Our annual election for the Board of Directors is complete. Ross Beal and I were re-elected. I thank you for the vote of confidence. I'm sure that Ross feels the same. Mike Kolasa opted to step aside from his seat. We thank Mike for his years of service to ATA and wish him good fortune. Rick Wilbur won the seat vacated by Mike. Rick's Father Roy (Shorty) Wilbur served on the Board of Directors for nearly ten years back in the 1980s & 1990s, including a stint as Vice President. Thus, Rick has big shoes to fill, but we're confident that he is up to the task.
The fur auction here in Fairbanks was a success, due to the hard work of a cast of thousands led by JR Pederson. This event puts money in the pockets of trappers and also into the ATA treasury. We can be grateful for both.
The Fling was also a big success under the leadership of Dan Tempel and his family. They put lots of hours and effort into making this the best banquet possible. Mike and Fran Turner were named as the Fabian Carey Trapper of the Year. The Turners have lived a remote lifestyle on the Kantishna River, southwest of Fairbanks for nearly 30 years. The Turners are strong believers that "the family that traps together grows strong together." The cover photo of this issue of the magazine tells you all you need to know.
State Senator Click Bishop was able to take time from his duties in Juneau and joined us at The Fling. Senator Bishop was the driving force behind the recent approval of a Legislative Citation in support of trapping (see page XX). It is very rewarding for our organization to have strong leaders like Senator Bishop behind us in the halls of the Capitol.
Attorney Gary Leistico was in Fairbanks for The Fling. Gary serves as the de facto staff attorney for the National Trappers Association. He provides great service to trappers throughout the country through his work with NTA. Gary teamed with Fairbanks lawyer Zane Wilson for a legal training session for the ATA Board of Directors. We learned a lot from these "legal eagles." Hopefully, we never have to put that training to use, but we feel more confident with the new-found knowledge.
Mark Schmitt from North American Fur Auctions was also in town for The Fling. Mark also has lots of insight regarding the international fur markets. He also brings us a nice check each year, representing 1% of the value of Alaska furs sold through NAFA. Those funds are much appreciated.
We continue to work with the leaders of the Mat-Su Boro in an attempt to stifle a few "squeaky wheels" who are trying to create trouble for trappers. The Boro leadership has been receptive to our proposals. We hope that this effort results in the old "win - win" situation.
We've come to the end of another great trapping season. It's amazing how fast these past few months have gone. There's not much new fur in my shed, but I have lots of good memories from the season. I hope that you do, too.