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Appointments Announced to the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Committee

From the Department of Environment and Conservation on May 27, 2014:

The Honourable Joan Shea, Minister of Environment and Conservation, today announced the appointment of 11 individuals to the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council. The eleven appointments include three re-appointments and eight new appointments.

The eleven appointees are:

  • Dr. Bill Montevecchi – Portugal Cove
  • Dr. Luise Hermanutz – Portugal Cove
  • Graham Wood – Grand Bank
  • Keith Frampton – St. John’s
  • Victor French – Bay Roberts
  • Barbara Genge – Main Brook
  • Joseph Goudie – Mud Lake
  • Victoria Neville – St. John’s
  • Thomas Philpott – Corner Brook
  • Dr. Yolanda Wiersma – St. John’s
  • Dr. Len Zedel – St. John’s

The Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council is mandated by the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Act for the purpose of advising the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, through the Minister of Environment and Conservation, on matters relating to the establishment, management and termination of wilderness and ecological reserves.

“I am pleased to announce these appointments to the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council. These members will bring expertise and regional representation to the advisory council and make a valuable contribution in our efforts to ensure the preservation of our wilderness and ecological reserves and the protection of natural areas in our province.”
-The Honourable Joan Shea, Minister of Environment and Conservation

For biographies of the committee members, please see the backgrounder below.

QUICK FACTS:

  • Minister Shea announced the appointment of 11 members to the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council Committee for a three-year term effective May 1, 2014.
  • The council members are selected based on the following criteria:
    • significant training, experience or employment in the fields of natural resources;
    • appreciation of the role of the council and the reserves establishment process; and
    • interest in and commitment to the protection of the environment and natural heritage.
  • The Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council Committee is an independent group made of citizens from a variety of backgrounds and all regions of the province. Its members are appointed by the Provincial Government for three-year terms, which can be renewed. The council’s work and recommendations are directed by scientific research and public input.

BACKGROUNDER

Keith Frampton
Mr. Frampton was raised in Markland where wilderness activities and nature were common parts of his essence. Currently residing in St. John’s, he remains an avid backpacker, and has hiked through many of the Province’s protected areas, including the Avalon Wilderness Reserve and Gros Morne National Park’s Long Range Traverse. Mr. Frampton has worked as a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police since 1981, where he is currently the Director of Emergency Planning, responsible for developing emergency and business continuity plans and strategic emergency management plans, and coordinates ground search and rescue.

Victor French
Mr. French has Bachelors and Masters degrees in Earth Science (Geology) and over 50 years working experience in the mining industry. He is currently a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Chamber of Mineral Resources, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, and Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador. Mr. French resides in Bay Roberts.

Barbara Genge
Ms. Genge lives in Main Brook, on the Great Northern Peninsula. She is CEO of Main Brook Waterworks and President of Tuckamore Lodge Ltd, which specializes in hunting, fishing, and adventure tourism, and was named one of the best outfitting lodges in Canada by the Canadian Tourism Commission and Outdoor Magazine. She was one of the founders of the Northern Travels Tourism Association (predecessor of the Viking Trail Tourism Association) and been actively engaged in numerous community, tourism and sustainable development focused councils, including the Main Brook Town Council, Hospitality NL, and the Western Newfoundland Model Forest. She is interested in preserving our natural heritage for future generations and has dedicated efforts to Elder Duck conservation programs and Salmon River rehabilitation projects.

Joseph Goudie
Mr. Goudie was born in Mud Lake, Labrador. He is well known as both a broadcaster for CBC and as a provincial public servant. From 1978 to 1985, Mr. Goudie served in a variety of cabinet postings, including Minister of Rural Development, Minister of Rural, Agriculture, and Northern Development, and Minister of Fisheries. Recently, he served as a consultant in community relations to the Parks Canada Mealy Mountains project, Chair for the 2006 Labrador Winter Games, President of the Labrador Heritage Society, and President of the Labrador Métis Association (now NunatuKavut Community Council). Mr. Goudie is an avid outdoors person, canoer, and fur trapper, with a deep appreciation of the province’s natural and wild places.

Dr. Luise Hermanutz
Dr. Hermanutz is a Professor of Biology at Memorial University specializing in plant ecology and conservation biology. Her current research focuses on endangered species, effects of climate change on the environment, and protected areas management issues in national parks and ecological reserves. Dr. Hermanutz was a member of the Panel on Ecological Integrity of Canada’s National Parks, which produced a two-volume report on the management and viability of Canada’s national parks. She is also a member of the Species Specialist Advisory Committee (SSAC), which advises the Provincial Government on species-at-risk, and the Limestone Barrens Species at Risk Recovery Team. She lives in Portugal Cove and loves the outdoors and our wild spaces. She has previously served on the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (2000-2011).

