"Committed to the restoration of wild Pacific salmon in mid Vancouver
Island watersheds through habitat restoration and community engagement"
"Committed to the restoration of wild Pacific salmon in mid Vancouver
Island watersheds through habitat restoration and community engagement"



We are dedicated to the recovery of wild Pacific salmon through the conservation and restoration of their habitat - watersheds, estuaries and shorelines and to  connect people to their landscape through partnerships that focus on field study, education and restoration.

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Board of Directors

Peter Law,  President. Peter recently retired from the BC Ministry of Environment, where he worked as an Ecosystem Biologist for 33 years on Vancouver Island.  He has lived in the mid Island area since the early 1980’s with his family, and has volunteered his time in support of various not for profit organizations dedicated to the protection and conservation of fish, wildlife and their habitats.  In recent years, he has been active with organizations who are active in educating and restoring natural systems.  Peter graduated with a BSc from the University of Victoria and completed a Diploma at UVic in Restoration of Natural Systems in 2005.

Ross Peterson, Vice President. Ross graduated from UBC in 1962 and 1964 with degrees in biology and zoology. He worked as a biologist for the provincial government for 10 years in regional management, special projects and research capacities. Ross then worked as a consultant in environmental assessments and resource management before leaving for a new career in emergency/disaster management. He served as director of emergency management for the three North Shore municipalities for 11 years, before retirement. Ross and Rosemarie moved to the Island in 2000 where they live in Nanoose Bay. Ross volunteered with the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre for 12 years, where he delivered education programs to schools and the public (Ross and Bardo the owl were good friends).

Shirley Hine, Treasurer. Shirley is originally from Manitoba and has lived in the Parksville area for many years.  Her professional career in Administration with the City of Parksville spanned thirty years.  During that time she was recognized for her service, professional contributions and dedication to local government issues from the Province of British Columbia, the Local Government Management Association of BC, the Vancouver Island/Sunshine Coast Chapter of the LGMA, the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and the City of Parksville.  Having a long time interest and concern for our lands and the environment, and finding retirement to be too slow a pace, Shirley joined MVIHES as Treasurer in 2009 and continues to be actively involved in various capacities with a number of other organizations in the area.

Shelley Goertzen, Secretary. Shelley is new to Vancouver Island, having just moved here in April 2015. For the two decades prior to her arrival on Paradise Island, Shelley worked for not for profit agencies in an administrative role. This contributed to her desire to get out in the field and get her hands (and, on occasion, her face) dirty. She has always been interested in the health of the natural environment, and looks forward to supporting MVIHES both by participating in field work and at the Board level.

Carl Rathburn, Past President. Carl first came to Parksville in 1968 and worked as a foreman for MacMillan Bloedel. He then worked as a logging manager in Duncan,Ucluelet and the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii). In the early 70's he worked for Weldwood of Canada as the General Manager of Coast Logging and Forestry and later became the Vice President of Coastal Manufacturing (sawmills, logging, log supply and forestry). After the sale of Weldwood he ran Canadian Aircrane ( a heavylift helicopter and logging company) for a few years, and then did some consulting on a sporadic basis. He moved back to Parksville in 2000. He has worked in the woods all his working life and always had a love for the natural world. 

Dave Hutchings, Director. Since the 1970s, Dave has had an increasing interest in the natural world and man's impact on the environment.  For over 20 years, he has been active in the naturalist movement through local groups affiliated with the Federation of BC Naturalists.  In 2004, Dave retired to Qualicum Beach from Chilliwack, after teaching in BC secondary schools for over 30 years.  As an island resident, he has become acutely aware of the pressures of resource extraction and development on our ecosystems - in particular, upon our fresh water resources.  For the past several years he has been involved in an ongoing stewardship project to protect and restore native habitat on the Englishman River estuary.

Bernd Keller, Director. After working many years as a research chemist and lecturer at various universities across Canada, Bernd moved to Vancouver Island in 2015, where he is still actively helping senior high school and university students with their chemistry courses. Bernd started volunteering with MVIHES in February of 2016 and was appointed a Director of the Board in September of 2016. Bernd is keen on continuing to learn more about the significance of our local watersheds and fish habitats and enjoys participating in the many MVIHES initiatives, especially the ones with outdoor activities.

Dick Dobler, Director. Dick grew up on the mean streets of Parkville in the fifties and sixties, playing a variety of sports and fishing, mostly in the Englishman River. He graduated from Qualicum high in 1969 and attended Malaspina College (now VIU) the first year it opened in 1970. He worked in land survey for a few years, and then pipe and road building construction with mostly local companies. As a result he has worked in most towns and cities on the island as well as six years in Whistler and stints on Haida Gwaii and other coastal communities. Now retired, he is passionate about preserving and restoring local habitat with hands on commitment with MVIHES.

Don Lawseth, Director. Don has lived in Nanoose Bay since the mid-90s, joining MVIHES in 2014 and served as vice president in 2016. He retired from Fisheries and Oceans Canada in 2005. Don was one of the original Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP) Community Advisors, later going on to manage SEP's Community Involvement Program (public involvement, community economic development, education and communication). During this time, amongst many other initiatives, he oversaw development of the Streamkeepers Program and was the ex-officio representative to the Pacific Salmon Foundation in its formative years. Don also managed hatcheries, developed fishery policies and coordinated implementation of the Species at Risk Act into Pacific fisheries. Don was attracted to MVIHES by its long history of good works and a boots-on-the-ground approach to conservation and restoration of salmon and their habitats.

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