Each year The Canadian Wildlife Federation selects, from amongst candidates across Canada, individuals that have shown remarkable achievements in their work in wildlife research, conservation and education. This year, Leora Berman, of Haliburton, Ontario, was selected to be one of those awarded. Leora has been developing small- and large-scale ecological projects for non-profit groups and governments for over 20 years. She has a worked in designing innovative solutions including hydro-dams to rehydrate both soils and wetlands in southern Ontario and which benefit both wildlife and farming. She has made impressive and significant inroads to improve legislation to benefit these purposes. She has worked for laudable organizations such as Ducks Unlimited Canada, Wildlife Habitat Canada, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. And Leora is the Founder and Chief Operating Officer of The Land Between, a grassroots environmental Non- government charity focused on a 12,000-square-kilometre bioregion in central Ontario from the Frontenac Arch (around Brockville) in the east to Georgian Bay and southern Parry Sound. The organization, like Berman herself, builds relationships with all people and groups, as it works to advance cooperative solutions for conserving biodiversity, sustaining healthy water and fisheries, fostering sustainable economic development and engaging youth.
Leora Berman, was the recipient of the Roland Michener Conservation Award, along with the co-honouree, MARS (the Marine Animal Rescue Service), a charity established to rescue beached marine mammals on the east coast. The Roland Michener Conservation Award was established in 1978 by the Canadian Wildlife Federation as a tribute to the former governor general of Canada, the Right Honourable Roland Michener, an exceptional outdoorsperson and past honorary president of the federation. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in wildlife research and conservation. In receiving the award, Leora expressed that “It is an incredible honour and very humbling not only to be chosen for this award, but to be in such amazing and inspiring company.”
Leora and the staff of MARS, were presented with their awards this past June in a special CWF Gala in Halifax Nova Scotia. Directors, members, staff, and honoured guests from across Canada and from the National Wildlife Service in the USA attended to help present the 2019 awards.
Four other awards were given to extraordinary Canadians: The Robert Bateman Award for exceptional conservation art, was presented to Caroline Jacques of Saint-Fabien, Quebec. Sherri Owen, of Lakefield, Ontario was presented with the Wildlife Educator Award. The Robert Haig-Brown Award provided for outdoors and conservation writing and journalism was awarded to Duane Radford of Edmonton, Alberta, and the Youth Conservation Award was presented to 17 year old Stephanie Quon of Vancouver, British Columbia.
Berman recognized that the award may positively impact the Highlands – “It is encouraging to be able to represent the conservation sector in this way, but also to showcase the Highlands. This area, also known as the Land Between bioregion, is so vibrant and also essential to our collective future and wellbeing in Ontario. It makes me happy that this award distinguishes this region for all Canadians to appreciate”.
You can read about the recipients and their achievements in the current edition of Canadian Wildlife Magazine.
(Photo insert: courtesy of the Canadian Wildlife Federation)