The Wilburforce Foundation’s Conservation Leadership Award honours Johnny Mikes

Vancouver, BC – The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s British Columbia Chapter (CPAWS-BC) is proud to celebrate the achievements of Johnny Mikes, who has been recognized as a recipient of this year’s Wilburforce Foundation Conservation Leadership Award.

Mikes entered the world of wilderness protection in at full speed when he helped launch the campaign to create Tatshenshini-Alsek Park in the northwest corner of B.C., which is now also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since then, Mikes continues to work with CPAWS-BC on conservation initiatives across the northern part of province, from the northern Rockies west across to the Taku along the Alaska border, and has been involved in the creation of a number of protected areas.

Mikes serves on the Advisory Board for the vast Muskwa-Kechika wilderness and, with the national park system still incomplete, is investigating potential national park candidate areas in the north. His strong knowledge of B.C.’s north from his many years as a wilderness outfitter has helped him identify important areas in need of protection.

“Wilburforce Foundation created its Conservation Leadership Award to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions over many years to the conservation movement. We are delighted to be able to honor Johnny Mikes for his outstanding service,” says Paul Beaudet, Executive Director of the Wilburforce Foundation.

“Johnny has always understood that to create parks and make land use planning successful, you have to do your time working with the people who will be most affected. Johnny has done that time: poring over maps, meeting with First Nations in remote parts of Northwest Canada, and bringing people together. In his well-traveled career of listening and strategizing, he has delivered wildland protections covering millions of acres. Johnny is an individual who sees what needs to be done or what can be accomplished, and patiently and quietly goes about doing it,” adds Beaudet.

Closer to his home in Whistler, Mikes represented environmental interests in the regional land use plan in the Sea to Sky area and today also acts as the Field Director for the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative, which is spearheading efforts to protect and recover threatened grizzly bears and safeguard their habitat in southwest B.C.

“We’re thrilled to see Johnny recognized by the Wilburforce Foundation,” says Bruce Passmore, Executive Director of CPAWS-BC. “His tireless work throughout northern B.C. has ensured that key areas are properly safeguarded for generations to come.”

The Wilburforce Foundation empowers conservation leaders to protect the irreplaceable lands, waters, and wildlife of western North America. The Foundation supports the work of CPAWS-BC to create and safeguard large parks, oceans, protected areas and wilderness corridors.


Johnny Mikes, Field Director, Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative

Bruce Passmore, Executive Director, CPAWS-BC
604-685-7445 ext. 23