Leslie AdamsRegional Branch Director
Golden Outreach Coordinator
Leslie has lived in the Kootenays almost her whole life, growing up in Castlegar and now residing in Golden where she has been for almost 30 years. She loves the wilderness and spends as much time as she can outdoors; camping, hiking, swimming and cross-country skiing. Leslie has 7 grandchildren and it is important to her that they are able to enjoy the wilderness as much as she does forever.
Ayla Bennett lives with her family in Fernie, BC. She is passionate about conserving and discovering more of our beautiful mountains, free-flowing rivers and wild spaces. Ayla works with environmental non-profit groups including Wildsight, Elk River Alliance and Mainstreams Environmental Society.
Shanoon Bennett lives in beautiful Winlaw, in the Slocan Valley. She teaches a host of programs including Know Your Watershed, as well as Wild Voices for Kids Winter Safety and Survival Skills, Animal Tracks, Habits and Homes, Forest, River, Pond Ecology and Natures Wild Food and Medicine programs.
John BergenskeConservation Director
John was a leader in the 20-year process to create and complete the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. He has been instrumental in designation of protected areas and parks in the East Kootenay, coordinated environmental appeals against industrial polluters, worked to establish the Southern Rocky Mountain Conservation Area, the Columbia Wetlands and East Columbia Lake Wildlife Management Areas.
Morgan BlakelyRegional Board Treasurer
Morgan Blakley works at Ecojustice as a public interest environmental lawyer. Morgan grew up in Wilmer and now lives in Vancouver. He is deeply interested in environmental issues generally and particularly in environmental issues in the Kootenays such as keeping Jumbo wild and maintaining the Columbia Valley Wetlands.
Casey BrennanRegional & Elk Valley Director
Casey and his family live work and play in Fernie in the heart of Canada's beautiful Southern Rockies. Casey managed Wildsight's Southern Rockies Campaign for a decade and is grateful for the opportunity to continue to support progress on conservation and community sustainability through volunteering with Wildsight.
Brian ConradRegional Chair
Brian Conrad moved to the Kootenays in the mid 1970’s after living in England, the United States, Mexico and Colombia. The grandeur of the region inspired an intensified consciousness of environmental excitement and concerns. As a teacher at Mt. Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook, Brian joined a team of colleagues and ran an Environmental Awareness Program for Grade 11 students for many years.
Dawn DeydeyBeyond Recycling Coordinator
Founder of the Rocky Mountain Education Series, Dawn Deydey brings the experience and understanding of five years of Beyond Recycling coordination and development to the table. As Community Program Coordinator for the Wildsight Elk Valley Branch, her ability to weave environmental education and community action into successful programming that moves our community towards sustainability has been proven repeatedly.
Bryan DuffettManager of Finance and Administration
Born and raised in Newfoundland, Bryan joined the Wildsight team in 2017 after working 10 years as a Financial Accountant on The Rock. He likes budgets, spreadsheets, dark coffee, and wild places. A CPA, Bryan is proud to work for the wild.
Robyn DuncanExecutive Director
Jumbo Wild Campaign Lead
Robyn is the Executive Director of Wildsight and the campaign lead for Jumbo Wild. Born and raised in Kimberley, BC, Robyn fell in love with the mountains at an early age. Her work is driven by her passion for wilderness and wild places and a strong belief that we can minimize our footprint on the planet. She has been with Wildsight since 2006.
Creston Project Director-Coordinator
Melissa Flint has a background in conservation biology, organic farming, permaculture and environmental consulting - and a love for mountain air and exploration. She loves taking people outside and finding connections in the natural world. Melissa's other work includes design, gardening and workshops in permaculture, sustainability and resiliency, through her company Aurora Edible Designs. Melissa teaches our Beyond Recycling, Classroom with Outdoors, Winter Wonder, and Know Your Watershed programs.
Tracy FlynnRegional & Invermere Director
Tracy Flynn came to the Columbia Valley from northern Alberta 12 years ago. She appreciates intact, healthy ecosystems but it was Columbia Lake that drew her here. Having spent most of her life in the unspoiled lake environments that northern life offered, she was pleased to find Columbia Lake. Tracy has always preferred to be outside, doing everything and anything outdoors related, including hiking, skiing and biking. She feels she has landed in the perfect spot. She hopes her passion for wild places will benefit the Invermere Wildsight team.
