The Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative team draws upon years of experience in wildlife and landscape planning. As a coalition of groups we are fortunate to be able to call upon local contacts and knowledge within the communities throughout the Coast and Cascades . The core team are listed below, but we by no means working alone.
Meet the Team
Johnny Mikes, Coast to Cascades Field Coordinator, has done extensive backcountry trips in many of the more remote corners of the Coast to Cascades region. For over 30 years, Johnny guided tours in a number of Canada's premier northern wilderness areas which provided the privilege of encountering several hundred grizzly bears. On-the-ground knowledge and a passion for wild places and wild animals led him to be involved in the creation of several new parks and participation in land use planning processes in Sea-to-Sky and northern BC. Whistler has been his home for the past 18 years.
Joe Scott, International Programs Director, has been on Conservation Northwest staff since 1998. Joe has managed CNW’s British Columbia and grizzly bear programs for the entirety of his tenure. His work with BC colleagues to protect transboundary at-risk species and habitat led to the Mountain Caribou Project, a coalition effort that helped protect more than 5 million acres of mountain caribou habitat in the Inland Temperate Rainforest. Joe now leads CNW’s grizzly bear recovery work and represents CNW on the the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative. Joe is also working with BC allies including Wildsight on a conservation mapping project for greater Columbia Basin, the objective of which is to promote landscape-scale habitat connectivity as a strategy to help wildlife adapt to climate change.
Jacquie Rasmussen, Coast to Cascades Agrologist, is working with ranchers to understand the nature of livestock – grizzly bear conflicts and collaborate on pilot projects that will help to stop the losses of bears and cows. Her 20 years of experience in the natural resource management field and her work with ranchers gives her a unique perspective. She has worked for the BC Government - Ministry of Forests & Range as a Range Agrologist and currently works as the coordinator for the Lillooet Regional Invasive Species Society. This work has led her to develop relationships with many stakeholder groups and address multi-faceted resource issues. Jacquie’s experience will facilitate the development of essential partnerships with ranchers to protect bears and their habitat.
Claire Ruddy, Coast to Cascades Communications & Outreach Coordinator, is responsible for building community support for Grizzly Bear recovery. Originally from the UK, Claire followed a Masters in Environment and Business by worked with small and medium sized businesses to reduce environmental impacts through improved processes, training and creating cultural shifts. Upon moving to Canada in 2006, she joined Whistler's environmental charity, AWARE and switched focus to the natural environment and habitat protection. In 2013 She became AWARE's Executive Director and is well networked in the Sea to Sky Region. Familiar with working with different stakeholder groups and vested interests, Claire believes in finding the common ground amongst stakeholders as a path to moving forwards. On her days off Claire can be found training her rescue dog Sula (which translates to 'Little Bear By The Water').