Plan For Wildlife Enhancement Agency
MLA Mike Morris and Michael Schneider, President of the Guide Outfitters Association – photo 250News
Prince George, B.C.- A new model for wildlife management in B.C. will see all revenue from the sale of hunting licences re-invested to enhance wildlife management activities.
In addition, the Province says it will establish a new agency this fall with startup funds of $ 5 million dollars, then supported by hunting licence revenue of $9 to $10 million year.
Currently, hunting licence revenues support a number of government activities. Hunting licence surcharges totalling more than $2.6 million annually would still be dedicated to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for its conservation projects.
Prince George Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris authored a report recently which made several recommendations on steps which could be taken to improve wildlife management and habitat. ( see previous story) “I am hopeful the recommendations that I made in that report will be considerations this new group will look at. The whole focus of going in this direction is to enhance wildlife populations in British Columbia.” He says the focus needs to be on “getting wildlife populations back to previous levels, and better.”
Michael Schneider is the President of the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. “We’re excited the Government is dedicating funding towards rebuilding wildlife . There are some populations that have had huge declines. The other thing is that it brings stakeholders with a common interest to the table. We know our relationships with various stakeholders haven’t been the best they could be, but I think we have way more in common than we don’t. This will see us working together for the same goals.”
To determine the governance model and investment priorities , $200 thousand dollars has been budgeted to hire someone to meet with someone who can meet with all the stakeholders in the Province and come up with what the model should look like and how it will operate.