To the editor:
Re: New B.C. wildlife allocation policy is unfair to resident hunters.
I have been a hunter in B.C. since the early 1970s and almost every year have been able to harvest a moose or deer or elk or bear to feed my family. The past two years I have not been successful, not from lack of effort but because B.C. wildlife populations are decreasing, i.e. the pie is getting smaller.
Now we hear that a new Allocation Policy will give a larger share of the pie to the guide outfitters—this change is completely unacceptable. At my age my chances of ever again getting a moose, Roosevelt elk or sheep draw are now probably zero.
Reading the explanation for these changes on the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations website indicates the changes are to financially bolster the guide outfitting industry, nothing to do with an all-stakeholder agreement or making sure a public resource is first available to B.C. residents, after conservation and First Nations. Since when does the government get involved in guaranteeing a business success? I owned two small businesses during my working career and at no time did the government provide me with additional product that I could sell at a profit or do anything else to ensure my success. Why do the guide outfitters deserve special treatment? Is the government now going to guarantee success to all businesses?
I understood that after years of discussion all parties had agreed in 2007 to a 90 per cent resident/10 per cent guide outfitter split on ungulates and a 80/20 split on sheep and goats. Such a split would be much more generous to the guide outfitters than most jurisdictions in North America and it should have been put into legislation in 2007.
The 90/10 and 80/20 splits should be policy and should be put into legislation so that all stakeholders can get back to supporting healthy wildlife populations.