Bill Hanlon - Chapter Liaison
Bill is blessed to be a wilderness hunter and to live in super natural British Columbia.
Bill grew up in Trail, BC and although he had never hunted or even knew anyone who owned a horse, he had a passion for all things wild. His dad got him interested in fly fishing at an early age and established a high degree of ethics in how they conducted themselves outdoors and how important it was to adhere to the regulations of the day. Bill graduated from Eastern Washington University in 1984 with a BA in Industrial Technology and went on to finish his B Ed. at the University of British Columbia in 1986. He taught Industrial Education at Elkford Secondary School for almost 20 years before changing careers in 2006 to begin a small business called Wilderness Spirit Woodworks. He has been creating and building custom Rocky Mountain lifestyle furniture ever since.
Bill married Miss Rodeo Canada in 1990 and thus began his love affair…and immersion into horses, too. With his lovely wife Sue he raised three wonderful children on a small horse acreage in the Elk Valley where they could ride a horse right in their backyard. All the kids could ride before they could walk and were introduced to the wilderness on extended backcountry horsepack trips. Hunting with his children brings Bill his greatest pleasure.
Bill has been fighting for habitat, wilderness and access management for the last 25 years with various conservation organizations. In 2000 he co-founded the Hornaday Wilderness Society, a small but effective wilderness advocacy group situated in the Elk Valley. To this day he is the table representative for the wilderness and wildland sector on the Southern Rocky Mountain Management Plan Advisory Committee. He owns six sturdy mountain horses and two blue heeler/border collies named Smokey and the Bandit. He spends every possible minute riding or hunting in the wildest places remaining in BC. He is honored to be the first chair of the British Columbia chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.
Alan Duffy - Chair
Alan lives in the East Kootenay area of the province. He and his wonderful wife raised two daughters and tried to expose them to the many outdoor pursuits available in the area. Alan started hunting a little later in life but became immersed right away and loves to spend time on mountain hunting adventures. The mountains are a huge draw and Alan is always looking forward to the next adventure, whether it be hunting, hiking, backcountry skiing, or horseback.
Alan became a member of BHA when the BC chapter was founded and has become more and more involved over the past few years, taking on the role of Kootenay region chair last year and moving on to co-chair of the BC Chapter for this year. We are very fortunate in our area of the world to still have big wild landscapes that we can adventure in. With this privilege comes responsibility to protect what is remaining. Alan is happy to be working hard for positive change to wildlife and habitat management in British Columbia and for protection and sustainability of our backcountry. BHA provides the venue to magnify individual voices and fight for what we believe in.
Andrew Van Vliet - Co-Chair
Andrew grew up British Columbia's lower mainland. As a child, he enjoyed the outdoors and family camping and fishing trips that took him into the interior of BC. After graduating from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Materials Engineering, Andrew looked for place to escape the city where his career and passion for the outdoors could meet and moved to Trail, BC in 2008 and has never looked back.
As an avid fly fisherman, Andrew quickly began exploring the trout laden waterways of the Kootenays and soon developed another passion in hunting. Andrew heard about BHA during Bill Hanlon's 'Ice Man' presentation in Trail. After researching the group's mission and values, Andrew knew he found his tribe.
Andrew looked for opportunities to get involved in the BC Chapter, and after exponential growth of the groups in 2017-2018, found himself as a regional director of the West Kootenay.
"When I read about BHA, I knew I found a group that shared my passion and values. BC is in need of group like BHA that is taking a fresh approach to conservation and engaging all ages. As a new hunter, I constantly hear about 'the good old days' which motivates me to help protect BC's wild places."
Hannah Cavallin – BC Chapter Secretary
Hannah Cavallin is a geologist living in Kimberley, BC. Her goal is to help communicate the importance of a holistic understanding of modern wildlife stewardship and work towards implementing a sustainable funding model here in BC.
