board of directors

ROY HOWARD chairperson

Roy Howard is a founding member of the Fraser Headwaters Alliance and has been actively involved in conservation in the Robson Valley for 30 years. His experience has included participation in the Robson Valley Land and Resource Management Planning process (LRMP), and the Mountain Caribou Recovery Implementation Group (RIG). He serves of the boards of Hike Canada en Marche and HikeBC (for the National Hiking Trail), and the Silva Forest Foundation. Roy holds a B.Sc. in zoology from the University of California at Davis. Roy is semi-retired, but still occasionally does solar and wind energy installations through his small renewable energy company.

AL BIRNIE secretary/treasurer

Al Birnie was born in North Vancouver and moved from Toronto with his wife Sandy to the Robson Valley to retire in 2007. Al had been a journalist (Vancouver Sun and Editor-in-Chief of the University of B.C.’s student newspaper The Ubyssey), a printer (compositor) and a high school printing teacher (shop teacher) in his varied working career; as well as being very active in the community on many social, labour, international solidarity, and environmental issues. Since arriving here Al has spent much time with the Library Board (chair during the successful campaign for a new library building), Treasurer of the Elks organization, and the OAPO, the Community Garden, the McBride Community Forest Board (and the action group Take Back Our Forest); and in a moment of madness even ran for Mayor of McBride in 2010. But his passion (apart from soccer, having been a referee for 35 years) has always been the outdoors, and he spends most of his summer time doing local hikes, and maintaining trails with the FHA (with some work on the mountain bike trails too!). Winter is great for snowshoeing; and in his spare time he likes reading, yoga, circle dancing, and volunteering at the Robson Valley Music Festival.


JILL HOWARD grant writer


Rob Mercereau has studied ecology, permaculture, and natural building, for most of his adult life. He was raised in the Skeena River town of Terrace, and migrated to the Robson Valley after various vagabonding adventures on bicycles, with backpacks, or in remote living situations. Rob loves wildcrafting food and medicine from the forest and is at his best when exploring the wild. Rob is both fascinated and passionate about the dynamics of ecological systems, and would love to see our global culture shift to primarily embrace ecological principles.


Simon was introduced to the Fraser Headwaters Alliance in 2016, while on a canoe trip down the length of the Fraser River, as part of the Rivershed Society of BC’s Sustainable Living Leadership Program. Inspired by the Goat River watershed’s wild beauty and by the FHA’s tireless work to protect it, Simon decided to get involved. After moving to northern BC in 2017 he began volunteering with the FHA and became a board member in 2018.  Simon has a Master of Arts in Political Science from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Education in Counselling from the University of Northern BC. He has worked as a corporate reporting manager for the BC Government and as a program evaluator for the Northern Health Authority. Simon also sits on the board of the Rivershed Society of BC. He lives in Prince George with his wife Simran and two young daughters. 


Hanae Kiyooka joined the FHA board in 2023.  She spent her adolescence in Tête Jaune Cache on a property that ran adjacent to the Fraser River, with sparkly mica sand, Chinook salmon, western toads, mosquitoes,  horsetail and the delicate yellow lady slippers. She is a founding board member of the Kiyooka Land Trust Foundation, a grassroots not for profit, charitable land trust in the Robson Valley. She and her partner recently donated her parents’ 72 acre parcel of valley bottom land in Tête Jaune Cache to the land trust in order to assure its conservation for future generations.   She has a passion for the creative arts, social justice, environmental stewardship, and mindfulness practices. Hanae currently works as a homeschool facilitator for the Waldorf Independent school of Edmonton and as a certified facilitator of the Work of Byron Katie.  She also serves on the board of the Kiyooka Ohe Arts Centre,  a charitable not-for-profit that is situated in Calgary Alberta. 


In the 1970’s Jon lived in Penny and then in Dunster, owning some acres and building a home at the end of what is now known as Brown Road. Roy & Jill were neighbors. All 3 of his sons were born then, 2 in McBride and 1 in Jasper.  In the 1980’s Jon farmed in Minnesota, on a typical midwestern farm. From the 1990s- 2010 Jon worked in animal agriculture in Canada, the US and globally. Starting in 2010-2017 Jon was the Executive Director of a non-profit teaching farm on the island in Massachusetts where he  still lives. In 2006, Jon and his sons purchased the property known as Pepper Pit in Dunster, and have a small cabin there where you can find him every August or September.  Retired, Jon stays involved with local agriculture and fisheries as a volunteer.