THE MINISTRY of Environment has failed to ethically manage sustainable hunting regulations and policies giving preference to commercial and non-resident interests over that of residents of B.C.
Resident hunters have been prevented from achieving their allocated harvests due to regulations that primarily cater to commercial and non-resident trophy hunting interests.
Commercial hunting guides lobby the Ministry of Environment using terms like “commercial viability” and “quality of non-resident hunt” as justification to implement or maintain regulations benefiting non-residents over residents.
The Ministry of Environment now prioritizes wildlife management towards the production of trophy class animals. This has restricted the ability of resident hunters to provide for their families while benefiting commercial guides catering to non-resident hunters.
The Ministry of Environment is promoting non-resident trophy hunting for cash while removing resident hunt for food opportunities. The result being greatly reduced resident harvest and priority.
Promises have been made by the Ministry of Environment such as: review of the failed Limited Entry Hunting system; applying a resident hunter retention and recruitment strategy; removal of regulatory barriers preventing harvest objectives from being met; providing regulations that benefit resident hunters; and applying the Ministry’s own allocation policy. Now none of this has effectively happened.
Other jurisdictions entrench the priority of their resident hunting public. Resident hunters benefit from lesser restrictions than those applied to non-residents, are offered longer seasons, resident only hunting areas are provided, resident only seasons, lesser horn/antler restrictions and improved access opportunities.
Overall regulations entrench resident priority and assure that their harvests can be achieved.
Hunting brings residents together, fostering and nurturing family and friendship bonds. It provides a healthy lifestyle and organic meat for our families. Resident hunters revere their wildlife resource with conservation being paramount. It is our heritage right and nobody can put a price tag on it, it can’t be bought!
The Ministry of Environment needs to remove the regulatory chains and shackles from resident hunters and start respecting their priority.
They must stop catering to commercial and non-resident interests at the expense of residents.
Michael Langegger wrote on behalf of the Kitimat Rod & Gun Association.