Wilkie honoured with Conservation Leadership Award
The Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) announced the recipients of its annual Conservation Leadership Award on Friday, October 12 in Nelson as part of the annual KCP Fall Gathering.
For the East Kootenay, the 2018 honours went to Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Electoral Area G Director Gerry Wilkie. With over 50 years of conservation service, there are few people who match Gerry as a sustaining conservation force in the Rockies.
The Banff Centre Grounds Supervisor for 30 years, Gerry was deeply involved in conservation in Banff and the Bow Valley. He was one of the original members of the Bow Valley Naturalists, serving as president for several years and as an executive member from the organization’s inception in 1967 until he and his wife Carol relocated to Edgewater in 1997. Wilkie was also a director of the Calgary chapter of the National and Provincial Parks Association of Canada, now known as the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, and a member of the Alberta Wilderness Association.
As a Columbia Valley retiree, Wilkie swiftly joined the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society and became a member of the regional board for the East Kootenay Environmental Society (now known as Wildsight), a position he held from 1998-2000. In 2006, he attended the first founding meeting of the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners (CWSP). Gerry later became CWSP president and is currently Past President and an executive member.
Politically, he has had great influence as an elected official. The RDEK Electoral Area G director for the past two terms, Wilkie was a huge proponent of the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund (CVLCF), which was established by referendum in 2008 and is administered by KCP on behalf of the RDEK. In the last decade, the CVCLF has raised over $1.6 million for conservation projects that have helped protect, conserve and maintain the Columbia Valley’s world-renowned natural landscapes and environment.
Wilkie’s ability to bring the community together through constructive dialogue makes him a well- respected communicator, a tireless defender of wild spaces and community and rural values, and the well-deserving recipient of the 2018 KCP Conservation Leadership Award for the East Kootenay.
Each year, the KCP recognizes one individual from the East Kootenay and one from the West who is a proven leader contributing to conservation in the Kootenays. Candidates must have a minimum of three nominators, be affiliated with a KCP partner organization, and award recipients are selected by a committee.
For the West Kootenay, the 2018 recipient was Rob Frew with the Trail Wildlife Association.
The Kootenay Conservation Program is a broad partnership of over 80 organizations from across the Kootenays that works to conserve landscapes in order to sustain naturally functioning ecosystems. Learn more at www.kootenayconservation.ca .
Lead image: Kootenay Conservation Program (KCP) Chair Derek Petersen (left) congratulates RDEK Area G Director Gerry Wilkie (right) on being the recipient of the 2018 Conservation Leadership Award for the East Kootenay on Friday, October 12 at the KCP Fall Gathering in Nelson. The award recognizes individuals who are proven leaders demonstrating commitment to conservation in the Kootenays and Wilkie was recognized for over 50 years of conservation service, for supporting high environmental standards, and for being a tireless defender of wild spaces and community and rural values in the Columbia Valley. KCP Photo