Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation’s Jim Kroshus nabs national nod for conservation work
Jim Kroshus is a humble man.
After winning the Roland Michener Conservation Award from the Canadian Wildlife Federation, he said he felt a bit uncomfortable accepting it when he has worked with thousands of volunteers who deserve the credit.
“I’ve worked with legions of volunteers all my career, spent countless hours raising money to secure critical wildlife habitat in Saskatchewan, and for me to be recognized for our efforts, I kind of feel odd about it,” Kroshus told the Times-Herald. “These volunteers, they’ve inspired me throughout my whole career.”
That career has resulted in more than 100,000 acres of land secured and protected for critical wildlife habitat in the province, which is only slightly less than half of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation’s total managed land.
“Jim is very deserving of all the accolades,” said the federation’s executive director Darrell Crabbe. “Like any other award, especially one as prestigious as the Roland Michener Conservation Award, it shines a spotlight on individuals who have dedicated a lifetime to making Canada a better place.”
Kroshus’ work, however, doesn’t stop with the mere amassing of so much land. He is also committed to educating young people about conservation and has been instrumental in the creation and development of the federation’s facility at Hannin Creek camp on Candle Lake in northern Saskatchewan.
“I think they go hand in hand,” he said of securing land and educating young people. “We’ve had tens of thousands of members of the wildlife federation working to secure and buy all these wildlife habitat lands for everybody to enjoy, and once my generation is gone, who is going to look after these lands? So it’s important to involve young people, the next generations, so they can look after these lands, so they can enjoy them. These lands were purchased for them.”
The camp, Crabbe said, will also soon be home to a near-unique research facility, equipped for people to study both wet and dry environments in the Boreal forest. He also noted that the provincial federation has seen exponential growth recently, but that none of it would be possible without 30 years of board members and staff and volunteers working hard to build a foundation for that to happen. Kroshus, he said, is one of those people.
“It’s exceptional,” Crabbe said. “Jim’s body of work over his lifetime is unprecedented across Canada and I think in all of North America.”
Kroshus, Crabbe said, was also recently the recipient of an international award in Oslo, Norway. He added that all awards show people that contributions to conservation are something that can be achieved and admired by other Canadians.
Kroshus himself, however, doesn’t really think that way.
“We would not have the habitat lands in our province without the volunteers coming forward and raising money and working hard to protect it,” he said. “It’s a privilege and it’s very humbling. You go through a career and you don’t expect to be recognized. You just try to do the best job you can.”