Consultation on Conservation, Fisheries and Hunting

by Andrew Lemon, President

I am reaching out to you to obtain your feedback on how best to address the Fourth Goal of the VFGPA, i.e.:

Undertake and participate in conservation projects and issues to protect and enhance fish and wildlife populations and their habitats, and to ensure the public opportunity to enjoy them. We partner with industry, government, and like-minded non-government organizations to achieve success. We interact with all levels of government on behalf of the welfare of fish and wildlife and the future of outdoor activities.

Over the last five years, the VFGPA governance has been significantly strengthened by the formal allocation of duties between the Vice-Presidents and adding a third Vice-President position. This was needed to address the challenges caused by the significant increase in VFGPA membership, infrastructure, properties, staff, and formal disciplines.

Nevertheless, we have recently identified another significant weakness in our governance, which was made very evident by the retirement of our long-standing Director of Fishing & Big Game, Wayne Zaccarelli (a VFGPA Past-President and a Life Member).

Essentially Wayne was knowledgeable and capable of dealing with all matters related to big game and upland hunting, as well as fresh and saltwater fishing.  In addition, he had long standing and effective relations with numerous Vancouver Island conservation organizations.  Finding a replacement Director with all these qualifications has not been possible.

The Executive and Board have had discussions on this, and are developing options, e.g., four separate Directors (big game, upland hunting, fresh and saltwater fishing), and/or creating a new Vice-President position.  Such changes would require a change to our Constitution and Bylaws and would need to be much more fully evaluated before being implemented.

As a next step, I intend to convene a committee of our directors who already have roles relevant to this issue, e.g., our Past-President who oversees VFGPA hunting course, and our Access Director who oversees the program by which our members get access to Mosaic land for hunting and fishing, as well as our Ranger who oversees conservation activities on our properties as well as our learn to fish programs.  It would also need to have members-at-large with an interest in strengthening how the VFGPA deals with these issues.  Finally, I will ask well-managed third-party conservation groups on Vancouver Island to nominate committee members, e.g., Peninsula Streams and Shorelines.

I welcome your feedback on this and invite any interested in being on the committee to let me know.

Andrew Lemon