The mighty Fraser during freshet on May 2, 2021 at Island 22 Regional Park. A new B.C. coalition representing 25 organizations, and 273,000 people, is calling on B.C. to reverse decades of wildlife and habitat declines. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)

The mighty Fraser during freshet on May 2, 2021 at Island 22 Regional Park. A new B.C. coalition representing 25 organizations, and 273,000 people, is calling on B.C. to reverse decades of wildlife and habitat declines. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Chilliwack Progress)

Coalition calls on B.C. to invest in wildlife stewardship and habitat protection

Representing 25 organizations, and 273,000 people, they seek to reverse decades of declines

Salmon. Old-growth forests. Moose. Steelhead.

Some of B.C.’s most prized fish, wildlife and habitat are in big trouble.

A new broad-based coalition is calling on the B.C. government to focus on habitat, stewardship, and protection, in a way that reverses decades of declines.

“Together the group is seeking a commitment from the province to invest in healthy landscapes, waters, and fish and wildlife stewardship, in partnership with First Nations and communities,” according to a May 13 release from the Fish, Wildlife, and Habitat Coalition.

Representing diverse interests from across B.C., the coalition comprises 25 organizations, representing more than 273,000 British Columbians and 900 businesses.

A local director of the Fraser Valley Salmon Society (FVSS) said they welcome the coalition’s renewed emphasis on habitat restoration.

“The Fraser Valley Salmon Society is a strong supporter of the Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Coalition, and has as one of its major objectives the recognition and protection of important habitat areas,” said Terry Bodman, a FVSS director. “Our local habitat is constantly under pressure from an ever-increasing population seeking recreational opportunities.”

RELATED: Gill Road bar habitat takes a beating

The coalition will work to promote “solutions guided by science” but also recognizes traditional ecological knowledge for managing species and habitat in B.C.

“In a generation of people, B.C. has gone from being a global leader in fish, wildlife and habitat conservation, to a landscape which can be characterized as at-risk, endangered and extirpated,” said Jesse Zeman, spokesman for the B.C. Wildlife Federation. “Whether it’s salmon, steelhead, old-growth, moose, or caribou, B.C. has never been in such poor shape.”

By championing solutions for conservation, the coalition aims to help B.C. strengthen both its communities and the economy.

The coalition is bringing together environmental/conservation groups, hunting and angling guides, wildlife viewing, ecotourism, naturalists, hunters, anglers, and trappers, and it “recognizes and respects the constitutionally protected rights of Indigenous peoples” and reconciliation efforts.

When such a diverse group can come together, it’s clear just how crucial the issues are.

For the province to maintain its marketing claim to “Super, Natural™” wild spaces, “fish and wildlife must take priority and be recognized for what they are – essential for healthy, lasting ecosystems,” said Katherine MacRae of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association.

Coalition priorities:

• New legislation that protects fish, wildlife, and habitat;

• Integrating needs of fish, wildlife, and habitat into new/existing legislation;

• New funding model for fish, wildlife, and habitat management.

RELATED: DFO investigation finds habitat damage

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC governmentwilderness

Just Posted

Tyler O’Neill has a shot at making the NL all-star team. (Taka Yanagimoto/St. Louis Cardinals)
Executive director of the Friends In Need Food Bank Mary Robson with Darrell Jones, president of Save-On-Foods. (The News files)
Save-On-Foods 4th annual campaign for Maple Ridge food bank starts Thursday, June 17

50 per cent of net proceeds from Western Family brand to be donated

A white bicycle marks the intersection where Dillan Fernando was killed in Pitt Meadows on May 15. (Special to The News)
Family of cyclist killed in Pitt Meadows raising money for Sri Lankan tech centre in his honour

Computer hub would give underprivileged children access to equipment they can not afford

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air traffic at Pitt Meadows Airport returning

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Emiko Nakai will attend Warner Pacific University in Portland, Oregon next year. (Special to The News)
Three SRT Titans earn scholarships

Maple Ridge’s Emiko Nagai, Lucas Hutchinson, and Cade Armour will take talents to college level

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Most Read