Bio for Jon Rachael
Regional Wildlife Manager, Idaho Department Of Fish And Game
Jon Rachael developed a love for all wildlife as a youngster growing up in central Pennsylvania. He spent much of his free time observing and photographing birds, raccoons, foxes, and deer in the farm land around his home. His interest in wildlife led him to choose Wildlife Science as a major for his Bachelor of Science degree at The Pennsylvania State University.
After graduating in 1988, Jon decided to head west to the Rocky Mountains where he entered graduate school at The University of Montana in Missoula to pursue a Master of Science degree in Wildlife Biology. While conducting his thesis research on wolves, deer, and elk, Jon lived in a cabin without electricity, telephone, or running water for 18 months in a remote area in the beautiful mountains on the western edge of Glacier National Park. During his day-to-day activities, he frequently encountered grizzly bears, black bears, mountain lions, wolves, coyotes, moose, deer, and elk. Although, not an every-day occurrence, the sound of wolves howling around the cabin at dusk is an experience he will never forget.
After completing his Master's Degree in 1992, Jon came to work for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Jon has worked for IDFG for almost 20 years and is currently oversees the management programs for all game species in the state, including the state's largest predators: wolves, mountain lions, and bears, as well as the smaller predators.
Bio for Sara Focht
Wildlife Educator, Idaho Department Of Fish And Game
Sara works at MK Nature Center as a Wildlife Educator. Before that she ran the Watchable Wildlife Program, which helps people find good places to go see wildlife.
Sara grew up in Iowa and started college there. Somehow she knew she loved mountains, so she moved to Idaho and finished her degree in Natural Resource Recreation Management at the University of Idaho. Before starting at Fish and Game, she worked at Mount St. Helens as a naturalist, as a Wilderness Ranger in the Sawtooth Mountains, as a math teacher, and as a field ecology teacher.
Sara went back to the University of Idaho recently to earn a Master's Degree. Now that she is done, she has settled in Boise. Sara enjoys backpacking, camping, swimming, walking her dog, Tom, teaching kids about nature, and spending time outside with her family.