About Mike

Mike Merriman, and his dog Kia.

Mike grew up in Nanaimo, British Columbia, where he hiked the beaches and forests of Vancouver Island. He especially cherished the west coast, which he called his ‘home away from home’. Mike's hobbies included hiking, camping, fishing, fly tying, paleontology, photography, writing and music.

From a young age, Mike's keen interest and respect for wildlife and marine life was obvious. When hiking a trail or exploring a beach with him you needed patience as all creatures needed to be observed and as he matured, photographed. If Mike didn't know the answer to a question regarding wildlife he would do some reading or research and get back to you with the answer.

One of Mike's favourite spots to hike and take photographs was the west coast, especially the Wickaninnish Beach area, Mackenzie Beach and South Beach. He also spent many hours hiking into and around the Ammonite Falls area (Mt. Benson, Nanaimo) sometimes with a friend or family member and sometimes by himself, with his camera in hand.

Whether he was going hiking, snow shoeing or on an overnight survival trip with his dad, Mike took pride in making sure he had the proper safety equipment. He knew that this was important for outdoor survival and for his eventual career in conservation.

Mike was a friendly person, always quick to smile. He was willing to help out when needed whether it was looking after horses for a friend or shoveling the snow from a driveway for an elderly neighbour. As a teenager and young man, Mike volunteered in a wildlife rehabilitation centre, the SPCA, in the hatchery program at Malaspina University College (now Vancouver Island University) and in fish habitat enhancement projects. He was always drawn to projects and organizations who were involved in protecting animals and the environment.

In May 2006, Mike was accepted into the Resource Management Officer Technology program at Vancouver Island University. His goal was to pursue a career in wildlife and environmental conservation, his true passion.

We will forever miss our Mike—there isn't a day that goes by that we don't think of him and what could have been.

Your spirit is free, Mike
May peace travel with you always
Like the wolf spirit in the wild
Your bright eyes, quick pace
And stamina will care for you
But remember, Mike
The wolf takes care of others, too
We will watch for signs of your presence, Mike
Clouds in the sky
Ripples in the sand
A warm breeze that tugs gently at our clothes
You are a huge part of our family, Mike
We'll love you forever, and
Share many special moments thinking of you
You will always be with us