President’s Message – Fall/Winter 2019

I am sitting at my computer this evening to put my thoughts in order for this issue of Cloudburst, as the results of our federal election begin to roll in. I not only voted today but took the time to sit at the polling station and bear witness to a tradition that we should be proud of. And I was reminded that it is because we live in a democratic society that we can come together as like-minded individuals and found and sustain an organization such as the FMCBC, that has now served the interests of non-motorized backcountry recreationists for over 40 years and celebrate the fact that the FMCBC reflects the values we hold dear in our various communities.

So, what values should the FMCBC embrace and champion as we go forward? We have over the past year, on more than one occasion, been asked to give our support to organizations whose primary purpose is to pursue goals specifically related to conservation issues and issues of environmental concern. But we are primarily an advocacy organization for recreation. We have just agreed to give our support for a letter to government advocating for the complete stop to the logging of old growth forests. This action was decided after a strong majority of Board members gave their approval. It is because the FMCBC places high value on democratic principles that no one individual or sub-group can act contrary to the decisions of the majority of your elected Board.

The FMCBC constitution allows your Board to take actions specifically related to conservation issues, and states in part; “…to encourage the conservation of mountain areas and mountain environments…” However, these words and others within the constitution have been included prior to environmental and climate concerns becoming so prominent in our daily lives. I believe it reasonable to expect that we will increasingly be approached to support actions and initiatives that are designed exclusively to protect both the environment and climate, and that they may not always be consistent with those values that embrace non-motorized backcountry recreation.

I encourage all of us to reflect on which core values we should embrace going forward, in order that we remain relevant as an organization advocating for recreation, and which values we may wish to develop in our support for conservation and a sustainable environment.

Wharton on the Skyline Trail in Manning Provincial Park in mid-October. (Photo: Dianne Wharton)

One comment on “President’s Message – Fall/Winter 2019

  • Richard Gauntlett , Direct link to comment

    Dave, you have been a faithful, thoughtful and energetic leader at FMCBC for many years. Thank you for your service.

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