Our Magazine: Canadian Wilderness

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Spring/Summer 2023: Looking back on 60 years of conservation

Celebrating 60 Years of Conservation

CPAWS’s diamond jubilee marks decades of pushing for nature protection

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society has evolved a lot since its inception in 1963, when the organization was originally known as the National and Provincial Parks Association of Canada. Yet, while its name and many other aspects of the organization have changed over the last 60 years, CPAWS has remained true to its core belief: Canada needs quality protection for its unique wildlife, landscapes, and seascapes.

My story converges with that of CPAWS around 12 years ago, when I interviewed CPAWS’s then-National Executive Director Éric Hébert-Daly for a report I was writing about Canadian environmental charities. I left that interview with an impression of CPAWS that was so positive I was compelled to join the national board.
In more recent years, I’ve watched as CPAWS tirelessly lobbied Canada’s governments to commit to protecting at least 30 percent of land and ocean in the country by 2030. Before that, CPAWS played a signifi cant role in pushing Canada to try to meet its 2020 targets of protecting 17 percent of land and 10 percent of ocean by 2020. These successive targets off er important hope that we may fi nd the confi dence we need to ultimately protect at least half of Canada for nature.
CPAWS’s strengths lie in its collaborative approach—across its chapters throughout the country and with Indigenous groups and other environmental organizations—and in the passion of its supporters, who help to amplify CPAWS’s message across the country. These strengths have helped CPAWS to become a widely trusted partner in conservation.
I have been a devoted believer of Canada’s national parks system since childhood, and I can say without question that CPAWS’s work is, has been, and will continue to be, an important part of my life.

John Grandy, President of the National Board of Trustees for CPAWS.

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