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2013 CPAWS J.B. Harkin National Conservation Award Recipient: Harvey Locke

  • Published on Feb 01 2013 |
  • This article is tagged as: harkin

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is pleased to confer the J. B. Harkin Medal for Conservation on Harvey Locke for his lifetime of extraordinary commitment to parks, wilderness and large landscape conservation.

For over three decades Harvey has worked tirelessly to advance the cause of parks, ecological integrity and connectivity across the landscape in Canada and throughout the world.  He has been deeply involved in the creation and expansion of many parks and wilderness areas, particularly in his beloved Rocky Mountains. Through the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, he has led projects to acquire private land for wildlife connectivity between protected areas and also been integrally involved in the promotion of highway crossing structures to ensure safe passage for wildlife. His focus on protecting the integrity of Banff National Park, the Bow Valley, the expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve, the founding of Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and efforts to ensure the protection of the Flathead and Elk River Valleys will be lasting contributions. Harvey has also worked in philanthropy in the United States, helped to incubate a trans-boundary conservation vision for the Northern Appalachians, curated art and photography shows about nature in museums across North America and worked with the WILD Foundation on large landscape conservation.

Internationally, as a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas, Harvey's determination has helped to ensure that protecting biodiversity remains the priority for global protected areas. His writing has been published in many countries and he has given talks around the world in English, French and Spanish. He helped launch Europe’s emerging wilderness movement and worked with Australia on its continent wide large landscape conservation initiative. He served on the executive committees of the 8th, 9th and 10th World Wilderness Congresses and at WILD 9 he launched the Nature Needs Half movement.

In this 50th anniversary year of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Harvey is also honoured for his life-long association with the Society.  In 1981, then a law student, Harvey began his affiliation with CPAWS (then the National and Provincial Parks Association of Canada - NPPAC) as a volunteer for the Southern Alberta Chapter. He has served in a fundamental leadership role at both the chapter and national levels giving countless hours of volunteer time to campaigns and to building the organization. While President of the National Board from 1990 to 1995, Harvey led CPAWS' emergence as the leading voice for protecting wilderness in Canada and later he was engaged by the society to develop its strategic vision to keep wild at least half of Canada’s lands and waters.  Harvey continues in his national role as Senior Advisor Conservation and has been Chair of the Foundation for Canadian Parks and Wilderness since its inception.

Harvey has been a passionate, stalwart champion of conservation locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. His leadership, dedication, passion and political acumen have put parks and protected areas protection on society's agenda in a manner seldom achieved by an individual.

Harvey continues to promote the global Nature Needs Half vision and speak frequently about the important role of wilderness to the human psyche.  These two passions may well endure to create his ultimate lasting legacy.