President’s Message Fall/Winter 2023

The FMCBC had its first in person AGM since Covid. The AGM was held Saturday Oct 21 at UBC, Vancouver and had 28 participants with 10 members joining via Zoom. I hope we can return to our more usual format of in person AGMs being hosted by local clubs. This includes a social gathering on the Friday before and hikes on Saturday and Sunday. I encourage clubs to consider hosting next year’s AGM. FMCBC will gladly share costs.

Last year, FMCBC lost one of our board members, Jay MacArthur. Our AGM paid tribute to this giant of a man and held a one minute silence in his honour. Jay is missed but his legacy remains and urges us on to do more for non-motorized access to the backcountry.
Our AGM presented a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award to Dave King of the Caledonia Ramblers. Dave was born with hiking boots on. He still continues to build trails in the North at the young age of 81.

FMCBC voted in a new board of directors. I bid a fond farewell and many thanks to Cristina Jacob and a very warm welcome to Jodi Appleton. Many of you will recognize Jodi’s name from her past involvement with FMCBC. It’s great to welcome Jodi back.

In the spirit of working collaboratively, our AGM had 3 presentations from non-member groups. The Outdoor Recreation Council’s Ximena Lopez and Dave Wharton presented the results of a survey ORC did on the impacts of outdoor recreation on rural communities. I think we all learnt a bunch of good information. Brian Harder, President of the Backcountry Horsemen of BC gave an excellent presentation on how to safely interact with people on horseback when hiking on trails.

Lastly FMCBC heard from Rotary Club of BC’s Ardath Paxton Mann on the important issue of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Building on this presentation, you can expect to see FMCBC form a subcommittee on DEI. It’s important that FMCBC and all of our member clubs create a welcoming atmosphere for everyone. The make-up of our clubs often does not reflect the rich diversity in our communities. The new FMCBC DEI subcommittee will explore ways to help clubs create an atmosphere where people from any religious group or background, people of colour, and LGBTQ+ folks feel welcome and comfortable.

A common theme I’m hearing from member clubs is the aging out process. Succession planning is something vitally important to us all and I encourage clubs to focus on attracting new and younger members.

In closing, it behooves every organization to keep in touch with its members to ensure our collective voice remains strong as we advocate for non-motorized access to trails and the backcountry. You can expect to see a survey from FMCBC in the New Year to get your input on ways we can improve our services and work more closely together.

Stay safe out there and thank you for what you do.
Happy Holidays!
President, FMCBC

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