The Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council (SSISC) is a non-profit society that works in cooperation with organizations, governments and industry on the south coast of British Columbia, Canada, in a province wide effort to minimize the negative impacts caused by invasive species. The society was formed in July of 2009 and initiated by Stewardship Pemberton and the Whistler Biodiversity Project.
What we do:
- Raise awareness and educate the public, government agencies, and other land managers about invasive species and their impacts;
- Provide a conduit for information and a source of expertise on invasive species including identification, prevention and control;
- Improve invasive plant stakeholder communication and information sharing;
- Minimize the further introduction and spread of invasive species in the area through early detection and control, and coordinated integrated invasive species management efforts; and
- Work with local government to implement policy.
Where we work:
We work on the southern coast of BC just north of the Vancouver Regional District. Our borders coincide with the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) electoral areas C & D, which includes Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton. We also cover the Village of Lions Bay that is just south of the SLRD.
We work closely with our neighbouring invasive groups: the Coastal Invasive Plant Committee, Greater Vancouver Invasvive Plant Council, Fraser Valley Invasive Plant Council and the new Lillooet Region Invasive Species Society.
Who we are:
Our Board of Directors, Advisers & partners represent a range of stakeholders.
Chair: Paul Beswetherick
Hails from Cape Town South Africa and holds a Bachelor degree in Agricultural Management. He has worked with the Resort Municipality of Whistler for the last 17 years as the Landscape Maintenance Supervisor. Paul has been in the horticulture industry for 26 years, with 15 years as a Certified Arborist. His interests include fly fishing, cross-country skiing and labradors.
Vice-Chair: Edith Tobe, RP. Bio.
Edith Tobe is a Professional Biologist who runs her own company as well as being Executive Director for the Squamish River Watershed Society. Edith has lived in Squamish for close to 20 years and has helped to develop environmental and stewardship initiatives and programs throughout the Sea to Sky Corridor. She has helped to create over thirty stream and wetland restoration projects through the region including re-establishing sections of the Squamish estuary into productive habitat. Edith is passionate about working with the public to collaboratively develop strategies to ensure we maintain a healthy and vibrant ecosystem in the Sea to Sky Corridor for the future and is pleased to sit as a Board member on the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council and raise awareness about the impacts that invasive species can have on our community. When not busy at work you can often find Edith and her two red heeler cattledogs out exploring Sea to Sky Country!
Treasurer: Caroline Ashekian
Caroline is a biologist and has been working with the District of Squamish Environment Department since 2007. In this role, she has had the opportunity to work on a diverse portfolio of projects, including land development, sustainable policy initiatives, restoration projects, and regional initiatives such as air quality and invasive species. Prior to working with the District of Squamish, she was the owner of a consulting firm and managed contracts with a variety of clients, including federal and provincial government agencies, community-based organizations, as well as sustainable agricultural operators. She obtained a BSc from the University of Ottawa and recently completed an MSc from Royal Roads University. In her spare time, she loves mountain biking and spending time with her husband and two-year-old son.
Jim Hunt, BSc, MSc, RPF
Jim is the owner of N&R Forest Management Ltd., a forestry consulting company that has operated from Squamish since 1988. N&R specializes in silviculture, vegetation management, and forest management. Jim has 23 years of experience in forestry. He is a Registered Professional Forester with a Master’s degree in silviculture from Sweden and an undergraduate degree from the University of Alberta. Jim has worked as an independent contractor for several years doing project management, operational silviculture and research. He has also worked in Chile, Sweden and Finland, and for the Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada (FERIC).
Bob Brett, M.Sc., RP. Bio.
Bob started the Whistler Biodiversity Project in late 2004. Bob trained in forest ecology and conservation biology, and has worked since graduation as a research ecologist with Snowline Ecological Research in Whistler. Bob’s research includes ecosystem classification, forest histories on tree rings, tree thinning for wildlife, and traditional plant use with the Lil’wat Nation. He is the founding president and current board member of the Whistler Naturalists. Bob sits on the RMOW Natural Areas Task Force and Forest and Wildland Advisory Committee.
