Devon Page presented with Wilderness Committee’s 2022 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award
VANCOUVER / UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh AND səlilwətaɬ TERRITORIES – The Wilderness Committee presents the 2022 Eugene Rogers Environmental Award to Executive Director of Ecojustice Devon Page.
Page is recognized for his years of dedicated legal work to preserve and protect at-risk wild species and places in Canada.
“Devon’s decades-long efforts going to court to gain protection for at-risk species and their habitats, the length and breadth of Canada, have been an inspiration to all who work to protect wild nature,” said National Campaign Director Torrance Coste.
In 2001, Devon started with Ecojustice as a young lawyer keen to channel his love of wild places into protecting the endangered forests, birds, wildlife, and fish across Canada. He soon turned his attention to the endangered population of northern spotted owl in the country that remains only in southwest British Columbia.
On behalf of the Wilderness Committee, Devon filed for an injunction to stop logging in an old-growth forest encompassing important spotted owl habitat. On June 26, 2001, the B.C. Supreme Court ordered a halt to logging in the Fraser Canyon area in the territory of Yale First Nation. This was the first time in Canadian history that an injunction had been granted to protect endangered species habitat.
“Devon showed us that we could take on the B.C. government and the logging companies in court and actually win forest protection for species at risk,” said Protected Areas Campaigner Joe Foy. “He led the way forward with a glimmer of hope for the spotted owl.”
Page was also instrumental in launching some of the first cases under Canada’s federal species at risk legislation. His persistent 20-year-long strategic approach employing court actions to protect spotted owl habitat has facilitated a halt to logging on over 120,000 hectares of wild and forested lands.
In 2008, Devon was appointed Executive Director of Ecojustice and has successfully led an expansion of the organization across Canada as well as an expansion of court cases defending species at risk and their habitats. The organization goes to court to defend nature, combat climate change and fight for a right to a healthy environment. Devon will be leaving his position early next year.
“I am honoured to accept the Eugene Rogers Environmental Award. I am proud to have represented the Wilderness Committee in key legal battles to protect Canada’s at-risk species,” said Page. “I hope this award draws attention to the need, more than ever, to create strong legal precedents and laws that effectively protect wildlife and wilderness.”
For 31 years, the Wilderness Committee has presented the Eugene Rogers Environmental Award to citizens who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to protect the environment and advocate for a better society. The award will be presented to Page at the Wilderness Committee’s Annual General Meeting this afternoon.