BC Premier Christy Clark
Cabinet Minister Stephen Thomson (FLNRO)
Cabinet Minister Mary Polak (MOE)
All Liberal Cabinet Ministers and MLAs:
It is with a heavy heart and a certain amount of incredulity that I write this letter.
The hunting heritage in British Columbia is part of the history of this province and, in a way, part of its lifeblood. What happened today saddened me when I saw that even more of our Natural Resources, owned by ALL the people of BC, are being auctioned off to the highest bidder.
The Guide Operators Association of BC already had the most generous allocations in North America. Most jurisdictions allow Non-resident (foreign) hunters to harvest between 5 and 10 percent of the Allowable Annual Harvest (AAH). BC already had numbers far and above that, as you both know.
The agreement made in 2007, made to take effect in 2011-2012 was more than fair to the commercial interests, and already less than fair to BC Resident Hunters.
But that wasn’t good enough for the GOABC. They made an agreement in good faith with no intention to honour it.
We see now that a decision was rushed through, with little or no public consultation, that took even MORE away from the vast majority of hunters in BC.
Resident hunter numbers stand currently at 102,000 plus family and supporters. That’s a lot of votes.
GOABC Membership stands at roughly 225. So this means that less than 0.3% of the hunting-voting population dictates policy? The new numbers state that, in some areas, the 0.3% will get 35% of Mountain Goat draws, 40% of Grizzly draws, and 40% of Sheep draws? Other areas 20% of Elk, and the list goes on.
I can’t believe my eyes.
Their figure of $120 Million in economic benefit is ludicrous. They simply took a figure of $30,000 and multiplied that by tags sold. First of all, not all hunts are anywhere near the 30K range, and, in other cases, Guide Operators were GIVING away tags to friends, just so they didn’t lose next years allotment. That’s zero income. I would be honestly surprised if the real number is more than $40 Million, while BC Residents verifiably contribute $250 Million. That’s a massive loss of income if BC hunters just gave up.
This proposal must be immediately rescinded, for the good of all the people of BC. As you know, BC Resident Hunters contribute hundreds of millions of dollars annually into Provincial coffers and the HCTF, as well as local communities that need the business. We support all manner of local businesses from outdoors-oriented shops to gas stations, restaurants, campgrounds and yes, mechanics and tire shops, much to my chagrin on occasion.
The HCTF has collected tens of millions of dollars to fund research and habitat enhancement projects, and we support that with words, deeds, volunteer hours, sweat, and dollars.
The GOABC essentially sells trophy hunting to non-resident tourists. People that don’t live here and don’t VOTE here. They essentially take the heads and fly home. Resident Hunters are required to use all edible parts of the animal in most cases, and rightly so.
To infuriate 102,000 resident Hunters at the expense of what basically amount to a small club is unconscionable, and untenable.
I ask to you not only rescind this decision, but to put BC’s allocation in line with that of all other districts like ours, namely 10% for Non-residents, and 90% for Resident, voting, taxpaying hunters in BC. We are all watching this very closely, and I sincerely hope you do the right thing for all.
Sincerely, The lovely folks at Wolftracker!