News & Updates

February 20th, 2018

BC Budget A Step Forward for Wildlife


The BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) commends the B.C. Government for committing to A New Provincial Wildlife Management Strategy over the fiscal plan period, 2018 to 2021:

· New funding of $14 million is provided to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNROD) to enhance planning and management with the objective of improved protection and recovery measures for wildlife populations.

· The new wildlife management strategy will support inventory monitoring as well as habitat and biodiversity conservation. This work will be done in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, stakeholders and communities.

Click Here to READ MORE

February 13th, 2018

Interior Fraser Steelhead Trout at Risk of Extinction

Due to the extreme decline of mature spawning Thompson and Chilcotin River Steelhead Trout, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has conducted an emergency threat assessment which concluded today that the two populations of sea-going Steelhead Trout are at imminent risk of extinction. Both populations were assessed as Endangered following the seldom-used fast-track emergency assessment process. BCWF President Harvey Andrusak said, “We fully support the call for emergency listing of the Thompson Chilcotin river system's breeding steelhead under the federal Species At Risk Act (SARA). We are pleased that an independent committee has confirmed that the species need to have all the protection afforded by the SARA in order to save these fish from extinction."

Click Here to TAKE ACTION and find out more

February 7th, 2018

The BC Wildlife Federation supports Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) proposed amendments to the Fisheries Act

BCWF Responds to the Fishery Act Amendments


The changes proposed will strengthen fish habitat and stock rebuilding requirements, and improve public transparency around any authorization decisions. The BCWF made a number of these recommendations as part of the consultation process in 2012, and wants to see these amendments move forward. The changes still have to go through the federal Committee and Senate processes for approval prior to summer recess.
The Fisheries Act amendments address some of the fisheries issues the BCWF has brought up with DFO, such as the ability to put in place targeted short-term fisheries restrictions to be able to quickly and effectively respond to unforeseen conservation and management issues. The ability for DFO to create long and short term restrictions will help to protect threatened species like the Interior Fraser steelhead. 

The BCWF is optimistic that the announcement of additional funding to implement and enforce the Act will help to improve government’s enforcement and monitoring capacity on the water and for projects. The proposed amendments must be supported and implemented to make sure B.C.’s precious fish stocks and fish habitat are protected and sustained.



February 2nd, 2018

BC Wildlife Federation Wetlands Education Program Win - Wetlands Restoration on Halleran Property

As featured today on the Vancouver Aquarium Aquablog - The BC Wildlife Federation’s Wetlands Program secured the funding and coordinated restoration in 2014 and 2016 to restore wetlands on the Halleran property. Several open houses and public tours were provided – which helped instigate interest in wetland stewardship from neighboring properties.

By 2018, there are 4 private land owners who have collaborated with BC Wildlife Federation on restoring wetlands in Meadow Creek. Two property owners have active agricultural business and the other is the Nature Trust of BC. The Meadow Creek region is considered a high priority area for wetland conservation and restoration due to historic habitat loss, combined with the opportunity to provide highly valuable habitat for species.

The works have resulted in a complex of wetland habitat that is supporting a variety of wildlife. This past January additional works were under way on Nature Trust of BC property. There are additional plans to do more enhancement on the Halleran property this year – pending funding. Funding for current projects was provided from multiple grants: National Wetland Conservation Fund, Environment & Climate Change Canada, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Columbia Basin Trust, & Wildlife Habitat Canada.

Learn more about the BC Wildlife Federation Wetlands Education Program


February 1st, 2018

Social Media Scrapbooking Tips

Recent fish and wildlife management decisions have stirred up hot debate among people worried about losing the species that make British Columbia special. Jesse Zeman has spent the last few months talking with media, politicians and people from urban and rural communities across the province. Jesse has condensed his recommendations for how YOU can help move the discussion forward to focus everyone on the actions that will truly benefit fish and wildlife and wild places.

Click Here to Read Social Media Tips from Jesse Zeman

February 1st, 2018

Private Development Puts Summerland Hatchery at Risk

The Summerland Trout Hatchery has been raising fish in its current location since 1928. Each year the hatchery raises and releases one million fish into 300 lakes throughout the Thompson Okanagan Region. The Summerland Hatchery relies on Shaughnessy Spring water, which flows by gravity into the hatchery. The pristine water source the hatchery relies on is being threatened by a proposed development for a private, for-profit health care facility.

