Meet the people leading the fight to preserve and protect the most heavily visited and most popular wilderness in the national wilderness system.
Betsy Daub – Science and Conservation Program Director
Betsy has extensive experience in conservation policy, including six years at Audubon Minnesota, where she served as Forest Program Director, Acting State Director, and Senior Director for Conservation Programs. Her work at Audubon included substantial efforts regarding management of the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Most recently, Daub taught science in St. Paul schools. As Science and Conservation Director, Betsy brings strong experience in science and stakeholder collaboration to the organization and helps fulfill the Friends mission to protect, preserve and restore the wilderness character of the BWCAW and the entire Quetico-Superior Ecosystem.
Tonia Kittelson – Northern Communities Director
Tonia has spent her life protecting waters, woods, wildlife and prairies through education, collaborative projects, and community engagement. She knows the BWCAW well from leading month-long wilderness expeditions for five years with Voyageur Outward Bound School, which has been based at the edge of the wilderness for over 50 years. Tonia wanted to love what she was doing for work every day so she studied nature, learning about natural resource management and conflict resolution, environmental education, and outdoor recreation for a BS from the University of Minnesota. Her Master’s focused on people, examining Community Building and Leadership Skills while at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. With over 900 days afield (over half of these in the BWCA), Tonia brings a broad perspective to effectively managing natural resources and human demands.
Cori Mattke – Membership and Operations Director
Cori earned a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies and Community Outreach from Northland College in Ashland, WI. While at Northland, Cori developed In My Place, a community writing project and self-published book that focused on sense of place and individuals’ relationships to landscapes across the country. Prior to joining the Friends, Cori worked as an intern with Northwest Connections, a community-based conservation organization in Condon, Montana, and Voyageurs National Park Association, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her professional interests lie in the intersection between ecology, communities, and conservation initiatives. At home she is an avid printmaker, knitter, and vegetable gardener who enjoys paddling, backpacking, and snowshoeing throughout Minnesota.
Jane Reyer – Advocacy Director
Jane has a true love for the Border Lakes region and a wealth of experience on the sulfide mining issue. Jane previously worked as a contract Environmental Policy Analyst and writer on mining issues for a number of Minnesota organizations, including the Friends. Prior to this work she was the Lake Superior Project Manager and Contract Attorney for the National Wildlife Federation and a Natural Resource Attorney for the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa. Jane has also lived in the Grand Marais area and loves meditation and wild spaces where one can find plenty of solitude.
Rachel Wagner – Membership and Administrative Coordinator
Email Rachel Rachel enjoyed her first trip to the Boundary Waters on her honeymoon and couldn’t believe such a treasure was situated right in her home state! Ecological justice and climate change have been issues dear to her heart since studying Global Studies at Concordia College and studying abroad in India. While abroad she witnessed the effects of corporate interests on small farmers and the impact of climate change on marginalized communities. Rachel has worked in the nonprofit sector for eight years in various administrative, marketing, and development roles. She has also interned on an organic community supported agriculture (CSA) farm in Washington State to learn more about sustainable living. Even though she is fairly new to the Boundary Waters, Rachel has come to feel passionate about protecting the BWCA as a unique and important wilderness to Minnesotans and people across the country. At home, Rachel enjoys gardening with her husband, knitting/crocheting, and hiking.