President’s Message

Before I begin to write my President’s Report, I always reread my previous report. I wouldn’t want to be accused of being too repetitive with what I say! But of interest to me is that I noted the FMCBC had held three Board meetings since the 2018 AGM—Board meetings that were held with the newly designed, much smaller (in numbers) Board. I continue to believe strongly this was a good move for the FMCBC, and we now only have one more Board meeting prior to the 2019 AGM.

To suggest there have been no problems or no growing pains (or shrinking pains going from 40-plus Directors to 10) would be misleading. There have been issues to deal with as a direct result of reducing the number of Directors. But it speaks to the commitment of all Directors (and they all volunteer their time) that these issues have had thorough discussion at the Board table and have been mostly resolved.

I also must acknowledge the commitment of both FMCBC staff members, Barry Janyk and Stacey Santos. We certainly did not reduce their workload when we reduced the number of Directors! As our organization’s President, I know how many hours we pay them both and I also know how many hours they work. And when it has been needed, I am certain there have been some hours of “volunteer work” by both, which highlights for me a key issue being faced by the Board: that at times there are too few dedicated individuals to attend to important issues in a timely manner. So, as we move forward following this year’s AGM, I think it will be a priority that we look to establishing or revitalizing some core committees to ensure the priorities within the FMCBC are attended to efficiently and with consistency.

Wharton on a 3-day snowshoe trip to Nordheim Peak in Manning Provincial Park in April 2019. (Credit: Dianne Wharton)

As you may know, the FMCBC is a member of the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC (ORC). And as the FMCBC is the provincial organization for clubs whose primary interest is non-motorized (non-mechanized and non-equestrian) backcountry recreation, ORC is the provincial organization that represents any and all backcountry recreation, including mountain bikers, bikers, equestrians, paddle sports and all types of motorized backcountry recreation such as the 4×4 community, dirt bikers, and ATVers, as well as hunters and fishers. The FMCBC is the only provincial organization that represents your interests within this diverse organization.

At first glance one wonders how ORC, with such a wide range of interests to represent, can ever get past the differences that would bring member organizations into conflict. But these organizations have more of a common purpose than dividing differences. And your voice is much stronger when we represent your interests to government and industry due to our ORC membership.

Earlier this year, ORC filled the vacant Executive Director position with the hiring of Ms. Louise Pedersen, and I know that your Executive Director, Barry Janyk, has had productive communication with Louise that will help to ensure a strong supportive relationship exists between the two organizations.

I am now in my sixth and final year as a Director with ORC, the last three as the Chair, so my above comments are a direct result of my experience representing you at ORC and representing ORC to the FMCBC Board. As I step down from ORC, you will continue to be ably represented as a strong FMCBC member has offered their name as a candidate for election to the ORC Board.

And to finish this note, I hope to see many of you at the 2019 AGM, this year hosted by the Chilliwack Outdoor Club, who I know will do a fine job. Although as yet I can not comment on the format or agenda for the AGM (a bit early as I write this in April!), I can say one thing with confidence: For those of you who will be attending the AGM with partners and spouses, there will be a good hike to Elk and Thurston Mountains for those who will not be attending the AGM, organized by a very capable longtime FMCBC member, my wife Dianne.


Dave Wharton

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