The Peel says goodbye to a tireless warrior, Mike Dehn.

Mike Dehn, former Executive Director of CPAWS Yukon, passed away on February 4th, after a long struggle with cancer. Mike will be sorely missed by friends, family and colleagues, who remember him for his compassionate nature, his fighting spirit, and his unwavering dedication to the protection of the Peel Watershed to which he devoted the last years of his life.

“Mike set an inspiring example for all of us,” says Gill Cracknell, Executive Director of CPAWS Yukon. “His enduring passion for wildlands and wildlife fueled his tireless drive and devotion. It was a privilege to work with someone who always put the best of himself into his work – his determination, his courage, and his brilliant intellect.”

“Mike was also a warm and loving man who counted his blessings in the strength of his friendships,” says Jill Pangman, President of CPAWS Yukon. “His was not a fight against individuals, it was against the mindset of industrial “progress” at all costs, which threatens wildlands and life support systems the world over.”

Mike chose to devote his energy to saving one small piece of our world – the majestic mountains and pristine waters of the Yukon’s Peel watershed. He chose the Peel because of the rare opportunity it presented – to protect a large tract of wilderness and wildlife habitat before it became fragmented and parceled off to industrial interests like the rest of the planet.

“Unfortunately, Mike did not live to witness the outcome of his work,” says Pangman. “We can only hope that the final result will be one that he would have celebrated, affirming that his efforts were not in vain.”

“The greatest tribute to Mike you can make at this time,” says Cracknell, “is to send your submission to and ask the Yukon government to accept the Peel Watershed Planning Commission’s Final Recommended Plan for the Peel Watershed.”

A Mike Dehn Memorial Fund has also been set up by CPAWS National for people to donate to the Peel Watershed in Mike’s honour. Donations to the fund are made through the CPAWS National website,, and donors will need to click on “In Memory”, or specify, “For the Mike Dehn Memorial Fund”, in order for the money to be directed there.

A formal celebration of life will be held for Mike. The date has yet to be determined.