Faces and Places2024-07-16T10:54:53-06:00

Faces and Places

It’s not only the land and waters that make the Kootenays spectacular: it’s the people.

Every month, we put a spotlight on the people who are making a significant contribution to conservation in the Kootenays.

15 Jul2024

Ryan Durand

July 2024|

Ryan Durand is an ecologist living in the south Slocan Valley who does consulting work all over the province and beyond, including locally for the Slocan Lake Stewardship Society (SLSS). He is thrilled that the Kootenay Connect Priority Places initiative was expanded last year, and his backyard of the Slocan Valley was chosen as one of three new focal areas. The valley happens to have a diversity of habitats for many species that are federally listed as SARA (Species at Risk Act) and COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) species.

01 Jun2024

Tracy Flynn

June 2024|

Tracy Flynn was recently elected President of Wildsight Invermere, after holding the role of Vice President for one year, as well as being a Regional Board Director for four years. She is the 2024 winner of the Ellen Zimmerman Award, reflecting her dedication and ongoing efforts in conservation in the East Kootenay.

01 May2024

Collective impact: Kootenay collaboration takes conservation to the next level

May 2024|

On a bright October day, three dozen people crest a knoll in the Wycliffe Conservation Complex, a corridor of conservation lands just north of Cranbrook, BC. To the barn swallows overhead, the people—a meandering line of puffy jackets in earthy hues—look as much a part of the landscape as the creeks and groves that surround them. But high-quality binoculars, waterproof notebooks and spontaneous swooning over a rare grassland plant are not all this group has in common. They are connected by something much bigger: a deep-rooted partnership with over 20 years of experience bringing people together to collaborate on shared conservation priorities—Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP).

01 Apr2024

Kate Mizenka

April 2024|

Kate is the Director of Farm, Orchard & Apiary at Elk Root Conservation Farm Society (ERC). She admits that her vision of working to alleviate food insecurity while inspiring ecological stewardship is a lofty goal, but it’s this grand vision that has kept her going through the inevitable challenges and hard work of managing a non-profit organization. In the seven years since ERC was conceived, there have already been significant restoration efforts, including transforming a giant field of invasive thistle into gorgeous pollinator gardens.

01 Mar2024

Matt Christensen

March 2024|

Matt Christensen’s role as a Head of Conservation for Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) involves the coordination of both securement and stewardship within BC. The mandate of Ducks Unlimited Canada is to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for the benefit of North America’s waterfowl. In doing so, these wetland habitats also benefit other wildlife, as well as people.

01 Feb2024

Richard Johnson

February 2024|

The Slocan Valley is fortunate to have Richard Johnson amongst its residents. Richard is a professional engineer involved with many projects and local conservation organizations including the Arrow Lakes Environmental Stewardship Society, Slocan Wetlands Assessment and Mapping Project (SWAMP), of which he was a cofounder, and Living Lakes Canada, among others.

01 Jan2024

Clayton Lamb

January 2024|

Based in Jaffray in the East Kootenay, Clayton Lamb does wildlife research all over the province. For more than a decade, he has been involved with a study of grizzly bear survival, reproduction, coexistence and conflict in the Elk Valley.

01 Dec2023

Katie Reid

December 2023|

Katie Reid has been with the East Kootenay Invasive Species Council (EKISC) since 2013 when she started as the Field Operations Manager before transitioning to her current role as the Program Director. Her journey into the realm of invasive species management has been marked by her commitment to environmental stewardship and a passion for conserving the unique ecosystems of the East Kootenay region.

02 Oct2023

Greg Anderson

October 2023|

Greg Anderson had a 35-year career in all aspects of forest management including ecosystem restoration, and continues to bring this experience to the Kootenays, including as a Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund Technical Review Committee member.

04 Sep2023

Wildlife-Friendly Fencing Helps Humans Coexist with Nature

September 2023|

How can fences be designed and built to be friendlier to wildlife? The concept of ‘wildlife-friendly’ fencing means considering the needs of wildlife and includes the removal of fencing that is no longer serving a purpose, thoughtful planning of where new fences are located, as well as specifications for how those fences are designed and constructed.

