To the editor:
Re: The proposed changes to the Wildlife Allocation Policy. (B.C. Hunters Oppose Giving More Game to Non-resident Hunters, Dec. 12, and B.C. Game for B.C. Hunters, Dec. 17 Capital News.
The request by The Guide Outfitters Association of BC (GOABC) for a wildlife allocation increase to 25-40 per cent for non-resident hunters is astounding. Aside from sheer greed and the desire to chase the almighty dollar, I can see no other reason why GOABC would push for a change to our wildlife allocation policy that would grant more hunting privileges to non-residents and that would see the hard working, tax paying residents of our province lose their hunting privileges to an already declining trophy hunting industry in British Columbia.
The norm for most provinces in Canada, and states in the USA, is an allocation of 5-10 per cent of their wildlife to non-resident hunters. This has proven to be a healthy and sustainable allocation of the wildlife populations and has allowed for ample hunting opportunities for both resident and non-resident hunters alike. So, the request by our province’s Guide Outfitters Association for an allocation of 25-40 per cent for non-residents seems a bit high, to say the least. We, as resident hunters, need to help regulate this sale of our precious wildlife to foreign hunters, by voicing our opinions to those in government who have the power to legislate fair allocations for all.
The number of resident hunters in B.C. has risen by 20 per cent over the last 10 years, from 85,000 to upwards of 102,000, while the number of non-resident hunters has seen a decline of 30 per cent over the same time period, from 6,500 down to 4,500. That is 102,000 outdoors men, outdoors women and children, that love to spend time in our wilderness while in pursuit of a healthy, organic and challenging source of food and who stand to lose their hunting opportunities to the mere 4,500 or so non-resident trophy hunters.
I am the father of young children, and I can only hope that in 10 years time, when they are old enough to hunt, that there will still be opportunity for them to do so in our province. It is an experience as Canadian as hockey, and the opportunity to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors should remain a right for us, the residents of British Columbia.
I would ask that you, as a resident of B.C., hunter or not, please show your support for those of us that love this experience by writing a letter to your local MLA, to our premier or by simply signing a petition on www.change.org under the title “Don’t Take Away Resident Hunters’ Rights.”
Every voice counts.
Adam Langlois, Kelowna
To the editor:
I write to you as a concerned citizen of B.C. and an avid sustenance hunter who relies heavily on hunting organic wild game to feed his family.
Upon attending a local BC Wildlife Federation meeting at the Kelowna Gun Club recently, I learned that big game wildlife allocation to resident hunters is going to be significantly reduced in order to satisfy greedy requests from the Guide Outfitters Association of BC who have demanded a greater quota of animals so that they can sell more trophy hunts to foreign (non-resident) hunters.
I, along with approximately 200 other hunters (most of whom are also local sustenance hunters), were appalled to learn about this recent change in government policy without any consultation with B.C. citizens, resident hunters or the groups that represent them. As per usual provincial government modus operandi, we the citizens of the province had to hear about this change in wildlife allocation policy after it was rubber stamped by MLA Steve Thompson.
I have to admit that upsetting a large number of passionate people, armed with guns is a very unwise decision any politician could partake in. A short historical review easily backs up this statement.
We must protect our wildlife, conserve and secure it for future generations to enjoy and harvest. We must stop this sell off of our resources. If we don’t take a stand now, when will it ever end?
Kevin Hamilton, Kelowna