David Bess

Cameron, Montana

Biography

Originally from Northern Utah, after 20 years in the medical research industry and 30 years as a cattle rancher, I am now making my home in the Madison Valley.

Why do you want to be on the Board of Directors for the Madison River Foundation?

I feel I bring a very unique viewpoint to the table as someone with a vested interest as both a a landowner of a large cattle ranch intersected by a blue ribbon trout river (not the Madison) and as someone with a commercial interest in the Madison Valley fishery.

What makes our mission meaningful to you?

To direct the foundation focus toward its stated goals of "enhancing the Madison River Ecosystem".

What experience would you bring to the MRF board?

I would bring 30 years of riparian project implementation to the foundation board. Worked with many private and public agencies to secure riparian project financing, such as Trout Unlimited, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil Conservation Service, UT. Farm Service Agency, Isaak Walton Foundation, USU Water Quality Lab, and many more.

What interests you about our organization? Which aspect of our organization interests you most?

The preservation of our most valuable resource for future generations. A love of the Madison has run through 6 Generations of my family.

What is your favorite project the foundation has worked on and why?

Upper drainage tributary restoration. This is where it all starts if the headwaters are not healthy nothing in the entire river system can be healthy.

Do you support Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks recommendations for the Madison River Recreation Plan? Why or why not?

With the understanding that the economic impact of these recommendations, as well as the recreational opportunities, have yet to be felt by any of the involved interests I think we still need to further fine tune and understand the proposals to meet the aforementioned interests.

Do you support walk-in wade only sections on the Madison River? Why or why not?

I feel in most instances boat angling has less of an impact on the health of the river and the fish and more of an impact on other anglers.

Do you believe that the fishery will be impacted by overuse?

All fisheries are impacted by overuse.

How important is advocacy on local, state, and federal policies to you?

Extremely Important, citizen input directed to our representatives should be the cornerstone of all policy.

What experience do you have with fundraising?

Worked with many private and public agencies to secure riparian project financing, such as Trout Unlimited, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil Conservation Service, UT. Farm Service Agency, Isaak Walton Foundation, USU Water Quality Lab, and many more.

How would you plan to increase fundraising for the Foundation as Board of Director?

I would work to further promote the ongoing activities of the foundation as well as identify new opportunities.

How much time a month can you commit to meetings and serving the mission of the Foundation?

As needed, schedule is flexible.