Faces & Places: Greg Utzig

Greg Utzig has worked on various aspectGU_2015_haystacks 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. He was instrumental in the early development of the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification for southeastern BC. As a soil scientist, he has completed numerous terrain maps and participated in hydrologic assessments for the forest industry, woodlot owners and community forests.

Greg’s ecology background and interest in biodiversity eventually led to greater involvement with conservation issues. He participated in the Commisision on Resources and Environment (CORE) process on behalf of conservation interests, and contributed to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification program internationally, provincially and locally. As part of the Provincial Caribou Science Team, he contributed to caribou habitat mapping for three Kootenay herds.

Currently, Greg is a member of the steering committee for the Friends of Kootenay Lake (FoKL) and is involved in a stream monitoring program in the North Arm of Kootenay Lake. He is also actively working to incorporate ecosystem considerations into the Columbia River Treaty.

In recent years, Greg’s focus has shifted to climate change and conservation planning. With other Kootenay researchers he completed a project in 2012 for the BC Future Forest Ecosystems Scientific Council (FFESC). The report examined potential climate change impacts and forest ecosystem resilience in the West Kootenays. Currently he is promoting climate change awareness and developing a strategic conservation plan for the Kootenays that emphasizes ecosystem resilience to climate change.

Whenever he can avoid his computer, he spends his time on Kootenay Lake or in the surrounding mountains.

Some of his work on climate change and conservation can be found at www.kootenayresilience.org.