The proposed development is located in an Environmentally Sensitive and High Hazard Development Permit Area, known for unpredictable soil shifts. The development, which requires shifting the land from Agricultural Reserve to CD8 High Density Zoning, has the potential to impact the aquifer it would be adjacent to. Any threat that could impact Shaughnessy Spring, such as sloughing or prolonged periods of turbidity, will have direct consequences on the fish produced by the hatchery and the recreational fisheries around the region.

This is not just a local issue; recreational fishing in the Thompson Okanagan Region, which is supported in large part by the lakes stocked by the Summerland Hatchery, generates over $100 million annually.

Get Involved on February 5, 2018 at the SUMMERLAND PUBLIC HEARINGS 1:30-4:30 and 6:30-9:30 pm - Arena Banquet Room, 8820 Jubilee Road

January 16th, 2018

BCWF Responds to Public Input Process

The B.C. Government has been asking the public for input about hunting, fishing and the management of landscapes and watersheds. The time-frame for comment began over the holidays and ends January 19, 2018. The BC Wildlife Federation has prepared comment and recommendations that may assist our members in their responses.

Read the BCWF response to the hunting, trapping and fishing engagement surveyHere


Read the BCWF response to the Professional Reliance engagement process Here


January 5th, 2018

BCWF Response to Provincial Government

Government’s recent decisions on fish and wildlife management issues are of great concern to the BC Wildlife Federation. President Harvey Andrusak has written to the Premier, asking, "Does government intend to continue to make decisions on wildlife management based on populism rather than on science?"

Continued decision making based on populism is inherently dangerous, ill-advised and has already had a demoralizing impact on government biologists who believed that science was the underlying premise of fish and wildlife management in British Columbia.

Read the BCWF news release Here

December 19th, 2017

BCWF Response to Grizzly Hunting Ban

Using post-truth era consultative techniques the B.C. government has now decided to ban grizzly bear hunting to all but First Nations hunters. Government had said it was only going to ban the “trophy hunting of grizzly bears”, but has now changed its mind, and is banning grizzly bear hunting.

“This is the most disingenuous approach to forming public policy I have ever seen during my career inside and outside government,” said BC Wildlife Federation president Harvey Andrusak. “Government was very clear with the BCWF, that this consultative process was solely about what to do with grizzly “trophy parts”, and that discussion about the hunt itself was not the issue. The government deceived us."

Read the BCWF news release Here

December 12th, 2017

Emergency Assessment for Interior Fraser Steelhead under COSEWIC

The federal Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) decided to conduct an emergency assessment of British Columbia interior steelhead rainbow, which includes the Chilcotin/Thompson populations, with the expectation that they may be listed under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). This follows the recently-released Committee’s status report on 10 populations of sockeye in the Fraser River watershed categorizing eight of them as Endangered and two of them as Threatened. The COSEWIC Assessment Committee will report out within two months on the status of the Interior steelhead trout.

The BC Wildlife Federation interprets the emergency assessment as a positive response from the ministers and the parliamentary secretaries from the West Coast. The BCWF and sports fishing partners, the BC Federation of Fly Fishers (BCFFF), BC Federation of Drift Fishers (BCFDF) and the Steelhead Society of BC (SSBC), are pleased to see this moving forward.

Read the BCWF news release Here

December 11th, 2017

BC Wildlife Federation Response to the Decision to Proceed with Site C Dam Construction

The BC Wildlife Federation fully expects the government will direct BC Hydro to compensate for significant losses of fish, wildlife and their habitats as a result of construction of the Site C Dam project. The BCWF position is that the impacts have not been adequately mitigated or off set for upstream impoundments, let alone Site C. The public is reminded that BC Hydro never came close to adequately compensating for losses due to the Peace Dam which was far greater in size and impact than Site C. The existing Peace/Williston Compensation Program requires a complete overhaul and appointment of a BCWF representative on the Board.

