Submitted by Craig Hooper,The Friends of Pete Rodseth Committee
Peter Rodseth came to the Nechako Valley as a young forestry technician in the 1970’s. He built himself a log home overlooking the Nechako River Bird Sanctuary and would become the catalyst and inspiration for community groups fighting for fair flows for the Nechako River in the 1980’s and 90’s. His epic solo canoe trip with his dog Spring down the Nechako and Fraser Rivers to Vancouver to bring attention to the plight of the Nechako made newspaper headlines throughout British Columbia. Peter had a passion for rivers, forests and mountains and was happiest when canoeing, running, hiking, camping and sharing these skills with others, especially young people. A master woodcarver and trailbuilder by trade, his crowning achievement was the 11 metre, hand-carved wood mural in the Service BC building in Vanderhoof. A compassionate man who cared for others, he was the environmental conscience of the community and the formidable foe of those who would despoil our only home, Planet Earth. Through his constant research he foresaw the global warming crisis as early as the 1980’s. In Peter’s words, “we must treat our fragile planet with respect.”
The scholarship is the direct result of Peter’s hard work and the generosity of his sister Joyce Rodseth and her husband Russ Sparks and their desire to create a lasting legacy in Peter’s name that would reflect his love of the land and help worthy students to carry his ideals into the next generation.
At the NVSS Graduation ceremony on June 11th Kiah Persson had the unique distinction of being the first recipient of the annual $2,000 Hans Peter Rodseth Memorial Scholarship. It will be awarded every year to a student going into a post-secondary institution in a field of study related to conservation and protection of the environment. Applicants will embody some of Peter’s love for the natural beauty of this world and his devotion to protecting its environment.
Kiah Persson is an honour roll student with a passion for the outdoors, hiking, canoeing and fishing. Physically active, she plays soccer and in her 12 year membership in the Canadian Pony Club has developed her skills as a leader who coaches and encourages younger riders. As Peter was an artist in wood, Kiah is an excellent artist in paint, pastels, pencil and ink.
Not long ago Kiah hiked the steep mountain trail to the peak of Mt. Pope on Stuart Lake. The trail is one of many fine trails in the area built by Pete Rodseth. At the summit she got to gaze out at the beautiful panorama of lake, forest and mountains that stretch into the distance, one of Pete’s favourite views.
Kiah has been accepted into the University of Northern British Columbia’s Environmental Science program this fall. She loves teaching and inspiring younger people and hopes to use her skills and her love of the outdoors to be able to help people and the environment and educate people on the issues of our current environmental problems.
The Hans Peter Rodseth Memorial Scholarship Fund is administered by the Vancity Community Foundation in affiliation with the Vanderhoof Branch of the Integris Credit Union. Those who would like to add to the fund can contact Jackie Dagg at the Vancity Community Foundation at 604 877 6584 or firstname.lastname@example.org