Janet has more than 25 years’ experience as an environmentalist. She has been the Executive Director of CPAWS Wildlands League since 2003. In 2017, Janet was appointed co-chair of the National Advisory Panel (NAP) in 2017 with a mandate to provide recommendations on how Canada can meet the Aichi Target 11, protecting 17% terrestrial lands and inland waters in Canada by 2020.
Janet has led the Wildlands League team in the achievement of substantial legislative reforms in Ontario and federally, notably, for Ontario a new Provincial Protected Areas and Conservation Reserves Act (2007); Mining Act (2009) Reform; Far North Act (2010); and; federally, amendments to the Rouge National Urban Park Act (2017)
Janet is an expert negotiator, strategist and communicator with considerable policy reform experience. Janet believes the two greatest environmental challenges of our time are climate change and biodiversity loss. The solutions to both include protecting nature and addressing our land use footprint.
Janet has recently presented at the Federal Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development, on ‘Protected Areas and Conservation Objectives’ and ‘Rouge National Urban Park: Becoming a Park’; the University of Toronto, Forestry Studies, on ‘Counting Carbon’; the Bora Laskin Law School in Thunder Bay, on the ‘The Ring of Fire’, and; The United Nations Forum on Forestry, Rome, Italy, ‘The Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement Collaboration,’ among many others.
Janet leads a dynamic team at CPAWS Wildlands League dedicated to wilderness protection and ecosystem certainty for our large landscapes.
Follow Janet on Twitter: @sumnerwild.
Anna Baggio is senior staff member and Director, Conservation Planning for Wildlands League. She has been with Wildlands for 16 years working with Indigenous leaders, governments, citizens, industry and communities to protect wilderness and come up with solutions for nature and communities. Anna is a graduate of York University’s Master in Environmental Studies Program and she also holds a Hon. B.Sc. in Biology from McMaster University. Her passion for conservation was sparked at a national park in Georgian Bay where she studied spotted turtles and reptiles. For her Master’s research, she worked with communities outside two small protected areas in Southern Costa Rica, examining land use and ecologically sustainable practices in agriculture.
Anna played a lead role in delivering a ground-breaking 3 million ha caribou action plan in the Abitibi River Forest in northeastern Ontario in 2012 that protects caribou habitat and provides for local jobs. Anna also played a lead role in helping the community of Kitchenumaykoosib Inninuwug in northern Ontario (from 2005-2011) fight unwanted mineral exploration on their lands. This ultimately led to the safeguarding of over 2.6 million ha of globally significant boreal forests and wetlands from mining in 2012. She has been instrumental in shaping new laws such as the Far North Act 2010, Mining Act 2009, and An Act to amend the Rouge National Urban Park Act, the Parks Canada Agency Act and the Canada National Parks Act, 2016. She recently helped create the new Rouge National Urban Park in 2017.
Anna participated in the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources’ Far North Advisory Council and currently sits on the Minister of Northern Development and Mine’s Mining Act Advisory Committee. She has well established relations with Indigenous leaders, seeks connections between science and Indigenous knowledge and promotes innovative policy solutions. Anna is currently working on protecting endangered species, northern watersheds such as the North French River, caribou conservation, Ring of Fire, De Beers Victor diamond mine and helping Ontario and Canada meet its international commitments to protect 17% of its lands and inland waters by 2020.
You can follow Anna on twitter: @annabwild.
Trevor Hesselink has been immersed in the environmental policy field since 1992 both as an independent consultant to a wide range of organizations, and as a senior policy advisor to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.
Through his undergraduate studies in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Waterloo and his Masters’ studies in Urban Design at the University of Toronto, he has cultivated an enduring passion for sustainability dynamics and applied semiotics. His creative facilitation and communication skills have contributed to many policy and planning initiatives in Ontario from community based watershed management to safe drinking water.
Since joining the Wildlands League, Trevor has enjoyed tackling a brand new set of exciting challenges for his creativity and curiosity, fuelled by a personal passion for an enduring wilderness heritage that Canadians can be proud of.
