British Columbia’s wildlife populations are in crisis. Some populations are at historic
lows not seen in the modern era of wildlife management on the North American
The NDP/Green Coalition Government acknowledges the problem in their 2019
Document: Together for Wildlife, a proposed pathway for improving wildlife
management and Habitat Management In British Columbia.
Introduction- British Columbia’s wildlife and habitat face unprecedented and
accelerating challenges due to climate change, increasing human activity and competing
pressures on the land base. These pressures are resulting in significant declines in
some wildlife populations throughout the province, there are evolving societal
expectations that require a new and dynamic way of managing our wildlife and habitat.
In spite of Minister Doug Donaldson’s dire warning the Hunting and Trapping
Regulation Synopsis effective July 1 to June 30, 2022 are a fraud, a wake-up call for
every British Columbian that believes the province’s wildlife resource is a valuable asset
and certainly do not acknowledge his message: Given the declining numbers in
wildlife, disappearing wildlife habitat and climate impacts British Columbians must
work together on shared priorities with the right tools and sufficient funding to achieve
better outcomes for wildlife.
The 2020-2022 wildlife management changes for B.C.’s 9 wildlife management
regions are no more than an extremely small band aid on an extremely large wound!
Region 1 Vancouver Island, Region 2 Lower Mainland , Region 3 Thompson, Region
5 Caribou, Region 7a Ominica, Region 8 Okanagan wildlife management changes are
minor to non-existent in reducing hunting opportunity.
Region 4 Kootenay, Region 6 Skeena and Region 7b Peace have implemented modest
wildlife management changes that will do little to reduce hunting opportunity.
Wildlife in British Columbia has lost virtually every important habitat and access
management fight, a point I have made in many letters I have written the last 10 plus
years. Reversing this trend is exceedingly difficult. No stakeholder organization will
voluntarily make concessions for wildlife, therefore reducing hunting opportunity is
the only immediate hope to reverse the decline of wildlife populations!
I will revisit letters and documents that support my argument, one of which I will send
you in the immediate future, an article that appeared in the Nelson Daily April 22, 2014:
Gilpin Grasslands need protection not for quad use.
So how do we best explain/describe the political footprint responsible for the collapse
of sustainable scientific driven wildlife management that has resulted in many
population at historic lows not seen in the modern era of wildlife management on the
North American Continent?
Before its too late: British Columbia needs a science and ecosystem based
approach to wildlife management – the title of a report written by former BC Green
Party Leader and member of the legislative assembly, Andrew Weaver. Andrew has a
PhD in applied mathematics from the University of BC; a professor and prior to his
election to the BC Legislature, was the Canada Research Chair in climate modelling and
analysis at University of Victoria.
He quotes Aldo Leopold, the author of the North American Model of Wildlife
Conservation: One of the key tenets of the model which is now widely applied across
the continent is that “Science- not the dictates of special interest groups- should guide
Andrew Weaver’s journey is an apt description of contempt many British Columbians
have for politicians,bureaucrats and the broken hollow voices of stakeholders who
dominate the wildlife management and habitat fight.
“I have dedicated my life to understanding our world and its problems through
science but have been surprised at how difficult it is to convince governments to
consistently follow science reasoning. While the concept of science- based wildlife
management has generally been endorsed in B.C. it has not always been applied. Many
wildlife populations are in jeopardy to-day. The management of wildlife, and the
application or not of scientific principles continues to stir great controversy and
emotional debate in B.C. Understandably so.”
Is maximizing revenue/money the political curse dominating wildlife management,
the major reason the 2020-2022 Hunting Synopsis has no connection to reality?
- The BC Hunting Regulation Synopsis for 1986-1987 is 64 pages and has two
Advertisements: Minister of Environment Offices and Conservation Service
- Hunting Regulations for 2016-2018 is 134 pages and has 198 advertisements for
hunting equipment and services.
Steve Thomson, minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources management
message on page 2 of the 2016-2018 Hunting and Trapping Synopsis is a reminder that
money is a major driver of natural resource management: “There are some 3,500 active
trappers in the province while B.C.’s 100,000 resident hunters along with guideoutfitters
add some $350 million to the economy each year.”
The Minister’s message is also a reminder that NDP Premier Glen Clark in 1996
sent a letter to Director of Wildlife, Jim Walker demanding more money from the
In my journey to connect with the former Director of Wildlife, Jim Walker my wife
found the letter on the internet, but we didn’t copy the letter and never found it again.
The B.C. Liberal Government of Gordon Campbell after the 2001 provincial election
mandated a 25% reduction in income tax for all British Columbians: George Abbott
Looks Back at the B.C. Liberals New Era, and Doesn’t Like What He Sees The Tyee
Abbott explains how the government’s decision on its first day in office to make a
“dramatic 25 per cent cut to personal income tax rates dictated its path years to follow.
The reduction created a massive hole in the budget that inevitably led to service
cuts, often with damaging results.
“The drive for smaller government through cuts were bigger, faster and deeper created
created the constant damage of moving, as one official put it, from out of the boxthinking
to out-of-your-mind thinking” Abbott writes.
Since the three protected ministries- Health, Education, and Advanced Education
made up 70per cent of the province’s budget, deep cuts had to be made in the resource
and social ministries that make up the rest of provincial spending.
The Hunting Regulation Synopsis 2020-2022 is 132 pages and has 192
advertisements, some small ads are repeated 2/3 times.
NDP Minister of Forests, Lands , Natural Resource Operations and Rural
Development, Doug Donaldson’s message: Public trust in wildlife management is multifaceted
and includes expectations that wildlife will be managed sustainably and
Minister Donaldson’s message of sustainable responsible wildlife management is a
tired old proclamation ignored by the 1996 Glen Clark NDP Government and 2001
Gordon Campbell , BC Liberal Government.
There are three wildlife management reports from different decades, two of which
give good counsel on actions necessary to ensure a healthy future for wildlife and a
report on the result of not heeding good counsel which offers a long weary plan devoid
of decisive action. For the purpose of this newsletter I will minimize the quotes.
Guidelines for Wildlife Policy in Canada , a 1982 publication by a committee of the
Federal and Provincial Wildlife Conference boldly proclaims wildlife is a great
Canadian Heritage, yet too little has been done to ensure it always will be!
Introduction:This document provides direction for the development of wildlife
policies and programs in the future. It expresses the will of Canadians to manage
wildlife for the use and enjoyment of present and succeeding generations.
It is an easy 14 page read in booklet form. The cost $19.50
British Columbia’s Environment, Planning for the Future-Managing Wildlife to 2001:
A Discussion Paper
PREFACE: Managing wildlife to 2001 confronts the issues jeopardizing wildlife and
proposes major management initiatives to ensure a sound and sustainable resource.
Under this “umbrella” document the wildlife program will release key planning products
, including regional wildlife plans, provincial species statements and a land
With respect to the wildlife resource, the concept of sustainable development
translates into maintaining the integrity of natural ecosystems and making sure that the
various uses of wildlife do not exceed the resources’ ability to replenish itself.
Current Uses and Values of Wildlife
Besides its recreational and commercial uses, wildlife benefits British Columbians
by its very presence- whether or not we encounter animals in the field. It is part of our
heritage, making our lives more rich.
“ A message that stirs the blood of every British Columbian forced to bear witness
to the most oppressive , corrupt wildlife in management in the modern era on the North
For bevity’s sake I will continue my critique next newsletter of the August 2020
Together For Wildlife Improving Wildlife Stewardship and Habitat Conservation in
Barry Brandow Sr.