Photo: Cowboy Wildlife Photography

An Open Letter RE: Wildlife Harvest Allocation Fund

An open letter from the Pemberton Wildlife Association

January 12, 2015

Honorable Steve Thomson,

Minister of FLNRO

Original to be mailed.

Dear Minister Thomson,

The Pemberton Wildlife Association would like to express our opposition to a portion of the changes to the Wildlife Harvest Allocation Policy which you announced recently.  We respectfully request that you repeal the changes to the harvest allocation "% splits" announced on December 10, 2014 and, furthermore, that you adopt the harvest allocation "% splits" specified in the 2007 Wildlife Harvest Allocation Policy.

In our view, the "% splits" should be 90/10 on moose and elk and 75/25 on grizzly, goat and sheep - as agreed to by all stakeholders in the 2007 Policy.   Our members feel very strongly that non-resident trophy hunters should not be awarded more of the annual allowable harvest of Provincial wildlife at the expense of resident sustenance hunters.  We were very surprised that your Ministry chose to support more non-resident trophy hunting in the province, as this practice does not appear to have public support.   We look forward to a timely and appropriate correction to this portion of the Policy - followed by full implementation of the Policy - without further delay.

We are grateful to you for the other recent changes to the Policy which we believe will make the Policy stronger and less susceptible to abuse in the future.

Equally important, we are keen to work with your Ministry, the BCWF and the GOABC to assist in the task of restoring provincial wildlife populations to the abundance which BC is known for.  Current ungulate populations are apparently below levels which were once considered normal - our members are concerned about this decline.  We are confident that BC wildlife populations can be enhanced through science based harvest strategies which are determined from up to date wildlife inventories.   Access management, prescribed burning and better controls on industrial development - such as a Natural Resource Practices Board - are also urgently required.

Thank you for considering our views on this important matter.

Allen McEwan - President

Cc - Jordan Sturdy, MLA