Dr. Bill Montevecchi
As University Research Professor in Psychology, Biology and Ocean Sciences at Memorial University, Dr. Montevecchi researches environmental influences on animal behaviour and ecology, and explores the use of animal responses as indicators of prey and ecosystem conditions. He has conducted extensive fieldwork at the Province’s seabird ecological reserves, particularly Cape St. Mary’s, Witless Bay, Baccalieu Island, and Funk Island. Dr. Montevecchi’s many publications include co-authoring Newfoundland Birds: Exploitation, Study, and Conservation, with Leslie Tuck. He participates regularly in radio and television shows about animal ecology and conservation biology, and gives many invited lectures. He is a former Vice-president of the Canadian Coast Guard Regional Advisory Council on Preparedness for Large Oil Spills in Newfoundland and Labrador, a member of the National Science Advisory Council of Bird Studies Canada, the NL Species Status Committee (SSAC), and a former Director of the Nature Conservancy of Canada/Atlantic Region. He was the former Chair of the Canadian Endangered Species Recovery Team for Harlequin Ducks, and a former Director of the Canadian Nature Federation. He has previously served on the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (1993-2011).

Victoria Neville
Ms. Neville is a Ph.D student in biology at Memorial University, studying the life history and stock structure of the Newfoundland Atlantic Cod. She completed her Bachelors degree in Biology (Honours) at Memorial University in 2011. She has worked as a research and teaching assistant since 2009 in a variety of laboratories, including those specializing in marine invertebrates, fish and seaweeds. Ms. Neville serves on the Biology Graduate Student Association on the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

Thomas Philpott
Mr. Philpott holds a Master’s degree in Natural Resources Management from the University of Manitoba and Bachelors’ degrees in Biology, Psychology and Education from Memorial University. He worked as an educator in western Newfoundland for over 30 years as a school teacher and curriculum developer for the District 3 school board as well as the private college system. Most recently he has been a lecturer at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. He has also worked as researcher and consultant for the Western Newfoundland Model Forest, mining, fishery, and aquaculture companies in the private and public sectors. His areas of work in the natural resources ranged from algae and fish behaviour studies, benthic biodiversity, and mercury sediments, to waste management, composting, wind power and forestry issues. He has published Community Forests Network: A Consultation on the Eastport Peninsula and Where Continents Collided: An Outdoor Education Curriculum. Mr. Philpott is past chairperson of the City of Corner Brook Development Appeals Committee and a founding member of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd’s Public Advisory Committee (PAC). He enjoys many outdoor pursuits including hiking, boating, canoeing, fishing, hunting and skiing.

Dr. Yolanda Wiersma
Dr. Wiersma is an Associate Professor of Biology at Memorial University. She has had a life-long interest in protected areas, and has travelled extensively to visit protected areas across North America and in Great Britain and India. She earned her Ph.D. in 2006 from the University of Guelph where she studied diversity patterns and representative protected areas design. Her research is focused on Landscape Ecology, with current projects in protected areas and sustainable forest management, using citizen science to improve data quality, moose-forest dynamics, and habitat modelling. Dr. Wiersma teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Ecology, Landscape Ecology, and Conservation Biology. Dr. Wiersma has served as a member of the Protected Areas Association, Forest Research Advisory Committee, and Nature Conservancy Canada – Labrador Conservation Blueprint Core Team. She is an avid outdoorsperson and enjoys wilderness canoeing, backpacking, and sea kayaking, as well as photography and bird watching.

Graham Wood
Mr. Wood has Bachelors degrees in Biology and Biochemistry and in Education from Memorial University and a Masters degree in Education from the University of Ottawa. He has spent the last 36 years in a variety of roles in the Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Manitoba and British Columbia education systems, including as Principle, Vice-Principle, and Program Specialist (Math and Science). Mr. Wood is committed to preserving our natural heritage and values outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing, and hiking. He has served as a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Seabird Advisory Council, Aquaculture and Emerging Fisheries Committee of the Schooner Economic Development Corporation, Notre Dame Rod and Gun Club, and Marystown Shipyard Board. Mr. Wood has operated an ecotourism boat business for 10 years, showcasing local bird colonies, whales and Beothuk heritage sites. He has previously served on the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (1998-2001), including as co-chair.

Dr. Len Zedel
Originally from the small fishing and logging town of Powell River, British Columbia, Dr. Zedel is currently a professor of Physics and Physical Oceanography at Memorial University. He graduated with a Masters degree in Physics from the University of Victoria, and earned his Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from the University of British Columbia. Since moving to St. John’s he has been an active member (and former President) of the Nature Newfoundland and Labrador (formerly the Natural History Society of Newfoundland and Labrador). Through his academic and volunteer endeavours, Dr. Zedel has gained extensive experience helping to protect our environment and natural heritage, including participating in reviews of environmental assessment reports, work on ocean pollution, underwater noise, and offshore oil developments, and participating in integrated resource management and forest management planning. He has previously served on the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (2005-2011).

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