Welcome to the Ancient Forest Alliance

The Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) is a registered non-profit organization working to protect BC’s endangered old-growth forests and to ensure a sustainable, value-added, second-growth forest industry. Founded by Ken Wu and TJ Watt in February 2010, the organization has quickly grown into British Columbia’s main organization working toward province-wide legislation to end the logging of endangered old-growth forests.

Our Mission

The AFA is calling on the BC government to:

  • Implement a science-based plan to protect the endangered old-growth forests in the province.
  • Ensure the sustainable logging of second-growth forests, which now constitute the majority of forest lands in southern BC.
  • Support First Nations land use planning and sustainable economic development and diversification in lieu of old-growth logging.
  • End the export of BC raw logs to foreign mills in order to ensure a guaranteed log supply for BC mills and value-added processing facilities.
  • Implement incentives for the retooling and development of BC mills and value-added facilities to handle second-growth logs.

Meet the Team

TJ Watt
TJ Watt
Campaigner & Photographer - Executive Team
TJ is a Co-Founder, Campaigner, and Photographer with the Ancient Forest Alliance. Combining his passion for conservation with professional photography, TJ works to shed light on BC’s endangered ancient forests in an effort to help see them saved.
Joan Varley
Joan Varley
Administrative Director - Executive Team
Joan has been growing in the understory of the AFA since 2012 as the Administrative Director where her knowledge and skills of bookkeeping and office management compliment her love of all things natural and passion to preserve big old trees and the intricate habitat that they are a part of.
Tiara Dhenin
Tiara Dhenin
Research & Engagement Officer
Originally from northern BC, Tiara gradually made her way to Vancouver Island in 2015 when she also began working with the AFA. After serving in several roles throughout the years, she now works as a Research & Engagement Officer.
Ian Thomas
Ian Thomas
Research & Engagement Officer
Born in Vancouver, Ian has a lifelong passion for the ecosystems and wildlife of the coastal rainforest. A biologist by training, Ian received his Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Windsor in Ontario.
Rachel Ablack
Rachel Ablack
Projects Coordinator & Campaign Assistant
Rachel joined the AFA Team in November 2018. As someone who was born and raised on Vancouver Island, she cannot think of a better way to spend her time than to work to protect the endangered ancient forests she grew up with.
Coral Forbes
Coral Forbes
Administrative & Development Assistant
Coral fell in love with big trees after visiting the Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park when she was just out of High School and immediately decided that she wanted to be a “professional tree hugger” when she grew up.
Nadia Sheptycki
Nadia Sheptycki
Victoria Canvass Director
Nadia is a passionate visionary who believes in making the world a better place. Beginning as a canvasser with AFA in 2018, she grew deeply connected to the organization and the cause to protect BC’s endangered old-growth ecosystems.
Ken Wu
Ken Wu
Board Member
Ken Wu is the former Executive Director and co-founder of the Ancient Forest Alliance. He has worked to protect ancient forests in BC for over a quarter century, after first seeing the Walbran Valley as a teenager in 1991.
Celina Starnes
Celina Starnes
Board Chair
Celina has a life-long dedication to protecting diverse ecosystems. From the park behind her childhood house, to her time at the McGill School of the Environment, to her environmental work on the west coast, she is always looking to help.
Kerrie Blaise
Kerrie Blaise
Board Member
Kerrie is a lawyer and advocate based in Ontario, Canada, passionately dedicated to environmental and public interest law. After years of volunteering with many environmental non-profits, Kerrie is honoured to join the Board of the Ancient Forest Alliance.
Tara Sawatsky
Tara Sawatsky
Board Member
Tara Sawatsky has been on the Ancient Forest Alliance’s Board of Directors since the organization started in 2010. However, her love for big trees and ancient forests did not start there.
Hannah Carpendale
Hannah Carpendale
Board Member
Having grown up on BC’s west coast, Hannah has nurtured a passion for old-growth forests since a young age.