2013 CPAWS J.B. Harkin Regional Conservation Award Recipient: Ric Careless
The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is pleased to confer the J. B. Harkin Medal for Conservation on Ric Careless for his lifetime commitment to parks, protected areas, wilderness, nature conservation, and environmental education in the province of British Columbia.
For over four decades Ric has been devoted to advancing the cause of parks, ecological integrity, and wilderness throughout British Columbia. He has been deeply involved in the creation and expansion of many parks, particularly the Tatshenshini-Alsek, Spatsizi Plateau, Stikine River, Height of the Rockies, Pacific Rim's Nitinat Triangle and the region of BC that he coined 'the Chilcotin Ark'. In addition, his focus on trying to ensure the system of BC's provincial parks had long-term endurance, regardless of who was in government, will be a lasting contribution to society.
In this, the 50th anniversary year of Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Ric is also being honoured for his long-term association with the BC Chapter both as an active volunteer and Board member. Ric began his BC conservation work in the early 1970's with the establishment of Sierra Club-Vancouver Island, the first Sierra Club affiliate in Canada. Since that time Ric has served in a variety of influential positions ranging from the provincial government to various tourism and wilderness agencies. His two decades of work at BC Spaces for Nature has been steadfast and critical to the parks and wilderness movement in BC.
Ric's passion and leadership has contributed to many of the park and wilderness successes in British Columbia's world-class provincial park system. His dedication and strategic approach contributed to the great success of the 90's when BC's provincial park system doubled in size.
These parks preserve the full range of major BC ecosystems and wildlife habitat for such species as grizzly bears, wolves, cougar, caribou, big horn sheep, and mountain goats. The protection of these large landscapes will be an enduring legacy.
Ric's contribution and level of commitment to the cause is rare in today's society and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society commends Ric for his devotion, energy, and sacrifice.