This is a first for me, writing a letter to the editor. I have become aware of a major shift in the allocation of bull elk hunting permits on Vancouver Island in favour of guide outfitters over resident B.C. hunters for 2015 (or wealthy foreigners over the general public).
From what I have read, it appears that the guide outfitter lobby with their contributions to the Liberal party have convinced Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Steve Thomson that it is in the best interests of B.C. resident hunters to reduce their opportunities to hunt one of the most desirable animals on Vancouver Island by almost 20 per cent.
Personally, I have entered the lottery for the privilege to hunt a Roosevelt elk on Vancouver Island for over 25 years with no success and only know of a handful of people who have been successful over that period of time.
Thomson’s own department, during the allocation process, recommended no changes to the allocation of animals. On average, 40 to 50 resident hunters apply for each available bull elk permit on Vancouver Island every year. How does Thompson’s rationale determine that what he has decided is fair?
Perhaps our newly-promoted MLA Michelle Stilwell can ask this question of Thomson when they meet in cabinet and get back to us. It is not only our elk that has seen a shift of allocation in favour of guide outfitters, but all big game throughout the province has been affected in a similar way (potentially 5,000 fewer permits for B.C. residents). The B.C. Wildlife Federation’s website, on its wildlife allocation page, has all the details.
I sincerely hope that this government can realize that wildlife belongs to the Crown (residents of B.C) and not to industry, as they themselves refer to guide outfitters of the foreign and wealthy.
Monty BondQualicum Beach