Board of Directors
In 1971 Wayne started his career in public service with the Pollution Control Branch in Vernon, implementing the discharge and receiving monitoring program for the Okanagan Region from Field, BC to Manning Park. Over the years he has been responsible for the inspection and monitoring of some major southern BC mines. He has served on the Comox District School Board and was a founding director of the Tribune Bay Environmental Education Society. Wayne wore two hats on the Tsolum River Task Force in 1995, one as a representative of the Pollution Prevention Branch and one as a watershed resident. This was one of the earliest multi-stakeholder efforts to clean up the Mount Washington Copper Mine. Wayne was a founding director of the Tsolum River Restoration Society in 1998, which continued the restoration effort after the Task Force disbanded. Recently retired, he continues to work with the Tsolum River Partnership, which focuses government, industry and community effort to remediate the major copper sources at the Mount Washington Copper site. In addition to serving as TRRS President, Wayne also works with the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association on their Comox Lake watershed committee and is a member of the Estuary Working Group.
Joanne completed a BSc in Math at the University of Victoria and has a Non-Profit Management certificate from Mount Royal University. She has worked for the BC Water Investigations Branch and has operated a successful information management consulting business for 10 years. Her last job was with the Intake Office & Systems Manager at the Children’s Legal and Educational Resource Centre. Joanne began volunteering with the TRRS last year; she participated in flow measurements on the Tsolum River and Portuguese Creek
Ron is a Registered Professional Forester (B.C.) and a partner of Shelterwood Forest Management Ltd.. In the past he has provided forestry-consulting services to government, industry, and First Nations clients. Through his work, Ron facilitates connections between organizations and develops community-based initiatives; these practices are applied to his work within the TRRS. He recognizes the wide scope of the Tsolum Watershed ecosystem and believes that the TRRS must speak for the entire community of organisms, including people, and the ecosystems on which they rely, using all the powers of technology, skills of negotiation and strategic planning, and working with the strength of community support and volunteers to ensure a healthy, sustainable and productive Tsolum Watershed. He has maintained ties with the K'omoks First Nations for many years and worked with coastal First Nations since the 1970s. His children have been a part of the Tsolum River Watershed since 1984 and he has been a member of the TRRS Board of Directors since near its inception. Ron believes that he has a responsibility to be part of Uu--a-thluck (Nuu-Chah-Nulth for 'looking after') the Tsolum River, as it looks after his family in so many ways.
David always had an interest in critters and some of his earliest (and best) memories were playing in a swamp in suburban Ottawa. As an adult this interest evolved into canoeing, hiking and fly fishing.
A zoology degree was cut short by medical school at U of A and otolaryngology at UBC. He worked first in Yellowknife, travelling throughout the western Arctic, and was astonished by the richness and uniqueness of the flora and fauna and of its fragility. Yk was also a firsthand look at indigenous cultures and their relationship to the land. The lessons they had for the society at large were and are largely ignored. In 1980 Dr. Morwood and his family moved to the Comox Valley but a busy medical/surgical practice and a young family were demands that left time for little else.
The transition from medical doctor to Tsolum River advocate was slow and it was 10 years before Dave felt comfortable with ecology thanks to help from particularly Jack Minard, Stewart Duncan and Wayne White.
"As the effects of poor land use policies produce flooding, erosion, water pollution, decimated fish runs and a host of other problems, it is clear that the trajectory is towards a diminished, poorer earth. Grass roots organizations like TRRS are a local answer to that problem".
Laura Ann O'Brien
Laura moved to the Comox Valley from Vancouver in 1994. She and her partner, Dave, became connected with TRRS in 1998 after noticing large numbers of coho fry dying in a flood channel on their rented property beside the Tsolum. Her love of the river continued to grow after they purchased a home on the Tsolum. Laura has been a volunteer director for the TRRS since 2001. Laura has almost 30 years of experience as a legal assistant; this experience assisted with the successful application for federal charitable status in 2002. In 2003-2005 she wrote a series of “Tsolum River Walks” and other Comox Valley nature walks, informative historical pieces that were published monthly in the local Rural Shopper magazine. From 2010-2012 she created the series “Tsolum Sid”, about a fictional Western toad, published in the Rural Shopper. Laura sits on the Outreach Committee (OC) that attends public events to celebrate the river and watershed, develop community connections, share information, and raise awareness. Laura assisted in developing the OC's school education program that was piloted at Huband Park Elementary School. Laura looks forward to sharing her love of the Tsolum with others and encouraging them to be active stewards of our unique watershed.
Father Charles Brandt
Father Charles Brandt is an author, naturalist, book and paper conservator, fly-fisherman, photographer, and hermit-priest. He has for 45 years lived on the Tsolum River, and on the Oyster River. He fostered a vision of a sacramental commons, in which all living things, including humans, have their dignity and place.
Retired Certified Arborist and longtime volunteer with the TRRS, Stewy brings deep knowledge of trees and ecology to our society. He is motivated to help TRRS reach its riparian restoration goals Stewy is a self professed "human-doing" versus "human-being", and we are happy to have him on board.
Alan has a background in fish habitat, having volunteered as a junior researcher for a small non-profit conservation society in Delta, B.C. There he learned about different types of habitat, especially plants, and got some first hand experience building dams to help fish navigate culverts. He also embarked on a solo study of creek dynamics while at Langara College. At Royal Roads University he earned a BSc. in Environmental Science, taking time off to get active politically. He has built databases to handle biological and chemical data and images, and is interested in information technology in general.
Alan is volunteering with TRRS because he wants to connect with like minds and help out with challenging projects.
Norm is a retired Professional Geophysicist. He graduated from UVIC in 1976 with a BSc in Physics and Mathematics. He worked for more than 30 years in Calgary as an Oil and Gas Exploration and Development geophysicist and manager. He and wife, Kerry, moved to the Comox Valley in 2010 after having visited the area every summer since 1987. Responding to a request for volunteers in an Echo article, Norm and Kerry began counting fry at the Rotary Screw Trap in the spring of 2011. Impressed by the determination and approach of the TRRS, they have become increasingly engaged and involved.
Director and K'omoks First Nation Representative
Cory is a member of the K'omoks First Nation and the fisheries and Guardian Watchman manager. Fisheries guardians protect and monitor the lands and waters withing the K'omoks traditional territory, and work with stewardship groups such as TRRS, providing invaluable local knowledge, direction and support.