James M. Bellatty, 2018 Chairman
James recently retired from the Washington Department of Ecology where he managed 30 staff responsible for administering federal clean water act and state water quality standards. He has also worked for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality administering air quality, water quality, and hazardous waste issues for five counties in north central Idaho. An avid rower, James can often be found fishing and camping in the upper Priest Lake.
Sharon Sorby, Secretary-Treasurer
Sharon Sorby, Secretary-Treasurerof the SCA Board of Directors, has been active in conservation work in the Selkirk region since 1981 and is a long term member of the SCA. She resides in Dalkena, Idaho. Her current position as the Pend Oreille County Noxious Weed Control Board Coordinator provides the SCA with current expertise on invasive species issues. She is passionate about fish and wildlife habitat issues and is an active contributor to the Sightlines newsletter.
John Abelson, Ph.D.
John Abelson grew up in Priest River, Idaho and graduated in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in physics from Washington State University. John obtained his Ph.D. in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University in 1965. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biochemistry at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics Division, Cambridge, England. He was a professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for many years and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1985. John retired in 2002 and resides in San Francisco when not at his Priest Lake, Idaho cabin. His primary Board interests include Priest Lake water quality monitoring projects, Priest Lake thorofare studies, and the protection of critical habitats in the Selkirk ecoregion.
Steve Booth is a semi-retired contractor and former educator who lives in Nordman, Idaho year round. He graduated from Priest River High School and also has a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. Steve has been a member of the SCA for over 10 years. He primary conservation interests include wildlife, fish, and old-growth.
Martin G. Stacey
Martin G. Stacey is a semi-retired business man and lifetime member of the SCA. Martin holds a bachelors degree in English and a Juris Doctorate from the Gonzaga School of Law. Martin lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho when not enjoying his cabin of 25 years at Canoe Point on Priest Lake. Martin is the former publisher/owner of a Nickel’s Worth Publications in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Martin currently serves on board of that corporation, as well as the boards of the non-profit Spokane Chamber Music Association, and the Coeur d’Alene Rowing Association. An avid rower and outdoorsman, Martin is also the volunteer coach for the Lake Coeur d’Alene High School Rowing Team.
Elizabeth “Betty” Gardner
Betty Gardner has lived on the lower Priest River since 1978 and recently retired from a career as an educator. Having watched the water quality and habitat in the river deteriorate since 1978, she is ready to make sure that that Priest River and those who live on it are well represented in the SCA. Betty is no stranger to environmental advocacy. As a teacher at the Idaho Hill elementary school, in 2002 she began a 2.5 year crusade to successfully stop the use of a dangerous chemical at a nearby lumber treatment plant which was found to be leaking into the local water table.
The first of Eleanor’s relatives arrived in the Priest Lake region around 1898, to do botanical studies of the area. Since that time her extended family has spent their summers and some winter weeks at Priest Lake and she is passionate about bringing her many skills to the SCA, and particularly representing those that live on the East side and who live near the thorofare. Eleanor, who lives in Seattle when not at Priest Lake, is a retired international teacher and school administrator. She was a Peace Corp Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa and also volunteers her time with the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle and the Sweet Pea Cottage of the Arts.
Mark Kabush is a three-season resident of Nordman, Idaho and a winter resident of Tieton, Washington. A retired secondary school teacher at North Central High School in Spokane, he is a naturalist at heart, having fallen in love with the Selkirk region in the late 40s. Mark has been an SCA member since the early 90s and is an active participant on SCA Priest Lake thorofare, Priest Lake water quality, and fish habitat studies. Mark is also an avid fly fisherman and boat restorer.
James Lea, M.D.
Dr. James Lea is a recently retired neurologist who lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho – when not enjoying his Kalispell Bay cabin on Priest Lake. James is passionate about finding solutions for improving water quality in shallower bays like Kalispell, where he has witnessed a steady decline in near-shore water quality. James is currently working with WSU on a special study in Kalispell Bay.
Bruce Yocum recently retired as the President of Yocum Construction, Inc. a north Idaho construction company. Bruce spent his childhood summers and Priest Lake, Idaho and later returned to the area as a full-time resident. Bruce has been an active SCA member since 1990 and on the Board for several years. Currently, Bruce captain’s the SCA boat and leads Priest Lake water quality monitoring studies including volunteer training. He also represents the SCA Board on the Priest Lake Breakwater Committee and on thorofare studies. He is an avid hiker in the Selkirks and can frequently be found kayaking or fishing the lakes and rivers of the SCA region.