Moose are the most popular target for B.C. resident hunters

B.C. wildlife management overhaul coming

Hunting licence revenues may be put in dedicated fund, with wildlife organizations involved in big game management

The B.C. government is considering putting revenues from hunting licences and tags into a dedicated fund for wildlife management, Forests Minister Steve Thomson says.

A similar shift was made with fishing licence revenue last year to boost the budget for the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. by $3 million a year for its lake stocking program. The province is in discussions with the B.C. Wildlife Federation and others to do something similar, Thomson told Black Press in an interview.

The ministry has expanded its multi-year study of declining moose populations into a broader modernization of wildlife management, with the funding increase on the table.

“We have Al Gorley, the former chair of the Forest Practices Board, engaged with the groups currently, both on a moose population enhancement program but also engaging in discussion around modernizing wildlife management going forward,” Thomson said. “[That] includes a discussion around how we would potentially see those licensing revenues move to a model where they would have more active say and management in the use of those resources.”

Thomson revealed the plan after Kootenay West NDP MLA Katrine Conroy called for more support for wildlife management in the B.C. legislature last week. She presented a private member’s bill calling for a special purpose account to support wildlife management.

“I’ve been talking to First Nations, resident hunters, guide outfitters, trappers, people who just recreate with wildlife, and everybody has expressed concern about the habitat of fish and wildlife in this province,” Conroy said.

“Hunters who have been out there, they know for instance the mule deer in the Kootenays is disappearing, whereas they’re told it’s not. Up north it’s moose in some areas.”

Thomson acknowledged more needs to be done. He said an additional $12 million in his ministry budget this year is to support wildlife inventory and habitat improvement.

He said provincial hunting advisory teams are in place, and it is not necessary to legislate a permanent wildlife roundtable as suggested in Conroy’s bill.

Hunting has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Moose are the most popular big-game target for resident hunters, and some areas have restricted moose tags through regional lotteries used for less abundant species such as elk.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Highway 4 reopens after police incident near Port Alberni

Highway between Port Alberni and the West Coast was briefly closed in both directions

Tofino restaurateur pays landlord’s generosity forward to Hospital Foundation

Coronavirus pandemic cancels foundation’s largest annual fundraiser

Surfrider Pacific Rim: Celebrating SonBird’s dedication to the Coast

West Coast recycling centre continues to serve thanks to an open-air depot and new regulations.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve issues wolf advisory

Frequent sightings reported around Long Beach area.

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Most Read