Fish and Wildlife Compensation Programs, (FWCP) continue to be an issue for the BC Wildlife Federation. The mandate of the compensation programs to address fish and wildlife losses appears to be diluted in terms of larger cumulative effects in the Columbia and Peace Basins. These FWCP programs have lost their way—they are supposed to restore fish and wildlife habitat and populations impacted by hydro developments. Instead funds are being spent on non-impacted resources and funds are being used to promote BC Hydro’s image. The funds are administered by BC Hydro and this is akin to having the coyote look after the chicken coop.

It was the BCWF in the 1980s that was instrumental in formation of these programs yet BCWF continued to be denied representation on the three Boards. Recent meetings with BC Hydro have been unproductive and the government representatives sit in silence evidently supportive of BC Hydro’s dominance of Board decision making. For a decade the BCWF has advocated that the compensation funds should be held and administered by a third party to ensure transparency and openness.

For more information, please contact

BCWF President Harvey Andrusak  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    Phone: 250-551-3674

President BCWF Region 7B Peace Gerry Paille Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   Phone: 250-262-1612

December 8th, 2017

2017 Federal By Election Questions

In preparation for the federal by election in South Surrey-White Rock on Dec, 11, 2017, the BC Wildlife Federation developed four questions for the seven political parties and individual candidates to answer. Here are their responses to our questions so BCWF members can see where the candidates in this key constituency stand on issues facing our fish and wildlife and their habitats.

British Columbia is fortunate to have a rich diversity of fish and wildlife resources and the provincial motto since 1895 is Splendor Sine Occasu--meaning “Splendour without Diminishment”, but it is disappearing:

• Over 85 per cent of wetlands in the Lower Mainland have been lost. Wetlands provide critical habitat for amphibians, reptiles, fish, birds and other wildlife and serve as the “canary in the coalmine” for landscape and watershed sustainability.

• The “Heart of the Fraser” is subject to development pressures that will affect both aquatic and terrestrial habitat, and seriously jeopardize the productivity of salmon and sturgeon stocks.

• Chilcotin and Thompson steelhead, iconic fish for British Columbia face total fishing closures and serious habitat threats as do other salmon species.

The BCWF is concerned that we are failing to adequately protect our province’s natural resources. There are federal 42 electoral districts in B.C. and, while each district has its own challenges, we need to work collaboratively to ensure the increasing human footprint on our province does not diminish our natural capital.

The following questions address the policy challenges and opportunities that we face in maintaining B.C.’s diversity of species over the long-term locally, provincially and nationally by the parties and their candidates.

Read the 2017 Federal By Election Questions and Answers Here

December 5th, 2017

Salmon Spawning Gravel Removal Needs to Stop on the Vedder River

The Vedder-Chilliwack River comprises the most important angling stream in regards to angler days in British Columbia. It is the cornerstone of the Lower Mainland’s salmon and steelhead fisheries. Nevertheless, it is a watershed that has suffered considerably in terms of human impacts to its habitat capacity. The BC Wildlife Federation is extremely concerned that ongoing gravel removal in the Vedder is damaging and a needless impact on the river system.

BCWF president Harvey Andrusak said, “Given our continuing collapse of salmon and steelhead stocks in the Fraser River and other parts of the Greater Georgia Basin, the BC Wildlife Federation stands firm against such damaging activities to our natural resources such as the unwarranted ongoing Vedder River and Canal gravel extractions. “

The BC Wildlife Federation and a number of stewardship groups met with three levels of government on November 27, 2017 about the Vedder River Management Area Plan and the Sediment Removal program and process. BCWF director Phillip Milligan and Dr. Marvin Rosenau, BCWF committee advisor on fisheries issues, attended the meeting with the Cities of Abbotsford, Chilliwack and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNROD). Dr. Rosenau pointed out that one impact to the river that seems avoidable is the removal of gravel from its lower reaches every two years to provide freeboard for flood protection.

Read the BCWF news release Here

November 29th, 2017

DFO Management Neglect West Coast Interior Fraser Steelhead

The BC Wildlife Federation is sounding the alarm about the current management of threatened Thompson and Chilcotin steelhead stocks. Despite record low returns for these steelhead populations in 2017, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has allowed gillnet and seine net fishing of chum salmon, the only controllable source of mortality of Interior Fraser steelhead.

The current spawning population forecast for the Thompson watershed steelhead is 145 and the current spawning population for the Chilcotin is 45. An equal number of these fish is estimated to be removed as by-catch in the chum fisheries.

