Gordon Stenhouse, Age: 57
Influential because: He’s on the side of the grizzlies
It’s been a long, steady decline for grizzly bears in Alberta, as their habitat is encroached upon by human activity. Back in 2010, grizzlies were listed as threatened in Alberta after it was determined there were only about 700 left in the province. But the drop in numbers is believed to have continued unabated. Last year alone, 29 grizzlies died, many at the hands of poachers who use industrial roads cut through the wilderness to get into grizzly territory.
Through it all Gordon Stenhouse has steadfastly researched and defended Alberta’s grizzlies. Stenhouse was the province’s top grizzly expert for a time, but in 2006 was stripped of his position after speaking out against the province’s strategy to protect the bears, which did not include a ban on hunting. Stenhouse now carries on his research and public advocacy through the Foothills Research Institute.