01 Aug2023

Rachel Holt

August 2023|

Working to shift the underlying paradigms of society takes commitment and tenacity, as well as the ability to see the big picture of what needs to change and the vision of how to get there. Ecologist Dr. Rachel Holt is someone who embodies these qualities and is unwavering in her dedication to what she sees as the vitally important work of conservation.

01 Jul2023

More Habitat, Less Bugs: Co-existing with Bats & Swallows is Good for All

July 2023|

Why swallow numbers have dropped is still somewhat of a mystery. Although pesticide exposure, the massive decline of insects, and climate change are factors, loss of nesting habitat is one cause Darvill feels her project can affect. To that end, UCSHEP has recently put up five artificial nesting structures and dozens of nesting cups in key locations throughout the Columbia Valley.

01 Jun2023

Myra Juckers

June 2023|

Myra Juckers is part of the Land and Resources Department with the Yaq̓it ʔa·knuqⱡi ‘it First Nation (Tobacco Plains Band), located in Grasmere. In her role as Environmental Officer, she is directly involved with many on the ground projects including wetland restoration and ungulate habitat enhancement. She especially enjoys being able to connect with a variety of people and organizations, including specialists, government staff, consultants, and NGOs.

01 May2023

Bring on the beaver – Wetland hero helps Kootenay scientists mitigate climate change

May 2023|

Here’s a question. What well-known animal is quickly becoming a true climate change celebrity? Think roly-poly body, wee squat legs, yellowy buckteeth, that pear-shaped profile on the Canadian nickel. Indeed, the lowly beaver may often be disregarded and in some circles despised. But for a landscape facing wildfire, drought or floods, Castor canadensis is a downright superhero— one that scientists and community groups in the Kootenays are turning to for answers.

01 Apr2023

Camille Roberge

April 2023|

Camille Roberge, KCP’s new Stewardship Coordinator, has a diverse array of wildlife studies under her belt, having conducted field research on a wide variety of species, from black swifts to bull trout to elk and moose.

01 Mar2023

Sangita Sudan

March 2023|

In her role as a Senior Manager responsible for Development & Community Sustainability Services with the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), Sangita Sudan sees many synergies between the various services and programs that she manages. One of the lenses she views her work through is conservation, which she sees as being vital to the community planning process.

01 Feb2023

Megan Jamison

February 2023|

Megan Jamison, the new Communications Coordinator with the Kootenay Conservation Program, has a varied background of work and volunteer experiences, with the common thread being her love for nature, adventure, and connecting with people.

04 Dec2022

Nancy Wilson

December 2022|

A retired geologist, Columbia Lake Stewardship Society (CLSS) chair Nancy Wilson is passionate about Columbia Lake and took an interest in CLSS because of their water quality work.

01 Sep2022

Melissa Flint

September 2022|

With her background in conservation biology combined with passion for permaculture and food security, Melissa Flint is well-qualified to be the Wildsight Creston Valley Branch Project Director-Coordinator.

01 Aug2022

Krista Watts

August 2022|

Krista Watts’ scope of work is as expansive as the geographical area within which she works. As the Environment Lead for Columbia Basin Trust, her role is to support the Trust’s ecosystem enhancement strategic priority.

01 Jul2022

Brenda R. Beckwith

July 2022|

A senior scientist and the ethnoecology lead for the West Kootenay-based Kootenay Native Plant Society (KNPS), Brenda has a PhD in Ethnoecology from the University of Victoria (UVic) focused on camas landscapes, which led to a greater understanding of this previously under-researched culturally significant plant. She also holds a MSc in Ethnobotany and a BA in Plant Ecology from California State University in her hometown of Sacramento.

01 Jun2022

Nadine Raynolds

June 2022|

As the Upper Columbia Program Manager for Y2Y, Nadine Raynolds’ conservation focus is on the North Purcell and North-Central Selkirk ranges of the Columbia Mountains where, over and above climate change, threats include forestry impacts from logging and road building, substantial loss of old growth, as well as adventure tourism and recreation.

01 May2022

Ian Adams

May 2022|

The Wildlife Conservation Society of Canada (WCS) is heading up the process of identifying Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) across Canada, and Cranbrook-based wildlife biologist Ian Adams is leading the charge in British Columbia. Since Ian joined WCS as the BC Regional Coordinator for KBAs last June, his days have been spent locating and identifying sites where various species meet the KBA criteria, which he describes as “a very data hungry process”.

