People share their memories of CPAWS

* All stories are original works and posted in the language of the author

Aran O'Carroll on the then-boundary of Nahanni National Park

Submitted by Aran O'Carroll

Nahanni haunted my imagination as a teenager newly returned to Canada from school in Ireland. I found myself immersed in the lore and adventure of Canada's wilderness and the Nahanni River, in particular.

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White water, old pines and moose territory: The Dumoine River, Quebec

Submitted by Marie-Eve Marchand

After “sleeping like a log” for decades, la Belle province caught on with the importance of nature conservation and moved from less than 1% of protected areas in 2000 to over 8% of its territory protected by 2009.

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Early 80’s with the Calgary/Banff Section of the NPPAC

Submitted by Rosemary Nation

I was the president of the Calgary /Banff Chapter of the National and Provincial Parks Association of Canada (NPPAC) in the early 1980’s for a number of years. We ran the Chapter with no staff, and a very limited budget.  There are two events that I would like to share: Money was always an issue for us.

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Ma journée à Umiujaq – moment inoubliable pour moi et la SNAP!

Submitted by Patrick Nadeau

Il faut être très patient quand on travaille en conservation. Quand on sait que plusieurs dossiers peuvent prendre des années, voire des décennies avant d'aboutir, on comprend mieux sa chance lorsqu'on a le privilège d'assister à la création d'un parc national!

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CPAWS Was Crucial for Establishing Grasslands National Park

Submitted by David Henry

The process to establish Grasslands National Park in southwestern Saskatchewan was a long one. Dr. George Ledingham in 1956 wrote an article expressing the value that a national park would have in protecting the native prairie...

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Who knew that being Santa was part of the job description at CPAWS Wildlands League?

Submitted by Evan Ferrari

In 2006 we began our ‘Caribou the Untold Story’ campaign to highlight the plight of woodland caribou.  It was evident that few if any MPPs in Ontario had ever seen one, let alone understand their importance in the boreal.

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Birth of a Campaign

Submitted by George Smith

The birth of every wilderness campaign is unique. Here’s how the campaign to conserve the Muskwa-Kechika really crystallized one night in November 1992.

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Jill's Story

Submitted by Jill Sturdy

I became involved with CPAWS even before I even knew about CPAWS. I have always been an animal lover, and I wanted to be a wildlife veterinarian when I grew up.

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It's an Affair of the Heart

Submitted by Mary Granskou

It was a crisp Fall day in 1993 when I drove from Ottawa to near Algonquin Park where the CPAWS National Board was meeting. I was being interviewed for a job.

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CPAWS, the National and Provincial Parks Association

Submitted by Mary Majka

I am a very old member of the organization. When I joined sometime in the early 70's it was still the "National and Provincial Parks Association." Gavin Henderson, the founder and executive director asked me to be a member of the board and later representative for the Maritimes.

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Sometimes you don't even realize your impact on others

Submitted by Jody Overduin

When Jill (Sturdy) showed us on the maps how the wildlife around us in Ontario were being trapped inside islands of habitat, and how there was an opportunity and people working to connect those islands and create corridors, I felt compelled to somehow help those people.

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CPAWS Manitoba Chapter

Submitted by Ron Thiessen

I recall in 2005 being faced with a very tough decision when I was offered the position of executive director of the CPAWS Manitoba chapter.

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Travailler à la SNAP, un métier dangereux?

Submitted by Sylvain Archambault

Il semble que oui, mais ce n’est pas à cause des ours, des loups ou d’autres bêtes sauvages!

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My years with CPAWS

Submitted by Gordon Nelson

My years with CPAWS extend back to 1964 and its beginnings as the National and Provincial Parks Association of Canada (NPPAC).  As President from about 1970 to 1974 I had numerous memorable experiences.

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Eric's CPAWS Story

Submitted by Eric Hébert-Daly

When I started as the National Executive Director for CPAWS in April 2009, I had been working in partisan politics for 17 years.

