Bill Hanlon, Chair
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.
Andrew Van Vliet, West Kootenay 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."
Mark Robichaud, Lower Mainland Region Chair
Mark lives in the Sea to Sky Corridor with his two daughters and has been successful in introducing them to the many mountain pursuits available in the area. Mark is a late to life hunter and angler but was mentored early on by a life long hunter and much of Mark’s conservation values were developed during those early trips to the mountains. Mark is an active outdoorsman and is especially enamoured with self-propelled travel in the mountains, be it in the pursuit of a mule deer buck or the perfect backcountry powder turn.
In late 2017, Mark reached out to the BC BHA Chapter leaders in the Kootenay’s and helped facilitate the Lower Mainland Region and is proud to part of such an engaged group of outdoor enthusiasts. While Mark is new to Wild Life and Wild Places Conservation, he brings with him a background of environmental activism and a strong belief that we are truly privileged to live in British Columbia and we all have a responsibility to protect the wild landscapes that are remaining.
The BHA has provided Mark with a community of like-minded hunters and anglers and hopes to draw upon the power of the collective to move the dial on wildlife and wild place management in British Columbia.
Aden Stewart, Secretary
Aden grew up in the Kootenays where his father, grandfather and numerous uncles assisted in cultivating a love of the outdoors bordering on an obsession. Aden left the Kootenays for work, spending 13 years in Alberta. Living in a large city surrounded by tracts of private land taught him how rare and precious public land, which many take for granted, really is.
Aden returned to the Kootenays with his family in 2009 and now works as a Senior Reclamation Technologist in Cranbrook, BC, spending much of his time focused on soil conservation and the reclamation of fish and wildlife habitat in Western Canada. When not working in the field Aden enjoys playing in it: fishing, hunting, hiking and training his bird dogs. Aden especially enjoys introducing his children and other young people to the outdoors and has spent a number of years teaching hunting and fishing education programs and the International Bowhunting Education Program.
Nakita Dalke, Board of Directors
Nikita was born and raised in Kimberley BC and enjoyed the outdoors from a young age. Growing up in a family of hunters and anglers, she was raised on wild meat and fish that the family caught and shared amongst each other. Growing up she enjoyed fishing with her dad in a boat and on the ice, along with her grandparents. Having a family ice fishing trip for a full day was normal. At a young age she enjoyed helping her grandparents process their animals and tagging along on hunting trips. She didn’t start to hunt though until she met Kyle. Now, married with 2 young kids, they enjoy their time hunting, hiking and fishing together and as a family. Nikita is a successful bowhunter and rifle hunter, and enjoys competing in local 3D archery events. In 2014, she was able to compete in the Extreme Huntress contest as the first Canadian and placed second. Nikita believes conservation is an important part of hunting and enjoys teaching her kids about it. Her favorite place to be is up in the high country and backpacking through the backcountry. She joined Backcountry Hunters & Anglers because of her love of the backcountry.
Alan Duffy, Kootenay Region 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.
Warren Pali, Board of Directors
Warren was raised and lives in the Bulkley Valley located in northwestern British Columbia.
He and his beautiful wife feel extremely blessed to be raising their family in an area that allows them to chase all their numerous outdoor pursuits.
With Warren’s passion for mountain hunting he feels fortunate to find some of the worlds best opportunities within British Columbia and relatively close to home.
Witnessing the demands placed on British Columbia’s crown land from industry and commercial recreation Warren has been working hard at advocating for responsible land usage. Working with Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has allowed Warren to strengthen his voice, along side other like-minded members to ensure quality hunting and fishing opportunities in a wilderness settings exists for generations to come.
Mike Gall, Board of Directors
Mike’s passion for the backcountry was awakened at the age of 10, when he started biking solo down to the Columbia River before school to catch Kokanee in his home town of Castlegar, BC. Hunting followed soon after; he and his buddies spent weekends camped in the bush searching for grouse and other small prey. He went on to graduate from Selkirk College with diplomas in Regional Planning, and Wildland Recreation, and began working for BC Parks shortly afterwards. He retired in 2015 after 42 years of service, where much of his work revolved around conservation biology and ecosystem restoration. His career took him all over British Columbia, from Fort Nelson in the north to Cranbrook in the south, and allowed him to explore (and hunt and fish) some of the best backcountry in the world.
Mike lives with his partner Kathy on a small acreage in Wasa, BC where he continues to hunt and fly fish when he’s not gardening, back country skiing, or hiking. He is a director and founding member of the BC chapter of BHA.
The development of motorized technology and expansion of uncontrolled and illegal Off Highway Vehicle use in the backcountry is of particular concern to Mike. He hopes to make a difference through his involvement with BHA.