Looking at the future of the Comox Valley outdoors scene

ure hold for the Courtenay and District Fish and Game Protective Association (CDFGPA)?

I attended the September general meeting of this club on Monday night and I must confess this report will be short in trying to give an impression of the important work of the CDFGPA; but I came away from the meeting with a sense of optimism  that the club will successfully overcome the challenges of growth and change in an increasingly complex set of operating rules and conditions.

I cannot help but observe that with an ever-increasing membership we must be doing something correctly. The membership report to the meeting puts our current membership at about 2,700. Aside from the usual executive reports as in club minutes and treasurer’s report to the meeting, there were at least 15 committee reports, and nine information and new business reports.

Most reports were upbeat and positive as increased activities in archery, trap and skeet with a national women champion from the club, and exciting cowboy action to name a few. This column congratulates                 Lisa Cunningham on her national and international successes in trap and skeet shooting competitions – the CDFGPA and the Comox Valley are proud of your achievements.

There are problems with the rezoning application in the process of being addressed at the regional district level. Our president Dale Frame  has spent much of the summer in meetings and is optimistic they will be solved in the near future.

The rezoning issue had a direct effect on the operation of the club liquor bar and associated revenues that would have accrued was closed to rental groups unless they had special occasion licences. In an email, a membership survey from the executive outlining several of the current challenges such as decreasing volunteers and increasing costs, the members were asked to consider several suggestions for solving some of the issues.

Two members of the club made special presentations on their concerns and their written suggestions were passed on to the executive. It is my clear impression that the problems are solvable. In the discussion that followed their presentations it became clear to me that the members do not wish to drop their membership in the British Columbia Wildlife Federation.

They also had positive suggestions to increase volunteerism for club activities and special events. During the discussions there were positive indications that increased membership fees to meet increased costs were not out of the question.

I do not know how many thousand emails were sent out from the club on this issue; but I urge you to offer your positive  suggestions to the executive to help the club meet its growing needs brought on by success of a large enterprise. A club with 2,700-plus members must have within its members the positive solutions to the questions raised in the survey.  To Gail Eggiman, “thank-you” for having the courage and dedication to the club for sending out the survey to help solve our current challenges. A heartfelt “thank-you” to the members who made written and oral presentations to the club.

There is great joy for people involved in activities that have direct contact with nature in a sadly disconnected society.

Please note: After my deadline last week I received an email from DFO that effective immediately (Sept. 11, 2015) all rivers in Region One (Vancouver Island) with the exception of the Cowichan are open to fishing for salmon.

For details on specific openings in rivers you may wish to check the DFO Recreational Fisheries website because not all rivers have the same rules. Make it a practice to know the rules before you fish.

 

Ralph Shaw is a master fly fisherman who was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984 for his conservation efforts. In 20 years of writing a column in the Record it has won several awards.

 

 

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