Bruce Blackwell

M.Sc., RPF, R.P.Bio. - Principal

Bruce has more than 30 years experience as a Professional Forester and Biologist primarily focused in fire and forest ecology, silviculture, vegetation management, wildland/urban interface planning, forest policy and practice audits and reviews. 

Bruce is considered a provincial expert in fire and fuels management and has managed numerous innovative projects related to fire risk identification and mitigation for both the public and private sector. He has provided expert opinion testimony and numerous interviews on the topic of wildfire in BC. Bruce assisted the Firestorm 2003 Review Team in the development of recommendations on forest management and policy to mitigate the risk of catastrophic fires in the wildland/urban interface of BC. He has also applied his expertise in developing numerous wildfire community protection plans and wildfire risk assessments, risk management systems, fuel treatment prescriptions, and fire management plans.

Bruce's silviculture experience includes preparation of silviculture and stand management prescriptions. He has extensive experience in the assessment and auditing of soil disturbance and has developed and delivered a comprehensive training package on the subject to coastal and interior clients. In addition, he has applied the biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification to ecosystem description and classification to a number of studies related to forest productivity and forest succession. 

Bruce has an extensive background in forest management policy development, strategic planning, management and research with over 25 published and peer reviewed reports to his credit.

Bob Green

M.Sc., RPF, R.P.Bio.

Bob has over 40 years experience in the field of forest ecology and its application to forest management. He has played a key role in the development of the provincial biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification system, including developing methodologies for data collection and processing, deriving and refining the classification at local and regional levels, and preparing ecosystem-based management interpretations. He is a specialist in terrestrial ecosystem mapping (TEM), and has mapped more than 5.5 million hectares of coastal BC since 1996, developing innovative methods for conducting cost-effective, high quality mapping over large areas.

Bob has focused on the management value of TEM data, and has developed a number of applications from landscape-level forestry planning to municipal park planning. These include site index adjustment for forest-level yield analysis, operability and trafficability analysis, landscape-level tree species suitability and fertilization planning. Recently he has designed applications focusing on ecosystem-based management, including identification of sensitive ecosystems, mapping habitats for species at risk, and ecosystem restoration planning.

Bob has extensive experience in training operational staff in applying ecological principles to forestry decision-making, and has frequently provided advice on complex forest management issues. He has also planned and conducted all phases of research studies related to forest productivity and ecological factors, site preparation, and high elevation reforestation.

Jeff McWilliams

B.S.F., RPF.

Jeff has more than 30 years of experience in forest resource management and wood processing operations, both as a consultant and in private enterprise. His main areas of expertise are in strategic assessment and planning for various forest resource applications, silviculture practices and operational planning audits, silviculture and stand management prescriptions, and management of harvesting and silviculture operations. Jeff has extensive experience managing large projects with multi-disciplinary teams, most recently as acting General Manager of the McBride Community Forest, and in particular supported the management of a $14M Forests for Tomorrow multi-year contract in the Cariboo to restore mountain pine beetle-damaged forests. As a consultant Jeff has specialized in auditing of industry and government forest operations as well as operational planning and management. He provides sound management solutions in the way of quality assurance and quality control programs and processes.

Jeff has broad experience in all stages of forest development in both coastal and interior BC forests from planning through implementation. This includes permitting, site plan development, block and treatment layout, supervision, and monitoring. Working for a large coastal sawmill, he acquired experience in log purchasing, byproducts sales and the supervision of all phases of operation of a sawmill and planer.

Jeff is well-versed in silviculture best management practices in BC. At the landscape level, he has contributed to a number of integrated management plans and silviculture investment strategies involving complex trade-offs. At the operational level, Jeff has prescribed and implemented silviculture and stand management prescriptions for a range of treatments including reforestation, fertilization, juveniles spacing, and commercial thinning in both coastal and interior BC. Previously, as an operational forester with International Forest Products Ltd., Jeff was responsible for planning and implementing all phases of a major industrial silvicultural program, including planting, silviculture surveys, site preparation, spacing, pruning, vegetation management, and silviculture prescriptions.

