PAL Course: January 20, 2018
PALR Course: January 23, 2018

See the poster for more information.

The recent decision by the B.C. government to ban the regulated grizzly hunt to all but Indigenous hunters is a prime example of populism.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “populism” as: Political ideas and activities that are intended to get the support of ordinary people by giving them what they want.

The ideas are often put forward in the absence of science or analysis of the long-term policy implications.

The threshold for populism is often driven by “popular support” for an idea, not because it is rational, stable or in the best interests of the resource, but because it is politically popular and in the short term will garner political support.

The issue is: Do you want your government to make the popular decision, or the rational decision? The former is driven by the public opinion, the latter by rigorous analysis of the consequences in terms of what is in the best interests of the resource and the populace.

In B.C., 78 per cent of the public, according to the government, is against the hunting of grizzly bears. But a rigorous analysis was conducted by the B.C. Auditor General and the conclusion was that hunting was not seen as a threat to grizzly bear sustainability and was considered a minor factor within the issue of larger habitat management. You can find the 74-page report, An Independent Audit of Grizzly Bear Management, at www.bcauditor.com.

The B.C. government originally made the popular decision that trophy hunting was bad, but stated that hunting for substance was permissible, including for food, social and ceremonial purposes by First Nations. The regulations to manage the trophy hunting through non-retention of bear parts were put to public consultation by the Ministry of Forest Lands Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. From an administrative, technical, compliance and enforcement perspective, government concluded these regulations were unworkable. This was the message received both from inside and outside the government. It really didn’t matter where you sat on the debate; government tried to cut the bear in half, to nobody’s satisfaction.

Prior to a final decision on grizzly bear hunting, government was left with two choices, leave the status quo, or ban all licenced hunting of grizzly bears. Personally, I would not hunt grizzly bears. But if the hunt was sustainable, I would not impose my personal values on others to prevent them from hunting.

Populism won the day and now there is no hunt. First Nations can continue to hunt if they choose. In my view, the larger issue is this constitutionally protected right will be hollow when their fish and wildlife populations are gone. The right to gain economically from commercial uses of natural resources under the UN Declaration of Indigenous Peoples is also in question. First Nations have strong voices and can speak for themselves on how, where and why they want to engage in the grizzly bear debate.

The bottom line is the NDP government and the Green party have chosen a populist view not based on science that does not bode well for future resource management policy decisions.

Alan Martin is director of strategic initiatives at the B.C. Wildlife Federation.

Seasonal Greetings from the North Peace Rod and Gun Club

The North Peace Rod and Gun Club will reopen on January 4, 2018 at 10 AM

Photo of Rich and Wanda Petersen

The North Peace Rod and Gun Club would like to express their sincere condolences to the family and friends of Rich and Wanda Petersen. Rich and Wanda were great supporters of the North Peace Rod and Gun Club and longtime advocates for fish, wildlife and the habitats they live in. Rich was the president of the club multiple times, and his leadership took us through some hard times and was instrumental in making our organization what is is today.  The recent losses of Rich and Wanda leaves a huge hole in our club’s community and the greater communities of Fort St. John, Charlie Lake and the Upper Halfway River Valley.

The North Peace Rod and Gun Club will be closed starting at 1 PM on Monday, December 4th, 2017 in honour of Rich and Wanda. Their memorial service will be held at 2 PM that day at the Pomeroy Hotel. 

A Presentation and Discussion on: Ecology and Conservation of Mule Deer in Idaho: Management Strategies for Restoring Populations. The Presentation was by: Dr.Mark Hebblewhite Professor of Ungulate Ecology at the University of Montana.

Photo of Winter Range Burn for Stone's Sheep on the Tuchodi

Winter Range Burn for Stone’s Sheep on the Tuchodi

The next meeting of the North Peace Rod and Gun Club is Monday, October 30, 2017. We have some special guests attending: Dr. Sonja Leverkus will provide an update on the ten-year burn plan that she is developing and Michel Lavallee, Section Head Fish & Wildlife, will outline government’s strategic plan for ecosystem work in the northeast.

Your input is required to provide suggestions for possible prescribed burn sites.

The North Peace Rod and Gun Club range will be closed October 26, 2017 for snow removal.

Photo of a grizzly bear with an elk kill.

The BC Government is requesting comments on their grizzly bear policy, which ends the “trophy hunt” for grizzly bears. According to the policy, licensed hunters will still be able to hunt grizzly bears according to provincial regulations, but edible portions will have to be brought out of the bush and the hunter will not be able to keep the skull, paws or hide. BC’s First Nations will continue to be able to harvest grizzly bears and possess all parts of grizzly bears (including the “trophy parts”) when the harvest is done within traditionally used areas pursuant to Aboriginal or treaty rights (i.e. for food, social, or ceremonial reasons.)

Request for comment and policy documents (be sure to read them).

Photo of Burns on the Tuchodi

The next general meeting of the North Peace Rod and Gun Club is on Monday, September 25, 2017. Some topics to be discussed are:

Update on the Tuchodi prescribed burns project

Update on the winter 2017 goat inventory work by Mike Bridger, biologist

Update on land transfers/Skooks Landing

Review and comments on proposed hunting regulation changes for 2018/2019

Grizzly bear regulation

 

 

BCWF Conservation App Promo Image

The BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) has launched a new app to make it easier for people who witness a threat to the environment to report it immediately to the appropriate agency.

“We’ve been working on this for nearly two years and now we’re ready to make this happen. We’ve given people the ability to report situations in real time and make certain those reports go to the appropriate agency,” said Jesse Zeman, the spokesperson for the BCWF resident priority program, adding that the app allows outdoor enthusiasts with smartphones to take geo-referenced, time staped photos or videos to report issues rlated to the abuse of B.C.’s natural resources.

Read more.

BCWF Conservation App Webpage including some instructions and a map of reports.

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