Board of Directors
This year’s AGM gave an opportunity for the members to vote in 2 directors to the board. There were three members nominated and a vote was held. We had incumbent Jim McClelland voted in for his second term and member Bryan Allan voted in for his first opportunity to sit on the board.
With these two positions open, a void had to be filled in the Vice Presidents position. The members on the newly filled board were unanimous in appointing Dennis Quintilio as the new Vice President.
The Rocky Mountain Wilderness Society was founded on the principal of serving as advocates for the Rocky Mountains and surrounding crown lands. All of our board members are volunteers.
President: Ken Groat
Vice President: Dennis Quintilio
Secretary/Treasurer.: Virginia Stafford
Director: Cliff Henderson
Director: Bryan Allan
Director: Richard Aarsen
Director: Chris Genert
Some of our society's goals are enhancing the trail systems in the Wilderness Parks to make them safer for all users whether it be for mountain bikers, hikers or horse pack trips. Clean up all camp grounds and pack out garbage that has been left behind by other users over the years, and leave a supply of fire wood for the next group to help make their stay a little more enjoyable. All the trails that we do enhancement on will be GPS'd with hopes in the future of having a map with all GPS trails on it.
Ken was raised in the mountains of Brule and followed his passion of working with horses by spending a number of years guiding hunters in Alberta, British Columbia and the North West Territories. He is a member of the fifth generation of a long line of Mountain people who have traveled, hunted and trapped through the Athabasca Valley and the east slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Ken has traveled many of the trails from the Smokey to the Red Deer River. One of his pet peeves is traveling with pack outfits through back country trails that are in dire need of good maintenance. A well maintained trail makes for safer, more enjoyable trips for all users whether it be on horses, mountain bikes or hiking.
In the past Ken has served as a Credit Union Director for a number of years, including several terms as Chairman of the Board. As well he chaired numerous rodeo committee meetings for the Yellowhead Agricultural Society in Edson. Ken has volunteered as Master of Ceremonies at the Brule Rodeo for over 40 years.
Ken is a member of the Upper Athabasca Valley Elders’ Council. He is currently involved as liaison (communications) between the Council and Jasper National Park. Ken was Vice President of the Willmore Wilderness Foundation Board previous to accepting his current position as President of the Rocky Mountains Wilderness Society.
With his strong background and passion for the back country, Ken will help lead this Society through its mission and vision by making the trails systems safer for all users. Ken is looking forward to working with the membership and fellow back country users in the future.
Dennis worked as a forester throughout Alberta and knew many of the old time rangers that patrolled the backcountry and one of their primary duties was to build and maintain horse trails. These trails in the early days were important for trapping, fire suppression and timber assessment, and usually connected Forest Service cabins located on good grassy meadows. Some of these trails are disappearing mostly as a result of forest succession, floods and fires.
The Quintilio family has been travelling throughout Alberta with our pack outfit for forty three years and we now have grandchildren on our summer trips. Favorite locations include Cypress Hills and the Upper Oldman River area in southern Alberta, the Clearwater and Blackstone Rivers in central Alberta, the south and north boundary trails in Jasper National Park, and most of all the Wilmore Wilderness Park.
We are interested in contributing to the restoration and maintenance of the historic trails and traditional horseback travel in Alberta’s Rocky Mountain Wilderness.
The Henderson family where early pioneers in Alberta and settled in Ponoka in 1903 where they homesteaded and carried a mix farming operation until the 1990s.
Cliff left Ponoka in the early 60’s and worked for the Alberta Forest Service retiring in 2008 and returned to Ponoka. The Forest Service had a culture of history and there was great pride in the old time Forest Rangers that protected our precious back country. They patrolled and protected the landscape following many of the historic trade trails and established many cabins. These cabins are very important landmarks in our back country history and as such deserve attention and protection.
Cliff was very honoured to being awarded an Honorary Chief, Chief Sorrel Horse, by the Peigan’s Chief Crowshoe and Elders. As wellCliff has served on many boards and committees and looks forward to serving this society to preserve history for future generations.
Director/Accountant and More...
Living in diverse landscapes her whole life Virginia has a deep appreciation for their special uniqueness. Early years travelling Australia with her family then middle years in the Rockies of the Crowsnest Pass and jungles of Papua New Guinea then back to Canada to Victoria and Peace River. Raising her family on the Sunshine Coast of BC then North to Mackenzie before spending 17 years in Hinton have given her an awareness and respect of how varied the ecosystems and geographical atmospheres are within the world’s wilderness areas. Recently moved to the Okanagan she now has another change in her backyard to learn about.
As a designated professional accountant Virginia owned and managed a public accounting firm in Hinton until 2013. After selling her practice she settled into the area and enjoyed learning more about the backcountry with the support of the locals who know it well. With the best of instruction she rode out into yonder and explored and appreciated the pristine and natural beauty the wild of the back country offers. In the words of Roderick Nash (known for his work as a wilderness historian) she discovered “On one hand, “wilderness’ is inhospitable, alien, mysterious, and somewhat threatening. On the other, beautiful, friendly, and capable of elevating and delighting us.” This drawing card is what makes the wild so attractive and the best mate to have a relationship with!
Wanting to see opportunities continue to future generations to enjoy and explore the Rocky Mountain Wilderness as she has done, Virginia is looking forward to helping assist the Society to protect, restore and maintain the historic trails for all users in the wilderness parks of Alberta.
Virginia is currently doing the bookkeeping and preparing year-end financial statements for the members as well as maintaining the membership roster. Other administrative duties as they arise as well. However, in addition to this background work she looks forward to helping on the trails in any way she can.
Richard was born and raised in Central Alberta. He moved to Neerlandia where he got married and raised his children on a wage that came from farming, carpentry, logging, trapping and guiding. He has always had a passion for the outdoors and over his life has been able to enjoy much of Canada’s wilderness.
The eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains are an especially beautiful place, specifically Willmore Wilderness Park. I have spent some of my best times riding, hiking and hunting in this spectacular part of Alberta. There are many trails to be ridden and discovered yet and am excited to be helping the Rocky Mountain Wilderness Society achieve their goals in preserving and enhancing this beautiful area.
Chris was born and raised in rural Alberta on a small farm near St.Paul where his parents raised registered quarter horses. After graduating highschool he started working towards a carrier in the oil and gas industry as a contract pressure welder. Always finding the time to get away in the fall to hunt and guide in Alberta, BC, and the Yukon Territory. While in trade school het met the love of his life Barbara who he eventually married and sweet talked into having 3 children which are now all in their teens.
The family moved to the Hinton area in 2012 where they are finding the time to enjoy all the Wilmore Wilderness Park has to offer. Managing time between work and the hills is not always easy but priorities always seem to work them selves out. With a small string of horses Chris gets to enjoy exploring the trails from early June to late October. “I am exited to be a part of maintaining this historical area and keeping it accessible for those who enjoy it as much as I do”.