Ian McAllister

Ian McAllister is a co-founder of the wildlife conservation organization Pacific Wild. He is an award-winning photographer, film director and author of nine books, his images have appeared in publications around the world. He is a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers and a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society; a recipient of the North America Nature Photography Association’s Vision Award and the Rainforest Action Network’s Rainforest Hero award and Time Magazine’s “Leaders of the 21st Century” award for efforts to protect British Columbia’s endangered rainforest. He recently directed the Great Bear Rainforest IMAX film, the film is narrated by Ryan Reynolds and produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films. 

3 words to describe Nature?

Life-support. Metamorphosis. Fragility

3 things Nature taught you?

Love of earth


That working in defense of nature is the most fulfilling life pursuit that I can think of. 

3 most treasured Nature spots?

Where the Pacific ocean meets the temperate rainforest

Anywhere underwater

Staring into the eyes of a wild wolf

When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel…?

Humble, at home, empowered by the beauty and strength of it but also sadness for how our actions are impacting life below the surface.

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...?

Like I am surrounded by a collective of ancient and wise souls. 

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...?

Glad I don't own real estate under it

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...?

Sunrise. A sense of awakening, anticipation. 

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...?

Energized and wide eyed.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...?

comfort, if I am in a safe harbor, exhilarating if I am offshore.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person?

I live at the interface between ocean and the rainforest and feel a deep and strong affinity for each environment. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being?


Share with us a childhood nature memory?

When I was nine years old I opened our front door to find my mothers favorite goat giving its last breath as a large cougar had just crushed its throat. My dad wasn’t sure who was more dangerous at that point, my mom or the cougar. He quickly ran outside and yanked the cougars tail so hard it literally flew across the driveway and quickly climbed a tree. I have never been so close to a cougar since.