It took three years for representatives of the British Columbia Wildlife Federation, the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, and BC’s Ministry of Environment to come to agreement on a new wildlife allocation policy. The process started in 2004 and the “new” BC Allocation Policy was partially implemented, rather than fully implemented starting in 2007 to give the Guide Outfitters some time to adjust their business practices. We are now in the fifth year of the interim implementation of the policy, with full implementation scheduled to occur in 2012 as guaranteed in writing by Tom Eithier, Director of Wildlife, and in person by the Honourable Barry Penner, then Minister of Environment, at the 2010 BCWF annual general meeting.
It now appears that these may have been idle promises as the Wildlife Branch has appointed Chris Trumpy, a past ADM for MOE, as a contractor to “complete an analysis of the affects of implementation of the current allocations policy on the guide outfitting industry.” The situation with GOABC is currently being described by government officials as “explosive” because at least some members of GOABC are aggressively challenging the full implementation of the policy in 2012. We believe that the review by Chris Trumpey is a direct result of intense lobbying by GOABC and from political pressure on GOABC’s behalf by Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett.
When it became know that the government contracted Chris Trumpy to review the allocation policy, Mike Langegger of the Northwest Fish and Wildlife Conservation Association wrote an eloquent letter to Tom Either that well describes the concerns of resident hunters. Mike has recently received a Fish and Wildlife Branch’s response to the letter, and the tone of the letter should be a concern to resident hunters, as it does not indicate that that allocation policy will be fully implemented in 2012 as promised. Instead it talks about concerns, fairness, and economic hardship. You can read Mike’s letter and Ian Hatter’s response for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
Resident hunters from around the province are approaching their MLAs to express their concern that the Trumpy review of the allocation policy will unacceptably delay the full implementation of the policy in 2012, and may even open the policy up for renegotiation before it is even implemented. Trumpy’s mandate allows him to make recommendations on just about all aspects of the allocation policy. It’s time that politicians hear the voice of the 80,000 plus resident hunters in BC and make those politicians understand that decisions that erode resident priority will have political fallout. Go to your local MLA and ask him or her what they know about the allocation policy review and make sure they understand your position as a resident hunter.