Ross Everatt has been involved with the Southern Interior Land Trust since the early 1990s and believes that its mission statement “to preserve habitat for all living things” is key, because without suitable habitat we will have nothing.
He points out that ‘people’ are part of nature too. “The greatest threat to nature world-wide is loss of habitat, primarily through agriculture,” he notes.
Ross has been an outdoors man all his life and comes from a long line of hunters and trappers and has just recently retired.
Gord and his wife Shelley moved to the Okanagan in 1980 where they owned and operated a successful construction business for more than 37 years.
Gord’s keen interest in the outdoors and the natural world led to his involvement as a director and treasurer with the Peachland Sportsmen’s Association for more than 30 years. Gord joined the Board of the Southern Interior Land Trust in 2011 and is currently the organization’s treasurer.
He is now retired from the construction business and lives in the Vernon area.
Judie Steeves has been writing about the outdoors for nearly five decades, particularly in the Okanagan Valley and B.C.’s interior. She is the author of Okanagan Trips and Trails, with Murphy Shewchuk of Merritt. She wrote an outdoors column called Trailmix for the Kelowna Capital News for 20 years or so and continues to write about outdoors issues for B.C. Outdoors magazine and other publications.
She grew up in the Penticton area rambling the hills and fishing with her Dad, before moving to the coast and later the Cariboo. She returned to the Central Okanagan in 1981 with her young family, and has been fishing, camping and hiking in the area much of her life. Her volunteer work has mostly involved outdoor-focussed projects as well, with three land trusts, the Peachland Sportsman’s Association, the Central Okanagan Naturalists’ Club and the Okanagan Xeriscape Association.
She joined the board of SILT in 2009.
Timothy Broesch is a financial advisor with Edward Jones and lives in Okanagan Falls with his wife and four children.
He enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking and enjoying the outdoors with his family. He learned as a youngster living on a small ranch in Eastern Washington the importance of looking after our natural resources for the health of both people and animals. “If you want healthy animals and a productive garden you must take care of them. That means keeping water clean, preventing over-grazing, regular removal of invasive species, as well as considering the needs of the wildlife on our land,” he comments.
He is hopeful when his children are grandparents that they will still have the option of enjoying outdoor recreational activities as they do now. Without protected areas for wildlife, he believes we all stand to lose.
Kasey Moran is a PhD candidate in John Richardson’s Stream and Riparian Areas Research Lab with the Forest and Conservation Sciences department of UBC Vancouver. Her research is focussed on rivers and cottonwood forests in the Similkameen, with an emphasis on the ecological effects of river engineering and prospects for restoration.
She has done thesis work around aquatic invertebrate responses to surface and groundwater interactions in streams. She has worked as an ecosystem technician for Canadian Wildlife Service and as a laboratory technician for an evolutionary genomics lab at UBC.
She also has a background in fine arts: her paintings have been exhibited at a small number of galleries in Penticton and Vancouver, and she has produced illustrations for scientific journals, teaching manuals, posters, and brochures.
For more than a decade she lived in the Penticton, Okanagan Falls and Twin Lakes areas and she still has connections to family and community there.
“I’m excited to take an active role in conserving wildlife habitat as a SILT board member,” she comments.
Al Peatt, RPBio, FAPB, has over 35 years’ experience in managing wildlife and habitat. In 1988, he was a founding director of the Okanagan Region Wildlife Heritage Fund Society, now known as the Southern Interior Land Trust.
Al was the senior provincial wildlife/habitat biologist in the Okanagan from 1984 to 2000. He has been a manager of audits and investigations for the BC Forest Practices Board and, from 2013 to 2017, led the Okanagan Nation’s wildlife program.
He is now executive director of the Southern Interior Land Trust and a consulting biologist. “Securing habitat for wildlife and people has been the most important and lasting aspect of my career—it’s very rewarding to see wildlife and people using and enjoying the natural places that SILT has worked so hard to acquire.”