(Previously published in the Merritt Herald - Othmar Vohringer, The Outdoorsman)
© By Othmar Vohringer
© By Othmar Vohringer
On Sunday, December 2, 2012, NDP leader Adrian Dix and Fraser-Nicola LMA Harry Lali hosted an election information event at the Tropico Spice restaurant in Merritt. Among the 100 plus people attending was a delegation of the Nicola Valley Fish & Game Club (NVF&GC). Harry Lali, who had attended a NVF&GC general meeting in early fall to discuss with us land access and confirming his political support, suggested that meeting Adrian Dix would be helpful to our cause. Rick McCowan, the land access committee chair of the NVF&GC had a chance to meet person to person with Mr. Dix before the event, providing him with the current information and a newly published information leaflet about land access problems here in the valley and across the province.
At the event Adrian Dix spent quite a bit of time at our table talking about the issues we presented to him and he seemed to be as concerned about land access as we are. A good sign!
Since I am not directly involved with the land access committee I must say that I am very impressed with what this small group of dedicated people in our club has achieved so far and all the hard work they put in to creating broad public awareness of the crown land access problem in our province.
While the BC Wildlife Federation, the province’s largest hunter and angler organization, is twiddling its thumbs on the issue our club has gathered immense momentum, attracting national media attention and support from many other organizations throughout our nation. The NVF&GC has without a doubt become the driving force of the land access campaign.
While our fathers and grandfathers could enjoy hunting and fishing without any concerns for the future, times have drastically changed since then. Today we have to become politically active in order to secure our heritage for future generations. Our outdoor sport heritage faces many challenges of which our forefathers wouldn’t dream of in their worst nightmares. Loosing access to public land is only one of these problems. Other problems are instigated from the myriad of popular self-proclaimed “animal welfare” organizations using vilification and misinformation targeted against hunters, and their recruitment of largely ignorant city/suburban peoples to their cause; particularly impressionable youth.
We need to challenge these problems as a united force in public, on the political stage and even in the courts or we stand to lose it all. I am proud to be a member of a small local organization that doesn’t just complain but is on the forefront of fighting for our future generations so they too can enjoy hunting, fishing and accessing lands, lakes and streams for generations to come. If you’re a concerned outdoor sportsperson and want to do your bit to preserve our heritage, rights and freedoms then you should be thinking about joining the Nicola valley Fish & Game Club.