Bruce Klassen and his wife Eileen have been residents of Silverdale, Mission since 1988. An avid photographer, specializing in nature and macro images, Bruce draws his creative inspiration from the beautiful and abundant threatened biodiversity that is found in the 5 acre woodland in which he stewards. Bruce has been CAUSS’ photographer since its inception 10 years ago. He was also the photographer for the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival. His photos of community events have been featured in the Mission Record and Times newspapers.
Bruce is highly active in the conservation movement and is a long standing member of the Central Valley Naturalists, CAUSS, Mission of Streams, Silverdale Wetlands Committee, Stave Valley Salmonoid Enhancement Society and the Streamkeepers. In addition to his photographical contributions, Bruce is active in civic affairs including member of the Mission Heritage committee, the Mission Official Community Plan planning committee, and Mission’s Environmental Charter committee.
Having lived in the Fraser Valley for the past 20 years, Elena Edwards has seen the ongoing environmental degradation of the natural world that she loves. She considers herself fortunate to have grown up near the Fraser River and away from suburbia, where she formed an intimate relationship with the world of plants, animals, trees, mountains, and more.
In the past 20 years she has seen all of this torn apart and poisoned by industrial development, industrial agricultural practices, sprawl, and the actions of a society that seems to have an overall disregard for the importance of protecting and respecting the very nature of the earth that keeps us alive.
In the past few years she has become proactive in doing what she can to help protect what still remains of a natural environment, and in 2009 organized the Mission World Community Film Festival along with a dedicated committee of fellow nature lovers and activists for a more just world all around. That same year, she became a member of CAUSS, and now seeks to bring additional support to raising the level of awareness and instigate action against the threats to wilderness.
Don Mair is a long time resident of Mission a prolific painter, carver and outdoors enthusiast. His work has been featured at the premier of Vancouver’s Atropolis Exhibition in the Woodwards Building, at the Arts Council of Vancouver, as an invited artist of the Richmond Art Gallery, and at Mission’s Leisure Centre. He is inspired by Mission’s superior natural heritage and rural lifestyle. Don believes that art is a way of life, and enriches our existence.
Dr. Tracy Lyster is the chair of Citizens Against Urban Sprawl Society (CAUSS).
CAUSS is nonprofit society dedicated to preserving critical environmentally significant and sensitive natural areas in British Columbia from the devastating impacts of unsustainable development. CAUSS challenges governments to be accountable when industry and development proposals threaten the public’s right to clean air, water, local food security and healthy wild salmon stocks and has initiated numerous campaigns to increase public awareness and community engagement.
Val, her husband and children moved to Mission from Burnaby thirty-five years ago. She worked as a Social Services worker in the Mission and Abbotsford school districts, in addition to working as a self-employed tutor. As well as having varied interests, Val also has a keen interest in animal and environmental conservation.
Walter Neufeld was born and raised in Abbotsford. He manages a development company operating in BC and in Alberta. Walter has been a critic of the provincial government’s dysfunctional Mines Act for about 12 years. Most recently, he’s critiqued both Honourable Randy Hawes and the gravel industries Aggregate Pilot Project. The Aggregate Pilot Project is a harmful private production document which Hawes is currently trying to offload onto BC’s public domain.
Zoey Slater graduated from the University of the Fraser Valley in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biology with concentrations in both ecology and organisms. Her focus has been on conservation and species at risk. She has coordinated a landowner contact program that helped bring awareness to local species at risk and their protection. She has also been involved in inventory work of invasive species throughout the Fraser Valley.
Daniel Van der Kroon is a resident of the McLennan Watershed in North Abbotsford. Public transit whipping boy. Human pollution sequestration unit. UFV Geography and Economics student. Neighbour of the Matsqui First Nation. Local StreamKeeper and cyclist, and member of the Ravine Park Salmonid Enhancement Society.