November, 2012: Wendy Francis is one of Canada’s senior conservationists, having spent most of her life advocating for wilderness and wildlife. She began working 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. She went 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 is currently Program Director for the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. She recently received the prestigious Queen Elizabth II Diamond Jubliee Award. A resident of Banff, Alberta, Wendy spends as much time as possible in the natural world, hiking, backpacking and cross-country skiing.