Kari Duffy – BC Chapter Treasurer
Kari grew up in the Kootenays and now lives in the East Kootenays with her husband, Alan and their two daughters. Kari was raised in typical Kootenay fashion;
camping, hiking, and enjoying the local lakes. She got involved as the BC Chapter Treasurer because Alan’s life was pretty consumed with this gang of people… and if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! However, once she started to see the amazing work that BHA does, she is now loving being part of an organization that promotes conservation and the preservation of wild spaces.
If Kari is not busy doing the math for the Chapter, you can find her paddling, mountain biking, skiing, or reading a good book on the dock.
Steven Nikirk – Region 1 Vancouver Island Chair
Steve was born and raised on Vancouver Island. The oldest of four boys very close in age, he often found himself outside with the door locked behind him. This ensured that he and his brothers could enjoy some fresh air while their poor mother could find a moment of respite! Hence, from a very young age, he was always outdoors. There wasn’t a body of water, whether it be a raging river or a meandering creek, which was left unexplored in search of the elusive cutthroat or rainbow trout. At the age of nine, Steve put on his first uniform as a member of Navy League Cadet Corps Admiral Yanow. Ten years later he aged out as the Coxswain of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corp Esquimalt. He then went on to serve as a Reserve Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, obtaining the rank of Lieutenant. This journey, which would span twenty-one years, included survival training both on and off water, countless leadership opportunities, marksmanship, citizenship, drill, first aid, physical fitness, sailing, seamanship, navigation, summer camps, exchange programs, and naval deployments. Steve’s time with the cadet organization and the Canadian Forces helped to shape an experienced instructor of Canada’s youth, providing him with a skillset that he hopes will help contribute to getting the next generation involved with BHA and wildlife conservation. Steve is also an experienced carpenter and has been swinging a hammer for the past twenty years. He finds carpentry very rewarding, not only because you have the power to create, but because it also keeps your problem-solving skills sharp each and every day. He currently enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and sharing his love of the outdoors with his wife and three young children. Steve recently spearheaded an effort to create a BHA table within region one to provide a permanent voice for wildlife and wild places. The BC BHA organization has been a perfect fit and Steve has subsequently found a way to combine his passion for the outdoors with being able to set a positive example for the next generation.
Lee Miller – Region 2 Lower Mainland Chair
Lee was born and raised in the city of Edinburgh, Scotland and spent his younger years escaping the city most weekends to go camping, biking or fishing. Always the explorer, he found every excuse to spend time outdoors and when he couldn't be outside, he would spend time learning about the outdoors, fish, and wildlife. Later in life Lee joined the British army and was able to put to practice and learn more outdoor skills. In 2014 Lee built his own business and in 2016 achieved his dream of moving to Canada. Lee's lifestyle revolves around the outdoors, fishing, hunting and every opportunity to enjoy BC's crown lands. He shares these experiences and with his wife and new baby.
Lee hopes that his passion for the outdoors, combined with his business skills will help bring together a new community of outdoor enthusiasts interested in learning about conservation, hunting, and fishing. Lee can be found on Instagram: @westernghillie or at any BHA Region 2 event in the lower mainland.
Geoff Giesbrecht – Region 3 Thompson-Nicola Chair
Geoff is born and raised in the interior of BC. Hunting and fishing the backcountry has been a passion of his for as long as he can remember. Geoff has guided for
big game in BC and NWT and has more recently discovered an enthusiasm for mountain hunting in different places around the world, learning the traditions and techniques of the people who live there.
Geoff lives on a small acreage in Clearwater with his wife where he works as an assistant manager for the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. They have two grown kids who are avid hunters and anglers themselves.
