2023 WORC Board of Directors

Dakota Resource Council

April Fairfield – April was a founding member of Stutsman County Citizens Coalition in 2001. April was awarded a Bush Foundation Fellowship to analyze North Dakota budget priorities. From 1996-2006, she was a State Representative and State Senator serving the rural Jamestown area. She has worked as a policy analyst at North Dakota Farmers Union and as a state budget policy analyst for the North Dakota Economy Policy Project and as Executive Director for the North Dakota coalition for Homeless People. She lives in Bismarck with her husband, Steve, and daughter.

Linda Weiss – Linda lives in Belfield, North Dakota, where she is a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician. A former Chair of DRC, she is active in DRC’s campaigns on agriculture and oil and gas issues.

Dakota Rural Action

Paula Antoine – Paula “Wopila Win” Antoine has been a member of Dakota Rural Action since 2016.  She is the current Co–Chair of the Board, sits on the Legislative Committee, and will also be a leader on coop work. Paula is has been the Director of the Sicangu Oyate Land Office since 2011, a citizen of the Lakota Nation, and a member of the Sicangu Band located in the Ideal Community on the Rosebud Reservation. Prior to coming home to the Rosebud, she has worked for over 30 years in several fields: education, health, project management and technology focusing on how these areas can improve educational opportunities for the Lakota people as well as encouraging, preserving and maintaining our culture and traditions to help our people to live in these challenging times.

Nancy Hartenhoff-Crooks – Nancy has been a member of Dakota Rural Action for close to twenty years. She is currently co-chair of the DRA Small Farms committee. Nancy and her husband live on a small acreage on the edge of Toronto, SD.  Nancy is currently the coordinator of disability services at South Dakota State University.

Idaho Organization of Resource Councils

Linda Leeuwrik, PH.D. – Linda is a cultural and intellectual historian, with bachelor, masters, and doctoral degrees from Virginia Tech, Georgia State University, and Bryn Mawr College. Concerned with clean water, air, and energy, Linda joined the Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, Portneuf Resource Council, and WORC in 2014, eager to be more involved in working on Idaho’s water protection, clean energy future, local foods initiatives, and responsible oil and gas development. Linda is a writer and editor and she is politically active, considering another run for elected office.

Marielena Vega – is the current chair for Visión 2C Resource Council and vice-chair for IORC. Marielena was born and raised in southwest Idaho. She is the proud daughter of immigrants from Michoacán, Mexico and comes from a farm-working background.

Northern Plains Resource Council

Roxa Reller – is a longtime Northern Plains member and in 2009, helped to found the Helena area Northern Plains affiliate, Sleeping Giant Citizens Council. She earned her degree in Range Science from Montana State University, and worked on land reclamation and range vegetation monitoring for much of her career. She grew up around the Upper Rosebud on a small cow-calf operation, and has a deep love for ranching, sustainable ag, and the vast beauty of the Eastern Montana landscape. Roxa serves on the Clean Energy Task Force.

Dena Hoff – Dena Hoff raises sheep, cattle, alfalfa, corn, and edible dry beans, among other crops, on her farm in Glendive, Montana. She is a past chair of Northern Plains Resource Council and a past chair of her local Northern Plains affiliate, Dawson Resource Council. She serves on Northern Plains’ Agriculture & Food Task Force, and believes deeply that we can build a better and more equitable food system. She also led Northern Plains’ fight against the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. Dena represents Northern Plains Resource Council on the National Family Farm Coalition, and is former co-chair of the North American region of La Via Campesina. She’s traveled from Morocco to Geneva representing the various groups she leads, and stands in solidarity with peasant farmers’ movements around the world.

Oregon Rural Action

Mitch Wolgamott – Mitch is a native, Oregonian. Mitch has degrees in Zoology (BS OSU) and Biology (MS PSU). He has worked in both the private and public sectors retiring after serving as Eastern Region Administrator for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  Mitch and his wife, artist Sue Orlaske, reside on a small woodlot on the eastern slope of the Blue Mountains near Summerville.  

Norm Cimon – A resident of northeast Oregon since 1980, Norm has a degree in mathematics from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He’s worked for UNLV, the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, and the private sector. A member of the board of directors for the Grande Ronde Model Watershed, he has a keen interest in water resources. Norm lives in La Grande with his wife, Shelley.

Powder River Basin Resource Council

Bob LeResche – Bob and his wife, Carol, own a ranch near Clearmont, Wyoming, where they produce organic heirloom produce for a Community Supported Agriculture group. Bob is the current Chair of WORC.

Lynne Huskinson – Lynne is a retired Campbell County Wyoming coal miner, having spent 39 years in the profession. Huskinson attended classes at Northwest Community College. Lynne is a member of a variety of conservation and social justice organizations in Wyoming. She was a candidate for the Wyoming House of Representatives in 2020. She lives with her family in Gillette.   

Western Colorado Alliance

Steve Allerton – Steve left the teaching profession in 2014 and has entered “refinement”, a term he coined to use in place of “retirement.” For Steve, refinement is about digging into those things he loves: family and three grandsons, music, backpacking/hiking with his wife and friends, and helping to create healthy soils in which to grow vegetables for the community. He is Chair of WCC and active in Mesa County’s clean energy program.

Barbara Vasquez, Ph. D. – Barbara moved to northern Colorado after two different careers (biomedical research and  semiconductor engineering) to turn her full attention to environmental activism. She has worked in areas including  minimizing impacts of oil/gas development, air quality, water quality & quantity, watershed and forest health,  wildlife, public lands management and climate change. After serving for seven years on the NW Colorado Bureau of  Land Management Resource Advisory Council, she joined WCA in 2017 and became a member of the oil/gas  campaign team in 2018. In 2019, she was asked to lead the WORC oil/gas campaign team. 

Western Native Voice

Kekek Stark– Kekek is Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, member of the Bizhiw (Lynx) Clan and a practitioner of Indigenous law. He has built institutions grounded in Anishinaabe law and helped students and communities forge better relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous institutions and peoples. Kekek is a former president of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association, a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and alumnus of Hamline University School of Law. He joined the Alexander Blewett III School of Law faculty in the summer of 2020 as an assistant professor, and also worked as an assistant professor with the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Minnesota – Duluth as well as an adjunct faculty member at several institutions. He has taught courses in federal Indian law, tribal law, tribal natural resources law, Tribal government, Tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, Indian Child Welfare, and American Indian diplomacy.

Montana Wilson – Montana is a Two-Spirit Gros Ventre, Assiniboine, and Sioux from the Fort Peck Indian Reservation. Currently, Wilson is a Juris Doctor Candidate at the University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law as a Blewett Scholar. Montana holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics, highest honors, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, highest honors, and an Honors Baccalaureate Degree of Summa Cum Laude from Montana State University Bozeman, with the top Montana State Honor—Award for Excellence. Montana has extensive experience with tribal governments. He has served the Fort Peck Tribes as a law clerk, criminal prosecutor, and public defender, where he implemented restorative justice practices during his tenure. Additionally, he has served as the American Indian Council President, Montana 4-H President, and Montana 4-H Foundation Board of Directors.

Keep up to date with grassroots organizing in the West with WORC’s newsletter.