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The recent promotion that was placed in newspapers across BC by the Guide Outfitters Association of BC (GOABC) has spawned a lively and emotional discussion on

In January 2009, GOABC presented a paper titled The Guide Outfitter Industry in British Columbia_Challenges and New Opportunities.  This paper outlines GOABC’s position on what needs to be done to support a viable guide outfitting business in BC. While one can’t blame GOABC for putting forward strategies to help with their viability as small businesses, the real issue for resident hunters and wildlife is that the government often seems to be far too sympathetic to the the requests of  businesses such as GOABC and the British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association.

The content of the GOABC viability document seems to be at odds with what they are saying publicly in the newspaper ads. Here are some examples:

In the newspaper ad GOABC  says “wildlife stewardship is our priority.”

In the viability paper GOABC says “A primary objective of the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC) is to promote the continued economic viability of the industry.”


In the newspaper ad GOABC  says they “recognize that, after the needs of First Nations are met, the resident hunters of B.C. are given priority with hunting opportunities”.

In the viability paper GOABC says “it is important that the hunting seasons are aligned and consistent to provide equal opportunity to the recreational hunters and commercial hunting industry.”

“If there is a conservation concern or a need to control the harvest then guides should be on quotas and the recreational hunters should be on Limited Entry Hunting (LEH).”


In the newspaper ad GOABC  says they “understand the importance of hunter recruitment and retention in B.C.”.

In the viability paper GOABC says “The management of big game must be conducted in a manner that grows trophy-class animals and restricts provisions such as “spike-fork” seasons for immature bull moose.”

The resident hunters of BC are always cognizant of conservation issues and do not support hunting regulations that produce a harvest that goes beyond what science says is acceptable and sustainable. LEH is not the only tool for residents when there is “a need to control the harvest.” The new allocation policy deals with these issues, and provides a variety of management tools, while keeping conservation at the forefront. GOABC knows that putting residents on LEH for quota species impacts resident hunters dramatically, both in hunting opportunities and in hunter recruitment. The impact of LEH on residents is typically far greater than the impact of quotas on guided hunters. We also know from past experiences that managing wildlife to grow trophy-class animals has a detrimental effect on hunter recruitment as the priority for the majority of resident hunters is to put quality food in their freezers.

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