01 Apr2022

Mark Thomas

April 2022|

A councillor with the Shuswap Band, the Chair of the Columbia River Salmon Reintroduction Initiative (CRSRI) Executive Working Group, and the Technical Lead for the Secwepemc Nation in the ongoing Columbia River Treaty negotiations, Mark has spent the majority of his 20 plus-year fisheries career focused on salmon restoration.

02 Mar2022

Ivy Whitehorne

March 2022|

The incredible on-the-ground conservation action taking place through KCP's Kootenay Connect project could not have happened without the support and guidance of Ivy Whitehorne. A Conservation Coordinator for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service, Ivy coordinates and delivers the Community-Nominated Priority Places program for Species at Risk in B.C.

01 Feb2022

Jakob Dulisse

February 2022|

For many kids in the Kootenays, becoming a biologist might seem like a dream job, especially if it allows them to live and work in the beloved area where they grew up. This was the case for Jakob Dulisse, a wildlife biologist based in Nelson.

06 Jan2022

Carol Luttmer

January 2022|

As the Program Manager of the Living Lakes Canada Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program, Carol is on the front line of “making the invisible visible”, which is the theme of this year’s groundwater-focused World Water Day on March 22.

01 Dec2021

Hailey Ross

December 2021|

Though she’s the organizing force behind CMI’s success, Hailey Ross isn’t a biologist herself. With an honours Bachelor of Arts in International Development Studies and Social Anthropology, and a Master of Environmental Studies, both from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, she describes her background as rooted in the social sciences.

04 Oct2021

Wendy King

October 2021|

An extensive corporate background combined with a passion for nature is the unique combination that Wendy King brings to the Slocan Lake Stewardship Society.

03 Sep2021

Biodiversity in the BBC

September 2021|

Searching for rare species is not your typical day job, but over the past two years ecologists Ryan Durand and Tyson Ehlers have had the opportunity to do just that in the Bonanza Biodiversity Corridor (BBC) in the north Slocan Valley, where they have recorded over 1,000 species, some of which have never before been identified in B.C. or Canada.

01 Aug2021

Northern Leopard Frog

August 2021|

When we think of Kootenay wildlife, it’s usually the iconic land mammals such as grizzlies and elk that immediately come to mind. Small, sleek amphibians tend not to have the same popular appeal, however these cold-blooded vertebrates face many of the same challenges and risks that other wildlife do — if not more, since they depend on both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. This couldn’t be more true than for the endangered Northern Leopard Frog.

01 Jul2021

Great Blue Heron

July 2021|

To many in the Kootenays, catching sight of a Great Blue Heron is a special experience. Whether you’re standing at a river’s edge, or on the shoreline of a lake, it’s a treat to spot one nearby, either standing peacefully in the shallow water or gracefully flying by overhead.

01 Jun2021

Kyle Prince

June 2021|

A professional biologist with Living Lakes Canada, the Columbia Basin-based water stewardship non-profit, Kyle Prince is passionate about enhancing people’s understanding of the natural environment, a passion he’s cultivated throughout his life having grown up in a family that prioritized the outdoors.

03 May2021

Allana Oestreich

May 2021|

Allana Oestreich is a senior habitat biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development based out of the Cranbrook office. With the provincial government’s conservation lands portfolio for the East Kootenay region as one of her core deliveries, Allana works closely with local land trusts, stakeholders, and other landscape level projects to achieve the greatest conservation value overall.

01 Apr2021

Camille LeBlanc

April 2021|

The Friends of Kootenay Lake Stewardship Society works to improve the health and stewardship of B.C.’s fifth largest lake, and although the COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed much of FoKLSS’ traditional outreach and education programs, Acting Program Manager Camille LeBlanc has been leading the charge on a number of initiatives that are helping keep Kootenay Lake at the forefront of people’s mind.

01 Mar2021

Shannon McGinty

March 2021|

Balancing recreation with conservation is the role of the Lake Windermere Ambassadors (LWA), the water stewardship group that has been monitoring the ecological health of the lake since its inception in 2010, and LWA Program Coordinator Shannon McGinty couldn’t be more perfectly qualified for this challenge.

01 Feb2021

Erin Bates

February 2021|

Erin Bates has been the Executive Director for the Central Kootenay Invasive Species Society since January 2019, but for three years prior she worked in every program area at CKISS, including delivering outreach, hunting bullfrogs, and managing the Field Operations Program.

