News & Updates

November 8, 2017

BC Steelhead Stocks in Crisis

Four groups representing many thousands of recreational anglers in B.C. are sounding the alarm about the decline of steelhead numbers returning to B.C. rivers.

The BC Federation of Fly Fishers, BC Federation of Drift Fishers, Steelhead Society of BC, and the BC Wildlife Federation are calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the B.C. government to immediately work together to recognize the steelhead crisis and to implement an action plan to prevent the loss of Thompson and other iconic wild B.C. steelhead stocks.

The Thompson River, a major tributary of the Fraser, once supported a thriving recreational steelhead fishery, but returns in recent years have fallen from an estimated abundance of 4000 spawners in 1985 to less than 200 spawners projected for 2018. This is a 95 per cent reduction in the return to the spawning grounds. Government officials now classify interior Fraser steelhead populations as being of “extreme conservation concern” with this year’s return shaping up to be the worst on record.

Read the BCWF news release Here

Read the full list of BCWF's recommendations for Steelhead management Here

The BC Wildlife Federation urges it's members to take action by contacting their MLA's. Have your voice heard by contacting Minister Dominic LeBlanc. And Minister Doug Donaldson.

Find a full list of BC's Ministers Here

November 1, 2017

Vancouver Island Hunting and Fishing Access Permitted on TimberWest Land for BC Wildlife Federation Members

The BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) is pleased to announce a Hunting and Fishing Access Agreement between its Affiliated Club member the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association (VFGPA) and TimberWest Forest Corp. The agreement allows licensed and insured members of the VFGPA and BCWF access to TimberWest’s private timberlands for hunting and fishing activities until December 10, 2017.

“BCWF and TimberWest have a long history of working together, and this Access Agreement is particularly noteworthy because it acknowledges the trustworthiness of our members,” said, Harvey Andrusak, President of the BCWF. “It is a precedent setting example of what can be achieved by club volunteers and a progressive, community-minded company. We are happy that we are piloting a Hunting and Fishing Access Agreement on TimberWest’s private lands on Vancouver Island, and we look forward to rolling the agreement forward in 2018.”

Read the BCWF release Here

For more information on the agreement and to register for access please visit the Victoria Fish & Game Protective Association's website Here

October 25, 2017

Sturgeon Habitat Threatened

The BCWF is asking provincial and federal governments for a full environmental review of a proposed two bridge development over the Fraser River near Chilliwack, the “Heart of the Fraser”, which could irreversibly harm critical white sturgeon spawning habitats. White sturgeon is classified as “imperilled" in B.C.

The BCWF calls on authorities to hold off approving any authorizations until a full agency and public review is made of these applications, including comprehensive inventories, and assessments of actual and potential damage.

Read the BCWF letter Here

October 24, 2017

New Grizzly Management Report

The Auditor General released a new report: An Independent Audit of Grizzly Bear Management.The BCWF fully supports this independent report and the 10 recommendations made. It is clear the Auditor General engaged subject matter experts and identified the inadequacies for grizzly bears and effective resource management. The pillars of sustainable natural resource management are: Funding, science and social support – the Auditor General indicates that B.C. has none of them.

Read the full 74-page report Here

Read the BCWF Release Here

October 24, 2017

Pacific Halibut Fishery Mismanaged

The BCWF and the Sports Fishing Institute wrote to Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Minister Dominic LeBlanc to express displeasure with the management of the recreational Pacific halibut fisheries this year. We are disappointed by the department’s decision to close the fishery on September 6 and the arbitrary allocation of 85 percent of halibut to commercial harvest without taking adequate account of the social and economic value of the recreational fishery.

Read the full letter to the minister Here

October 18, 2017

Grizzly Hunting in BC

A Message from the BC Wildlife Federation President

In light of the recent government announcement with regards to the proposed grizzly bear regulations (a ban in the Great Bear Rainforest and no retention of “trophy parts”), I urge you to write the Premier, the Leader of the Opposition, the Minister of FLNRO, the critic of FLNRO, the leader of the Green Party and to meet with your MLA. The future of hunting, angling, and conservation in British Columbia is at risk.

