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

What needs to change is put the primary focus on all the types of ecosystems that originally existed in British Columbia...shift from looking at it from a ‘maintain a healthy timber supply’ point of view to a ‘maintain a healthy ecosystems’ point of view.

Al is a professional forester with 45 years’ experience spanning government and consulting. Born in Burns Lake, he lived in a variety of communities in the northwest while growing up, including Queen Charlotte City, Kitwanga, Terrace, and Prince Rupert. His early career saw him stationed in Houston, Lower Post, Ootsa Lake, and Smithers. During a second stint in Houston as forest district manager, he also served as president of the Professional Foresters Association, and board chair for Northwest Community College.

In 1994 he was appointed regional manager for the Prince George Forest Region, and for a while worked concurrently as executive director of Forest Practices Code Implementation. In 1998 he moved to Victoria to take on the role of vice president for land and resources at Forest Renewal BC and was later promoted to chief operating officer.

In 2002 Al started his own consulting firm and has since worked with a wide variety of industries, communities, and governments across the province, nationally and internationally on natural resource and management matters. From 2004 to 2007 he served as president of the McGregor Model Forest and was a founding director of the Canadian Model Forest Network. He is a past member of the Forest Appeals Commission and Environmental Appeals Board and was chair of BC’s Forest Practices Board from 2010 to 2013.

In 2019 Al was appointed to lead a sweeping review of how BC’s old growth forests are managed.  The review, along with Garry Merkel, resulted in the 2020 report, A New Future for Old Forests.   

When not in Victoria or travelling, Al will likely be found at the family cabin on Uncha Lake, which is where Who Cares caught up with him this past summer.

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Taryn Skalbania, Co-Founder & Outreach Director of the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance

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

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