Two young outdoor enthusiats from Revelstoke, Zakk Kroll and Jayden Bowden, attended the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF) Conference in Nanaimo last month.
The annual conference brings together representatives of affiliate clubs of the BCWF clubs and offers a spot for youth delegates to come and learn. Kroll and Bowden’s parents were the two representatives from Revelstoke for the Revelstoke Rod and Gun Club. The two talked about what it meant to go to the conference and what they learned.
“The first day or so it was kind of hard to wrap my head around all the topics at once,” said Kroll.
Kroll and Bowden are both 15 years old, but the topics covered at the conference are complex, regardless of age. From wildlife promotion to habitat protection, and the management of both, the conference taught Kroll and Bowden about topics they were familiar with, but in further detail.
One of the topics they covered was predation control.
“If you are able to manage and limit the number of predators to a stable number naturally, like without touching, or changing your hunting limits…your animal populations will thrive,” explained Kroll.
Bowden discussed some of the species-specific information that the conference addressed.
“There’s a lot of interesting presentations by all sorts of different people, some about populations of bighorn that are getting pneumonia, moose populations with predators, some talked about seals and sea lions, populations getting out of control,” said Bowden.
From the forests to the ocean, the conference taught about all kinds of wildlife. Bowden credited the event for opening his eyes to issues he hadn’t been aware of before.
Kroll and Bowden had different reasons for getting involved in conservation. Kroll credited his life in Revelstoke, which exposed him to wildlife early, sparking an interest in the field. He’s attended the Revelstoke Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen meetings for some time. The ladder elected Kroll to be their youth delegate at the conference.
“I want to be able to hunt and fish, as my parents did, or their grandparents did,” he said, adding he would like to “see all those animal populations thrive.”
Bowden credited his mom for his interest in the outdoors, who has been taking him out fishing since he was young.
“I love fishing, since before I can really remember,” he said.
Bowden and Kroll were two of just a few youth representatives, which Bowden said made it clear why it was important for young representatives to engage.
“It’s really important for the for the next generation to really have a say,” said Bowden.