Canadian Wildlife Federation Awards - 2012 Conservation Achievement Awards

OTTAWA, June 8, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2012 Conservation Achievement Awards. Winners have been selected by the Canadian Wildlife Federation and will be awarded at the Annual General Meeting in St. Johns, Newfoundland, on Saturday June 9, 2012.

The Conservation Achievement Awards honour organizations' and individuals' commitments to wildlife in Canada.  Nominees include volunteers, professionals, youth, and conservationists from all walks of life concerned with a host of environmental topics.

The Youth Conservation Award which recognizes the contribution of individual youths or youth groups to wildlife or habitat conservation projects was awarded to the Young Naturalists Club of British Columbia. Founded in 2000 with the objective of encouraging young people to develop a love for nature, the Young Naturalists' Club of BC has included over 11,000 young people in conservation programs with chapters all over the province.

The Youth Mentor Award is awarded to an individual or group for significant contributions to creating or presenting conservation, wildlife or habitat programs to youth and this year

Richard Wowchuk is the outstanding recipient. Teaching for 30 years, Richard heads the Resource and Environment Program at Swan Valley Regional Secondary School in Swan River, Manitoba. Students learn skills in resource management, including ecology, field biology, forestry techniques, botany, surveying, silviculture and wildlife management. Richard instills lifelong commitments to conservation in students, those who have already proven themselves to international audiences.

The Roderick Haig-Brown Award has been awarded to Jean Robitaille for his contribution to conservation and wise use of recreational fisheries in Canada. During the 1950's the population of striped bass in the St. Lawrence began a rapid decline until an official declaration of Extinction in 1996. However, Operation Renaissance was launched in 2001, with ecologist Jean Robitaille determining the cause for decline which made the recovery operation entirely possible. Through his diligent work on the committee and raising public awareness, Jean helped recover an Extirpated population and as of 2011 provincial reports showed a naturally reproducing striped bass species in the St. Lawrence.

The Stan Hodgkiss Outdoorsperson of the Year recognizes Diana Ackroyd of Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia as the Canadian outdoorsperson of the year, through her active commitment to conservation. This year Lawrencetown became Canada's first CWF-certified Backyard Habitat Community after Diana certified her own yard and knew she could do more. Working with village officials, Diana was determined to qualify for community certification status, and in January received that designation for her town.

The Past Presidents Award honours elected legislator Royal Galipeau for his contributions to the conservation of wildlife in Canada. Tree Canada celebrated the first-ever National Tree Day, however it was Galipeau who put a private members motion through the House of Common to ensure National Tree would be an annual event on the final Wednesday in the month of September.

The Roland Michener Conservation Award recognizes Dr. Axel Moehrenschlager's commitment to promote and enhance the conservation of Canada's natural resources. As head of the Centre for Conservation Research at the Calgary Zoo since 1999, Axel has led an impressive number of recovery projects including the reintroduction in Western Canada of black-footed ferrets - a program that is now globally considered one of the best of its kind. Axel has made important contributions to conservation science, developing tools and databases for determining candidate species for reintroduction.

"CWF's Conservation Achievement Award recognizes the excellent work for wildlife being carried out across our country," said Wade Luzny, CWF Executive Vice-President.  "We are thrilled with the depth and magnitude of all the nominations we receive. These awards are one way to pay tribute to what so many people have made their life work — to ensure our natural heritage remains for future generations."

About Canadian Wildlife Federation:

CWF is dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending legislative changes, and cooperating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians may live in harmony with nature. Visit www.canadianwildlifefederation.ca for more information.

SOURCE CANADIAN WILDLIFE FEDERATION

For further information:

For more information about any of the winners or about the awards please contact:

Stephanie Poff
Communications Officer
Canadian Wildlife Federation
(613) 599-9594 ext. 217
stephaniep@cwf-fcf.org

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