10 Jan2021

Chad Hughes

January 2021|

A transplant from Australia, Chad Hughes is the new executive director for the Elk River Alliance, and is keen to apply his diverse background as an ecologist and mining consultant to working collaboratively across sectors in the Elk Valley to preserve the watershed.

01 Dec2020

Kendal Benesh

December 2020|

An appreciation and love for the natural world is what led Kendal Benesh into the field of biology, but throughout her career she’s discovered a new, yet complementary, passion: bringing people together to solve problems and find efficiencies.

02 Nov2020

Doris Hausleitner

November 2020|

Wildlife biologist and Selkirk College ecology instructor Doris Hausleitner has always had a penchant for species that are considered something of an underdog, those without champions to promote their cause. It’s no wonder then, that the elusive wolverine captured her imagination years ago when she was approached by friend and colleague Andrea Kortello to start the South Columbia Mountains Wolverine Project.

01 Sep2020

Norm Allard

September 2020|

As the community planner for the Yaqan Nukiy (Lower Kootenay Band), Norm Allard is currently managing a large-scale wetland restoration project on band land in the Creston Valley, an ecological revitalization of the area that he considers to be wholly interlinked with the cultural revitalization of the local First Nations.

01 Aug2020

Rachel Darvill

August 2020|

Passion for biodiversity and commitment to conservation define the sheer scope of Rachel Darvill’s work experience as a wildlife field researcher, environmental consultant and biologist over the past two decades.

01 Jul2020

Eva Cameron

July 2020|

Wetlands are continuing to disappear at an alarming rate, and Eva Cameron is determined to turn back the tide on this trend, at least in the Lower Columbia region, one wetland at a time.

01 Jun2020

Randal Macnair

June 2020|

The conservation coordinator for the Elk Valley branch of Wildsight, Randal Macnair is excited the provincial government has shifted gears to address one of the region’s most problematic conservation issues: wildlife mortality on Highway 3.

01 May2020

Greg Utzig

May 2020|

Much of what we know about landscapes in the Kootenay region can be traced back to Greg Utzig. In some way or another, for the past 40 years Greg has been at the centre of landscape analysis for land use planning, climate modelling, watershed and habitat analysis, terrain stability mapping, forest management and biodiversity protection — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

01 Apr2020

Marc Trudeau

April 2020|

It’s been two years since Marc Trudeau took the helm of the Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society, replacing long-term coordinator Dan Murphy.

01 Mar2020

Sally Hammond

March 2020|

Sally Hammond spent her early childhood in an isolated area on the Taku River in northern BC. She joined the Slocan Lake Stewardship Society (SLSS) a few years after moving to the Slocan Valley full-time and has focused her passion, time and energy to its purpose ever since.

01 Feb2020

Baiba Morrow

February 2020|

For Baiba Morrow, the mountains are both her muse and her sanctuary. Whether it’s the soaring Himalaya, the volcanoes of Kamchatka or the Ellsworths in Antarctica, they’ve shaped her outlook on life.

01 Jan2020

Rachael Roussin

January 2020|

The Kootenays will never be the most productive agricultural zone in Canada, but Rachael Roussin sees potential for the region to be a leader in carbon sequestration and climate resilient farming.

01 Dec2019

Cori Lausen

December 2019|

Leading bat biologist Cori Lausen is on a mission to protect B.C. bats from white-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that kills bats in winter hibernation.

01 Nov2019

Derek Petersen

November 2019|

Parks Canada was one of the first agencies to join KCP when it was first formed in 2002 as the East Kootenay Conservation Program, and Derek Petersen was one of several Parks staff on rotating participation.

19 Sep2019

Richard Klafki

September 2019|

Richard, Director for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Canadian Rockies Program that spans both the East and West Kootenays, quickly discovered as an undergrad university student that his calling was wildlife biology.

01 Aug2019

Cam Gillies

August 2019|

In the Columbia Valley, Cam Gillies’ name is synonymous with birds. With a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Alberta, Cam co-owns Canada’s largest birding tour company with his wife Renee Franken, which they run out of their home in Windermere. It’s fitting that a renowned ornithologist lives [...]

