Environment and Conservation
March 20, 2015
Protecting Our Natural Environment
Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council Continuing its Important Work
The Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister of Environment and Conservation, met recently with the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council (WERAC) when the council held its first meeting of the year in St. Johnï¿½s. The advisory council typically meets three to four times annually to consider proposals for new wilderness and ecological reserves and discuss management of existing reserves.
ï¿½I am pleased to see the engagement and enthusiasm that the current membership brings to the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council. I am particularly pleased about the establishment of a Labrador sub-committee which will help government consider conservation within the unique Labrador context.ï¿½
- The Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister of Environment and Conservation
During the meeting, members elected Yolanda Wiersma (St. Johnï¿½s) and Graham Wood (Grand Bank) as co-chairs. For the first time ever, the council established a Labrador sub-committee, headed up by well-known Labrador resident Joe Goudie from Mud Lake, to bring more attention to wilderness conservation in Labrador. Further information on WERAC, along with biographies of all members, can be found in the backgrounder below.
ï¿½The work of the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council is crucial to creating a sustainable network of protected areas in this province. We are looking forward to working with the Department of Environment and Conservation to identify priority areas on the island and in Labrador, and advising on the management of our existing protected areas.ï¿½
- Yolanda Wiersma, WERAC co-chair
The council, which is established under the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Act to advise government on the establishment and management of reserves, accepts recommendations from the public for potential ecological reserves. WERAC holds their meetings in different areas of the province so they have the opportunity to engage with residents in different regions. Individuals can contact the council via the secretariat c/o WERAC Secretariat; Parks and Natural Areas Division, PO Box 550, Corner Brook, NL, A2H 6E6 or email@example.com.
- Minister Crummell met with members of the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council Committee during their recent meeting in St. Johnï¿½s.
- Yolanda Wiersma (St. Johnï¿½s) and Graham Wood (Grand Bank) have been elected as co-chairs.
- For the first time ever, the council established a Labrador sub-committee, headed up by well-known Labrador resident Joe Goudie from Mud Lake, to bring more attention to wilderness conservation in Labrador.
- 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.
- The 11 members of the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council Committee were appointed by the Minister of Environment and Conservation for a three-year term on May 1, 2014.
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Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council Members
The Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council Committee is an independent group 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.
Biographies of the members of the Wilderness and Ecological Reserves Advisory Council are found below. The council members are selected based on the following criteria:
- Significant training, experience or employment in the field 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.
Keith Frampton was raised in Markland where wilderness activities and nature were common parts of his life. Currently residing in St. Johnï¿½s, he remains an avid backpacker, and has hiked through many of the provinceï¿½s protected areas, including the Avalon Wilderness Reserve and Gros Morne National Parkï¿½s 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 holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Earth Science (Geology) and has 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 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 has 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 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 Mï¿½tis Association (now NunatuKavut Community Council). Mr. Goudie is an avid outdoors person, canoer, and fur trapper, with a deep appreciation of the provinceï¿½s natural and wild places.
Dr. Luise Hermanutz
Dr. Luise 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 was a member of the Species Specialist Advisory Committee, which advises the Provincial Government on species-at-risk, and the Limestone Barrens Species at Risk Recovery Team. She lives in Portugal Cove-St. Philips 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. Bill 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 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 Bachelorï¿½s 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 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 Limited's Public Advisory Committee. He enjoys many outdoor pursuits including hiking, boating, canoeing, fishing, hunting and skiing.
Dr. Yolanda Wiersma
Dr. Yolanda 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 ï¿½ Labrador Conservation Blueprint Core Team. She is an avid outdoors person and enjoys wilderness canoeing, backpacking, and sea kayaking, as well as photography and bird watching.
Graham Wood has Bachelorï¿½s degrees in Biology and Biochemistry and in Education from Memorial University and a Masterï¿½s 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 Principal, Vice-Principal, 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. Len Zedel is currently a professor of Physics and Physical Oceanography at Memorial University. He graduated with a Masterï¿½s 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. Johnï¿½s 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).
2015 03 20 10:35 a.m.