James H.C. Walker Memorial Prize in Environmental Law

ELC Clinic students who demonstrate an excellence in and a commitment to improving environmental law and policy through their work are now eligible for a special prize.

Former Director of Fish and Wildlife and Assistant Deputy Minister of Environment James H. C. Walker was one of the most influential wildlife advocates over the last several decades. As a fisheries scientist with expertise in wildlife and land use management, James worked in the civil service for almost 30 years, establishing numerous conservation programs and initiatives and spearheading changes in policy and legislation. He played a key role in doubling the Provincial Park system, developing the Forest Practices Code, protecting areas like the Muskwa-Kechika watersheds and the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Reserve. In retirement, he continued his efforts to protect the environment through volunteering with environmental non-profits. He was also a good friend of the ELC’s.

“Jim was always generous with his time and advice in helping the Environmental Law Centre law students with their proposals on law reform and litigation to protect nature,” says ELC Legal Director Calvin Sandborn. “He was a special adviser to the ELC when we developed our book of comprehensive environmental law reform proposals; he helped us out when we developed a Field Guide of environmental laws for First Nations Guardian Watchmen monitors; he gave us guidance as we devised potential legal protections for bighorn sheep; and he was always willing to share his experience and knowledge when we needed to know the history of wildlife management in the province over the last many decades.”

When James passed away earlier this year after a brief illness, his friends and family decided the most appropriate way to memorialize him was to establish an annual prize in his name for ELC Clinic students.

“Jim was one of the Environmental Elders who stood as a role model for the young people who come to UVic to save the natural world.  His award will create incentive and inspiration to these kids – who will carry on Jim’s great work.”

Donations to the permanent endowment that supports the JAMES H.C.WALKER PRIZE IN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW can be made online: https://extrweb.uvic.ca/donate-online/in-memory-of-james-walker