Born and raised in the Arnprior area of the Ottawa Valley, Dave Pearce is a graduate of the Master of Forest Conservation program at the University of Toronto (2001) and an alumnus of the Biology program at Trent University.
He has undertaken a variety of forestry field research and writing experiences with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in Central Ontario, wildlife field research in Algonquin Park with the University of Toronto, relief work in Kenya and Sudan, and natural history education. Interest in improving forest management has led to training as a tree marker, Managed Forest Plan Approver status, FSC auditor training and experience in hands-on forest management with a small sustainable woodlot effort in Quebec.
He enjoys many outdoor pursuits and time with Rachel, daughters Clara and Isla and extended family.
Since joining staff in 2007, Jennifer Berney has worked tirelessly to support the dynamic Wildlands League team with a wide array of administrative, communications and event management experience. Fondly referred to as the “oil and glue” of the Wildlands League team, Jennifer keeps the office running smoothly and operations moving forward, taking the lead on projects like Paddle the Rouge, website redevelopment, managing volunteers, championing the social staff-member networks and the varied administrative tasks that fill her day.
Jennifer has always had a great love for the peace and tranquility of the outdoors, stemming from her roots growing up in rural South Central Ontario and from many memorable camping trips with her mom and friends as a teen. She is grateful for the opportunity to pass on this love to the next generation, through outdoor adventures with her daughter and through Learn to Paddle at Paddle the Rouge.
When she isn’t at her post, you can find Jennifer singing with Toronto super group Choir! Choir! Choir!, playing ukulele, or squirreled away writing a screenplay. Jennifer looks forward to many more years of positive contributions within this amazing Wild-family.
John Cutfeet is Wildlands League’s Aboriginal Watershed Program Coordinator, or Anihinini’ow Niipii’ow Ankoiinakun in Oji Cree. John’s focus is to be a resource to communities in Ontario’s Far North on watershed protection and on resource proposals that may impact those watershed. John collaborates with the communities and tribal councils of four major rivers in the Far North: Albany, Winisk, Attawakapiskat and Severn including tributaries of Fawn and Pipestone.
John provides assistance to First Nations communities by: increasing the awareness of watersheds and the need for proactive planning to protect them; visiting local communities including meeting with Elders; facilitating the inclusion of local and traditional knowledge into discussions; and by responding to requests for information, advice and assistance from communities. John does not oppose or support individual resource development projects. Instead, he provides communities with the best available information so that they can make the best informed decisions. John is fluent in both English and Cree.
Paulette joined CPAWS Wildlands League in May 2016 bringing organizational, administrative and financial skills from her banking days. She enjoys singing baritone in Barbershop quartet but her passion is 3rd world travel. Her favourite two continents are Asia and Africa which allows her to camel trek and mix with the locals. In 2004 she took a short leave of absence from her employment and volunteered her time building houses in Sri Lanka after the devastating Tsunami destroyed part of Asia. She also helped at an orphanage for displaced young girls as a result of the Tsunami. She had raised $10,000 from family and friends and took this cash in her money belt and handed it directly to those people who really needed it. She bought several fishing boats to replace the one’s lost at sea thus helping the grieving families build a new life. 70% of the fishermen were lost that day and many families were shattered. She also gave $1500 directly to a man who had lost his wife and 13 out of 14 children, this would pay for a new home for his only surviving daughter and himself. She is looking forward to learning a great deal about the conservation of nature in Canada and hopes to continue to be involved with humanitarian efforts.
Nicole (on leave)
Nicole Thouard has been with Wildlands League over 13 years. She began her career in fundraising in 1990 with Greenpeace in their tele-fundraising department. Early on she showed an aptitude for grasping the complexities of environmental issues and conveying her passion to the donors. This led to a rapid rise to manager of the department. After two years Nicole branched out to begin specific contract work with other nonprofits and charities to learn all aspects of fundraising. She completed the Canadian Association of Gift Planners course in order to work with donors wanting to invest in CPAWS Wildlands League through legacy gifts.
Nicole spent the better part of the ’80’s traveling and living abroad where she learned much about life and people by experiencing other cultures.