Over three years have passed since the province undertook the review of the Provincial Allocation Policy and Procedures. Very few people will have a working knowledge of this policy and most will not have a copy of the original policy and procedures implemented in 1985.
The Allocation Policy and Procedures determines the percentage split of the Annual Allowable Harvest (AAH) between resident hunters and non-resident hunters who must be guided. This policy and procedures only applies to category ‘A’ species which is a population or class for which guided hunters harvest is limited by quota in any portion of a region. In this case it refers to sheep, goats, moose, elk, caribou, grizzly bear and cougar.
Quota is defined as meaning the total number of a game species or the total number of a type of game species specified by the regional manager that the clients or a class of client of a guide outfitter may kill in the guide outfitter’s guiding area, or part of it, during a licence year.
These policies and procedures belong to the Ministry and are intended to set out how wildlife will be allocated between these two residency groups.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the ministry were accountable for its responsibilities?
- The new policy will provide for a consistent provincial application by every region in the province.
- The provisions of each policy and procedure can only be interrupted in ONE consistent manner. If one were to review the present allocation processes in the province it would be clear that there are numerous interpretations in various regions of the province. This led to loss of opportunity for resident hunters and many inconsistencies.
- The new policy has provisions to remove restrictive regulations if residents are not achieving their harvest. Regulations must be reviewed and liberalized if the allowable harvest is not being attained. Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) should be a last resort and only implemented due to conservation concerns! Throughout this review there were endless amounts of data reviewed and many hunts were identified that are presently on LEH that do not have to be. We as residents need to understand that we must make the effort to harvest our AAH, if we do not the outcome will be that the unused portion may be given to the other residency group. Remember the Ministry sets the level of harvest based on Inventory work, this fact will not change and we cannot stockpile wildlife to harvest at a later time.
- In addition to the new Allocation Policy and Procedures, there has been a commitment by the province to review the entire Limited Entry Hunting system. This will help address the many frustrations our members have voiced. The Ministry will not release this review.
- There should be more accountability for Regional Managers. Still a problem
- The allocation period will now be five years. This will allow the regional staff more opportunity to adjust harvest opportunity for residents under LEH to achieve their AAH over the five-year period. The ultimate goal should be for regional staff to have residents achieve their allocated share for the five-year period. Percentages are fixed for the five-year period.
- Established percentages for establishing new hunts.
Under the new ‘Resident Hunter Priority’, resident priority is clearly defined as the following:
It is the policy of the Ministry:
That resident hunters’ priority in the harvest of big game species will be addressed by:
A) providing the majority of harvestable big game species to resident hunters;
(1) providing resident hunters with a minimum share of:
- 60% for allocated sheep, goat, and grizzly bear hunts;
- 98% for allocated antlerless hunts; and
- 70% for all other category A species;
(2) creating and maintaining a regulatory framework that maximizes resident hunters’ success, enjoyment, and participation;
(3) developing and maintaining regulations that will benefit resident hunters’ opportunity first;
(4) considering resident hunters’ opportunity first when removing unnecessary barriers to achievement of harvest prior to reducing allocation;
(5) maintaining lower license costs for resident hunters than for non-resident hunters;
(6) ensuring that when restrictions on harvest are necessary, guided hunters’ opportunity is limited before resident hunters’ opportunity; and
(7) ensuring that resident hunters have exclusive access to uncertificated areas of the province for hunting.
Everyone should take the time to carefully read each one of these points and understand their benefit and how they fit in the accompanying policies and procedures. Each individual should contemplate how, in their own region they can help ensure this happens.
- Under the new policy 1.4, Quotas should be calculated to reflect guided hunter’s share of the harvestable portion of the total allocated harvest within each guide outfitter territory.
Under-Harvest of Allocated Share:
- The allocation to one hunter group is not to be altered because of under-harvest if the cause is redundant or restrictive regulations.
- The harvest of category ‘A’ species will be monitored and recorded annually by regional staff.
- If either hunter group under-harvest a category ‘A’ species for three consecutive years the regional manager will provide a report to the director and a regulatory review will be triggered.
- The annual quota will apply for five years.
- Up to 30% of the cumulative five year quota (obtained by multiplying the annual quota by 5) may be harvested in any one year.
- No more than 5 times the annual quota may be harvested in the five year period.
- Under the Harvest Allocation Policy there is a clear statement that “changes of allocation share between resident hunters and guided hunters are gradual, reflect relative importance and utilization, and will only occur after unnecessary barriers to achievement of harvest have been addressed.”
- The Harvest Allocation Procedure has a defined formula for each of the residency groups to determine what the allocation share will be for every five period. You should be aware that the percentages COULD change every five years based on the relative importance and utilization levels of both residents and guide outfitters. This is why it is extremely important that we as residents achieve our allocated harvest. Our effort from 2007 to 2011 will drive the new percentages for the next period of 2012 to 2016.
- The Director of Wildlife will determine the allocation share and the regional manager should apply these shares.
- A starting point has been set for initiating the formula.
- The regional manager should apply the allocation share to each MU.
- Minimum non-resident levels of 2% for antlerless, 20% for sheep, goats and grizzly bears and 10% for all other species.
Under the new policy there are clearly established minimums for residents.
- 60% for all allocated sheep, grizzly bear and mountain goat hunts
- 70% for all other allocated category “A” (species on Quota in any portion of the region) species hunts
- 98% for all allocated antlerless hunts
Big Game Harvest Management Policy and Procedures:
This is a new document that is intended to accompany the Allocation Policies and Procedures and will set out how to establish the method by which allowable harvests and hunting regulations for big game species will be developed, maintained and/or modified. Three years later we are still waiting!!