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2014 CPAWS J.B. Harkin Regional Conservation Award Recipient: David Henry

  • Published on Dec 12 2014 |
  • This article is tagged as: harkin

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is pleased to confer the J. B. Harkin Medal for Conservation on Dr. David Henry for his lifetime contribution to national parks, protected areas and nature conservation more generally.  David Henry has made exceptional contributions to the establishment of parks and the protection of wilderness at both a Saskatchewan and national level. This contribution has been made in both a volunteer and a staff capacity.

David played a major leadership role in the public campaign that led to the establishment of the Grasslands National Park in southwest Saskatchewan 26 years ago. He also served for three years on the Advisory Committee for Prince Albert National Park in central Saskatchewan.  He undertook important work with other colleagues to help organize a public campaign for revising the National Parks Act of Canada, and introducing the concept of ecological integrity and Zone II Wilderness Areas into our national parks system. Moreover, in his role as a conservation ecologist with Parks Canada, his work on developing ecological monitoring programs has benefited many of Canada’s Northern National Parks.

David led the formation of the Saskatchewan Chapter of CPAWS in the late 1970’s, and served as its chairperson for 10 years. He also was a CPAWS National Trustee for a decade, including years as Vice President and President.  Since his retirement, he has also been an active Board member and volunteer with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society.

Perhaps David’s long-lasting contribution will be through his teachings, research and writing.  His books on the red fox and the boreal forest have received broad scientific acclaim.  His teaching at university has influenced many a budding conservationist.  His public advocacy, through his writing and publications, has received much public attention and altered the course of ill-thought development, for example the effect of acid rain from Alberta’s oil sands on the northern Saskatchewan, the need for safe and clean drinking water and the environmental implications of various trade agreements.

One of David’s strengths is his ability to see the big, long-term picture. He has been a creative, thoughtful and tireless champion for environmental sustainability, national parks, and wilderness protection throughout his life. David is a most worthy candidate of the J.B. Harkin Medal.