Juri Peepre and Sarah Locke tackle the Bonnet Plume
during the Boreal Rendezvous and Three Rivers expedition (summer, 2003)
Photo by Paul McKay
When Sarah Locke first moved to the Yukon in the late 1980s, she worked as a radio producer for CBC Yukon. Since then, freelance writing projects have included a weekly science/environment column for Environment Canada, contributions to Yukon Wild: Natural Regions of the Yukon, Birds of the Yukon and an “Alaska Geographic” feature on the Yukon. She wrote Yukon’s Tombstone Range and Blackstone Uplands: A Traveller’s Guide and was a co-author and editor of Three Rivers: The Yukon’s Great Boreal Wilderness, a finalist for the 2005 BC Book Prize. Sarah is a keen wilderness paddler, hiker, and backcountry skier. In the summer of 2009, Sarah, Juri and son, Alex, moved to Windermere, BC, but they continue to pursue their passion for the North and Canada’s mountain wilderness. Sarah served on the Wildsight Invermere Branch board of directors.
Not long after moving to Whitehorse, Juri Peepre co-founded the Yukon chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and served as its chair, then executive director until 2004. Juri also served as the volunteer national president of CPAWS. He led the Yukon’s Endangered Spaces campaign, with World Wildlife Fund, part of a 10-year national conservation effort, and coordinated the multi-year Three Rivers Journey project. With CPAWS-Yukon, Juri collaborated with the Yukon Public Art Gallery to produce the Wild Waters, Sacred Places group art exhibition celebrating the Three Rivers. He was a coauthor and participating photographer for Three Rivers: the Yukon’s Great Boreal Wilderness, a finalist for the 2005 BC Book Prize. The Three Rivers Project was the recipient of the Silver Canadian Geographic Environment Award in 2007. Juri worked on the campaign to protect the watersheds of the Peel River from the early days in 1990 through to 2013, and he continues to support the initiative.
Juri has written and contributed to numerous books on the Yukon, including Yukon Wild and various guide-books. He was a contributing author to Parks and Protected Areas in Canada (2nd ed), and Protecting Canada’s Endangered Spaces and Unimpaired for Future Generations: Conserving Ecological Integrity with Canada’s National Parks. He was a co-recipient of the J.B. Harkin Conservation Award for his work on the Minister’s Panel on the Ecological Integrity of Canada’s National Parks.
Juri is an avid wilderness paddler, hiker, mountain-lover, orienteer, skier, amateur photographer and perpetually novice bird-watcher. He was part of the BC crew for the Parks Canada Wild Rivers Survey in 1973, and has been paddling northern rivers since the early 1980s. He was the Chair of the Wildsight Regional Council, a conservation organization in the East Kootenays of BC, and served on the TREC (Training Resources for the Environmental Community) board.
Juri continues to support conservation in BC and the North, and was a contract Project Manager with the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. He was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada in December 2013, for his work in wilderness protection. Juri received the Wilburforce Conservation Leadership Award in 2014. For more information on Juri’s current professional work in protected area planning, communications and conservation strategies, see Conservation Work.