OTTAWA, June 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Canadian Conservation Achievement Awards.
The following individuals and organizations were honoured at a ceremony in Whitehorse, Yukon on June 17. They are also featured in the July/August issue of Canadian Wildlife and Biosphère magazines.
Roland Michener Conservation Award: TWO RECIPIENTS Alexandra Morton of North Vancouver Island, B.C. is a field biologist who has done groundbreaking research on the damaging impact of ocean-based salmon farming on the coast of British Columbia. She has co-authored more than 20 scientific papers on the impact of salmon farming on migratory salmon, founded the Salmon Coast Research Station, and has been key to many calls to action. “It is true that one person cannot affect change by themselves but if what you are saying can reach others, and allow them to see the damage being done, you might be able to right terrible wrongs,” she says. Kimberly Titchener of Edmonton, Alta. has dedicated nearly 20 years of her life to developing and delivering wildlife safety and conservation programs. Kim is committed to reducing human-wildlife conflict, and in turn, keeping wildlife on the landscape. Over the years, she has delivered wildlife safety and practical bear spray training programs to more than 25,000 participants. “I would also like to thank Grizzly Bear #66 and her family for showing grace to humans in Banff National Park. The many hours I spent monitoring her and her cubs has gifted me with an incredible amount of love and respect for her species,” she says.
Robert Bateman Award for Conservation in the Arts Nadine Pequeneza of Toronto, Ont. directed the critically acclaimed documentary Last of the Right Whales. The film brings a message of hope about the most at-risk great whale on the planet. As founder of HitPlay Productions, Nadine specializes in character-driven films with critical calls to action. “I have always considered myself an artist and an activist, and so the impact that my films have on the world is an important measure of success for me,” she says. “My advice - if you want to change the world, tell a story. Storytelling is probably the most powerful gift that sapiens possess. We can use it to better the world.”
Doug Clarke Memorial Award for Best Affiliate Project The Advancing Women in Conservation Summit was presented by the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation (SWF) in November 2022. The summit was the first of its kind in Canada. Delegates addressed challenges, discussed solutions, enhanced leadership skills and nurtured community in a field where women have experienced barriers. This has inspired a second summit to be held in New Brunswick in October of 2023. “Take the risk, and get involved,” says Courtney Devins, director of communications and marketing for the SWF. “Initiating change can be difficult, but equally rewarding.”
Youth Mentor Award École Jean Gauthier of Alma, Que. has been delivering a Wildlife Resources Education Program for 16 years. This program has provided 1,700 secondary students with a wide range of outdoor skills and connections to nature. Graduation rates have improved, and youth have helped many species of ducks, swallows and bats. “The program’s message is: Follow your calling. Don’t be discouraged by obstacles, just take your path one step at a time. Every positive action is another step forward. What is important is the journey, not the end,” says Jean Gaudreault, Science teacher and coordinator of the Wildlife Resources Program.
Past Presidents’ Canadian Legislator Award MLA Mike Morris of Prince George, B.C. is described as a champion for science-based conservation and sustainable stewardship and a voice for wildlife and the people who care for them. First elected in 2013 as MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie, he has served in many positions. He conducted a comprehensive review of wildlife habitat which led to a 2015 report called Getting the Balance Right. In 2020 he published a forest policy paper based on five decades of land use analysis. “I remain optimistic the efforts of many like-minded folks can keep BC’s unique biodiversity from ecological collapse,” he says.
WILD Educator of the Year Award Patricia Fraser of Pembroke, Ont. and the Renfrew County School Board have inspired and informed many strategies and approaches within CWF when it comes to the WILD Education program. Their willingness to share lessons learned, provide insights into teacher perspectives and challenges, and support program development has gone a long way in helping strengthen the curriculum and ensure that it meets the changing needs of educators. “I found that educators were being trapped by the four walls that the classroom occupies,” Fraser says. “Do not let the physical structure you live in determine the limits of your mind’s curiosity.”
Stan Hodgkiss Outdoorsperson of the Year Award Mark S. Boyce of Sherwood Park, Alta. has been a professor of Ecology at the University of Alberta and Alberta Conservation Association Chair in Fisheries and Wildlife since 1999. His research focuses on many species and habitats including carbon sequestration and storage in grassland ecosystems. His expertise and leadership is both personally and professionally driven. “There is no lifestyle that is more rewarding than a career in wildlife conservation,” he says. “I spend much of my time outdoors doing things that make me very happy, and contributing to conservation gives meaning to life.”
Wade Luzny Youth Conservation Award Natalie McIntosh of London, Ont. is the creator of a unique movement called NauticalWaters.com. The teenager turns abandoned fishing gear into baskets, coasters, door mats and other fundraising products, helping to raise awareness and prevent marine mammal entanglement. She was first inspired by a school project, which has led to partnerships with marine conservation organizations on the east and west coasts of Canada. “Everything about the ocean brings me joy, “she says. “I knew I had to make a difference and in the process created Nautical Waters.”
CWF thanks all the nominees and nominators. Applications for the Canadian Conservation Achievement Awards are accepted from November 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024.
“These awards highlight some of the outstanding achievements of conservation leaders across Canada,” said Rick Bates, CEO of CWF. “The nine recipients, and all the nominees, provide incredible support for a diversity of wildlife and habitats across the country. CWF applauds the many individuals and organizations who help ensure a brighter future for Canada’s wildlife.”
For more information, visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca/Awards.
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to conserving Canada’s wildlife and habitats for the use and enjoyment of all. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on wildlife and the environment, carrying out actions to conserve and restore species and habitats, developing and delivering conservation education programs, advocating for changes to government policy and programs, and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information, visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.
Heather Robison Media and Community Relations Officer email@example.com 613-599-9594 x 212
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