Editor, The News:
I am shocked at the news that the allocation policy, which had been agreed upon in 2007, has now essentially been ripped up and a new deal struck behind closed doors, without consultation of the resident hunters of B.C. or the BCWF.
These new allocation numbers are outrageous: 40 per cent of the grizzly draws; 35 per cent of goat; 40 per cent of sheep, and on it goes.
Just 3.7 per cent of the hunters get 40 per cent of the hunts, while 96.3 per cent of the hunters get the 60 per cent.
Foreign trophy hunters are being given hunts at 17 times the rate that residents are.
There are only a few thousand tags given out of each of the species in a draw each year to keep hunting sustainable and fair.
Many of the areas in question have odds as high as 50:1 because of the demand for these species.
Taking as much as 40 per cent of the hunts away from citizens of British Columbia will increase these odds to the point that it would be pointless to ever enter the draw.
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.
And now you give away an additional 20 to 30 per cent resident allocation to a small number of foreigners – people who don’t even live here.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thompson’s decision is not supported by policy, is not a reflection of resident priority, and is a gross manipulation of the 2007 agreement.
This is a gross manipulation, misconduct, and misrepresentation of the public interest by the minister and premier, and now for them to try to push those splits into legislation is just unheard of and not seen in any other jurisdiction.
That said, we need to get allocation splits into legislation to put this issue behind us and must be no less than 90 per cent for the resident hunting public.
The liberal Government would do well to remember that historically Governments are voted out in B.C. rather than voted in.