The province has announced all hunting licence revenue will be re-invested to enhance wildlife management activities.
Based on input from stakeholders over the last few years, the government will form a new agency in fall 2017 with startup funds of $5 million. The agency subsequently would be supported by hunting licence revenues of $9 million to $10 million each year.
Currently, hunting licence revenues support a number of government activities. Hunting licence surcharges totalling more than $2.6 million annually would still be dedicated to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for its conservation projects.
To determine the governance model and investment priorities for the new agency, government has budgeted $200,000 to support a process to engage with key wildlife stakeholder groups, First Nations and the public later this spring.
The shift toward a stand-alone agency builds on previous accomplishments in enhancing wildlife management, including: finalizing the wildlife allocation policy; implementing a moose enhancement strategy; bringing in an e-licensing system; and increasing First Nations’ participation in wildlife management. The collaborative process used to produce the 2016 moose enhancement strategy also identified how B.C.’s wildlife management framework could be modernized.
Wildlife populations are managed on the principle of “conservation first.” Currently, the ministry spends over $18 million per year on wildlife management activities.