Iowa: Aldo Leopold Chapter of Pheasants Forever
Chris Lee grew up hunting, fishing and camping in the backwaters of the Mississippi River around Burlington, Iowa. In 2005, he graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in animal ecology and a minor in forestry. He now lives just outside of Burlington, Iowa, with his wife Hillary, two children, and their wannabe-bird-dog Australian shepherd, Sophie.
Lee joined Pheasants Forever as a Farm Bill Biologist in northeast Missouri in early 2006. Aside from helping landowners establish bobwhite quail habitat throughout his region, Lee volunteered to help start chapters of the then brand-new conservation organization called Quail Forever, while helping existing Pheasants Forever chapters increase their capacity for fundraising and habitat projects. While living in Missouri, he helped rally local leaders to resurrect his hometown Pheasants Forever chapter. That’s when his long-standing role as a volunteer with Pheasants Forever in Iowa began. He was able to move back home in November of 2008, and joined the team at Des Moines County Conservation as Natural Resource Manager. He would eventually come to lead his county conservation department as Executive Director, and his Pheasants Forever chapter as president, both positions he still holds today.
Lee’s volunteer efforts don’t end with Pheasants Forever, though that’s certainly where he allocates the bulk of his time. He has also served on the local main street board and currently serves on the local tourism board where he has helped make outdoor recreation a priority. He also writes a monthly newspaper column titled, “The Living Land” focused on conservation and outdoor recreation topics. He posts his columns and other articles on his blog, fittingly titled, Outdoor Executive Dad. He recently started the Outdoor Executive Dad podcast, which focuses on leadership development for conservation professionals because, as he says, “We have one world to leave our kids. Let’s make it a good one.”