Wildsight mourns the loss of a passionate and courageous leader of the environmental community. Juri Peepre, who passed away peacefully on May 13 at his home at the foot of the Rocky Mountains near Windermere, inspired us with his deep understanding and strategic approach to pressing environmental issues. Juri’s actions always reflected a deep humility and kindness that served to make his activism so effective. Juri leaves behind a tremendous legacy of conservation and a vision that lives on in the hearts of his many friends and colleagues across western Canada.
Juri drew the blueprint for conservation efforts in the Yukon over his twenty five years working for the protection of its wild landscape. He founded CPAWS Yukon and launched the Three Rivers project that ultimately lead to protection of most of the Peel Watershed. His work was crucial in the protection of Tombstone Territorial Park. He was an avid canoeist and co-authored “Wild Rivers of the Yukon’s Peel Watershed” with his wife Sarah.
When Juri and Sarah moved to the Columbia Valley, they immediately grew deep connections and embraced new relationships with people and the land. Juri joined Wildsight as Chair of the Board of Directors in 2010 and his strategic vision guided our work forward and onto new paths. Constantly looking for new ways to inspire our mountain towns and champion conservation, he convened community conversations, hosted important speakers like David Suzuki, launched a region-wide campaign urging people to Look Outside and protect what they love. He played a key role in advocating for a recreation access plan for the Columbia Valley. Juri received the Order of Canada in 2014 in recognition of his lifetime contribution to conservation.
Juri leaves behind his wife and son and a large community of friends and colleagues. Though dearly missed, Juri has left us with inspiration and a legacy of conservation of wild places.