Levi Leyenhorst – Region 4 Kootenay East Chair
Levi grew up on a dairy farm and was the only family member to develop an interest in hunting and angling. Until he was old enough to legally hunt on his own, Levi was fully dependent on the willingness of other, mature hunters to take him out and mentor him in the ethics and ways of hunting on public land. He has not forgotten the time and energy invested into him by those mentors and has been looking to “give back” in such a way. This journey has been an evolution that blossomed upon eventually moving with his wife to the East Kootenays for “bigger mountains, more sunshine, and more wildlife” and a job as a nurse at the Regional Hospital.
Levi began seeking out like-minded hunting enthusiasts and knew he met his tribe upon connecting with the passionate group of BCBHA leaders in Cranbrook. It is there Levi began to become more involved and educated in the issues at hand for 21st century anglers and hunters, and has since stepped into the role of Chair of the East Kootenay table of BCBHA. This has become more than just looking for the opportunity to give back, but to conserve and protect what we have; to ensure that future generations can appreciate and experience the heritage of the hunt in a natural, intact setting, where wildlife flourishes and is sustainably pursued and appreciated, as Levi has been fortunate to do, and others before him.
In short, the reason for Levi to volunteer as a board member can be summed up by this quote: "The social issues within our hunting culture and humanity's relentless pressure on the wild places of earth are testing our generation as they have tested no other. But then, there is an instinct within us, as hunters, that enables us to address perils and obstacles when in pursuit of something special. For us, the real reward is an enriched abundance of game and a sustained democracy of the hunt. If we can succeed, we will have indeed claimed a real trophy--the big prize--the heritage preserved" (p.112, Posewitz,J., Inherit The Hunt).
Joe Munn - Region 4 West Chair
Joe and his family live in Rossland and spends his time fishing, hunting and hiking with his family and close friends. Joe began hunting as an adult and through volunteering with BHA he would like to help young people get outside to enjoy and explore the backcountry. He is passionate about the principles of fair chase and preserving access to public land so that it can be enjoyed for generations.
Tristan McMullan – Region 6 Skeena Chair
Tristan grew up in northeastern Ontario and migrated west chasing adventure. Backcountry camping, lake-hoping, and portaging were constant summer adventures and ice fishing and snowmobiling filled the winter weekends. Growing up in a small town in an agricultural rich area offered plenty of opportunities on public land and private land. Since moving to British Columbia, the pursuit of game further into public land has brought his most memorable stories.
These days, he can be found exploring northwestern BC based from Terrace. Northwestern BC is rich with adventure and also industrial and commercial opportunity. Joining BHA is an opportunity to help spread the message of responsible land use while ensuring we have public places for further generations to hunt, fish, and explore.
Chad St Amand – Region 7A Omineca Chair
Justina LeeStolz - Region 8 Okanagan Co-Chair
Justina is a nature enthusiast who grew up camping, hiking, and foraging as a kid with her dad (albeit she’d “forage” just about anything including flowers and grass). She ventured into the world of gun ownership in 2017 with her CORE and PAL licenses, but didn’t whole-heartedly step into hunting until 2021, when she dove headfirst into a season of solo hunts. Not coming from a family of hunters presented some steep learning curves, but she loves the challenge of figuring it all out and connecting with others who share her passion for wild things and places.
Adam Crompton - Region 8 Okanagan Co-Chair
Originally from the lower mainland, Adam grew up focused on rugby and soccer until a string of knee surgeries forced him to hang up the cleats and look for other hobbies. Fly-fishing and backcountry hiking were Adam’s first real outdoor passion, but he often found himself overlapping with members of the hunting community who spoke of their hunting adventures. After a few years of hearing stories, curiosity got the better of Adam and he jumped in headfirst to backcountry hunting. After a few years of exploring all of BC’s hunting opportunities, he realized that he was participating in a system without working to leave it better than he found it. Cue joining BHA. Adam is excited to be co-chairing region 8 of the BHABC with a hope that he can be a part of building a community focused on conservation initiatives and the mentorship of new hunters. Adam, his girlfriend Lindsay, and their puppy Skeena now call Vernon home after relocating during the pandemic.