Randall Lewis - Squamish Nation
David Ralph - Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
David is the Senior Weed Technologist with the Invasive Plant Program, Range Branch, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO), Kamloops, BC. Prior to joining FLNRO in 2009, he spent 28 years with the BC Ministry of Agriculture's Weed and Invasive Plant Management Program. He has worked extensively with land managers and the agriculture industry in developing weed and invasive plant management strategies, control and management programs and extension recommendations for pasture, range and intensive crop production. He is a Director on many of the provinces' Regional Invasive Councils and Committees and currently he is an Alternate Board Director on the Invasive Species Council of BC.
Ian Holl - Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Abe Litz, RFP - Hedberg and Associates Consulting
Allen McEwan - Stewardship Pemberton; Pemberton Wildlife Association: Pemberton Farmer's Institute
Allison MacDonald - Squamish Lillooet Regional District
Bryce Anderson - Whistler Landscaping
Clare O'Brien - Whistler resident
Heike Stippler - Heike Desings Inc.
Ian Holl - Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Joanna Hirner - BC Parks
Joanne Ronsley - Village of Lions Bay Councillor
Kim Slater - Resort Municipality of Whistler, Environmental Coordinator
Leslie Kristoff - FortisBC
Meg Fellowes - Squamish Environment Society
Rene Roddick - BC Hydro
Sandy Steer - District of Squamish Parks
Ted Prior - Squamish resident/builder
Crystal Wheeler - Ministry of Transportation
Kristina Swerhun M.Sc.
Kristina has been with the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council since May 2009, before the non-profit society was formed. Her background is native plant biology and during her Masters she established long-term monitoring stations on the south coast of BC to study the effects of climate change on high elevation plant communities, which she continues to coordinate. Kristina’s field experience as a plant biologist extends from Northern California to Southern BC. Whistler has been her home since 1996 and she is currently President of the Whistler Naturalists Society and a contributor to the Whistler Biodiversity Project.
Concerned community members and local organizations
Squamish River Watershed Society
Squamish Environmental Society
Pemberton Wildlife Association
Squamish Lillooet Regional District
Resort Municipality of Whistler
Provincial & federal agencies
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Ministry of Agriculture
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Invasive-free Certified Companies & Organizations
The Alchemist Landscape Design & Management
Other Industry & private businesses
N&R Forest Management
Independent invasive groups across BC (download map 340KB)
South Okanagan-Similkameen Invasive Plant Society
Boundary Weed Management Committee
Central Kootenay Invasive Plant Committee
East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council
Southern Interior Weed Management Committee
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee
Northeast Invasive Plant Committee
Northwest Invasive Plant Council
Invasive Species Council of BC
Join the Sea to Sky Invasive Species Council
Become a Member (individuals)
Free to individuals who support the mission of the SSISC: to minimize the threat of invasive species in the Sea to Sky Corridor. Become a member by signing up to receive email updates. As a member you’ll be eligible to vote at our Annual General Meeting.
Become a Partner (groups)
Partnerships are offered at various levels to governments, organizations, and companies. These partnerships acknowledge overall support for activities the SSISC provides to the Sea to Sky Corridor, with different partnerships offering different benefits.
In addition to the historically free services SSISC has provided its partners (consultation, education, public inquiries), partnership includes eduactional programs on invasive species management and formalized recognition for partnership. Membership includes services such as: Education & Outreach, Source of Expertise, Access & Resources, Visibility & Promotion.
Fee for Service agreement
Hire the SSISC to complete field work or for consultation and education services not already included in your partnership.
- Horticulture & Contractor– Details to be announced.
Program is disigned for corporations and companies.
*Organizations that provide only in kind funding are also considered partners but not given the same exposure as sponsors