Wendy Francis is one of Canada’s senior conservationists who has spent most of her career advocating for wilderness and wildlife. Her love of nature was nurtured during her childhood in Ontario, where all weekends and summer holidays were spent outside in neighbourhood woods or at the family cottage near Algonquin Provincial Park. She cut her teeth on conservation issues as a volunteer with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) in Calgary, participating in successful public campaigns to oppose development in Banff National Park. In 1991, then-Premier Ralph Klein appointed Wendy to a review panel that led to strengthening the province’s environmental protection legislation. In 1996, she decided to make her career in conservation, going on to help protect southern Alberta’s Whaleback region, create Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, and secure provincial park protection for Kananaskis Country. She later helped to create a new Endangered Species Act for Ontario and was a key member of the project that launched the Canadian Boreal Initiative and led to Ontario’s commitment to protect 50% of its northern boreal forest. Educated in biology and environmental law, Wendy was the founding Conservation Director for CPAWS in Calgary, Director of Conservation Science for Ontario Nature in Toronto, and Program Director for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. In 2012 she received both a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal and Wilburforce Foundation’s Conservation Leadership Award for her efforts. Wendy spends as much time as possible in the natural world, hiking, backpacking, and cross-country skiing. She currently lives in Gibsons, BC where she is Executive Director of the Sunshine Coast Foundation.