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Conservation community mourns Juri Peepre

Peepre a leading voice and champion for large landscape conservation in Canada

MEDIA STATEMENT | May 15, 2018

Peepre a leading voice and champion for large landscape conservation in Canada

Current and former staff at Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) are sad to hear of the death of conservationist, photographer, and author Juri Peepre.

Peepre was instrumental in much of Y2Y's early work and was present at the founding meeting of the organization more than 25 years ago.

“Juri was a passionate advocate for nature and a highly effective conservationist,” says Wendy Francis, current strategic advisor and former board chair and interim president for Y2Y. “Although he has numerous successes and accolades to his credit, Juri was characteristically humble about his accomplishment.”

The dedicated conservationist leaves a legacy of gifts for Canadians throughout his 40 year conservation career. He started the Yukon Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society in the early 1990s and helped establish Tombstone Territorial Park on the Dempster Highway.

After becoming executive director of CPAWS-Yukon, Peepre launched the Three Rivers project — key to the push for protecting the Peel watershed.

“Juri conceived the Yukon Three Rivers campaign, which evolved into today’s Peel Watershed Planning Process," says Francis. “When the Peel is finally protected, much of the credit should go to Juri’s original vision and hard work.” 

Later in his career, Peepre focused on keeping wild spaces in British Columbia, working as project manager for Y2Y and as chair of Wildsight’s regional board. In 2012 Peepre’s contributions were recognized with  awarding of a Wilburforce Foundation Conservation Leadership Award, and in 2014, Peepre he became a Member of the Order of Canada, one of this country’s highest civilian honours, for his ongoing dedication and efforts for conservation in the country.

“Juri laid the groundwork for Y2Y's relationships, projects, and successes in the Peace River and Yukon. I am very grateful for his passion, leadership. and mentorship. He inspired me and many others with his dedication and commitment to protecting wild places,” says Tim Burkhart, Y2Y program coordinator. 

For further comment please contact:

Kelly Zenkewich, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative communications manager,