Hike Docent Profile: Mark Merhab

June 7, 2024

By Mark Merhab, Conservancy Volunteer

Many people who have recently retired ask themselves, “What do I do now that I have such an open schedule?” I’ve personally asked myself this question. Fortunately, my wife knows Todd Dunfield, Inland Northwest Land Conservancy’s Public Lands Protection Specialist, whom I met with to discuss the Conservancy and its need for volunteers. With my background as a forester for the US Forest Service, and my love of nature and hiking, the Hike Docent program with the Conservancy was a perfect fit.

For several months, I attended Conservancy hikes on lands it played a part in protecting. I studied the region’s history and geography by reading local writer Jack Nisbet’s wonderful series of books. In 2023, I led a few hikes as an official Hike Docent. Now in 2024, I look forward to continuing this new chapter in my retired life!

My love of nature and the outdoors was born while tent camping as a child with my family in Ohio and Michigan. In my adult life, I pursued a career in forestry, moved to the great Northwest and worked in the forests of Montana and Idaho. While my career focus changed, my love of nature did not.

Hiking and being in nature have always brought me a sense of peace, tranquility and a closeness to the natural world, something that gets lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Learning of the Conservancy, it was clear to me that being a Hike Docent could get me back into nature, while spreading the word about the important work this organization is doing for our region.

Get Involved

  • Join Mark for a hike on June 22nd at Saltese Uplands – Register here!
  • Interested in becoming a docent yourself? Learn more here.