CPAWS Yukon Board


Erik Val

Erik has worked for Inuit and First Nations organizations and the federal and territorial governments in Ontario, Northern Quebec, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.  With degrees in biogeography and resource management, Erik has undertaken community based research in Inuit land use, offshore fisheries/petroleum management and socio-economic impact assessment.

He has worked for Parks Canada in various positions including Chief of Socio-Economic Research (Ontario) and Superintendent of Nahanni National Park Reserve. He has also worked for the Yukon Government as the Director of the Yukon Protected Areas Strategy (YPAS) Secretariat and as the Director of Yukon Parks, where he oversaw the operation of Yukon campgrounds and guided the implementation of park management plans for Tombstone and Fishing Branch Territorial Parks until he retired in 2011.

Karen McKenna
Vice President

As a consulting geographer and ecologist for more than 30 years, Karen has had the opportunity to work in and appreciate many wild parts of the territory. When not working, Karen has explored the Yukon backcountry on skis, with dogs, hiking and paddling with family and friends. Understanding soils and ecosystems has led her to realize that clean water, air, soil, healthy wildlife populations and happy healthy people are interrelated and are the Yukon’s most valuable resources. Protecting these resources will provide the basis of an ecologically sustainable economy for the Yukon.

Sandy Johnston

Having spent the last 40 years living, working and exploring the Yukon, Sandy has a deep passion for the land, water and air and have a good understanding of the challenges of conserving them. He was raised in Peterborough, Ontario and from an early age, ventured out on the land with his grandfather, parents and two sisters in their vintage Peterborough cedar strip canoes.   As a teenager, his summers were spent canoeing the backwoods of Ontario and Quebec guiding trips in Algonquin and La Verendrye parks. 

In 1972, he and his partner Lois moved North and made Yukon their home, eventually raising two boys. Sandy's work as a biologist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada from 1972 until 2010 carried him to all corners of the Yukon, including projects along the north coast of the Yukon, and in the Yukon, Alsek, Tatshenshini, Taku, and Stikine watersheds. He was deeply involved in the twenty-year Canada-US negotiations leading to the Pacific Salmon Treaty and Yukon Salmon Agreement. His work also gave him numerous opportunities to work with First Nations and implement the UFA.

Gayle Corry

Gayle has lived in the Yukon for 20 years and joined the board as Treasurer in January 2016.  She grew up in the Eastern Townships southeast of Montreal and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Concordia University and a Diploma in Public Accountancy from McGill University.  She has the utmost appreciation for Yukon’s wilderness and believes very strongly in sustainable development.  She thoroughly enjoys outdoor pursuits such as hiking, biking, skiing and running.  Gayle has passed on her appreciation for the environment to her two daughters who were born and raised in the Yukon.  She is keen to be involved in CPAWS to ensure that Yukon’s wilderness is preserved for future generations.

Gayle is a chartered accountant and has worked for Yukon College since October 2010 and for the Council of Yukon First Nations from 2002 to 2010 as the Director of Finance and Administration.


Rob Dickson

Rob has lived in the Yukon for over five years. He has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience related to water and the environment through his technical training and work experience as an Environmental Engineer. Rob has experience working on a range of environmental projects with specific focus on water quality, water treatment and assessment and remediation of contaminated sites. Rob graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Guelph, and is registered as a Professional Engineer in the Yukon.

Rob began working in the environmental field because of his passion for the outdoors and his keen interest in conservation and sustainable resource management. Rob has become involved with CPAWS in order to help to ensure that our beautiful wilderness is managed responsibly for future generations. In his spare time, Rob enjoys spending time exploring the mountains, lakes and rivers with his family by bike/ski/foot/boat, songwriting and performing.


Shailyn Drukis

Shailyn first came to the Yukon in 2012 as a research assistant and has made these mountains her home. She attended her first United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting in Japan in 2010 and was in the room when the Aichi Biodiversity Targets were set. Since then, she has developed a strong interest in Target 11 and the role that protected area connectivity and large landscape conservation can play in protecting Canadian biodiversity. Shailyn co-founded the Global Youth Biodiversity Network and has worked extensively with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). She is on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Committee for IUCN and has leadership roles within the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Mountains and Connectivity Specialty Groups. Shailyn is also involved with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO -- as a member of their Youth Advisory Group, and as the northern representative on the Natural, Social and Human Sciences Sectoral Commission. 

She has worked for Parks Canada (Kluane) and Ontario Parks, and has attended and helped organize a number of parks-related meetings and projects. Shailyn attended the IUCN World Parks Congress in Australia, was on the Organizing Committee for the 2017 Canadian Parks Conference, and is currently on the National Advisory Committee for the Parks For All project (Canadian Parks Council). She loves exploring the wilderness in the Yukon, especially by running, hiking, and geocaching.

Joel Luet

Joel has been living in the Yukon for 20 years, a CPAWS board member since 2006 and committed environmentalist for most of his life. He has had the good fortune to travel in some of the wild places of Canada and the Yukon and knows in his head, heart and gut that we need to keep as much of the remaining wild areas as possible as they are for the future of the planet.