Board of Directors

The HCTF Board of Directors is made up of ten to eleven members, composed of:

  • two individuals appointed by the minister that oversees the Wildlife Act
  • two individuals appointed by the British Columbia Wildlife Federation, one with demonstrated fisheries expertise and one with demonstrated wildlife expertise
  • one individual appointed by the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia,
  • one individual appointed by the British Columbia Trappers Association, and
  • four or five additional members selected by the above appointees.

Current board members include:


Chair - Ross Peck – Hudson’s Hope

After a number of years as a public member of the HCTF board, Ross looks forward to the challenges of the Chair position. He holds a BA in Geography from UBC, a MSc in Wildlife Management from the University of Idaho, and maintains the status of a “retired” professional biologist. For twenty five years previous to 2005, Ross, with the assistance of his wife Deborah, owned and operated a family wilderness tourism and guide outfitting business based on the Tuchodi River in northeastern B.C. Participation in the Land and Resource Management Plan process in the late 1990s led to the development of the Muskwa- Kechika (MK) Management area, and Ross chaired the MK Advisory Board from 2001 to 2007. As well as maintaining positions with a number of local volunteer organizations, Ross is also a public board member on the Peace Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program. Ross has a passion for BC history, and his research into guiding and early wilderness expeditions has led to the development of numerous exhibits, presentations and papers, and many days spent in the BC Archives. He raises a little hay and ‘mountain horses’ at his home ranch on the Peace River near Hudson’s Hope, and when he isn’t out beating the water trying to tempt a rainbow trout to take a fly, would like nothing better than to continue to watch the river run by!


HCTF Board Field trip June 2016 group shot

Vice Chair - Harvey Andrusak – Nelson

Harvey Andrusak is the President of Redfish Consulting Limited in Nelson. He specializes as a biological consultant in freshwater fisheries biology, with expertise in kokanee and rainbow trout biology. Harvey has also served as Director, Fisheries Branch and Manager, Fish Culture in the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks and as the Regional Fisheries Biologist in the Ministry of Environment. Harvey is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science.


Vice Chair - Winifred B. Kessler – Prince George

Winifred Kessler’s 40-year career in wildlife science and management was divided between academic and government positions. She held teaching and research positions totalling 19 years at the University of Idaho, Utah State University, and the University of Northern British Columbia where she chaired the Forestry Program. She was the 1997 British Columbia Academic of the Year and in 2002 received an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Texas AM University. Her 21 years with the U.S. Forest Service included terms as the Alaska Regional Ecologist, the National Wildlife Ecologist, and in 2010 she retired as the Alaska Regional Director of Wildlife, Fisheries, Ecology and Watershed Management. Dr. Kessler has been active in The Wildlife Society (TWS) throughout her career; she became a Certified Wildlife Biologist in 1979, served for 6 years as Associate Editor for the Wildlife Society Bulletin, 6 years as the Northwest Section Representative to Council, and was the 2012-13 President of TWS. Other service includes 22 years as a professional member of the Boone & Crockett Club, 18 years on the HCTF Board of Directors, and a recent appointment to National Board of Directors for Ducks Unlimited Canada. Dr. Kessler holds a Bachelor of Zoology and a Master of Range Management from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Range Science from Texas A&M University.


Don Wilkins – Prince George

Don Wilkins grew up in the Grand Forks – Christina Lake area of BC.  Moving from Victoria to Prince George, with a degree in Education, he taught high school sciences for 33 years, retiring in 2006.  In addition, he worked for 13 years as part time Provincial Emergency Program Area Coordinator.  Don is an avid trapper, shooter and hunter.  He is a past President of the BC Trappers Association and a past President of the Spruce City Wildlife Association.  He has been a CORE instructor and is currently a Master Instructor for federal PAL courses.  He has travelled the province extensively.


Ken Ashley - North Vancouver

Ken received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. at UBC in the Zoology Department, specializing in aquatic ecology, and an M.A.Sc. and Ph.D. at UBC in the Faculty of Applied Sciences in Civil and Environmental Engineering. He worked for the Ministry of Environment in the Fisheries Research and Development Section on the UBC campus from 1979 to 2005, initially as a project biologist, and eventually as Section Head for Fisheries Restoration and Bioengineering. While in this position he conducted a set of large-scale adaptive management experiments, and is internationally recognized for his research in the design, operation and effects of hypolimnetic aeration systems, lake/reservoir fertilization, and stream/river enrichment. Ken received the Murray A. Newman Award for Significant Achievement in Aquatic Research in 1997, Fisheries Professional of the Year from the BC Ministry of Environment in 1999 and the Seth Diamond Award for Interdisciplinary Conservation Research from the University of Idaho-Moscow and University of Montana-Missoula in 2001.  Ken transferred to the Greater Vancouver Regional District from 2005 to 2007 as Senior Engineer and was the project lead for the Environmental Management team, with responsibility for raw drinking water quality, and monitoring the environmental effects of wastewater discharges from the regions five wastewater treatment plants and municipal water withdrawals from the Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam rivers. Dr. Ashley is currently Director of the Rivers Institute at BCIT, an instructor in BCIT’s Ecological Restoration Program and is an Adjunct Professor in Civil Engineering at UBC.

