Islands Trust Conservancy Board

The Islands Trust Conservancy Board consists of three Islands Trust trustees (two elected by the Islands Trust Council, and one appointed as a representative of the Islands Trust Executive Committee) and up to three members of the public appointed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Roles and Responsibilities

The Islands Trust Conservancy’s responsibilities are defined under Part 6 of the Islands Trust Act and the Islands Trust Conservancy Board’s roles and responsibilities are defined through Islands Trust Conservancy policy.

Headshot of Islands Trust Conservancy Board member Linda Adams

Linda Adams
Chair, Provincially Appointed Board Member
E: Linda Adams

Linda is an educator, land use planner, local government consultant and the former Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Islands Trust, a position she retired from in January 2016 after a 25-year career in local government. Linda is currently on the faculty of Capilano University’s School of Public Administration, where she coordinates a course for Chief Administrative Officers in BC local governments. She teaches similar courses in land use planning, local government finance, problem solving and policy development. Linda is also a member of the Canadian Institute of Planning and the Planning Institute of BC (PIBC), Linda sits on PIBC’s Professional Conduct Review Committee.

Headshot of Trustee Corlynn Strachan

Dr. Risa Smith
Co-Chair, Provincially Appointed Board Member
E: Dr. Risa Smith

Risa is an ecologist and current Leader of Protected Areas Climate Change Specialist Group, World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Her recent publications focus on the role of protected areas in meeting both climate change and biodiversity targets. Risa was a lead on the protected areas stream for the Summit on Nature-Based Climate Solutions in Canada, has recently been selected for the Canadian government’s Nature-Based Climate Solutions Advisory Committee and IUCN’s Nature-Based Solutions Advisory Committee. Risa has given many public talks in BC, Canada and internationally on the theme of Using Nature’s Ways to Fight Climate Change.

Prior to working with WCPA, Risa was the Manager, International Biodiversity Policy, with the Canadian Wildlife Service (2002-2017), and Head of State of Environment Reporting for the BC government (1993-2002). In those capacities she lead many state of environment style reports, including Canadian Biodiversity: Ecosystem Status and Trends 2010 and the first Indicators of Climate Change for British Columbia .

Risa lives on Galiano Island and is a founding director and current board member of the Galiano Conservancy Association and the volunteer warden, Galiano Ecological Reserve.

Headshot of Gabriola Island Trustee Tobi Elliot

Tobi Elliott
Islands Trust Executive Committee Representative
E: Tobi Elliott
T: 1-604-832-7034

Tobi has lived and worked on Gabriola Island, Snuneymuxw First Nation territory, since 2012. She advocates for healthy island communities and ecosystems through a biocultural approach that respects Indigenous knowledge in land use planning. Exploring low-impact housing solutions for rural communities, Tobi organized tiny house education courses around B.C., culminating in building a demonstration tiny home. She works in communications, documentary film, and media, and is finishing a Master’s Degree in Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University. Her action research project explores how local government and community groups can develop better ways of engaging with First Nations.

Ken Thomas
Provincially Appointed Board Member
E: Ken Thomas

English name, Kenneth Thomas, Ken is a member of the Penelakut Tribe with extensive knowledge of the lands and waters of Vancouver Island having worked for the Penelakut Tribe for over 20 years as a Fisheries Guardian. Previously, Mr. Thomas was a knowledge keeper for the Hul’qumi’num Lands and Resources Society. Active in his community, he first served as an elected Council member for the Penelakut Tribe from 2014-2016 and was re-elected in 2018. Mr. Thomas is serving in the current Chief and Council term with the next election in 2024. He was a volunteer first responder on Penelakut Island and volunteers each year to harvest elk for the tribe and organizes a team of hunters from October to March to provide meat for cultural events.

Headshot of Gabriola Island Trustee Susan Yates

Susan Yates
Trust Council Elected Board Member
E: Susan Yates
T: 1-250-247-8086

As a Trustee for the Gabriola Local Trust Area, my job carries a responsibility for the natural environment with every decision. My children were born and raised on Gabriola Island, and I care deeply about them and future generations. I have witnessed the success of science-based planning and land protection. I believe that collaboration is key to our continued success, and look forward to creating long-lasting partnerships for ecological conservation.

I am committed to learning First Nations history and culture in the places we call the Trust Area, and where I live –where Coast Salish peoples have lived for thousands of years. I look forward to finding ways to engage with First Nations and finding opportunities to integrate indigenous knowledge, protect culturally significant species and places, and honour Aboriginal Rights.