It is our early experience with the new government that there is a rapid movement away from science-based wildlife management in favour of social and political hunter management. This issue and these changes are not about grizzly bear hunting, or trophy hunting, they are about sustainable use and hunting in British Columbia. I expect anti-hunting organizations will now move on to attack hunting of other species (black bears, cougars, sheep, goats). Given this apparent decision by government and other recent social-based decisions in isolation of science, I expect the recent marginalization of hunting, trapping, angling, and generally sustainable use to continue.

The BCWF has prepared a document related to the proposed grizzly bear regulation changes to help you advocate on behalf of conservation, fish and wildlife.

Read BCWF full response Here

Please email, write, and call your MLA and the following elected officials below:

1. BC Premier, Hon. John Horgan

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Call toll-free: 1-800-663-7867

Mailing address:
Victoria, BC V8W 9E1

2. BC Leader of Opposition, Rich Coleman,

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Phone Victoria: (250) 356-6171 | Phone Langley Constituency Office: (604) 882-3151 

Constituency Mailing address:
130 - 7888 200th Street
Langley, BC V2Y 3J4

3. Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Hon. Doug Donaldson

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone Victoria: (250) 387-6240 | Phone Hazelton: (250) 842-6338 | Phone Smithers: (250) 847-8841

Mailing Address: 
Room 248 Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4

4. Critic FLNRO, John Rustad

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone Victoria: (250) 356-6171 |  Phone Vanderhoof: (250) 567-6820

5. Leader, BC Green Party, Dr. Andrew Weaver

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: (250) 387-8347

October 11, 2017

Provincial Government's Wildlife Policy Disappoints

A recent decision by the B.C. government to close licensed moose hunting in wildfire affected areas in the Cariboo points to serious flaws in the current regulatory process. Access and ATV restrictions which apply only to licensed hunters, with no additional conservation measures, marginalize resident hunters, science and wildlife values.

The BCWF Wildlife Federation president Harvey Andrusak has written to the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to express extreme disappointment with this discriminatory policy. Andrusak said, “The recent decision from the Cariboo Region does not meet the expectations of our membership, resident hunters, or the public. If we are going to restore habitat, reduce access and close hunting, the restrictions must apply to everyone. No-one in this province is above conservation.”

Read the full letter Here

Read the BCWF Media Release Here

October 3, 2017

Unfair Hunting Vehicle Restrictions in the Cariboo

The BC Wildlife Federation is concerned about a recent decision by the Province to restrict licensed hunter vehicle use in the Cariboo. The Province said this action was taken to protect big game wildlife in areas severely affected by wildfires this summer, and will be in effect until December 10, 2017.

President Harvey Andrusak has written to the Minister to express extreme disappointment with the new regulation targeting only resident hunters. The BCWF’s position is that vehicle use should be prohibited for everyone if there is a genuine conservation risk to wildlife in the area.

Read the full letter Here

September 27, 2017

Forest Enhancement Society Priorities Need Work

The BCWF has expressed serious disappointment with the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) because they are not making it a priority to improve habitat for wildlife. The society’s service plan for 2017-2020 allocated only five percent of total project expenditures to wildlife habitat through the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF). The BCWF wants clear direction provided to the FESBC to provide a fair distribution of funding and focus to wildlife habitat through HCTF.

Read the full letter Here

September 26, 2017

Fishing Groups Want Steelhead Protected

The Thompson and Chilcotin steelhead are world renowned and a priceless biological asset that is in immediate jeopardy. The BCWF and partners recognize the current total salmon fishing closure on the Fraser as an important precedent for protecting stocks of concern. Thompson and Chilcotin steelhead stocks are equally deserving of this protection, combined with a unifying strategy to protect and enhance watershed functioning. Two actions are required to address the long-term decline of steelhead stocks:

1. Reduction of the mortality of all First Nations, commercial and recreational fisheries and;

2. Long-term investment in the maintaining of functioning watersheds that support these and other important salmonid stocks.

