Saturday, 30 June 2018

Response from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development



Yesterday I received the following response from a registered professional Biologist from the Ministry responsible for hunting issues, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development.  I am not going to post the contact information or the name of the biologist so that I can start to develop a rapport with them on issues, but it just goes to show that if you are persistent, you will be heard.

Dear Alex,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding wildlife and habitat engagement. I’m currently working on the initiative to improve wildlife management and habitat conservation, and have been asked to respond.

Our government is committed to improving wildlife management and habitat conservation in BC, and will be developing policy options starting this fall to deliver on this mandate. This initiative is one of the top priorities for our Minister for this year.

As you know, our government committed to increasing funding for the Provincial Wildlife Management Strategy. Although the allocation is modest this year ($1M), there is a commitment to increase funds over the next two years ($3M for 2019/20 and $10M for 2020/21). However we recognize that even this commitment will likely not be sufficient to meet the expectations of British Columbians for substantial on the ground change. Hence we are exploring many of the opportunities you recommend for generating additional funding. I will send your excellent list of suggestions to the team that is currently exploring funding models.

Please continue to visit our website to share your thoughtful comments and ideas. Your input will contribute to the success of a new strategy moving forward.

Sincerely,

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

XXXXXXXXXXX, MSc, RPBio
Wildlife and Habitat Branch
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development
Phone: XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXX@gov.bc.ca

From: Alex Johnson [mailto:XXXXXXXXXX@gmail.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 6, 2018 7:31 AM
To: OfficeofthePremier, Office PREM:EX; Executive Division Office, FLNR:EX; Minister, FLNR FLNR:EX; Minister, ENV ENV:EX
Subject: 239966 Wildlife and Habitat Engagement

Alex Johnson
XXXXXXXX
New Westminster, BC
XXXXXX
(XXX) XXX-XXXX
June 6, 2018

Dear Premier Horgan, Minister Donaldson, and Minister Heyman

Re: Wildlife and Habitat Engagement

I am writing this letter to ask you to continue to ensure habitat and wildlife issues are a priority for this government and to support addressing all 8 of the challenges, and the associated objectives, discussed in the “Wildlife and Habitat Engagement” which is being undertaken by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. As a hunter, I fully support the efforts to address all 8 challenges and I support the direction that the provincial government and the ministry are taking regarding these issues. 

Similarly, I appreciate, and I fully support, the Provincial Caribou Recovery program. The action taken so far to engage the public and raise awareness is a critical first step. I have attached some infographics from the BCWF as well as some photos of the caribou that are blinking out of existence in BC. Caribou in BC are in crisis and urgent action is needed. 

Both initiatives as well as the modest funding increase in the last budget show that this government is willing to take action on critical matters of habitat protection and restoration in order to save species which are in crisis in BC. Thank you.

Now is the time to redouble the effort on these issues to achieve real lasting success. BC’s plants and animals depend on it. I fear these issues will run out of steam after the consultation is finished, like so many initiatives did with the previous government. I hope desperately that this government will be the first in in my lifetime to make real progress in restoring habitat and wildlife population numbers. 

This can only happen with the necessary funding. There are numerous methods other jurisdictions use to secure stable and sufficient funding to implement meaningful action on habitat and wildlife issues. 

These include, fees or funds from resource extraction, fees on tourism activities such as whale and bear viewing, ski passes, park and trail access fees, hunting and angling license fees, excise taxes on the sale of outdoor and sporting equipment including skis, snowboards, mountain and dirt bikes, ATVs, boats, and snowmobiles. Please fulfill both the NDP campaign promise to earmark 100% of license fees for conservation as well as implement some or all additional funding sources available. Neighbouring jurisdictions are able to reach hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from these sources.

Please continue to keep habitat and wildlife a priority for this government.

Sincerely,

Alex Johnson

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