The Resident Angler and Hunter Preservation Fund has purportedly been blamed for the cancellation of the Special Premier’s Permits for Roosevelt Elk and sheep.
In March of 2009, Greg Sawchuck, BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) Representative on the Special Premier’s Permits Committee received an email from the Director of Fish & Wildlife requesting the BCWF position on the following options. The three-year contract for the Special Premier’s Permits is up and the contract needs to be renewed to continue.
1) Disconnecting the Roosevelt Elk Permit
2) Continuing with a resident only Roosevelt Elk Permit
3) Continuing with a resident only Mountain Sheep Permit
4) Continuing with the non resident auctioned Mtn Sheep Permit
The BCWF President requested the BCWF Allocation Committee provide recommendations to the BCWF Board of Directors (BOD). It was the Allocation Committee’s understanding that the GOABC did not support the Premier’s Roosevelt Elk Permit.
The BCWF Allocation committee recommended that a resolution be drafted and presented on the floor of the BCWF annual general meeting in Fernie in April, 2009. The following resolution was put forward and passed by the delegates at the BCWF AGM:
PREMIER’S SPECIAL SHEEP & ROOSEVELT ELK PERMITS
WHEREAS the BC Wildlife Federation reluctantly gave support for the BC Premier Sheep and Roosevelt Elk Permits, and
WHEREAS the BC Wildlife Federation gave support to these permits as long as they occurred in areas where hunting for these species occurred, and
WHEREAS there are now proposals to have areas which are currently closed, opened strictly for the Premier’s Permits for special trophy opportunities, a condition the membership did not support, and
WHEREAS there are problems with the Premier’s Sheep and Roosevelt Elk Permits including delivery and revenue, and
WHEREAS the three year contract for the Premier’s Sheep and Roosevelt Elk Permits is coming to an end, and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the membership of the BC Wildlife Federation withdraw their support for the BC Premier’s Special Sheep and Roosevelt Elk Permits if the present direction and policy are changed from the original direction and stipulations, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the BC Wildlife Federation inform the Ministry of Environment that the BC Wildlife Federation membership will not support changes to the direction or policy of the BC Premier’s Permits.
BC Wildlife Federation Wildlife Allocation Committee
Passed by BC Wildlife Federation Board of Directors, Dec 17, 2008
Amended_____ Passed_____ Defeated_____
The BC Wildlife Federation gave their support for the Premier’s Special Permits based on a fixed set of criteria. The Permits have not been providing an exceptional amount of revenue in comparison to other permits that are auctioned from other jurisdictions. Now other options are being considered for the Premier’s permits which are not supported by the BCWF Board of Directors or the BCWF Wildlife Allocation Committee. These are in opposition to the direction provided by the BCWF membership.
The BC Wildlife Federation has always valued the public ownership of wildlife in B.C. It would be beneficial to withdraw support for these permits to emphasize this important value.
As you can see, with legitimate reasoning, the delegates at the 2009 BCWF AGM voted against any change in the direction and policy related to the Premier’s Special Permits. The RAHPF, which hadn’t even been formed at that point, had nothing to do with the vote at the AGM. It was a government decision to cancel the permit, so one must assume that the Ministry of Environment was not happy with the status quo and wants to change the direction or policy of the Premier’s Special Permits. We also know that GOABC withdrew their support for the Roosevelt Elk Premier’s permit, so we have to assume that influenced the MoE’s decision. Neither the BCWF not the RAHPF can accept responsibility for the government decision—government had the option of keeping things they way they were.
The RAHPF does support the direction that the membership provided at the 2009 BCWF AGM.