01 Jul2019

Marcy Mahr

July 2019|

A highly respected conservation biologist and strategist, Slocan Valley resident Marcy Mahr has a widespread reputation for proactively pulling together partnerships and creating collaborations to protect biodiversity. It’s for this reason the Kootenay Conservation Program is excited to welcome Marcy back to the role of Stewardship Coordinator, to continue building [...]

01 Jun2019

Robyn Hooper

June 2019|

The Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society (CSISS) is one of three invasive species non-profits within the Kootenay Conservation Program service area dedicated to preventing and managing the spread of invasive species. While all three organizations share the mandate of minimizing the impacts of invasive species in their respective regions, they [...]

30 Apr2019

Chris Bosman

April 2019|

As the Kootenay Conservation Land Manager for the Nature Trust of BC, Chris Bosman oversees the management of almost 27,000 acres of ecologically relevant land across the region on behalf of one of the leading land trusts, which focuses exclusively within British Columbia Though a far cry from his humble [...]

31 Mar2019

Tim Hicks

March 2019|

The mission of Columbia Basin Trust is to support the ideas and efforts of Basin residents to create a legacy of well-being for present and future generations. It’s a directive that Tim Hicks, as a Senior Manager of Delivery of Benefits, has taken to heart since joining the Trust in [...]

30 Jan2019

Leigh Anne Isaac

January 2019|

Leigh Anne Isaac setting mistnets over water in Lillooet, B.C. Photo by Ian Routley Kimberley-based wildlife biologist Leigh Anne Isaac has made a career out of helping conserve a unique group of species that traditionally hasn’t enjoyed mainstream popularity. Snakes, toads and bats have captured [...]

06 Jan2019

John Bergenske

January 2019|

John Bergenske knows what it means to love the land. The Conservation Director for Wildsight moved to the East Kootenay from Wisconsin, USA in 1969 with the late great mountaineer and conservationist Art Twomey in search of a wild place to live. They arrived to the St. Mary’s [...]

30 Nov2018

Michael Proctor

November 2018|

When Kaslo-based Independent Research Scientist Michael Proctor went back to school at the age of 40, he was living in the wilderness across Kootenay Lake with the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy as his backyard. He and his wife had moved up from the States after buying a 40-acre piece [...]

31 Oct2018

Rob Frew

October 2018|

Rob Frew has been involved in conservation since childhood, assisting his late father, Gordon Frew, and other advocates in wildlife conservation as well as in efforts to preserve wildlands as conservation areas. Like his predecessors, Rob has always recognized the link between vibrant wildlife populations and healthy ecosystems. [...]

30 Sep2018

Gerry Wilkie

September 2018|

Gerry Wilkie became involved in Kootenay conservation work soon after he retired to the Columbia Valley in the late ‘90s. But, as he puts it, his “conservation feet got wet much earlier on.” The Banff Centre Grounds Supervisor for 30 years, Gerry was deeply involved in conservation in Banff [...]

31 Aug2018

Suzanne Bayley

August 2018|

Dr. Suzanne Bayley (standing at the front of the group holding papers and wearing a basecall cap) presenting as part of the 2017 KCP East Kootenay Spring Tour at the Brisco wetlands. KCP Photo Dr. Suzanne Bayley thinks it must have been 50 years ago – and decades [...]

30 Jul2018

Gerry Nellestijn

July 2018|

For conservation to be effective, longevity is key, and West Kootenay fisheries professional Gerry Nellestijn exemplifies this ideal. A founding member of the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society (SWSS), Gerry has been the society’s coordinator since its inception in 1998. Born in Holland and raised in Ontario, Gerry learned carpentry from [...]

29 Jun2018

Penny Ohanjanian

June 2018|

Kimberley-based consulting biologist Penny Ohanjanian has fond memories of tromping around a marsh as a four year old with mini binoculars in hand, accompanying her godfather who was an amateur ornithologist. These experiences sparked a lifelong love of birds and wildlife that was further invigorated by an influential Grade 8 [...]

29 May2018

Al Mallette

May 2018|

By the time the Columbia River flows from source to Trail, it’s travelled through three dams. Having grown up in Trail, Al Mallette has always had a strong interest in the Upper Columbia's flow management — its relationship to the environment in general and the river’s blue-ribbon rainbow [...]

