Leonard Ballek

Senior Ecologist

I have been a Restoration Ecologist for over 40 years. My major work is restoring native plant communities to severely disturbed sites. I was drawn to the field of Restoration while working as a Field Technician for the Forest Service. I experienced first-hand the degradation of a productive salmon stream by landslides following a logging sale and a massive rain event. I have followed the restoration of that river for many years and now it is coming back to health.

When not at work, I manage my organic mini-farm in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana. I grow most of our food and provide fruit and vegetables to an extended family and friends. I am also an avid fisherman and elk hunter and is (mostly) successful in supplying a supply of healthy wild meat for his family.

B.S. Forest Resource Management, University of Idaho
Restoration Ecology Academic Certificate, University of Idaho
Favorite Species:
Western Larch (Larix occidentalis) is a magnificent large conifer native to western Montana. It is a favorite of mine because of it is unusual shedding of golden needles in the fall then re-growing striking green new needles every spring.
Hidden Talent:
Cooking for my family and friends.
Proudest Moment on the Job:
Seeing a wide number of species returned to a site that Herrera helped restore in Montana. The list include: curlews, cranes, many waterfowl species, muskrats, Antelope, White tail and Mule deer, Elk, Moose and Mountain Lions.