BCWF president Harvey Andrusak slammed the DFO for applying uneven and conflicting policies when it comes to managing salmon. Andrusak said, “The Fraser River chum salmon fisheries are well documented as the primary reason why Fraser River steelhead bound for the Thompson and Chilcotin rivers are now in a state of Extreme Conservation Concern as identified by provincial biologists."

Read the BCWF news release Here

November 24th, 2017

Addressing Extreme Conservation Concern on Steelhead Stocks

The B.C. chum salmon fishery is certified sustainable under the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ecolabel program. But seine net and gillnet chum fisheries, which take three quarters of the chum commercial catch, are threatening endangered Thompson and Chilcotin river steelhead.

Catches to date of steelhead in test fisheries continue to suggest that Fraser River late-run summer steelhead stocks are at extremely low levels of abundance and in a state of Extreme Conservation Concern. The current spawning population forecast for the Thompson watershed is 145 and the current spawning population for the Chilcotin is 45. These forecasts represent record low spawning abundances. An equal number of these fish is estimated to be removed as by-catch in the chum fisheries.

The BCWF, BC Federation of Fly Fishers (BCFFF), BC Federation of Drift Fishers (BCFDF), Steelhead Society of BC (SSBC) also wrote to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Minister LeBlanc on November 16, 2017 to request a review for an Emergency Listing Order under the Species At Risk Act for Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead. There are a number of factors that have led to the decline of steelhead that need to be addressed. However, given the current status of the populations and non-selective fishing impacts of the chum fishery on escapement, the steelhead population crisis demands our immediate attention and action..

BCWF President Harvey Andrusak said, “The genetic diversity and habitat of the Thompson Chilcotin steelhead should be the highest priority in resource management decision making. This is not happening and we risk losing this species completely if we continue to allow the chum fishery to unintentionally impact this vulnerable population.”

Read the BCWF news release 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 8th, 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 1st, 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 25th, 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 24th, 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 18th, 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

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

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

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Phone: (250) 387-8347

October 11th, 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 3rd, 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 27th, 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 26th, 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 19th, 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 8th, 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 8th, 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 7th, 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

The BCWF Response to Provincial Government Announcement to End Grizzly Trophy Hunt

The provincial government has announced they will end grizzly bear trophy hunting throughout the province and stop all hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest after November 2017.

Hunting grizzlies for meat outside the Great Bear Rainforest is not included in the ban, but the government has said they will forbid a meat hunter from possessing the paws, head, and hide of a grizzly. This announcement is inconsistent with the North American Wildlife Conservation Model, which stipulates harvested wildlife should be used for legitimate purposes, including retrieving the fur and meat where usable. Requiring hunters or anglers to throw useable portions of their harvest away is wasteful and inconsistent with sustainable use.

Harvey Andrusak, President of the BCWF said, “The province must maintain a science-based hunt to determine if there is a sustainable harvest which includes the opportunity for hunters to utilize all portions of any animal or fish harvested. We cannot be managing fish and wildlife on a one-off basis. All wildlife management must be consistent with science-based recommendations.”

Biological data obtained from the hide and skull provides critical data to scientists. BCWF staff and executive met with government representatives yesterday to stress the importance of making sure experts maintain the opportunity to obtain valuable data from any animal harvested. The government has said they will meet with First Nations and all affected groups in the fall and the federation will be continuing to stand up strongly for science-based management of all wildlife species.

The BCWF supports a regional roundtable approach, with specific conservation measures and social considerations discussed with residents, First Nations, commercial and recreational sector representatives before wildlife management policy is changed or adopted.

We need your help! To be effective, members need to speak with their MLAs to educate them about this issue and stress the importance of maintaining hunting practices that do not waste any part of any animal taken. Find your MLA here. 

BCWF Resident Priority Program manager Jesse Zeman participated in a panel discussion on CBC Almanac at noon on August 15, 2017, stressing these points and advocating for adequate funding for wildlife management in BC.

President of the BCWF- affiliated Spruce City Wildlife Association Steve Hamilton was featured in this story in the Vancouver Sun.

The BC Wildlife Federation will continue to support recovery efforts for grizzly bears in areas where populations are under threat and to advocate for increased funding and science for wildlife management in BC.