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Northwestern Fur Trappers Association looking to the future

Members of the Northwestern Fur Trappers Association are looking to make sure that their way of life continues for years to come.

THUNDER BAY – The Northwestern Fur Trappers Association have a couple of goals in mind for their annual convention at the CLE Heritage Building, which was held yesterday and will run today.

In addition to having their members under one roof, they are also looking to make sure their way of life continues for years to come.

“I think the big thing for trappers is that we want to preserve what we do. It’s really important that we are educating and we’re working on creating that long-term succession plan,” said Mark Deans, director with the Northwestern Fur Trappers Association.

“When we’re done trapping, we want to have the next generation coming in behind us that are taking up trapping and enjoying the trapping lifestyle.”

One of the ways that is being done is at this weekend’s convention, which features live competitions and demonstrations in addition to vendors selling trapping-related merchandise and equipment.

“We’ve got the farmer’s market and the boat show going on next door so we get a lot of folks coming over. That gives us a great opportunity to introduce everyone to what we do as trappers and really spark folks’ interest in trapping,” Deans said.

“I’m a trapping instructor and it’s pretty amazing to see the interest that’s out there right now. We advertised a course last week and it filled up in 12 hours.”

Deans said that increased interest in trapping comes from a couple of reasons.

“People are recognizing that it’s a really nice way to be out on the land and out in nature,” Deans said.

“You see some really interesting things and live a fulfilling lifestyle for sure.”

The Northwestern Fur Trappers Association's mission is to educate on trapping-related issues and policies, promote conservation efforts and protect the environment and wildlife, while also preserving a piece of Canadian history.

“The trappers are the true stewards of the land,” Deans said.

“We’re out there all four seasons and we’re managing the wildlife populations through trapping, but we’re keeping them healthy and not over-trapping.

“We’re also not allowing certain predators or certain species to get out of control, like the wolves. We maintain that balance in the ecosystem.”

The Northwestern Fur Trappers Association convention concludes today from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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