Gun club opens small arms range

A new firing is nearing completion at the Bulkley Valley Rod and Gun Club (BVRG).

Five years in the making, a new firing is nearing completion at the Bulkley Valley Rod and Gun Club (BVRG).

Last week, West Fraser Concrete poured the pad for the Atherton Range.

The 50-yard track for small-bore rimfire rifles and handguns was named after former BVRG president, who, said current president Dave Hooper was the driving force behind the project.

“It was a nice expression of appreciation for … I put hundreds of hours into this, so it’s nice to have something named after you before you’re dead,” Atherton quipped.

All that remains to do is enclose the shed and put up the sign.

Atherton said although the project drew on many hours of labour from BVRG members, it could not have been completed without the in-kind contributions of numerous organizations.

West Fraser Concrete – Hank Meerdink donated 90 per cent of the concrete.

Mid Valley Enterprises – Derek Meerdink spread and finished the concrete at cost.

Moe Rauch donated 50-plus hours of excavator work to dig out the range.

Ranch Trucking – Art Buchanan donated 30 hours of front end loader work.

KMAC Contracting Ltd. Ken MacDonald donated 20 hours of crawler tractor time.

Eckard Mendel – 30 plus hours of backhoe work.

Smithers Lumber Yard – Discounted construction material.

Randy’s Image Design Ltd – donated/discounted sign work.

Sitka Tree Services – chipping woody material that was created during land clearing.

Steti Transport Ltd – Steffen Apperloo donated three truckloads of crushed gravel.

Hooper said it is all part of an initiative to increase membership.

“We’re trying to make improvements here and raise our profile, the more members the better,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hooper has been named to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister’s Wildlife Advisory Council.

The council will oversee B.C.’s Together for Wildlife Strategy. This document commits the government to five goals and 24 action items.

The five goals are:

1. All British Columbians have a voice in wildlife stewardship.

2. Data, information, and knowledge drive better decisions.

3. Stewardship actions achieve tangible benefits for wildlife and their habitats.

4. Accountability and transparency build trust and confidence.

5. Collaborative wildlife stewardship advances reconciliation with Indigenous governments.

The full report is available on the ministry’s website.

Hooper has been down this road before. As a former guide-outfitter with 30 years in the industry, he has served on many committees and contributed to many initiatives in the past. This plan, though, he thinks addresses all the issues and he is optimistic it will improve

“To me, this is a super chance for wildlife, for the betterment of wildlife and of habitat,” he said.

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