27 Apr2018

Joe Strong

April 2018|

Joe Strong has a passion for wildlife and fisheries, and has spent time working with both the Ontario and British Columbia provincial governments in their respective fish and wildlife branches. He has worked in the Kootenay region for over 10 years, and has a true appreciation for the conservation values and opportunities in the area.

28 Mar2018

Jami Scheffer

March 2018|

Originally from Kimberley, Jami moved to the Coast where she became certified in event planning through Langara College. After living in Whistler and Pemberton, she returned to the Columbia Valley 15 years ago and took over the reins for CV Arts in Invermere.

28 Feb2018

Avery Deboer-Smith

February 2018|

Avery Deboer-Smith was raised by two nature loving hippies in Nelson, B.C. She spent her summers playing in the forests, swimming in Kootenay Lake, and hiking and camping in the surrounding mountains. Vacations for the family involved living in their 1972 Volkswagen van (peace sign curtains included), while [...]

29 Jan2018

Wayne McCrory

January 2018|

A registered professional wildlife biologist and conservationist with a long and distinguished career as a protector of bear habitat and biodiversity, Wayne McCrory has been instrumental in ensuring that wild areas remain wild and undeveloped. A Kootenay boy through and through, Wayne grew up in New Denver in the 1950s [...]

03 Jan2018

Rick Hoar

January 2018|

Rick Hoar is an avid angler, hunter and outdoors enthusiast based in the East Kootenay in Invermere.

27 Nov2017

Gillian Sanders

November 2017|

While raising honeybees and small livestock near the Kaslo landfill/transfer station from 1997 to 2007, Gillian learned that bears (even those that were conditioned to garbage) could be easygoing neighbours provided they didn’t find food at her farm.

27 Oct2017

Dave Zehnder

October 2017|

Dave Zehnder has a passion for both agriculture and ecology and has worked in B.C. and across the world on related projects.

26 Sep2017

Irene Manley

September 2017|

Irene Manley is a Wildlife Biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations in Nelson who works tirelessly to lead and support many conservation efforts throughout the Kootenay region.

30 Aug2017

Mike and Ivy Jeffery

August 2017|

Mike and Ivy Jeffery of Crawford Bay in the West Kootenay are perfect examples citizen scientists making an invaluable contribution to help protect their local natural environment.

25 Jul2017

Kat Hartwig

July 2017|

Thanks to Living Lakes Canada (LLC) executive director Kat Hartwig and the LLC team, water stewardship in the Kootenays has become a template modelled by many other water stewardship groups in Canada and beyond, and it all started in Kat’s hometown of Invermere, B.C.

28 Jun2017

Gary Tipper

June 2017|

An East Kootenay-based Professional Agrologist and Registered Professional Biologist, Gary Tipper grew up hunting and fishing in a family that cherished the outdoors and wildlife.

28 May2017

Dave White

May 2017|

Dave White has been a force in the conservation world for over three decades now, and shows no signs of slowing down.

01 May2017

Valerie Huff

May 2017|

A resident of the Kootenays for over 25 years, Valerie Huff started the grassroots Kootenay Camas Project with Eva Johansson in 2012.

05 Apr2017

Rob Neil

April 2017|

Rob grew up in the grasslands of Kamloops on the South Thompson River. As a youth Rob first became interested in becoming a wildlife biologist when a wounded swan, that was accidentally shot, was brought back across the river to his home by neighboring wildlife biologist Pat Martin.

28 Feb2017

Dave Phelps

February 2017|

Dave Phelps, one of the original team who managed wildlife in the Kootenays back in the 1970s, died September 27, 2016. He is survived by his wife Ellen and his son Todd and his wife, Kate Potter and their daughter Sophia. About 100 of his friends and colleagues [...]

07 Feb2017

Bill Sanders

February 2017|

Bill Sanders owns the Rocky Top Ranch near Grasmere. He has been actively stewarding this land for decades. Formerly a veterinarian, he now focuses his energy on improving and conserving his land. He demonstrates a landowner ethic and leadership in private land conservation.

26 Dec2016

Candace Batycki

December 2016|

Candace Batycki is the BC and Yukon Program Director for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), a joint Canada-U.S. not-for-profit organization that connects and protects habitat from Yellowstone to Yukon so people and nature can thrive.

