Chuck Rumsey and Claire Hutton have joined The Nature Conservancy’s Canada Program.
The addition of these two experienced and highly respected conservation and community development veterans will greatly bolster our in-country presence.
Chuck Rumsey has joined the Conservancy as the program’s senior conservation advisor, supporting our efforts to address conservation challenges across the Boreal and coastal forests of Canada. Claire Hutton joined the team as a community conservation and leadership advisor to support our partnerships with aboriginal communities. As Canadians, Chuck and Claire double our in-country staff capacity. Both have extensive experience working in the Great Bear Rainforest and will continue to contribute to that program along with managing other new initiatives.
This is Chuck’s second time working for the Conservancy. He first joined us in 1998 as a conservation planner in the Mojave Desert before moving to British Columbia to work for the Conservancy’s Canada Conservation Partnership until 2003. In the intervening 10 years he has worked for the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC)—a non-affiliated partner-organization—and as a consultant for a number of the Conservancy’s conservation partners working across the globe from Canada’s Arctic to sub-Saharan Africa.
“I feel lucky to be working in Canada because we’re not doing triage—yet,” he explained. “We have a chance to protect whole, intact areas at a global scale. The numbers and the opportunities are staggering. Canada has one-quarter of the world’s fresh water, 10% of the world’s forest, and there is more carbon stored in Canada’s boreal forest than in any other terrestrial ecosystem in the world.”
“The Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia may be the biggest and best example of the Conservancy working with first nation communities, aboriginal governments, local industry, and other environmental NGOs,” Chuck noted. “We collaborated with all these disparate groups to structure and finance a deal that manages millions of acres.”
In Chuck’s current role, he will be working toward similar goals and partnerships for an even larger geography in the province of Manitoba.
Claire joins us with expertise and established relationships with a number of First Nations, largely in The Great Bear Rainforest as well. She was previously the coordinator of the Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network and worked as the First Nations outreach coordinator at Sierra Club, British Columbia.
“I have been working with aboriginal communities for over a decade to support Nations in their efforts to increase and expand local authority and leadership, to take care of their lands and waters that we all share,” Claire said.
Another one of Claire’s projects at the Conservancy will be to connect and coordinate with communities who are part of the Emerald Edge initiative. This includes Washington and Alaska as well as Canada because all those geographies are part of the same ecosystem.
“I’m excited about the Conservancy’s increasing role in partnering with aboriginal people,” she added. “The issues we face are complex, an important piece of the puzzle is supporting the rights of aboriginal people to steward and manage their territories. People are doing amazing work on the ground to protect their resources and I’m looking forward to finding more ways for TNC to be involved with this work.”
Both Chuck and Claire add a Canadian experience and perspective that will be essential to the Conservancy’s effectiveness working for nature and people in Canada.