Hiking in the Yukon. Image: Pat Morrow
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Sara Renner, Y2Y supporter

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Albertan nominated for prestigious international conservation prize

This year, Y2Y has a connection to two nominees for the prestigious 2020 Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation.


Conservationist and wildlife advocate Harvey Locke is among the nominees being considered for the world’s leading animal conservation award. 

The biennial Indianapolis Prize spotlights the stories and accomplishments of those at the forefront of innovative research, scientific advances and incredible efforts bringing animals back from the brink of extinction.

Harvey Locke in Banff National Park 2016 c M E Marchand consent-square.jpg
Harvey Locke. Photo: Marie-Eve Marchand
Locke is a photographer and writer and one of the founders of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) and Nature Needs Half movement and is among the 31 internationally renowned nominees. The Albertan is being recognized for his work in Canada’s national park creation and contributions to management and conservation of large landscapes.

“It is a great honor to be recognized among such a varied and talented group of champions for wildlife,” says Locke. “It is essential for now and for future generations that we conserve nature in all its wonderful expressions.” 

“These remarkable nominees are responsible for some of the finest conservation work occurring on our planet today. They lead, protect, inspire, and offer hope for everyone who cares about the natural world,” says Dr. Rob Shumaker, Indianapolis Zoo president. “I am immensely proud that we can highlight their important achievements through the Indianapolis Prize.”

Bill Weber
William (Bill) Weber is also among the 2020 nominees. A Yale University instructor, Weber is also vice-chair of Y2Y’s board of directors.

Along with his partner, Amy Vedder, he created the Congo Basin Forest Project for the Wildlife Conservation Society resulting in success for mountain gorilla conservation; led programs in the Crown of the Continent, Greater Yellowstone and Path of the Pronghorn initiatives; and organized multi-institutional effort to promote large-scale ecological restoration of the bison.

“We are honored to celebrate these nominations,” says Dr. Jodi Hilty, president and chief scientist of Y2Y. “As a leader in large landscape conservation in Canada, America and beyond, Harvey’s tireless work has been central to increasing protected area coverage in the Yellowstone to Yukon region to more than 50 per cent in the last 25 years. Both of these conservation scientists have been instrumental in advancing large landscape conservation in North America and other parts of the world. We are excited they are being recognized for their disproportionate contributions to tangible conservation advances.”

The winner of the prize will receive an unrestricted $250,000 cash award and five finalists will each receive $10,000. The winner also receives the prestigious Lilly Medal, a commemorative piece that showcases the relationship between people and the natural world. 

The nominating committee and jury, composed of professional conservationists, will choose the six finalists and a winner, to be honored at a gala on Sept. 12, 2020.

For a full list of nominees and more details and history on the prize, please visit indianapolisprize.org.  

For further comment please contact:  

Ruth Midgley, Media Officer and Assistant to the Chair of the Beyond Aichi Task Force,