In the area of forest ecology, Jeff has provided technical field sampling support for Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM) projects since 1996 and operationally applies his ecology knowledge in site plan and silviculture prescription development.

Aaron Bigsby

B.S.F., RPF.

b.a. blackwell staff

Aaron has over 20 years of experience working in forest resource management. His recent work has focused on operational forest development planning, forest health, silviculture and forest ecology. Aaron has also completed research trial establishment and monitoring for the Canadian Forest Service and, prior to joining B.A. Blackwell in 2002, gained extensive experience supervising tree planting and thinning crews, working as a wildland firefighter, and conducting beetle probes and implementing beetle salvage.

Aaron has managed numerous multi-year projects and has extensive experience in contractor supervision and quality assurance. Since 2013, Aaron has led the firm's forest development planning and layout team in contract with Aspen Planers, Lillooet Division. Under his supervision, over 100,000 m3/year has been planned for development, from reconnaissance through to full Road Permit and Cutting Permit approval. Aaron was also a project lead for a five-year contract to administer, plan, and implement a comprehensive silviculture program and restoration planning in the Cariboo region under the Forests for Tomorrow Program. This included the responsibility to recruit subcontractors and to supervise and conduct surveying, prescription development, and implementation of treatments related to damaged plantations impacted by the mountain pine beetle. Aaron has also played a key role in operational planning and implementation of aerial and manual coastal and interior forest fertilization programs, from strategic planning and prescription development to contractor supervision for both public and private sector clients.

In the area of forest health, Aaron has extensive experience completing aerial and ground assessments of pest and/or disease centers. This includes over 10 consecutive years conducting and supervising coastal forest health aerial surveys for the Provincial government.

Finally, in the area of forest ecology, Aaron has provided technical field sampling support for Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping (TEM) projects since 2002 and operationally applies his knowledge of forest ecology in site plan and silviculture prescription development.

Ben Andrew

B.S.F., RPF.

b.a. blackwell staff

Ben has over 17 years of experience in the environmental sector in the fields of terrestrial ecology, wetlands assessment, risk modelling, fire ecology, and forestry. He has managed projects from small-scale research programs to large complex projects involving multiple subcontractors and stakeholders.

Ben has worked throughout BC as well as in Nunavut, in the mining, forestry, and energy sectors. He has been involved in terrestrial ecosystem mapping (TEM) on over 1.5 million ha in BC, and on projects such as sensitive ecosystem inventories and mapping, rare and invasive plant assessments, wetland classification projects, ecological research projects, and ecosystem restoration planning.

Previously, as manager of the Terrestrial Ecology and Soils department at Rescan – ERM, Ben was the lead terrestrial ecologist on a dozen major projects in the mining and energy sectors. He has been involved in all aspects of environmental assessment including developing and implementing baseline field programs, authoring and reviewing environmental assessments, participating in stakeholders and regulator meetings, completing project permitting, and completing third party reviews for First Nations. Ben has developed environmental sensitivity mapping and management plans for wetlands, riparian areas, wildlife, and culturally sensitive areas, ensuring compliance with company sustainability goals and permitting requirements.

Ben has extensive experience in community wildfire planning. He has completed plans for over 20 communities in BC and has developed and implemented numerous fuel treatment projects throughout BC, including restoration treatments and prescribed burns in BC Parks.

He has also completed numerous projects for multiple First Nations including woodlot planning, community forest plans, guidance documents related to forest management in traditional territories, and third party environmental reviews.

To help municipal clients and clients in the mining sector to identify and manage risk, Ben has developed probability and consequence models to conduct ecological risk assessments. The model was recently presented at the Mineral Exploration Roundup convention, the world’s largest annual technical mineral exploration conference. Mr. Andrew is a member in good standing with the Association of BC Forest Professionals.