President – Paul Madden from Sheldon. Owner of Missisquoi Construction Company and executive director of Friends of Northern Lake Champlain. His interest in the Friends of the Refuge is threefold: to help support wildlife and habitat; to encourage more use of the Refuge by the public; and to improve water quality in Missisquoi River and Missisquoi Bay, since these waters are the basis for most of the life in the Refuge.
Vice-President – Rich Kelley from Swanton has the refuge nearly in his backyard. He is a civilian employee of the Department of Public Safety and enjoys having the refuge as a nearby retreat from work, as well as a great place to pursue hiking, fishing, hunting, and canoeing. A Friends’ board member for seven years, he enjoys the opportunity to contribute to the enjoyment the refuge offers.
Treasurer – Anne Bataille A rafting and camping trip in the Artic NWR introduced her to the wildlife refuge system. She was therefore delighted to find that we had a refuge in Franklin County. It remains one of the county’s best kept secrets. She joined the Friends to help increase awareness that today’s refuge while primarily for the wildlife that live there and the migratory birds that visit, is also for us to enjoy and to learn. It is especially important for the youngsters to have a place to explore the wonders of nature. Anne is retired and formerly worked in retailing, wholesale selling and marketing.
Secretary – Carol Richards Yarnell is from South Alburgh. She is a Reading Intervention Teacher, Special Educator. When not at work Carol is an avid canoer and kayaker. Her involvement in Friends of the Refuge focuses mainly on increasing the public’s awareness of and visits to this precious resource in our backyards.
Membership – Joe Belanger now resides in Highgate after retiring from IBM in1997. Joe has been a member of the Board of the Friends for seven years serving as Vice President and President. Currently Joe manages the membership responsibilities. Joe also guides walking tours of the trails that are open to the public. His goal is to introduce the public to this amazing resource hidden in northwest Vermont and to invite anyone with an interest to join him on nature/photography walks on the Mississquoi National Wildlife Refuge.
Ken Copenhaver from Fairfax, is an IT professional. His hobbies include birdwatching, gardening, woodworking, and he’s also a do-it-yourselfer. He has been a refuge volunteer for many years, helping with various bird surveys. His involvement with the Friends is to help increase the public’s interest in and awareness of the refuge. Ken leads the Friends monthly bird walks and edits the Friends newsletter.
Bridget Butler is from St. Albans, and is the Conservation Education Specialist at ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center in Burlington. She’s been a professional naturalist for 20 years and enjoys sharing her love for the outdoors. Bridget joined the Friends group because she’d like more people to connect with nature through time spent at the Refuge. Bridget helps to lead the monthly bird walks at the Refuge.
Paul Hansen – needs a bio
Russell Ford – needs a bio
Suzanne Kenyon – needs a bio
Brian Price - Brian hails from Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. Growing up on a dirt road where his love of nature and the outdoors began, Brian went on to study at West Virginia University and earned a B.S. degree in Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Resource Management. He moved to Vermont in 2001 and currently resides in Highgate Springs with the Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge on his door step. Brian works for Mylan Technologies and is a proud new father to a beautiful daughter, whom he is passing on his learned skills of fly fishing and tying to on a daily basis. Brian’s passion for fly fishing lead him and four of his friends to conceive the Ditch Pickle Classic; Vermont’s only Catch and Release Fly fishing only bass tournament. This sustainable tournaments success can be attributed to both the wonderful resources and people of the Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge. His goal is to broaden, educate, and increase a stewardship following for the Missisquoi Wildlife Refuge.
Our Refuge Partners
Ken Sturm is from St. Albans, Vermont. Ken is the Wildlife Refuge Manager of the Missisquoi NWR. He has worked for the USFWS refuge system for over 18 years. He worked recently at the Canaan Valley NWR in West Virginia as the Supervisory Wildlife Biologist for 12 years. Prior to that he worked at the Salton Sea/Coachella Valley NWR complex in desert of southern California. He is involved with the Friends Group to support volunteer projects on and off refuge land which help promote the National Wildlife Refuge System mission and the purpose of the Missisquoi NWR.