02 Dec2016

Grant Trower

December 2016|

Grant Trower is the former Coordinator of Friends of the Lardeau River and is a long term board member the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program - Columbia Basin. He has given his time freely for fish, wildlife and habitat everywhere in the Canadian Columbia Basin.

30 Oct2016

Duncan Whittick

October 2016|

Duncan Whittick is the co-owner of Non-profit by Nature, a Basin-based consulting firm that specializes in non-profit capacity building and collaboration.

25 Sep2016

Marlene Machmer

September 2016|

Marlene is a registered professional biologist who has focused her career on identifying and conserving biodiversity in the Kootenay Region. She is the Managing Director and Principal Ecologist with Pandion Ecological Research Ltd. based in Nelson, which she founded in 1990.

01 Sep2016

Lee-Anne Walker

September 2016|

Lee-Anne Walker is the Executive Director and founder of the Elk River Alliance community-based water group. She was inspired to start this group in her home watershed after being inspired by other groups in the Columbia Basin notably Mainstreams, Slocan and Salmo River Streamkeepers and Lake Windermere Ambassadors.

01 Aug2016

Ian Parfitt

August 2016|

Some of you may be familiar with this old definition of ecology: “the distribution and abundance of species.” This definition illustrates why GIS is so useful for conservation, since distribution is the geographic area where a species occurs (geometry in GIS lingo) while abundance is a measure of [...]

05 Jul2016

Wayne Stetski

July 2016|

Wayne Stetski is currently our Member of Parliament for the Kootenay-Columbia riding, was Mayor of Cranbrook from 2011 to 2014, and was Regional Manager for the Kootenays responsible for BC Parks, Fish and Wildlife and Ecosystems from 2002 to 2009 but says his real claim to fame is being the Manager of the East Kootenay Conservation Program (EKCP) from 2009 to 2011!

29 Feb2016

Margie Jamieson

February 2016|

Text by Jeff Pew. Originally published in Go Kimberley’s Winter 2016 issue. Re-published with permission. Keep Taking the Worst Road. “When you come to a fork, keep taking the worst road,” she says over the phone, directing me to Muskrat Ranch, her off-grid 80-acre homestead on the fringe of [...]

29 Jan2016

George Wilson

January 2016|

George Wilson has been involved in the organized hunting community since his early 20s. In the mid 70s, George became involved in the Fernie Rod and Gun Club, which is the oldest club in BC, celebrating 100 years in 1999. George became Secretary of that Club, and remained in that position for 15 years.

20 Dec2015

Kelly Diamond

December 2015|

The KCP is pleased to introduce Kelly Diamond as our new Administration and Communications Coordinator. Kelly comes to the KCP with a background in various capacities in the conservation and environmental field. Kelly has worked in numerous positions with the Ministry of Environment as a Park Naturalist, Senior Park Ranger, and as an Assistant Park Planner.

23 Sep2015

Rachel Darvill

September 2015|

Rachel Darvill’s primary passion is biodiversity conservation.  She has been working as a biologist and environmental consultant since graduating with a BSc in Biology from the University of Victoria in 2000. 

25 Aug2015

Richard Klafki

August 2015|

In 2014, Richard joined the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) as Stewardship Coordinator for the Canadian Rocky Mountains program based in Invermere.

30 Jul2015

Greg Utzig

July 2015|

Greg Utzig has worked on various aspects of forest and wildlife management in the Kootenays for the past 40 years, apart from a few years working as a forest manager in southern Africa.

28 Jun2015

Megan Peloso

June 2015|

As Program Coordinator of Lake Windermere Ambassadors, Megan develops projects to protect Lake Windermere and the watershed that drains into it. She gathers Directors, volunteers and partners with diverse backgrounds and expertise who share a passion for the watershed and community vitality in the region.

26 May2015

Jennifer Vogel

May 2015|

In 2009, Jennifer joined the Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee (CKIPC) team as an Operations Technician and has recently been promoted to Executive Director where she works with private landowners, industry partners, stewardship groups, all levels of government, and many others to prevent and manage the spread of invasive species.

01 May2015

Adrienne Shaw

May 2015|

Adrienne is excited to work with Kootenay Conservation Program partners in her new role as Stewardship Coordinator. She is devoted to using the best resources available and innovative solutions to help partners work together on stewardship activities throughout the Kootenay region.

