Several Okanagan families and members of the Oceola Fish and Game Club presented over 740 letters to staff at B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s office on Thursday afternoon in a continued push to try and have the government’s Wildlife Allocation Policy re-visited before it is put into law.
Three local fish and game club’s collected the letters last weekend, written in opposition to the Wildlife Allocation Policy that splits the available hunting resource between resident and non-resident hunters. Along with the letters, the group also collected over 1,000 signatures on a petition at the peaceful protest on Saturday in West Kelowna.
Sean Richardson of the Oceola club said more than 1,000 people showed up at the protest adding he’s hopeful the sheer number of letters and signatures gathered by the group will be enough to have the government take another look at the issue.
“I would hope the government would be willing to listen to the people that voted them into office,” said Richardson. “Just the number of people that showed up the other day out-numbers the outfitters in the province more than 5 to 1.”
The province has been moving towards legislated splits in the percentage of the hunting take in the province between B.C. hunters and guide-outfitters in B.C., who represent non-resident hunters. Depending on the species and the region, the allocation ranges from an 80-20 split with resident hunters taking the larger portion to as high as 60-40 for species such as grizzly bear.
The government as well as the B.C. Guide Outfitters Association says the new splits represent just a small decrease in the hunting opportunity for B.C. residents while serving to revive the guide-outfitting industry.
Hunting organizations on the other hand say the guides are being given too much of a take in a system that already makes it difficult to hunt for certain species.