Read the recommendations Here

September 19, 2017

Reforestation After Wildfires

Post-fire season, the BCWF has written to the Premier and Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development expressing concerns about the replanting of forests at densities consistent with current stocking standards. The worry is that status quo tree planting will create the same unhealthy drought stricken trees prone to burning once again. This approach neglects wildlife values – in its current form the Forest and Range Practices Act does not address the needs of wildlife post-fire. A new process is needed and it must be funded and science-based.

Read the full letter Here

May 08, 2017

Conservation Groups Unite For Wildlife

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.

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."

March 08, 2017

The BCWF Response to Grizzly Bear Foundation Report

The BC Wildlife Federation commends the Grizzly Bear Foundation for compiling a comprehensive report outlining some of the challenges related to the sustainability of grizzly bears in B.C. The BCWF is supportive of the majority of the report’s recommendations, including those related to habitat sustainability, research, education and funding. However, given the report’s position that “there is no one measure that alone can ensure the long-term survival of the grizzlies in B.C.”, the BCWF is disappointed that the report recommends the B.C. government terminate all hunting of grizzly bears in B.C., simply because it is “exclusively within our reach." This recommendation is not supported by the best available science, misleads readers and is not one of the long term threats to grizzly bear sustainability.

For all the details, please read the BCWF statement Here!

December 7, 2016

BC NDP on Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt Ban

The BC New Democrats recently released their position on the British Columbia Grizzly Bear hunt; a number of questions arose from our membership regarding that release.

Here are the BC New Democrat Party’s answers to questions about the details of their proposed ban submitted by the BCWF to John Horgan, Leader, New Democrat Official Opposition.

QUESTION: Under the new proposed policy would residents of B.C. have opportunity under the LEH system to continue to harvest Grizzly bears?

• Yes. This is not about being opposed to hunting. This is about being opposed to the grizzly bear trophy hunt and only the grizzly bear trophy hunt.

• B.C. hunters will continue to have the opportunity under the LEH system to harvest grizzly bear utilizing the entire bear. We will ensure we use science-based decisions to determine the numbers of LEH tags allowed in various areas. If there aren't enough bears there won’t be a hunt and vice versa.

QUESTION: Under the new proposed policy would non-residents of B.C. continue to have opportunity to harvest Grizzly bears?

• Yes. We are not proposing changes to any hunting regulations except as they relate to the grizzly bear trophy hunt.

• That said, the 2015 changes to allocations for resident/non-resident by the liberal government were wrong. We stood with hunters in 2015 when the government took away hunting rights from British Columbians to give more to foreign hunters. Resident hunters make a significant contribution to B.C.’s rural economy and way of life, hunting to feed their families with B.C. game and contribute to wildlife conservation activities.

BCWF: Under the new proposed policy would the NDP commit to manage the Grizzly bear harvest using the best available science?

• Yes. The government has been cutting boots on the ground and scientific research on wildlife for 15 years, so there’s considerable dispute about the actual animal population numbers. We agree with the BC Wildlife Federation who point out that a failure to adequately fund biodiversity conservation is one of the biggest challenges B.C. faces.

• We need funding for research into grizzly bear and other animal populations. Ministry staff needs stable and ongoing research funding to know if their population numbers are reliable. These concerns are reflected in the recent review of the grizzly bear management system released by MoF and FLNRO:

• Resources dedicated to grizzly bear harvest management are inadequate. Additional funding to improve population inventory, monitoring, data handling, and analysis is needed.

• Resources should be provided in a predictable manner to facilitate management needs and research requirements.

• The NDP tabled a bill last spring, the Sustainable Wildlife Management Act, to provide new and alternative funding, give wildlife and habitat a priority, and engage all hunting and wildlife groups to work collaboratively toward short and long term plans for fisheries, wildlife and habitat. The government rejected our bill.

For more information click here

September 26, 2017