26 Mar2015

Todd Hebert

March 2015|

Todd Hebert is back at Blue Lake as Executive Director. Hebert was Executive Director from 1987 until 2003 during which he saw the organization through the transition from BC Forestry Association Camp to new non-profit society.

27 Feb2015

Gregoire Lamoureux

February 2015|

Gregoire grew up on a farm in southern Quebec and after a few years of travelling across Canada, he moved to the Slocan Valley in 1989. In 1991, he created the Kootenay Permaculture Institute to follow his passion for permaculture and ecological agriculture.

30 Jan2015

Todd Larsen

January 2015|

Todd Larsen has always had a keen interest in wildlife biology and conservation, and communicating that passion through environmental education. He has worked in a variety of disciplines including spotted owl research in California, horse guiding in Jasper, and outdoor education in Nova Scotia.

28 Dec2014

Claire de la Salle

December 2014|

Claire de la Salle has been KCP’s Stewardship Coordinator since 2013. She has now stepped down from this position to pursue other passions. However, over the past 18 months, Claire has offered great energy, dedication and passion towards enhancing stewardship efforts across the Kootenays. Here are a few highlights of her [...]

27 Nov2014

Adrian Leslie

November 2014|

Adrian moved to the Kootenays twelve years ago to play in the snow. He has been working throughout the Columbia Basin on ecosystem conservation, restoration and research ever since. Most of his efforts have been focused on high elevation whitebark pine ecosystem restoration where he continues to work in national and provincial parks, as well as in NCC’s Darkwoods property, and on crown land.

31 Oct2014

Crystal Klym

October 2014|

Crystal's background in natural resource management and environmental stewardship has enabled her to work across the Southern Interior on a variety of exciting projects and studies on invasive species, species at risk, national park reserve feasibility, sustainable outdoor recreation and mineland reclamation.

26 Aug2014

Marc-André Beaucher

August 2014|

The Creston Valley has been home of Marc-André for nearly two decades. During this time he has worked on a range of conservation and wildlife related projects, from cavity nesting birds in forest ecosystems of the Rockies, to reptiles and amphibians in wetland ecosystems of the Central and West Kootenays.

31 Jul2014

Gerry Wilkie

July 2014|

Gerry Wilkie, who sits as an Area Director for the Regional District of East Kootenay’s Electoral Area G, postulates that the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund has made a significant contribution to the Columbia Valley’s quality of life.

27 Jun2014

Juliet Craig

June 2014|

Juliet is the sole proprietor of Silverwing Ecological Consulting and has completed projects on private landowner stewardship, invasive plant management, species at risk and environmental education.

29 May2014

Dave White

May 2014|

Over the past 30+ years Dave's passion towards conservation of the natural environment has been unwavering. While very difficult to pull out a particular initiative that stands above the rest, one theme that emerges is the conservation of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.

24 Apr2014

Heather Leschied

April 2014|

Heather works with individuals and groups to increase capacity and knowledge to better protect our watersheds. Under this guidance, Wildsight’s water programs, most notably, the now complete Lake Windermere Project, have won awards by foundations and industry, and have been recognized by the federal government as a best practices example in community based monitoring.

27 Mar2014

Rick Allen

March 2014|

A long-term resident and avid sportsman with a broad-based environmental background, Rick Allen is a fixture in the conservation community of the Columbia Basin.

27 Feb2014

Hillary Page

February 2014|

Hillary Page started working for the Nature Conservancy Canada seven years ago and is generally responsible for the delivery of stewardship on NCC’s thirteen Canadian Rockies properties.

28 Jan2014

Randy Harris

January 2014|

Randy Harris is a Registered Professional Forester who has worked for the BC Government since 1976 in 25 different postings for Parks Branch, Forest Service and Ministry of Environment. Since 2007 he has been the Team Leader for Ecosystem Restoration for the Rocky Mountain Trench based in the Rocky Mountain Resource District.

14 Nov2013

Jim Duncan

November 2013|

Jim Duncan has worked as a research technician at UBC, as a Junior High School librarian and as a Media Librarian/Curriculum Development Coordinator at College of the Rockies. His area of responsibility includes curriculum-development, grant management, project coordination, and communication services for Mainstreams.  Jim has a MA degree [...]

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