Letters to the Editor: September 9

In Memory of Stan Salikin; Where did all the elk go?; Selkirk Secondary

In memory of a great man

It is a month ago on September 10 that many of us lost a true friend, Stan Salikin or as many of us referred to him as Stan the Man.

The saying “Aspire to Inspire before you Expire” would depict Stan to me.

I met Stan when my wife and I moved here in 1990 and he inspired me in many ways ever since. He had a business and so did I. We would say ‘Hi, how’s it going?’ to each other several times a week and have the odd beer or coffee together. We volunteered as members of the Chamber of Commerce/ Bavarian Society. He was in charge of the Parade Float Committee then too and I always enjoyed listening to his ‘Float Committee Reports’ at the meetings. Stan was always cheerful and optimistic about everything. Once he asked me at a chamber meeting if I could help him with the Parade Float and it was his enthusiasm that sold me on it.

I discovered that Stan was volunteering everywhere, the Rotarians, the Food Bank, the Curling Club, the Kimberley Golf Club, the Elks, Julyfest and probably a few other organizations. Stan always found a way to make time for individuals or organizations needing help.

Stan, myself, and the Crew went to many parades. It was always long days, up at 6am and done by 7 or 8 pm, but we got to stay in pretty nice hotels, the expenses were paid and we always had fun and laughs. It always seamed like a fun weekend away from home.

We would be driving 4 hours each way to the Calgary Stampede Parade so we had lots of time to solve the ‘problems of the world’. We had many good laughs about this and it was fun to hang out with Stan.

I sold my business in 1998 and was no longer involved in the Chamber of Commerce and moved on to other things and travelled.

After coming home to Kimberley a few years later, I saw Stan one day, I think he was selling Duck tickets and he said, as I filled out the ticket, that he could use some help with the Parade float. It didn’t take me long to decide, I could spare a few days a year to hang out with Stan the Man. I had fond memories of our road trips in the past. The last couple of times we had conversations of death and dying. He was always at ease talking about it and aware of life’s limitations.

I spent some quality time with Stan the Man and I am just thankful that he was able to move on quickly, as he said to me once “I just hope that I don’t have to hang around and catch flies for months on end” and I said “you probably won’t”, he looked at me and he smiled.

Stan the Man was a great man, he inspired me and I have a feeling that he inspired many. I cannot do what you did, Stan, but I will take care of the Parade Float for as long as I can and I hope that I can inspire a few people the way you inspired me.

RIP Stan.

Jori Adank, Kimberley

Where did the elk go?

Larry Hall, president of the East Kootenay Hunters Association, states that the East Kootenay now has 7,500-8,000 elk, down from 30,000. MLA Bill Bennett agrees with Hall and then adds the diversion of wolves and bears as well as urban voters who don’t hunt.

Historically, at least half of the Rocky Mountain elk in BC have resided in the Kootenays, which would put the province’s total number of elk currently between 15,000 to 16,000 animals. How does that compare with other jurisdictions in North America? Let’s look at the facts:

Elk populations

Colorado 265,000

Montana 158,000

Oregon 125,000

Idaho 120,000

Wyoming 90,000

New Mexico 70,000

Utah 68,000

Washington 45,000

Arizona 30,000-35,000

Nevada 17,500

2012 Elk harvest

Colorado 43,490

Montana 20,550

Idaho 26,269

Wyoming 26,365

Source: BackCountryChronicles.com

What do the various states do that BC does not do in managing their elk herds? What science and wildlife management in the U.S. is not practiced in BC?

No US state has a general open season exclusively for 6-points, the prime breeding bulls. Research long ago demonstrated that when the younger bulls rather than the mature bulls do the breeding, fewer calves survive. No US state has a general open season during the rut. No US state requires foreign elk hunters to hire a guide.

No state guarantees a guide business, with the health of the business counting more than the population of the species. See the Darwin Carey Decision, Environmental Appeal Board No. 2007-WIL-002(a).

The science, the state of the art, exists but BC chooses to put forth misinformation and anything to divert the public’s attention. Weather: It’s so much warmer in the states. When you pass through Roosville or Eastport, you immediately feel the warm climate that allows for more elk in Montana, Idaho, etc. Somehow Colorado—with a million more people and 550 mountain peaks exceeding 4000 metres elevation in an area one-fourth the size of BC—has 16 times the number of elk we have.

Predators are another big distraction from dealing with the 6-point season and hunting during the rut —leading to inferior breeding with calves being born over 120+ days rather than 40 days. More days for predators to feast, and fewer days for calves to grow big and strong enough to survive the winter. As prey numbers decline, the wolves, we’re told, increase. Only in BC.

Six-point bulls are not only prime breeding stock, they are trophy bulls—much prized by foreign hunters but not by resident hunters, the vast majority of whom are after meat, not antlers. No wonder the guides requested the 6-point season, which allows their foreign clients to enjoy a “quality” hunt with very little competition from residents.

The cry for more funding is out of line with reality. As the government’s policies have driven hunters to quit, income to both government and the local economy has gone down, as predicted. Based on production, the Branch may have had too many funds.

The ignoring of scientific developments and the best practices of the day may be explained in a quote from Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” The guides have worked hard to kill their business, and the government has worked hard to support them.

William G. (“Bill”) Hills, Cranbrook

Selkirk Secondary

Congratulations to Selkirk Secondary School, Principal Clint Dolgopol, and all Teachers, Support Staff & Students

The Rating and Top Quartile Ranking of Selkirk Secondary by the Fraser Institute amongst all BC high schools is independent recognition to accept with pride and as a challenge for continued improvement for our students and community.

It is also significant for Selkirk Secondary to be the top ranked high school in the Kootenays.

The full report including criteria and inter-active website are at www.fraserinstitute.org

Mac Campbell, Trustee, Rocky Mountain SD6