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

COVID-19: SD67 approves budget reductions

Staff positions will be cut to balance budget

COVID-19: Pre-recorded graduation events planned for students in School District 67

Graduates from Penticton Secondary have created petition to urge postponement of grad ceremonies

COVID-19: SD67 plans restart program for Penticton, Summerland students

District following provincial guidelines as students return to classrooms on June 1

Petition seeks to clean up Okanagan forests ‘carpeted’ with shotgun shells

Penticton man says making shot-gun shells refundable would create cleaner forests

Eco-friendly bus service seeks to add Kelowna to Osoyoos route

Bus would stop in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Penticton, Kaledan, Oliver, Osoyoos

Video: Okanagan mayors encourage water conservation this summer

Water conservation this summer could be more important than ever, experts say

Enderby’s drive-in not safe from top doc’s 50-car limit

Starlight Drive-In opened with reduced capacity, COVID-19 safety measures in place

Parking lot patios a go in Vernon

Council votes in favour of allowing businesses to expand commercial space into on-street parking spots

Shuswap cabin owner disputes request to stay home in Alberta

Alberta resident redrafts response to CSRD request to stay home

Kelowna’s main drag will be closed to vehicles this summer

Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue will be a pedestrian-only roadway from June 29 through the Labour Day long weekend

Vernon gym knocked out by COVID-19

9Round Fitness in Vernon Square Mall owners announce permanent closure of facility

Snapshot: Distanced dancing in Salmon Arm

Friends use picnic shelter at Blackburn Park for safe practice

Kelowna’s Homebase Baseball Tournament cancelled

A live auction will still take place to raise funds for Joeanna’s House

Kelowna General Hospital Foundation launches fundraising initiative to support local health care

The initiative also highlights workers at Kelowna General Hospital

Most Read