LGL Limited (1971) was named after its three founding partners: Aird Lewis (1932−2008), William Walker Hamilton (Bill) Gunn (1913−1984), and John Allen Livingston (1923−2006).
We are an employee-owned environmental research and consulting firm serving clients in Canada, the USA, and internationally. LGL's client base spans industry, government, Indigenous groups, public corporations, academia, and non-governmental organizations. LGL's regional offices are located in King City (Greater Toronto area) and Cambridge, ON; Sidney, BC; St. John's, NL; Bryan, TX; and Ellensburg, WA (Blue Leaf Environmental Inc.). A number of satellite offices are distributed throughout North America.
Our founders recognized the inevitability of human activities expanding into previously undisturbed areas. Given that, they believed strongly that it is essential for scientific information to be used in planning such advances. They also believed that much could be gained by working with industrial proponents and regulators to help develop and implement effective mitigation procedures through objective, science-based approaches.
Although the need for environmental conservation has always been a strong element in LGL's approach, the philosophy from the outset has been that there is an important role for us to work with agencies, industry, and potentially affected parties toward identifying environmental problems and determining whether and how they can best be resolved. We also recognize the role our scientific research plays in contributing to the body of knowledge on natural and human-influenced ecological systems.
Our work involves: research, conservation, and management in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine environments; environmental planning; impact assessment, mitigation and environmental management planning and monitoring; habitat assessment, habitat compensation design and construction; fisheries stock assessment, resource management; project management; environmental permitting; expert advice and testimony; field studies and logistics; data processing and analysis; information synthesis; as well as reporting and publishing our work.
LGL is very effective at building and working with project teams comprising expert consultants in other firms and in academia. Our professional biologists work closely with other discipline specialists such as design engineers to ensure that environmental considerations and permitting requirements are addressed in a practical and cost-effective manner.
We have developed a widely recognized expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and computer information technology for biological applications. GIS has been applied successfully in conjunction with Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers in radio telemetry studies of fish and wildlife and for collection and analysis of field survey data using our proprietary software, Telemetry Manager and several recently developed data-collection apps. Some other areas of special expertise include application of aerial surveys, photoidentification and photogrammetry, UAS, radar, and acoustic methods in environmental studies. Bird hazards to aircraft projects have also been a specialty throughout LGL’s history.
We have conducted thousands of projects since 1971. This body of work, including hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific publications, demonstrates our scientific competence in the field and office, our ability to evaluate the environmental impacts of human activities, advance scientific knowledge, and satisfy or exceed the requirements of our clients and regulators.
To this day, LGL holds true to the philosophy of our founding partners. Our continued success as a company for over 50 years attests to the credibility and integrity of the firm and its employees.
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Role of LGL’s Founders in Establishing the Nature Conservancy of Canada*
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is Canada’s pre-eminent environmental Land Trust with assets approaching 1 billion dollars. The 2013 publication entitled “A History of the Nature Conservancy of Canada” by Bill Freedman documents the pivotal role in the formation of NCC that was played by the founders of LGL Limited. This role is summarized below.
A group of naturalists from the Federation of Ontario Naturalists (FON) began discussing the need for a land trust to preserve important lands across Canada. In 1961, a committee of the FON was struck to move the process forward. The committee comprised six prominent naturalists: J. Bruce Falls, C. David Fowle, William W.H. Gunn, F. Aird Lewis, Ken Mayall, and Walter Tovell. After much research and deliberation, Aird Lewis (a lawyer) drafted a document that was the basis of a federal charter issued under the Canada Corporations Act on 28 November 1962. Importantly, the new corporation had charitable status under the Income Tax Act – something that was not automatic for land trusts in those days.
The letters patent for the corporation named five inaugural trustees: Antoon de Vos (Zoology Professor at University of Guelph), David Fowle, William Gunn, Aird Lewis, and John Livingston. The latter three gentlemen are the G, the L, and L in LGL Limited. Aird Lewis remained Chair of the Board of Trustees of NCC until 1969 when he stepped down to take up the position of the first Executive Director. In April 1980, William Gunn retired from the Board of Directors of the NCC. In 1981, NCC instituted new organizational requirements, one of which was that the Executive Director must be a full-time position, which was not feasible for Aird Lewis and he stepped down as Executive Director. He remained as a member of the Board of Trustees for another eight years. Since that time NCC's successes have continued to this day.
In conclusion, the three founders of LGL were also founding trustees of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. John Livingston served on that Board of Trustees for 14 years, Bill Gunn for 19 years, and Aird Lewis for 27 years. All in all, an impressive contribution towards the conservation of natural areas and biodiversity in Canada.
*Source: Freedman, B. 2013. A History of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Oxford University Press, Don Mills, Ontario. 252 p.