Lesley GirodayRegional Board Director
Margie JamiesonRegional Vice-Chair
I feel fortunate to have lived in the Rocky Mountain Trench for over 30 years and have been able to play and work in my front-yard, the Rocky Mountains and my backyard, the Purcell Mountains. My history with Wildsight is as old as the organization. As a founding member, I have been a proud supporter for many years. I have worked on many campaigns but am most proud of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy campaign successes.
Jill JenningsEducation Coordinator
Jill has been working in environmental education in many capacities throughout her career. She is passionate about nurturing the natural world around her and fostering environmental stewardship in people of all ages.
Lorene KeitchCommunications Specialist
Lorene joined the team to share the work of Wildsight with the world. Her formative years were spent in Cranbrook where she tromped through the trails, hiked the wild mountains and swam in cold, clear lakes. She is keen to keep these wild spaces for her own children and the generations to come. With a passion for the written word, Lorene presents the voice of Wildsight for all who love this place we choose to call home.
Patty Kolesnichenko has worked for over 20 years teaching Outdoor Education to individuals of all ages. Her background includes a Degree in Education with a specialization in Physical Education and Science from York University in Toronto. She has taught at the Boyne River Natural Science School, the Nor West Outdoor Centre in Ontario and started St Patrick High school’s Outdoor Program in Yellowknife. Patty has also run her own business "Wolfsong Adventures" in the Northwest Territories.
Genna is passionate about bringing environmental stewardship to our younger generation in the hopes of passing on that enthusiasm so that they may become the next guardians of the earth. She wants them to pass along that knowledge and wonder of nature to their parents so that it will become a "family love affair". Genna teaches our Beyond Recycling, Classroom with Outdoors, and Winter Wonder programs.
Graeme Lee RowlandsColumbia River Field School Coordinator
Graeme is fascinated by rivers and watersheds, both small and large, wild and urban. Born in Honduras and raised in California, Graeme came to B.C. in 2014 to attend Quest University Canada in Squamish. There, he pursued a self-designed interdisciplinary degree in water resource sciences with a special focus on the Columbia River and the Columbia River Treaty. To complement his academic study with place-based learning, in 2017 he spent six weeks cycling and paddling up the Columbia from sea-to-source while reading, writing, and interviewing along the way. His work on the Columbia River Treaty and related issues has since appeared in English and French in more than 50 publications across Canada and the U.S. As Program Coordinator of the Columbia River Field School, Graeme is inspired and delighted by the opportunity to introduce other young people to the beauty and complexity of this place. Read more about Graeme's work at www.graemeleerowlands.com
Randal MacnairElk Valley Conservation Coordinator
Randal moved to Fernie in the 1990’s and with his wife Lisa raised their family in the Kootenays. Randal is the publisher of Oolichan Books, prior to which he was a museum curator and consultant, working throughout western Canada with museums in human and natural history. He spent much of his life in public service with 15 years as a member of Fernie City Council including six as Mayor and and six as a Director on the Region District of East Kootenay.
Woody MaguireRegional Director
Kimberley Cranbrook Director & Secretary
Following the path of many transborder grizzlies and wolves, 10 years ago Marcy Mahr and her family dispersed north from Montana, leaping the 49th parallel and immigrating to the Kootenays. Marcy has a M.Sc. in Plant Ecology and her passion for conserving biodiversity has guided her career as an eclectic ecologist. She’s worked on numerous projects in amazing landscapes all over western Canada and the US to advance conservation biology and protect species and ecosystems at risk.
Andy MillerOperations Director
Andy brings a career of project management to the role at Wildsight. Born and raised in the UK, he arrived in Canada, then to the East Kootenay, after working in England, Scandinavia and Spain. Grateful to now call Kimberley home, Andy is passionate to contribute his business skillset to the environmental movement.
Monica NissenEducation Director
A passion for the wilderness and a gift for teaching have drawn Monica into the field of environmental education where she has worked both inside and outside the classroom for the past 15 years.
