Faces and Places2020-10-23T10:34:08-06:00

Faces and Places

KCP showcases individuals who contribute significantly to conservation in the Kootenays in a monthly Faces & Places feature.

Faces & Places is published each month in our e-newsletter and is often picked up by local media in the Kootenays as well.

30 Nov2020

Kendal Benesh

November 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

Faces & Places: 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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