Words from a past president

DSCN1414Les Husband currently, and has been for ten years, the Fire Centre Manager for the BC Wildfire Service and he manages the Prince George Fire Centre.

With the Federation, Les is Vice President for Harvey Andrusak. Indirectly, Les has been a club member since 1980 and directly as a board member from 1993 to 2003.

“I’m very much interested in fish, wildlife and habitat. I’m an avid hunter, angler and trapper. In 1993 there was an opportunity to run for the board. I thought for myself I could bring some very much needed qualities to the board. For me it’s a chance to be involved at a higher level.”

Les hoped by being more involved he could have a bit more influence. He wanted to make sure that number one: the Federation is moving forward, and number two: to extend some of the advantages he had to work on some partnerships with the government, so they could work to build some of the fish and wildlife resources in the province.

“That was it, to get on the board, to be part of a higher level of decision making and then eventually, when I became president, to lead an organization that I thought did a lot of good work. I’d rather be part of the solution and be a part of trying to look towards the future and make sure that there will be resources for us down the road, rather than sit back and do nothing. I’m not that kind of guy, I like to be involved, I like to be hands on.”

Les says, as a whole the Federation and the clubs that make up the Federation put in hundreds of thousands of hours of work on the ground.

“At the end of the day, there isn’t another group around that puts as much time and dollars into work to actually improve fish and wildlife in their habitat. You hear some of these cliches of the Federation being one of the oldest and largest  conservation organizations in the province, and I believe to this day that that is still the truth. Our organization does a lot of good work, but it’s not as much now as it was in the past due to a lot more restrictions being in place. ”

For Les, he was always interested in doing work on the ground with fisheries and wildlife.DSC00845

“I grew up in Revelstoke and our club did a lot of work on little projects. And that was always the interest, to get hands on and actually make a difference.”  

As things progressed Les got on the board, and his role with the Federation became structured in influencing other organizations, especially the government; to hold them accountable for the responsibility of handling the fish and wildlife resources of the province.

Les was president of the BC Wildlife Federation from 1998 to 2000. During that time he believes the Federation did some really good things.

“I think we did a lot of really good things, a lot of improvements and a lot of issues that were part of the province at that time, and I think we came up with some good solutions. From my perspective, the influence that our board had and that I had as a president was very positive.”

In the late 1990s, a lot of anti-hunting movements become very vocal. Les and the rest of the BCWF Board of Directors spent  a lot of time deflecting issues that were being brought forward by anti-hunting organizations. The Federation was also involved in land use planning during the 90s and took a lead on gun control with new gun regulations that were presented in Bill C68. On many of these matters the Federation maintained a working relationship with the government.

“Our opinion from the Federation prospective has always been respected by the government, because we bring a balance and a position that is often defensible and we don’t come and criticize, we bring solutions. I always thought the government really respected that and the way that our organization and membership operates.”

As a  past president, Les will continue to be involved in the Federation, to be there for support and advice for future board members and he will continue to do what he can for fish and wildlife in the province.

“I think that most of the people that have moved up through the ranks of the Federation from the regions to the board to the executives, even to the presidents have a  really vested interest in the fish and wildlife in this province. It’s not just the fact that they hunt and fish, it’s all the other pieces that go through being outside. The outdoors are something that they value and I think that is the main reason why folks get involved. They respect the outdoors, they respect what we have in this province for diversity, and I think that is what draws a lot of folks in and they want to be apart of solving some of the issues.”

Les says the Federation is not just for a single interest.

“We have such a broad stroke of fish and wildlife committees and issues that we deal with on a daily basis. I feel there is always going to be something there for somebody, as long as they are interested in the outdoors.”

~ By Cheyenne Bergenhenegouwen

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