“Historically, the government has annually provided millions of dollars in subsidies to the guiding industry; either through legislation or policy, and now ‘The Thomson Decision’ is telling resident hunters that they have to further subsidize the guiding industry,” executive member of the North Peace Rod and Gun Club Rich Petersen explains.
In addition to increased subsidies, “The Thomson Decision” will potentially give the provincial government authority to manage all big game – anticipated to increase restrictive provision, increase allocated LEH tags to outfitters and reduce LEH tags to residents, and also put increased emphases on trophy hunting, – leaving meat hunting on the backburner, according to Petersen
“The guiding industry has a lot of non-resident ownership in it and international hunting companies that promote trophy hunting as opposed to meat hunting,” Petersen goes on to say. “So I think what we really need to do instead of rushing into putting all of these unfair harvest shares into legislation …we need to have a look at how we’re doing business and see if we can come up with a better means of keeping the guiding industry viable and vibrant, and at the same time, protecting the integrity of the resident hunting community.”
Petersen says that he doesn’t necessarily have a problem with putting these regulations into legislation, as that would ensure transparency, but rather the inconsistencies when compared to other parts of North America. For example, common practise is to allocate 10 per cent of allowable harvest to non-residents, but ‘The Thompson Deal’ has the allocation set to 40 per cent.
“Keep in mind that there are only 4,500 non-resident hunters; there are 102,000 resident hunters so those shares are completely out of proportion.”
Petersen goes on to say what needs to be done now is to have pressure put on local MLAs, the Premier and all of the Ministers in letting them know your position regarding the proposed legislation, according to Petersen.
“At the same time, we should be telling government that we support a viable guiding industry [and its] economic viability, but not at the expense of resident hunting opportunities,” Peterson concludes.
If you are still unclear of the issue at hand or where you stand for that matter, the co-chair of the B.C. Wildlife Federation Allocation Committee is coming to Fort St. John next week to make a presentation – equipped with all the facts and figures.
The presentation is being held at the Pomeroy Hotel – located on 11308 Alaska Road – Tuesday January 27, 2015, beginning at 7:00 p.m.