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Nahanni Neil’s Canyon Memory

Submitted by Neil Hartling

Georges Riffle or Cache Rapids as the old timers knew it, is a formidable rapid that guards the mouth of Canada’s deepest river canyon.

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Memories - CPAWS

Submitted by Jacques Gérin

Financial pressures in the 90s pushed Parks Canada into greater commercial approaches, often at the expense of its mandate to protect for future generations.

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Protecting the Nahanni

Submitted by Harvey Locke

For over a decade, I have worked with CPAWS as a spokesman and negotiator to gain protection for the wonderful South Nahanni watershed.

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CPAWS: The Canadian PEOPLE and Wilderness Society

Submitted by Anne Janssen

My story of CPAWS revolves around the people; the grassroots which attracted me in the first place. I am reminded less of the wilderness and more of those within whom that wilderness lives.

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CPAWS is Canada's voice for wilderness protection

Submitted by Kim Statham

Canada's wild spaces have always played an important role in my life.   As a kid from the suburbs, I always felt most at home in forests, meadows and Canada's vast waters.   The experience of spending a summer planting trees in Northern Ontario opened my eyes not only to the vastness my province's forests, but also to the impact of the resource industry.

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The Snake, the Bonnet Plume, and the Wind Rivers

Submitted by John Blachford

I’ve had the great fortune of paddling the Snake, the Bonnet Plume and the Wind Rivers in the Yukon Territory.

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Aran O'Carroll at the announcement of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement

Submitted by Aran O'Carroll

CPAWS is an organization with a long history of protecting Canada's wilderness having led the creation of over 2/3rd of Canada's protected areas.

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Stickin It To The Man – my life with CPAWS

Submitted by Sarah Elmeligi

For three years I was the Senior Conservation Planner for the Southern Alberta Chapter of CPAWS; I would actually introduce myself as the Senior Conservation DOer because that’s how I saw myself.

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Recalling an eclectic 40 years with CPAWS

Submitted by Bob Peart

My memories of CPAWS range over 40 years and are eclectic: experiencing magnificent landscapes and tremendous people, attending numerous meetings, taking in the thrill of victory and needing patience as park campaigns take so long to complete.

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CPAWS Caribouandyou! Campaign

Submitted by Aran O'Carroll

In 2005, CPAWS established its ambitious, ten-year nationally-coordinated conservation plan. The plan set out CPAWS vision to keep at least half of Canada's public land and water wild forever.

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Do not be intimidated!

Submitted by George Smith

During my 14 years as National Conservation Director for CPAWS I gave strategic planning talks across Canada to new, small and developing conservation groups.

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Precedent-setting legal case in Wood Buffalo National Park

Submitted by Harvey Locke

In the early 1990s clearcut logging was occurring in Wood Buffalo National Park under an old lease. This threatened the integrity of national parks across the country, Back then there was a very serious question about whether the courts would allow an environmental group focused on parks to sue and the only precedent was negative.

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Piping in new national parks

Submitted by Harvey Locke

In 2002 I was asked to represent CPAWS in Ottawa the day that Jean Chretien announced a massive expansion of our national parks system. I and two other environmental leaders were asked to wait in the lobby where the Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage Sheila Copps joined us. Then to my surprise we led into the room by a bagpiper and seated with the PM. He then got up and declared that "Canadians love nature" and announced the goal of creating 10 new national parks, five new marine conservation areas and expanding three national parks.

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The Power of Vision

Submitted by Jean Langlois

The setting was a small rural community. In this case in west Quebec, but I know that this story has played out in many such places in CPAWS’s 50 years. A group of concerned citizens were staring down a development that would spoil their beloved forest.

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LA SNAP-QUÉBEC : Un organisme essentiel

Submitted by Marie-Pierre Beauvais

J’ai découvert la SNAP-Québec en 2005, avec la campagne Aux Arbres Citoyens. À cette époque, je tentais de fonder le premier comité Vert de mon Cégep et la première semaine de l’Environnement.

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