On June 20, 2017, our friend and past director of The Nature Trust of BC Jim Walker died.
Jim was known for his expertise in wildlife management and land-use management. He held several senior positions with the provincial government, including Assistant Deputy Minister in charge of Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Protection, and Director of Wildlife. Jim was a leader in helping to develop a number of provincial initiatives, such as the Forest Practices Code, the Muskwa Kechika Management Area, the Clayoquot Land Use Plan and the Grizzly Bear Strategy. Jim was a strong advocate for nature during his career and throughout his retirement.
Jim was a volunteer director of The Nature Trust of British Columbia from 2002 to 2012.
He wrote in the 2009 Annual Report: “For many years, The Nature Trust has acquired biologically rich and diverse lands to conserve BC’s biodiversity for generations to come. However, as public appreciation of nature continues to erode, it is imperative we and our conservation partners refocus our direction and make it a priority to educate the urban majority about our lands and the values they represent. It is not enough to acquire land alone. Urban dwellers who lack early exposure, intimacy and connection with nature will continue to see the environment as a ‘hostile’ entity that requires domestication. Without public understanding, support and proactive conservation efforts, our land will remain unknown and its lush biodiversity will with time inevitably diminish.”
Jim worked tirelessly on The Nature Trust Biodiversity Committee and on the Biodiversity BC Steering Committee that developed and produced a number of publications including the significant, science-based assessment of the province’s natural environment in 2008 called Taking Nature’s Pulse: the Status of Biodiversity in BC. Taking Nature’s Pulse was the result of an unprecedented collective effort by more than 50 scientists – both provincial and international, representing some of the best ecological thinking in BC – who contributed to its development and validated the importance of this province’s natural biological diversity.
During his tenure on the board, The Nature Trust acquired 57 properties (74 parcels) totaling 17,000 acres expanding our legacy of grasslands, marshes, forests and estuaries. Some of these conservation treasures included additions to the Salmon River Estuary, the Englishman River and MacMillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, Antelope-brush Conservation Area and the Twin Lakes addition to the White Lake Basin Biodiversity Ranch in the Okanagan and the Hoodoos and addition to the Bull River conservation lands complex in the East Kootenay.
A dedicated conservationist and ambassador for The Nature Trust of BC, Jim Walker will be sadly missed.
The Nature Trust of British Columbia will be naming an award in Jim’s honour. Starting in 2018, the Jim Walker Award will recognize and celebrate an exceptional individual from our Conservation Youth Crew program, which helps develop the next generation of conservation leaders in BC. Donations in Jim’s memory are welcome.