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New hunter/angler group formed in B.C.

A newly formed B.C. hunters group will be introducing itself to Cranbrook at an open house on March 8.

The B.C. chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is the first Canadian branch of the U.S.-based organization, which already has 14 chapters.

Backcountry Hunters and Anglers represents conservation and wild land issues, and each chapter shares mutual interests in natural fish and wildlife habitat.

Four of the seven volunteer members of the B.C. chapter's board of directors are from the East Kootenay. Chair Bill Hanlon and treasurer Sam Medcalf are from Sparwood; secretary Aden Stewart is from Cranbrook; and director Corey Phelps is from Creston.

“We for the most part are ‘boots on the ground’ hunters and fishermen, who stand for quiet experiences in wild habitats, entirely removed from the disturbances of crowds and machines,” said Hanlon.

“We enjoy the wonder and adventure of the great outdoors with our friends and families and work to defend and expand quality opportunities for hunting and fishing.

“We will stand up to off-road vehicle abuse of public land and wildlife, as well as those who would abuse our habitat and water for commercial gain.

“Our networks of on-the-ground volunteers will help report abuse and comment on issues impacting our public lands here in B.C.

“The bottom line is that we speak for traditional hunting and angling interests as the voice of sportsmen and women who truly love wild places and certainly we will strive to achieve a fair and equitable balance for all user groups.”

The B.C. chapter was formed in response to the extensive pressure placed on fish and wildlife as a result of natural resource development.

However, the B.C. chapter will focus on priority issues facing British Columbians, including responsible development.

The B.C. chapter is 100 per cent self funded and will be directly responsible to its B.C. membership.

On Saturday, March 8, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers will be introducing Cranbrook to its B.C. chapter at an open house at the Days Inn. From 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., drop in to find out more about the group and enjoy free door prizes and refreshments. Land Towney, executive director of the group’s Missoula chapter, will be the guest speaker.

For more information on Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, visit www.backcountryhunters.org.

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