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Lee Hesketh started the Farmland-Riparian Interface Stewardship Program (FRISP), an innovative program of the BC Cattlemen’s Association. The program’s goal is to address watershed resource concerns by encouraging sustainable land management practices in the agricultural sector.
In his work with FRISP, Lee helps agricultural producers in BC protect and enhance water quality, riparian vegetation and fish habitat. He also provides government, industry, First Nations and environmental groups with a greater understanding of the ranching sector and its needs. . Lee is well known for his collaborative leadership approach, which promotes cooperation and dialogue among the stakeholders.
Lee is also a co-owner of the Hesketh family’s Silver Hills Ranch. Located near Lumby, BC, the 2,000 acre ranch has been in his family for generations; taking care of the land was engrained in Lee from a young age.
Lee’s brother, Mark, operates the ranch while Lee takes a lead on stewardship-related initiatives on the property, and assists with the agro-forestry end of the business.
In all of his work, Lee implements stewardship design as early as possible as he believes it will save time and money down the road. He likes that it means the ranch has a smaller ecological footprint while growing healthy food and timber.
Additionally, the area around the ranch, Silver Hills Mountain, is recognized for its immense diversity, with several important species such as badgers, Western Screech Owls, Flammulated Owls, Swainson’s Hawks, Lewis’ woodpeckers, short eared owls, western toads, painted turtles, rubber boas, western skinks and alligator lizards. Lee’s management options help the ranch coexist with this biodiversity. Lee regularly uses the family property to teach people about biodiversity and effective stewardship practices.
In recognition of Lee’s work and Silver Hills Ranch’s commitment to environmental management practices, the ranch was awarded the 2012 Environmental Stewardship Award by the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association. It was also the first ranch in BC to be certified as “Salmon-Safe”.
Lee was also recognized for his work with the BC Agriculture Council’s Excellence in Agricultural Leadership in 2016 and FRISP was honoured with the Excellence in Water Stewardship Award for British Columbia in 2014.
One of the easiest ways to leave a legacy is through your will. Take our short Will Quiz as a first step.
Stewardship is about taking responsibility to promote, monitor, conserve and restore ecosystems for current and future generations of all species.
There are three types of environmental stewards:
1. Doers help out by taking action on the ground.
2. Donors help by donating money, land or other resources.
3. Practitioners work to steer agencies, scientists, stakeholder groups or other groups toward a stewardship outcome.