Change to hunting policies: Guide Outfitters of B.C. says there’s no impact on locals

first_img“There are approximately 100,000 resident hunters in the province and approximately 5,000 guided clients,” says Ellis. “That generates a total of $350 million in revenue – about $230 million comes from the resident hunting community – $120 million comes from the non-resident or guided community.”Ellis adds the important role guided hunters play within the tourism industry.“British Columbia is a destination that a lot of people want to come to; there’s a wide variety of game, it’s very clean, It’s very safe, it’s English speaking, and it’s on a lot of people’s bucket list.”The northern region of B.C. also has its own unique game that many hunters are after, says Ellis.Advertisement “The predominate reason to come to the Peace – the number one I say would be – well the number one and two non-resident licence sales are black bear and moose, but there’s a lot of sheep in the north people are pretty passionate about – love to come here for – a lot of people come for elk as well.”Ellis says he does however understand why resident hunters of northern B.C. find the issue of non-resident hunting allocation to be so contentious.“I think most British Columbians actually are concerned about wildlife, so whenever there’s a decision made around the sharing of wildlife or the harvesting of wildlife – those are both very compassionate decisions …they have very, very strong opinions and feelings towards wildlife and how they’re managed.” “Of the 17,000-ish LEH – so those are the draws – and again, only grizzly bears in the north, this is potentially a loss of about 600 – so about a 3.5 per cent loss,” explains Scott Ellis, the executive director for the Guide Outfitters of B.C. “So what see, really around the province, is no significant impact whatsoever to resident hunter opportunity.”Ellis says the final decision made by the province after consulting with the B.C. Wildlife Federation, The Guide Outfitters of B.C. and the B.C. Trappers Association, was not made hastily.“Ten years in the process of negotiating, and discussing, and coming up with a fair and balanced decision around the species that need to be allocated, and what share should go to the guided community and what share should go to the resident hunting community,” says Ellis.- Advertisement -Hunting policies have been an issue in B.C. for nearly 15 years, with meeting continuously being held between the Wildlife Federation and the Guide Outfitters – using Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Steve Thomson as a mediator.After ten years of negotiations, Minister Thomson made the decision for them – which has now raised the concern of various organizations about the possible decrease in local hunting permits and an increase for outfitters.Ellis goes on to explain the impact of the outfitters on the provincial economy.Advertisementlast_img read more