Illustrious Explorers Club Honours Founding Y2Y Board Member (Mar/09)
The illustrious Explorers Club has adopted a new Fellow, one who lives in the Peace River Region of northeastern British Columbia. Wayne Sawchuk, conservationist, guide, author and photographer, joins such luminaries as Sir Edmond Hillary and Tensinz Norquay, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, Robert Peary, Roald Amundsen and Thor Heyerdahl, great explorers whose names live in history.
Sawchuk, who lives on a farm near Rolla, BC, with his partner, poet Donna Kane, a border collie and a herd of horses, is a lifelong resident of northern British Columbia. He has worked as a logger, sawmill worker, wilderness guide, trapper, and conservationist. His photographs have been widely published and collected, and he is the author of Muskwa-Kechika, The Wild Heart of Canada's Northern Rockies.
The Explorers Club was founded in New York City in 1904, to promote the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the natural sciences. The Club's members are responsible for a series of famous firsts: First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon.
Sawchuk was sponsored to join the Explorers Club by Canadian landscape artist and club member, Dwayne J. Harty, who got to know Sawchuk in the summer of 2008 when he spent a month on the trail gathering material for a major exhibition of paintings of the Yellowstone to Yukon region.
Sawchuk is well known and respected as a key participant in the completion of the Fort Nelson, Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Mackenzie Land and Resource Management Plans, or LRMP's. These consensus based public land use planning tables gave birth to the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area, an innovative land use planning and management model that has attracted the attention of governments and conservationists around the world for its potential to resolve land use conflicts between environmental and resource development interests.
For decades, Sawchuk has explored the wilderness of Canada's Northern Rockies, leading parties of scientists and artists by horseback into remote areas on research and art expeditions. Governor General Award winning author, John Vaillant contributed a feature article about Wayne and his work in the M-K to the November 2008 issue of National Geographic. Wayne is the recipient of two awards for his environmental and conservation work, the federal Canadian Environment Award of 2006 and the Province of British Columbia Minister's Environmental Achievement Award, in 1998.
Sawchuk continues to lead expeditions in the summer and travels widely speaking about his conservation work.
Wayne Sawchuk, explorer, guide, conservationist, author, photographer and lifelong resident of northeastern BC, was made a Fellow of the Explorers Club in January.
Explorer, Author, Photographer, Conservationist
“My life has gone through a transformation from rampant exploiter to conservationist.
I've developed a fairly evolved respect for the land and I hope someday we'll see a transformation of society, one that allows room for the other creatures that share the land with us.”
A lifelong resident of northern British Columbia, Wayne Sawchuk has worked as a logger, trapper, sawmill worker and wilderness guide, and has become renowned for his work as a conservationist, author and photographer who has fought to protect the country he once logged. He owns and operates a trap line in the remote wilderness of Canada's northern Rockies, and is a sought after speaker on issues of conservation and wilderness protection.
In January 2009, Sawchuk was made a Fellow of the Explorers Club, a prestigious honour given to a very few individuals around the world who promote new field science and discovery. Sawchuk's appointment recognizes the many expeditions of scientists and artists he has led into what is now known as the Muskwa-Kechika area of the Rockies.
His photographs have been widely published and collected, and he is the author of Muskwa-Kechika, The Wild Heart of the Northern Rockies (www.muskwakechika.com).
Sawchuck began working on environmental issues in 1990 and was a key player in the land use planning process that brought resource industry, environmental, outfitting, trapping and First Nations interests together with government to develop policies that led to the creation of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area. This innovative land use planning and management model has attracted the attention of conservationists and governments around the world.
Awards and Honours