Staff and board


Gord Vaadeland – Executive Director

Gord was born and raised on a cattle ranch near Big River, Saskatchewan. He lives on the southwest boundary of the Prince Albert National Park with his family. They love the wild, free ranging bison in and around the Prince Albert National Park and wake up to them in their back yard on many occasions. Horses have been a part of Gord’s life since before he can remember and he currently operates Sturgeon River Ranch, an adventure tourism company that allows guests the opportunity to view wild bison while on horseback in the Prince Albert National Park. It’s also a working ranch – they raise Quarter Horses on their 5000 acres.
Gord works as Executive Director for both CPAWS-Saskatchewan and the Sturgeon River Plains Bison Stewards (SRPBS). Additionally, Gord serves as Watershed Awareness Advisor for the Provincial Council of Agriculture Development and Diversification Boards (PCAB).

Gord has twice been cast as “Sidekick” on OLN’s adventure reality show Mantracker, which was filmed at the Ranch. He was also featured in the Discovery World HD series, The National Parks Project and the Global-TV documentary, Branded. Gord’s work with the free ranging bison has been featured on CBC-Radio’s As It Happens. Gord’s work and the Ranch have also been the feature of several high profile newspaper and magazine articles around the globe. Gord’s vast and unique experience has led to him receiving numerous invitations to give presentations across North America and around the world.


Kelly Richardson - Program Coordinator

Kelly’s love for the Boreal Forest and wilderness began at a very young age while she spent her summers camping in various spots around Northern Saskatchewan.  Her life has taken her all over the world as she has lived in the US, Taipei, China and Australia.  Living in so many places has given her an excellent sense of adventure and an appreciation of wilderness the world over.  While living in Australia, Kelly completed a Bachelor of International Development and fell in love with the unique wildlife and landscapes.  She then moved back to her hometown of Saskatoon, where she completed a Master of Sustainable Environment Management with a research focus on urban biodiversity conservation.  Kelly believes that parks give everyone an opportunity to experience our planet’s beautiful wilderness and as we become increasingly disconnected from nature living in urban areas, the importance of parks to provide us with that reconnection to wilderness is more vital than ever.  

In her free time Kelly enjoys rediscovering her home province of Saskatchewan, crocheting, hiking, camping, fishing, snowshoeing and horseback riding.  She is excited to bring her interdisciplinary educational background and passion for conservation to CPAWS-SK.


Sarah Schmid - Field Technician

 Sarah was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. From a very young age, Sarah enjoyed many different activities in the great outdoors. Along with her mom and sisters, she joined a group called Junior Forest Wardens and enjoyed many years of camping, canoeing, archery and hiking. Sarah’s life changed when she moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to complete her undergraduate degree in biology and later her Masters in Environment and Sustainability. This experience allowed for Sarah to fall in love with Saskatchewan, itslandscapes and wildlife. It also gave Sarah an opportunity to work with and get to know numerous Aboriginal communities and organizations. As a result, many of these communities and organizations have found a place in her heart and have gave her a new appreciation and knowledge of traditional knowledge, Aboriginal customs and traditions and the issues that face many Aboriginal peoples and communities. Sarah believes that parks gives people an opportunity to reconnect and reconcile with nature and there needs to be a balance between progress and development, and environment protection, sustainability and Aboriginal concerns and traditions. 

Sarah enjoys going for long walks and hikes with her forest dog, reading, travelling, horseback riding and couch time with her husband. She is looking forward to learning more and using her experience and educational background to further the vision and goals of CPAWS-Sask.

Rylee - Forest Dog

 Rylee joined the team with Sarah and has been happily assisting her with the fieldwork she has been undertaking for our caribou work. He has the very important job of protecting Sarah while they are out working in the bush. Rylee enjoys spending time with his humans, chewing on his favourite bone, bothering the cat, and eating dead animals out in the field. He is more than happy to be paid in treats for all of his hard work.


Board of directors

A volunteer Advisory Board of Directors guides the direction of CPAWS Saskatchewan. 

Merv Hey – Treasurer
Evan Sorestad – National Board Member