24hrs with a Local

24 hours with a Local: ERC Executive Director and County Commissioner Lindsay Mollineaux

A native of the Wood River Valley, Lindsay Mollineaux felt like many do when leaving their hometown—that they can’t get out of there fast enough. But after working for the International Monetary Fund, the Federal Reserve, and then as Deputy Chief Analytics Officer for the City of New York, she realized that she missed the mountains. In the fall of 2016, she came back to Sun Valley with the plan to ski and only be back for a year when she realized how much she enjoyed being back in her hometown. After working for the City of Ketchum and Kraay’s Market and Garden, the Executive Director position at the Environmental Resource Center (ERC) opened up. Though Lindsay says she “knew nothing about the environment,” the econ major with experience in operations and finance took the job and three years later is now an expert environmentalist. Lindsay Mollineaux also became county commissioner two months ago when the position was vacated by the late Dick Fosbury. In between working part-time for the ERC and part-time as commissioner, Lindsay lives in Picabo with her father and two cats, Kukla and Fran (named after the 1950’s sitcom Kukla, Fran and Ollie) and enjoys knitting, gardening, hiking, and snowshoeing.

Lindsay Mollineaux

How does your ideal morning start?

Lindsay: I live down near Picabo, so we have spectacular sunrises. At first it’s still dark, but the birds are waking up and chattering, then all the colors slowly brighten over the horizon, and then bam! Sun’s fully up. On good mornings, I’m up while it’s still dark to enjoy the full sunrise show. Breakfast is coffee and toast. My neighbors grow and mill all of the grain for their incredible Hillside Bread locally, and you can really tell the difference in the bread. Since it’s an ideal morning, I would have been organized and gotten my weekly Kraay’s Market and Garden order in, so there is some kind of melt-in-your-mouth combo of local goat cheese or Hagerman trout or spinach and radishes on my toast. I worked for the Kraays for a year and honestly never knew fresh, simple food could taste so good.

Where you heading mid-morning?

Lindsay: August is busy! I recently joined the county board of commissioners, and all summer long it’s budget season. We are working through all the strategic plans and finances for the year ahead on top of the regular county operations. I’m learning that when I’m setting up meetings, it helps to schedule them with eating in mind, or else I’m a hangry, dehydrated monster by 4 pm. Ideal morning for me is having a meeting at the Picabo Country Store (amazing lemon bars!) or the Black Owl (the breakfast panini with extra jalapenos is perfection!), so I can be well fueled while also getting work done.

What’s for lunch? 

Lindsay: Ideal lunch means two things: one, that I have enough time to fully read our local papers cover to cover and two, I’m having lunch with some combination of my mom, dad, brother, and uncle so we can all discuss the news of the week. Checking out Misc II is a must! I always took for granted seeing my family almost every day until the pandemic came, and it really hit home what a gift that is. We can never know how much time we’ll have with the people we love most. My dad actually moved in with me a few years ago when he retired and lost his housing and since then has struggled to find a rental as a senior on fixed income. Sometimes we drive each other crazy, but I still value all of the time we’re getting to spend together. 

What’s your afternoon look like?

Lindsay: This is my fourth summer as the executive director of the ERC, and summer afternoons are really the best. During the school year we are in schools bringing environmental education to kids, but in the summer we get the older students who are in college or early in their careers. They work so hard for us all summer—they’re out pulling invasive weeds, sorting recycling and composting at evening events, going on campsite visits all over the SNRA to check on proper food storage; it never stops. Often they come back to the office with stories about catching unattended campfires and putting out flames before they can spread. It’s never boring! Afternoon is often the quietest time, so I love getting lemonade/iced teas and cookies from Wrap City and having an impromptu meeting with the summer staff on the office porch. Kids that age are figuring out what kind of difference they want to make as adults in the world, and I love hearing about their ideas and big dreams.

What’s for dinner?

Lindsay: This time of year is prime for long sunset dinners with friends, but it’s all about figuring out how to eat well without turning on the oven when it’s hot out. I’ll usually volunteer to take care of appetizers by getting the always great potstickers and cucumber salad from Rickshaw, or bring a selection of amazing tarts and tortes from Hank and Sylvie’s to share. If it’s just me, I would happily eat the Baja Tacos from the wonderful Rodolfo and Anna at Mama Inez in Bellevue every night. The Gannett Country Club is also perfect when you’re in the mood for good food in a great setting but don’t want to leave the Triangle.

Anything after dinner?

Lindsay: One of my absolute favorite things in the world is driving down a dirt road in August at night, windows down, watching the full harvest moon come up over the hills. Most of the fields will have tractor and baler lights going back and forth all night as everyone is trying to hurry and get their harvests in on time before the fall frosts. For a moment, I’ll feel like the earth has stopped spinning, and I could be looking at the same scene one hundred years ago or one hundred years in the future. I believe it’s that deep connection to nature and to the timeless rhythms of the natural world that makes it so special to live here. It inspires me to keep working hard so that future generations will get to be just as awestruck as we are today. And this year we’re lucky —there are two full moons in August to enjoy!

Share this Post