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Winning the Order of Canada

Juri Peepre has just been granted membership in the Order of Canada. - Photo submitted
Juri Peepre has just been granted membership in the Order of Canada.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Windermere’s  Juri Peepre, Chair of Wildsight’s Regional Board, has been recognized along with 90 other high-profile Canadians with one of the nation’s highest honours: membership in the Order of Canada. The award “recognizes a lifetime of distinguished service in or to a particular community, group or field of activity”.

Specifically, Peepre was honoured for his role in protecting Canadian wilderness for future generations.

While Peepre now resides and focuses much of his conservation effort in the Upper Columbia Valley and East Kootenay region of BC, most of his career was spent in Northern B.C. and the Yukon, working on a variety of large-scale conservation issues.

“In this era of rapidly dwindling wild nature, and in light of our relentless assault on so many wild species,” says Peepre, “I am grateful that this Order of Canada recognizes the importance of conservation in Canadian society.”

In 1974, Peepre began his conservation career as a student working on the Wild Rivers Survey in Northern BC,for Parks Canada. This led to his first job with the Parks Service, based in the Calgary office.

After a stint as the Chair of the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC, Peepre was founding Chair, then Executive Director for the Yukon Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS). He went on to become national president for CPAWS.

Peepre spent many years working with various conservation-organizations, including World Wildlife Fund Canada, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), and the Training Resources for the Environmental Community (TREC), as well as being a member of the Minister’s Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada’s National Parks. He worked on major conservation campaigns, including efforts to protect the Yukon’s Tombstone Mountains, the Peel Watershed, and the Tatshenshini River. Today, he focuses on the Peace River Break region of the Rockies, with Y2Y.

“Helping to protect our wilderness has been a privilege and my passion for decades, but I also know that there are hundreds of dedicated Canadians working on conservation who are equally deserving. Its humbling to be acknowledged.”

Peepre is also co-author of Three Rivers: The Yukon’s Great Boreal Wilderness (BC Book Prize finalist 2005), plus two Yukon guidebooks with his wife Sarah Locke

Peepre continues his passion for protecting wild spaces here in the East Kootenay through his work on Wildsight’s Regional Board to protect the world-class wilderness and wildlife values right here in our own back yard. He has been Chair of Wildsight since 2012.

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