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BC Wildlife Federation

 

Who We Are

The BC Wildlife Federation is British Columbia's largest and oldest conservation organization. Our 50,000 members are passionately committed to protecting, enhancing and promoting the wise use of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations. Our volunteers and donors give generously of their time and finances to support to a wide range of wildlife conservation programs and projects.

Join Us Today!

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Media Release - BCWF Response to Recreational Fisheries Closure on the Skeena River:

For Immediate Release June 16, 2017

Resident Anglers' Food Fishery Denied For the First Time

In an unprecedented move the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has closed recreational salmon fishing in the entire Skeena River Watershed to July 14, 2017. This is a closure that has never happened before.

The June 15 DFO decision is in reaction to predicted low returns of Skeena River Sockeye salmon and is being implemented to facilitate First Nations harvesting of Skeena Chinook salmon. This regressive DFO closure has impacted only resident anglers who fish the Skeena and continues to allow interception of these runs in the Pacific Ocean as they come back to their natal rivers. Jim Glaicar, president of the B.C. Wildlife Federation, calls the move unreasonable. Glaicar said, “The Minister must manage the interests of all Canadians, based on open, transparent and science-based decision making. It is not appropriate management to suddenly change the percentage of fish that has been historically available to recreational fishers.”

DFO’s role is to balance conservation goals with Aboriginal, recreational and commercial fishing opportunities. With this decision, the DFO has abandoned its responsibility to recreational fisheries on the Skeena system.

Ken Franzen, co-chair of the BCWF’s tidal water fisheries committee, said the Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) had worked very hard with DFO to develop a fishing plan that would accommodate both First Nations fishers and the recreational fishery. Franzen said, “Through the SFAB process, we agree to reduce our catch of Chinook salmon on the Skeena River by 50 per cent, and to entirely close recreational Chinook fishing on Skeena Tributaries to ensure conservation. This decision betrays the interests of recreational anglers and must be revisited.”

In 2016 a similar situation played out in the Fraser River but all fishers, both instream and in the Pacific, bore the brunt of predicted poor returns. This Skeena decision plays favorites and results in resident anglers being shut out, while everyone else maintains their ability to catch fish.

The BC Wildlife Federation calls on the DFO to manage the fisheries for all Canadians. This decision is an example of a unilateral, inconsistent and regressive approach to fisheries management.

The unilateral approach is a recurring theme; a few weeks ago DFO announced it was terminating Salmonids in the Classroom, the Resource Restoration unit, and steelhead and cutthroat production at federal hatcheries. The announcement came as a total surprise to everyone who cares about anadromous fish, including Province of British Columbia, and DFO staff. While the decision was overturned June 15 after public backlash, it shows DFO is operating in an Ottawa-based bubble and that it is out of touch with people and salmon in Western Canada.

The Federation calls on Minister LeBlanc to reserve this decision and retain fair access to the resource for all Canadians. We will continue to stand up for the rights of resident anglers to fish for food. Read the letter here.

Please visit the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Website as more information becomes available.


Conservation Groups Unite For Wildlife

For immediate release: May 8, 2017

Nelson, B.C. Five of the province’s leading conservation organizations have signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding in support of growing wildlife populations in British Columbia.  The BC Wildlife Federation, Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia, Wildlife Stewardship Council and the B.C. Trappers Association came together to announce the MOU at the BCWF’s Annual General Meeting in Nelson on Saturday.

L-R Jim Glaicar, President BCWF, Harvey Andrusak, Vice President BCWF, John Henderson, President, Wildlife Stewardship Council, Chris Barker, Past President, Wild Sheep Society of BC, Carl Gitscheff, Director, BC Trappers Association, Michael Schneider, President, Guide Outfitters Association of BC

Concern about the on-going decline of wildlife including, moose, mule deer, elk, wild sheep and caribou, brought the conservation organizations together for the sake of building and maintaining healthy wildlife populations for First Nations, B.C. residents, guide outfitters, trappers and the non-hunting public.  The MOU follows the provincial government’s recent announcement that all hunting license revenues will be re-invested to enhance wildlife management activities.

“This MOU is another mechanism to ensure the province invests in our wildlife”, said John Henderson, President of the Wildlife Stewardship Council.

Jim Glaicar President of the 50,000 member BC Wildlife Federation said, "The collaborative efforts of our five organizations will help to ensure the province follows through on its commitment to enhance wildlife management."

Michael Schneider President of the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia said, "This is a great opportunity for our organizations to work together for the betterment of wildlife in the province."

“B.C.'s wild sheep populations have been declining for years", said Rodney Zeman, President of the Wild Sheep Society of BC. "This MOU will help to ensure we put and keep wild sheep on the mountain."

B.C. Trappers Association President Brian Dack said, “We look forward to working with our conservation partners in support of growing more wildlife."       

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BC Wildlife Federation Year in Review

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The BC Wildlife Federation has launched an online petition calling on the BC government to increase funding and to set objectives for our fish, wildlife and habitat.  

 
BC is one of the most biodiverse jurisdictions in North America and at the same time one of the most under-funded.  
 
The intent of the petition is to convey the importance British Columbians place on fish, wildlife and habitat.
 
 
Sign the petition HERE