Ian McGregor – Kamloops

Ian McGregor is the former Vice President of the Sports Fishing Division of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. Prior to joining the Society, Ian worked for the Provincial Fish and Wildlife Branch, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of service. Ian worked several summers as a student for the Fish & Wildlife Branch on interior small lakes management before beginning his career as a steelhead biologist in 1977. He worked in both the marine and freshwater environment and has worked on steelhead issues on the central coast of British Columbia, on the east and west coast of Vancouver Island, and in the Fraser River drainage. In 1995 Ian became the Fisheries Section Head for the Thompson/Okanagan Region and then the Fish & Wildlife Section Head for the Thompson Region in 2002. More recently he became involved in large lake watershed management leading the Ministry of Environment, other government agencies, stakeholders and industry in progressive integrated management. Ian was involved in all aspects of provincial fisheries management and served as a FFSBC Board of Director from 2003-2011. He has a Master’s of Science from the University of Victoria specializing in fisheries and aquatic sciences. Ian and his wife Brenda McGregor live in Kamloops and have two children. Ian spends his leisure time on interior small lakes fishing and recreating on Shuswap Lake with his family.

Brenda Nelson - Hazelton


George Wilson - Fernie

George Wilson is the past president of the BC Wildlife Federation and has served on the BCWF Board of Directors for over 20 years. He is a life member of the Fernie Rod and Gun Club and is a founding member of the Kootenay Grizzly Bear Committee. In 2012, George retired from a long career working in the coal industry and now operates Wilson’s Drill and Blast Service together with his wife Marilyn. Born and raised in the Elk Valley, George does all most all of his hunting and fishing in the Elk and Flathead River watersheds.

David Tesch - Victoria

David is Executive Director of Knowledge Management Branch in the Ministry of Environment. He has worked for the provincial government since 1996 when he started in Kamloops with Fish and Wildlife Branch as the Regional Fish Inventory Specialist. David moved to Victoria in 2004, to become Business Applications Specialist focusing on systems and information technology to make fish and fish habitat information available to the public and decision makers. In 2007 he became manager of the Ecosystems Information Section and most recently Executive Director in 2014. The Knowledge Management Branch is currently responsible for: fish, wildlife and ecosystems information and systems; snow, ground water, surface water and other climate related data and information gathering networks; State of Environment reporting; the North Road Analytical Chemistry Lab; and, the JT Fyles Natural Resources Library. David is also one of the government representatives on the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program – Columbia Board. Prior to joining the BC public service, David worked for 6 years as an environmental consultant and was involved with freshwater and marine projects around BC including: the Stikine, Haida Gwaii , the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. David holds a B.Sc. from UBC and is a Registered Professional Biologist.  Away from the office, he enjoys cycling, swimming, boating and fishing, and lives in Victoria with his wife Jodi and their three children.


Ward Trotter - Victoria

Ward is the Executive Director Natural Resources within the Resource Stewardship Division that has the stewardship mandate within the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to ensure the province’s forests, wildlife, freshwater fish and water resources are managed in accordance with government’s expressed priorities for balancing a complex array of public and private interest. As Executive Director, Ward is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating legislation, policies, resource practices, initiatives, plans and programs associated with all aspects of resource stewardship. The position provides executive direction and oversight of the Fish and Wildlife Branch, the Resource Management Objectives Branch and the Water Management Branch. Prior to his current role, Ward held Director level positions in the Lands program providing strategic, legislative and operational policies tools that informed the management of Crown and private land in the province. Ward’s Public Service career touches the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, with extensive experience in park, outdoor recreation and natural resource management. Ward holds a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Geography and Environmental Studies. Since 1993, he and has wife have lived in Victoria where they raised their two children. Outside of work he enjoys hockey, golf, and camping.


Ex-Officio/Chief Executive Officer – Brian Springinotic – Victoria

Brian Springinotic joined the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation in 2004, becoming Executive Director in 2005. Since joining the Foundation, he has led the organization through a transition from government agency to the current status as an independent not for profit charitable foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Brian started his working career in the forest industry and then moved on to a career with the provincial government, including several years in the conservation land management field as well as protected area policy, planning and management work. He has a degree in Resource Geography from UVIC as well as an Education degree from UBC.