On March 1, 2011, the Bulkley Valley Research Centre hosted almost 50 members and guests at its annual general meeting, held at the Aspen Inn’s Riverside Grill in Smithers. The AGM and awards ceremony recognized individuals and research that have contributed to sustainability in northwestern B.C.
This year’s recipients of the Jim Pojar Award were Natalie Ban, Hussein Alidina and Jeff Ardon for their paper Cumulative Impact Mapping: Advances, relevance and limitations to marine management and conservation, using Canada’s Pacific waters as a case study. The trio was nominated by Mike Ambach, the North Coast Program manager with WWF Canada, who called the term cumulative impacts “the title of a chapter that hasn’t been written” in northern B.C.
“The work of Ban, Alidina and Ardon provides an important first step forward by applying a framework for mapping and assessing cumulative effects that recognizes the spatially dynamic nature of human impacts in the marine environment, and also integrates impacts from multiple types of human activities, both terrestrial-based and marine-based,” Ambach said in his nomination letter.
Also nominated for the Jim Pojar Award were Matt Sakals, David Wilford, Debbie Wellwood and Sandra MacDougall, three Smithers-based researchers who collaborated on a paper about grizzly bears and geomorphic fans. The paper was published in the peer-reviewed international journal Geomorphology.
Local chartered accountant Brian Edmison was given the Irving Fox Award. Edmison is described in the nomination letter as a community-minded outdoor recreationalist who has worked for a sustainable local wood supply, campaigned against the Kemano Completion Project, developed locally-based RSF Energy, championed the sustainability of small northern communities and supported projects such as Smithers’ airport runway extension, Valley Vision, and Northwest Community College’s School of Mining and Exploration.
“Brian has contributed significantly to the achievement of sustainability of Smithers in all of its ecological, social and economic dimensions while also raising the profile of his hometown both nationally and internationally,” the letter stated.
Last but not least, the BVRC recognized tireless volunteer Steve Osborn with its Volunteer Distinction Award. This is the second time Osborn has been awarded for his volunteerism. When he received the honour in 2009, he was unable to accept the award as he was busy volunteering. This year, the BVRC was pleased to grant him the award in person.