Janelle Park lives with her family in lovely Fernie, BC. She delivers Know Your Watershed, Winter Wonder and Classroom With Outdoors and is also work as a teacher on call in SD5 and administers online learning at the Kootenay Discovery School. Janelle has a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Science from the University of Alberta and aims to combine her passion for teaching with her enthusiasm for being outdoors.
Tanna PattersonRegional Director
Tanna has volunteered for Wildsight since the beginning of the Creston Valley branch in 1989. As branch president, she has been involved in air quality issues, the initiation of the Community Forest, trail building and environmental education. For the last 5 years, Tanna has chaired the Creston Valley Bird Fest, a celebration of the birds, the art, and the agriculture of the Creston Valley.
Eddie PetryshenConservation Specialist
Born and raised in the Cranbrook area, Eddie has a deep passion for the outdoor world and the Kootenays. He has a strong interest in land use issues and protecting biodiversity and wild places. Eddie is excited to continue to learn, explore, and protect the globally significant landscape he calls home.
Dave QuinnKnow Your Watershed and Go Wild! Coordinator, Educator
Born in Cranbrook, Dave is a wildlife biologist, educator, wilderness guide, writer and photographer whose work is driven by his passion for wilderness and wild spaces. His work with endangered mountain caribou and badgers, threatened fisher and grizzly, as well as lynx and other species has helped shape his understanding of the Kootenay backcountry and its wildlife, and help shape his efforts to protect what remains.
Lars Sander-GreenMining Lead & Communications Analyst
Lars is Wildsight's mining lead, focusing on the impacts of coal mining in the Elk Valley.
Lars has a BA.&Sc. in physics and a life-long love of clean water.
When not focused on mining, Lars helps shape Wildsight's communications and fundraising strategies.
Jen is a Rossland local who feels blessed to have been raised there. The beauty, lifestyle and the essence of the Kootenays inspire her to be an advocate for our environment. She has a diploma from Selkirk College’s Integrated Environmental Planning program. She is currently teaching the Winter Wonder classes, which she thoroughly enjoys. To her, it is wonderful hearing the children speak up about what the environment means to them and to have some laughs and fun along the way. She loves running, skiing and biking with her family, friends and her dog.
Mary SearchfieldEducation Development
While Mary doesn't enjoy writing her bio, she does love the opportunity to adapt and present some of Wildsight's amazing environmental education school programs (Beyond Recycling, Winter Wonder). She started work in environmental education in the last century as an interpreter for the Friends of Mt. Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, has degrees in Biology and Education, and is currently working on her Masters in Environmental Education and Communication.
Jim SmithRegional Director Creston Valley Branch
Born and raised in rural west central Minnesota, Jim graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Forestry in 1969, married Sandy and headed west. Over the following 30 years he worked various industry and government positions from Prince George and Burns Lake, to Creston and Vernon and back to Creston again. Throughout most of this experience Jim was fortunate to work with people who “saw the forest through the trees.”
The Know Your Watershed program in Valemount has given Kim Thorn a welcome opportunity to share program and personal knowledge with the community’s youth, in the strong belief that supporting their understanding of water and watersheds now, will lead to more water-wise adults. Kim has lived for over 35 years in the area and loves her rural life, which brings her regularly into contact with forest and aquatic wildlife.
Drawn west by the mountains, Kim feels most at home amongst the trees. Coming from Calgary, and having grown up mostly in Ottawa, she is very excited to have escaped big city life and finally call Invermere home. With a background in environmental education, Kim brings varied experience in community engagement, program development, and volunteer management. Along with an MA in Environmental Education and Communications, Kim has plenty of enthusiasm for outdoor activities and passion for connecting people with the natural world.
Jess is an environmental educator with an Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership Degree. She is passionate about the environment and loves to spend time sharing the wonder and awe of nature with her students. She believes that all people, no matter what age, can learn to appreciate the wilderness around them and learn skills to keep it wild for all to enjoy for the future. Activities such as snowboarding, hiking, paddling, mountain biking and gardening keep her busy around her West Kootenay home.
Join The Team
Want to protect wildlife, clean water and wild spaces? Volunteer with us! Wildsight volunteers are a very special group of people who give generously of their time to stuff envelopes, attend rallies, help run events, put up posters, keep tabs on forestry practices in their communities and participate in citizen science initiatives.