The province says the proposed regulations aim to address the ability of Treaty 8 First Nations to continue their way of life. It also looks to address impacts from industrial development highlighted in the Supreme Court of BC’s ruling in favor of Blueberry River First Nation last year.
“The Treaty infringement requires a reset. Looking ahead, rebalancing and aligning objectives, investments, and monitoring systems to a new standard will require a new way of working together,” the province said.
The province says the proposed hunting regulations are an interim measure and only one part of a broader package of actions specific to improving wildlife stewardship, upholding Treaty rights, habitat conservation, and the future of resource management.
The BC Wildlife Federation says it’s concerned about the proposed regulations and released an updated release on Thursday.
“Sustainable Caribou and Moose hunting in the Peace-Liard currently supports 5,957 resident hunters and their families, who spend a combined 56,000 days enjoying Supernatural BC,” the federation said.
The federation added that British Columbians also put more than $18.4 million in hunting-related expenditures.
According to the federation, some expected impacts of the deal include:
- The number of BC residents allowed to harvest moose for food in the region will be reduced by 70 to 80 per cent.
- More than $14-16 million will be lost in hunting-related economic activity from resident hunters.
- The allowable moose harvest will be reduced to fewer than 650 animals, from a population that can support a sustainable annual yield of 4801 to 7455 animals.
“Ordinary British Columbians who hunt for food are being traded-off in favor of resource extraction,” Zeman said.
“The BCWF is concerned that this is the tip of the iceberg and that these kinds of deals are coming to parks, campsites, streams and lakes in British Columbia. After two years of this pandemic, the province should be encouraging British Columbians to get outside and enjoy nature; Instead, it’s telling them they’re not welcome in the Peace, and they should stay at home.”
The federation added that they fully support the rights of First Nations to hunt and fish in their traditional territories for food, social and ceremonial purposes and that commitment to conservation and habitat restoration is shared between First Nations and non-First Nations.
Residents have until March 23rd to provide their feedback.
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