Board of Directors 2023/24
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. Wayne received the BC Achievement Community Award in May of 2022 in recognition of his decades of work towards improving the health of our local environmenta and community.
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.