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CPAWS wins silver at Canadian Environment Awards

  • Published on Jun 06 2007 |
  • This article is tagged as: boreal-forest

cea-montreal-gala.jpg

National Executive Director Anne
Lévesque, Theresa Gulliver and
Juri Peepre of CPAWS Yukon,
CPAWS Board President Sherri
Watson, and Mike Dehn,
Executive director of CPAWS
Yukon, at the Gala.

Whitehorse -- CPAWS-Yukon won the Silver Community Award in the conservation category at the Canadian Environment Awards 2007 gala event at the Montreal Science Centre on June 4.  The Community Awards, the flagship program of the Canadian Environment Awards, celebrates individuals and grassroots groups chosen by a panel of environmental luminaries from nominations submitted by the Canadian public. The Silver Community Award winners are recognized with a $2,500 prize to donate to the environmental cause of their choice. 

This prominent annual award by Canadian Geographic Magazine and its partner, the Government of Canada, recognizes CPAWS-Yukon\'s imaginative and far-reaching conservation work on the Three Rivers project.  The Three Rivers Project included the Three Rivers Journey; a national group art exhibition, Three Rivers: wild waters, sacred places; the book Three Rivers: The Yukon\'s Great Boreal Wilderness; and ongoing local efforts to protect the Wind, Snake and Bonnet Plume Rivers within the Peel watershed. The Three Rivers project was one of only two projects north of the 60th parallel ever to be a finalist for the award (along with the Nunavik Research Centre in Kuujjuaq, Quebec). The award follows a successful 12 city cross-Canada tour, Journey to the Yukon\'s Three Rivers, which concluded in Whitehorse, May 17.  

“CPAWS congratulates the Yukon Chapter for their remarkable effort to expose this incredible conservation opportunity to Canadians.  We are proud to be able to showcase nationally the great work CPAWS does at the community level to protect wilderness.” said Sherri Watson, CPAWS National President.

“We are delighted and honoured to be one of only two north of 60 recipients of a Canadian Environment Award. Winning the Silver award is a testament to vital Yukon conservation work, especially in this era of rapid global change, marked by disappearing wildlife and wilderness.” said Juri Peepre, Three Rivers project coordinator.

“It\'s been a remarkable journey of discovery for everyone involved, and has shown us the creative force of combining art, literature, and imagery to tell Canadians an important conservation story. This recognition is one step along the way to a vision for the future where the Three Rivers are protected for all time,” said Theresa Gulliver, CPAWS conservation campaigner for the Peel region.

CPAWS will continue to encourage the Peel Land Use Planning Commission, First Nation and Yukon governments, to include conservation and large protected areas in the plan for the Peel watershed.  Public participation is critical now as land-use planning in the region is underway, and the Commission is in the formative stages of defining how land will be used in the region.  The recent Three Rivers national tour demonstrated broad Canadian and local Yukon support for conservation in the Peel watershed. 

Contact:

Theresa Gulliver, CPAWS-Yukon;
514-948-4278 (until 10 am PST, June 5), 867-393-8080, ext 8 (June 6)

Juri Peepre, Three Rivers Project coordinator
970-819-7216 (cell) or 970-871-1594 (available after 11:00 am PST, June 5)

See also: Canadian Environment Awards 2007 Press Release  

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Three Rivers Project Background

The Three Rivers Project was conceived to introduce Yukoners and Canadians to the treasures of the Peel watershed and the Three Rivers; to see and interpret the landscape in different ways and show how aboriginal and western cultures, wilderness, art and nature are connected. The project is a vital part of a Yukon and nationwide effort to conserve and protect the Three Rivers and the ecological integrity of the greater Peel watershed.

In 2003, 37 participants from the Yukon and across Canada completed simultaneous river trips down the Wind, Snake and Bonnet Plume Rivers of the Peel watershed. The Three Rivers Journey included people from the communities of Mayo and Ft. McPherson, visual artists, writers, musicians, journalists, photographers, conservationists and scientists. At the end of the Journeys, at the confluence of the Snake River and the Peel, the participants were met by a large contingent of Gwich\'in and Northern Tutchone people for an Elder\'s Gathering and traditional feast.

The participants on the Three Rivers Journey then wrote the stories, poems and original music; and, created the spectacular images that inspired a beautiful and informative book on protecting the mountains, forests and rivers of the Canadian North. A British Columbia Book Prize finalist, the Three Rivers: The Yukon\'s Great Boreal Wilderness is an anthology of photographs, art and written works with such notables as Margaret Atwood, John Ralston Saul and Brian Brett, along with Yukon writers such as Sarah Locke and Peter Lesniak. Yukon photographers included Fritz Mueller, Marten Berkman, Jannik Schou, Juri Peepre, Paul Nicklen, Peter Mather, and Cathy Archbould.

The Three Rivers project also included production of an award-winning short art film by Marten Berkman, Three Rivers: wild waters, sacred places documenting the experiences of 8 Canadian artists who participated in the Three Rivers Journey. Yukon artists Jane Isakson and Joyce Majiski participated in the Three Rivers Journey, and their work is part of the national group art exhibition.

The Journey to the Yukon\'s Three Rivers national tour was organized by CPAWS, in partnership with Mountain Equipment Co-op and Yukonwild, drawing large audiences across Canada. The Three Rivers project is part of CPAWS\' ambitious national effort to conserve Canada\'s boreal forest ecosystem.

Background on the Three Rivers Project at
http://www.cpawsyukon.org/three-rivers/index.html

Read more about the CPAWS national tour, Journey to the Yukon\'s Three Rivers http://www.cpaws.org/threerivers