Garry Merkel, Chair of the Old Growth Strategic Review Panel

We're managing a thousands year old ecosystem on a four-year election cycle.
That just doesn't make any sense.

Garry is a member of the Tahltan Nation and a professional forester whose work has advanced land stewardship, community empowerment and culturally relevant Indigenous education, governance and economic independence. For more than 40 years he has been involved in many Indigenous initiatives creating businesses, schools, land management arrangements, and working relationships with government. A University of Alberta graduate, he chaired the Aboriginal Forestry Education and Training Review, leading to a collaborative national post-secondary approach to improving Indigenous resource management education in Canada. Garry recently received an honorary doctorate from UBC Forestry in recognition of the remarkable contributions he has made to advance the culturally relevant education and economic self-determination of Indigenous peoples. Together with Al Gorley, Garry co-authored A New Future for Old Forests, a report for the Province of British Columbia that includes recommendations on the management of old-growth forests in the province that the Provincial Government has committed to implement in full.

View the report here.

hear more expert opinions
and learn about the problems facing BC Wildlife

We don't own the land, the land owns us

Garry Merkel, Chair of the Old Growth Strategic Review Panel

The science is clear – it's been clear for decades

Roy Rea, PhD, Senior Laboratory Instructor of Forestry at UNBC

We have to keep the forests intact

Al Gorley, Retired Professional Forester and Co-Chair of the Old Growth Strategic Review Panel

We have to we want wildlife?

Shaun Freeman, Senior Wildlife and Habitat Biologist, SDF Environmental

Who We Are

We are a group of individuals who live and work primarily in rural British Columbia and care deeply about wildlife and the habitat it requires to survive.

The Who Cares campaign is designed to be educational and provocative, not political.  It’s intended to draw your awareness to the issues that exist, help you see that wildlife in BC is facing significant challenges, and engage you in caring – caring to the point of taking the kind of action that produces positive changes on the land. 

Who Cares is about putting down our differences to work together to achieve positive changes for habitat and wildlife.  It is about collaboration, not entrenched positions. 

Along the way, we will have differences – maybe even HUGE differences, but that doesn’t mean we can’t work together to achieve a shared mission of healthier forests, fewer wildfires, floods and landslides, and more abundant fish and wildlife.  A province that we can feel proud to leave to our children and grandchildren.

As humans, everything we do on this planet has an impact.  All our food choices – whether animal or plant-based – have consequences.  And the way humans think about animals is incongruent, to say the least.  Regardless, whether you are an omnivore, carnivore or herbivore, if you care about wildlife, habitat, and BC’s forests, there is far more that unites us than separates us.  Please – let’s invest our energy together on positive change instead of hating one another.  Too much is at stake.

Who Cares is an initiative of the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia.  Yes, we hunt and yes, we understand that is difficult for those who don’t to understand.  It’s counterintuitive how hunters can care so deeply for the very animals they pursue, possibly even more deeply than those who don’t hunt at all.  Get to know us, ask us whatever you want.  We’re happy to share our beliefs as best as we can.

What We Believe

Wildlife needs to be assigned a value so that land-based decisions will consider them and their habitat.  There needs to be more values on the land than just growing pine 2x4s.  Wildlife needs to be a key performance indicator of a healthy forest.  Forestry reform is needed. 

We are pro-wildlife, pro-ecosystem health, and pro-sustainable use.  Pro-Super, Natural British Columbia.  Pro-wild within.  Pro clean air.  Pro-clean water.  Pro-wild fish.  Pro-collaboration