluable experience working as an outdoor education instructor leading multi-day backcountry trips designed to inspire leadership and stewardship in young adults. Now in Salmon, Dan can be found in and around most flowing liquids, whether it’s one of the region’s rivers or a beer tap.