Every year British Columbians purchase 110,000 hunting licenses, 280,000 freshwater angling licenses and 260,000 saltwater angling licenses.
The BC Wildlife Federation will continue to advocate on behalf of its members and the public to ensure public access to recreational and outdoor activities, fish and wildlife resources and Crown land. The BCWF guidelines on how to handle possible blockades or checkpoints can be found below.
As it relates to possible information checkpoints:
- First Nations authority extends to communities. Several communities are closed to people from outside the community. Please avoid all remote communities, unless you are a local.
- First Nations, or Indian Reserves, are considered private property and as such, cannot be entered without permission.
- Respect all checkpoints and COVID-19 safety protocols. The RCMP or Conservation Officer Service will be at some checkpoints to monitor the situation.
As it relates to possible blockades:
- Blockades barring access outside of First Nations communities, title lands, and Indian Reserves are not legal.
- Stay calm and do not be aggressive.
- If approached at a blockade or gate, maintain a physical distance of two metres and consider wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
- Note: The easiest way to document and report a blockade is by using the BCWF Conservation App. Take a photo or video using your app, select the “Block Access” icon. Add additional option informant in the spaces provided. Your report will go directly to the Conservation Officer Service as soon as you are in service.
If you are safely able to do so:
- Photograph and video the location. Any vehicle, structure, or gate that is blocking the road should be photographed.
- Record or write down any licence plate numbers or distinguishing features of vehicles.
- If the protesters are open to a conversation with you, ask, “Are you preventing me from using the road? I want to understand why you are preventing me from using the road? Do you represent an organization? Can you share your name and where you are from?” Photograph or video this interaction, if it can be done safely.
- Take notes of the interaction directly after it is over. Note the location, the individuals (with numbers, descriptions or identities, if known, license plates, etc.), and the content of any conversations. Also, note any impacts of being prevented from accessing the area and the number of people affected by the blockades.
- On a map, mark the location of the blockade and the location of the activities prevented from being undertaken.
- Contact the B.C. Wildlife Federation Office @ 1-888-881-2293 and let us know what is happening.
File a complaint with the local RCMP and Conservation Officer Service. Blockades must be reported to the RCMP and COS to ensure there is a formal record of the complaint.
- Provide copies of documents that describe how your legal rights are being interfered with such as permits, grants, licenses, contracts, including copies of documents.
Your fellow hunters and anglers are counting on you to stay safe and be responsible so that we can all enjoy these activities through these challenging times.
Photo credit: Rhett Noonan