One of the most dedicated and influential members of the Sparwood Fish and Wildlife Club was honoured and recognized for his commitment and work during this year’s annual Fish and Wildlife Fundraiser. Raymond Myles, who unfortunately was not able to attend, had family stand in his place to accept the Conservation Legacy Award and receive a lifetime membership to the club on his behalf.
Myles was born and raised in the Elk Valley and had a love of the outdoors stemming from his youth. He was known to be an advocate for the protection of wildlife and conservation lands and worked tirelessly in many ways to see that those goals became a reality. Sam Medcalf, Sparwood Fish and Wildlife Club member, prepared a speech and noted many ways in which Myles has been involved from being President of the club on three different occasions to being awarded the Nature Trust of BC’s Conservationist of the Year in 2010. He was recognized for his work on the Grave Prairie Wildlife Enhancement Project, his strong activism on the Elk Valley Solid Waste Management Planning Committee and was influential in preventing a regional landfill being built on the Rankin Site.
Following that, Myles played a big part in seeing the Rankin Site as well as the Big Ranch and Musil Estates be sold to Nature Trust as conservation lands. In 1995 the Club won the B.C. Wildlife Federations prestigious Roderick Haig-Brown Memorial Conservation Award, awarded to the top conservation project in the province for that year. Myles received the award on behalf of the club at the annual convention. He was credited not only for his participation as an advocate, but for his tireless labour and donations of time and machinery on the five year Big Ranch Elk Habitat Enhancement Project and was also known for his work on the Farmers Institute Board, School Board and participation on the Southern Rocky Mountain Advisory Committee as the Regional District East Kootenay representative.
“I know he is most proud of all the work done regarding conservations lands,” said his daughter Michele Musil. “He has always had such a passion for the outdoors, he grew up here in the Valley and has always fished and hunted. His generation grew up always being active outside and over the years he dedicated himself to seeing that the lands were protected.”
“It is clear that anyone watching Ray knows that he cares more about the Elk Valley and it’s wildlife than anyone I know,” said Medcalf in the closing of his speech. “It is people like Ray that show that hunters are conservationists and not just takers. It has been through efforts such as his that we continue to enjoy the same values here in the Elk Valley today as did previous generations. I encourage the membership of this club to carry on in this same fashion and maintain the precedence that Ray has set before us.”
The Myles family thanks the community for well wishes and thoughts during this difficult time as Ray continues to show strength in his battle with disease.