BCWF Resident Priority Program
BC Wildlife Federation Announces Establishment of Resident Priority Program
The BC Wildlife Federation recently announced establishment of a new Resident Priority Program (RPP) in response to mounting concerns over British Columbians’ access to hunting, angling, and outdoor recreation opportunities.
The Resident Priority Program will advocate on behalf of BCWF Members and British Columbians to ensure residents have priority and public access to fish, wildlife, and crown land. Former BCWF Director and Wildlife Committee Chair Jesse Zeman will be leading the way on the new initiative, and will serve as BCWF Resident Priority Manager.
The Resident Priority Program was created as a response to the fact that public access in BC is being slowly eroded in favour of private interests. The aim of the program is to ensure natural resources are managed in the public interest and public access is maintained, except where there are public safety and/or environmental concerns.
“BCWF members and the general public are finding private gates on public roads, and experiencing reduced access to public resources, including fish and wildlife. These reductions are a result of government allocating public resources to private interests at the expense of British Columbians,” said BCWF President George Wilson.
BC’s new Wildlife Allocation Policy is a perfect example of this concerning trend and illustrates how the heritage value of fish, wildlife, and habitat is being lost as public resources are increasingly privatized for the benefit of the few. Rather than allocating a fair share of BC’s wildlife resources to resident hunters, the Province of BC chose to give higher priority to commercial interests in the guiding industry.
The Resident Priority Program will develop, manage, and implement a strategy to advance the priority of our future generations to British Columbia’s natural resources. The program will also strengthen and expand the outdoor user network, ensure natural resources are managed sustainably, and reduce barriers to resident priority for hunting, angling, and outdoor recreation activities.
The main goal of the Resident Priority Program will be to ensure the social benefits of natural resources, including fish and wildlife, are maximized and flow first to the people of British Columbia. BCWF believes that our province’s natural resources need to be recognized as a public resource and managed in a way that ensures that the public’s interest is protected.
The Resident Priority Manager’s main responsibility will be develop and implement a strategy to accomplish this goal. The RP Manager will work to create public awareness around resident priority issues related to resource privatization and restricting the right of British Columbians to access public resources.
The Resident Priority Program will:
- Ensure BC’s natural resources are managed as public resource and the public interest is protected and identify where this is not the case.
- Examine the social environmental and economic implications of restricting public access.
- Generate public awareness and engage BCWF Members to raise the profile of conservation and access issues in BCwith the general public and various levels of government.
- Collaborate with other organizations that have similar interests.
The Resident Priority Manager will engage in regular outreach activities and speaking engagements, and will work closely with BCWF Members, Clubs, and Regions to address their concerns and challenges in regards to resident priority and public access.
NEW Moose Hunting Restrictions
There is a regulation change in Region 7B that proposes a moose hunting restriction for licensed hunters in the Peace Moberly Tract without any accompanying plan to mitigate the problem of low moose numbers.
The PMT area is south of the Peace River covering over 264,000 acres, over 1,250 square kilometres.
The BC Wildlife Federation has written a letter in opposition to this regulation proposal and also makes some recommendations around a moose recovery plan. Click here to view the letter.
BC Parks is under fire for its campground reservation system, with reports that people have been reserving spots, then flipping them to others willing to pay more.
On July 4th, BCWF’s Resident Priority Manager Jesse Zeman, appeared on Kelowna’s 1150 Radio to talk about how British Columbians are being squeezed out of the campgrounds we’re all paying for.
Click here to listen