Janet has more than 25 years’ experience as an environmentalist. She has been the Executive Director of CPAWS Wildlands League since 2003.

She led the Wildlands League team in the achievement of substantial legislative reforms, notably:

  1. Provincial Protected Areas and Conservation Reserves Act (2007)

The first new parks act since the 1950’s. This law sets ecological integrity as the legally recognized benchmark for parks in Ontario, the highest legal standard in the country.

  1. Mining Act (2009) Reform

This was a substantive review and revision to the 19th century legislation, benefitting not only the environment but improving First Nations engagement requirements.

  1. Far North Act (2010)

A planning act for the northern half of the province.

  1. Endangered Species Act (2007)

At the time it was deemed the ‘gold standard’ in Canada, protecting endangered species.

Janet is an expert negotiator, strategist and communicator with considerable policy reform experience. She also has a long history working with industries, from ISO 14001 standards in the 1990’s, oil & gas engagement, mining companies to forestry giants.  Janet believes industries operating on public land must be accountable to the public for the license to proceed.  She knows that todays’ industry leaders want even more, they want sustainability, environmental, economic and social. Her job is to help find that sweet spot.

Recent speaking engagements include:

  • The United Nations Forum on Forestry, Rome, Italy
  • Boreal Business Forum, Manitoba
  • Sustainable Brands, San Diego, USA
  • Royal Botanical Gardens, Burlington, ON
  • Retail Industry Leaders Association, Austin, USA

Janet leads a dynamic team at CPAWS Wildlands League dedicated to wilderness protection and ecosystem certainty for our large landscapes.

To book Janet as a speaker for your next special event, please contact Jennifer Berney 416-971-9453 x46 /

Follow Janet on Twitter: @sumnerwild.

We celebrated Janet’s 11 year anniversary at Wildlands League in 2015. View video here from event. 


Anna Baggio, senior staff member and Director, Conservation Planning for Wildlands League has spent the last 16 years working with First Nations, governments, citizens, industry and communities to advance boreal forest protection in Ontario and Canada. Anna completed an undergraduate degree in Biology from McMaster University and a graduate degree from York University in 2001. 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 NE Ontario in June 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 over 2.6 million ha of their traditional territory in the globally significant Boreal Forest from exploration and mining in 2012. She has been instrumental in shaping new laws in Ontario such as the Far North Act 2010, reforming the Mining Act 2009 and federally with An Act to amend the Rouge National Urban Park Act, the Parks Canada Agency Act and the Canada National Parks Act, 2016.

She 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 First Nations, seeks connections between science and indigenous knowledge and promotes innovative policy solutions. Anna is currently working on protecting endangered species, caribou action plans, Ring of Fire, De Beers Victor diamond mine and safeguarding traditional foods and pristine rivers in Northern Ontario including the North French.

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, daughter Clara and extended family.


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.



Jennifer Berney joined CPAWS Wildlands League in 2007, bringing a variety of administrative skills in event and project management. A vocal music student at Humber College School of Performing Arts in the mid 90’s, Jennifer found a way to lend her musical talents to the environmental field, assuming the role of “Mother Nature” for CPAWS Wildlands League’s Endangered Species Campaign. Jennifer continues her vocalizations with Toronto super group Choir!Choir!Choir!

Jennifer is fondly referred to as the “oil and glue” of the Wildlands League team, keeping 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 appreciation 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. As a mom herself, Jennifer looks forward to annual camping trips with her daughter, Selena, and hopes that these experiences will help her build an appreciation for the outdoors and the earth that sustains all of our lives.

Jennifer’s love of nature has been transformed into a true passion, and she takes great pride in speaking to others about the work of CPAWS Wildlands League. She 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.


Hailing from West Sussex, UK, Jen brings her knowledge and expertise as a Corporate Fundraiser and Account Manager to Wildlands League. Jen has a varied background but people have always been at the heart of what she does – she is fascinated by them! She can’t wait to explore Ontario and furthermore Canada as she settles in to her new life here. Jen secretly wants to be in a band and practices yoga as much as possible.


Niamh Wall has been an environmentalist as long as she can remember, and is passionate about finding conservation solutions that will benefit both people and our surrounding ecosystems. Niamh is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Environmental Management program as well as the Master of Forest Conservation program at the University of Toronto.

A strong interest in science combined with a passion for conservation aided in her work in rural Nepal with the Canadian charity Forests without Borders, where she helped find solutions to challenges such as deforestation, water shortage, and environmental education. She is excited to start her career in conservation with CPAWS Wildlands League and is looking forward to learning more as she is faced with new conservation challenges.


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.