FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2020
Today, the BC Government announced that some BC Parks will be open for day use in time for the May 15 long weekend and overnight camping in June. This is great news for people who are looking to connect with nature and decompress from the stress associated with COVID-19. Read more about parks and recreation sites here.
Over the past month, the BC Wildlife Federation and partners have engaged various levels of government and the Provincial Health Officer to advocate the benefits of hunting, fishing, camping, and enjoying Super, Natural BC within the constraints of COVID-19. In consultation with the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), the provincial government recently added hunting and fishing to the “List of Essential Services”.
The plan to open BC parks up to local day use is great news, but also means we have to continue to be responsible. The next phase of opening camp sites for overnight stays depends on the success of maintaining physical distancing and limiting non-essential travel.
BCWF President Bill Bosch said, “Dr. Henry has been clear: Going outside is good for our physical and mental health. The BC Parks system provides low cost, COVID-safe recreation, which allows British Columbians to reconnect with nature. This decision will reduce pressure on municipal boat launches and parks, spreading people out, reducing anxiety related to crowding.”
The BCWF asks licensed hunters and anglers to inform themselves with regards to the PHO guidelines. Advice and information on hunting and fishing responsibly can be found on the BCWF website and the BC Government website. We have answered your frequently asked questions here.
The BC Wildlife Federation will continue to advocate on behalf of hikers, campers, hunters, and anglers with various levels of government. The BCWF is encouraged that the provincial government is finding ways to allow British Columbians to stay local, get outside safely and enjoy our public spaces, especially in provincial parks. It is imperative that British Columbians have access to outdoor areas to secure healthy, organic protein, and give them a physical and mental reprieve from the effects of COVID-19.
Every year British Columbians purchase 110,000 hunting licenses, 280,000 freshwater angling licenses and 260,000 saltwater angling licenses. Your fellow hikers, hunters and anglers are counting on you to be responsible, so that we can all enjoy these activities through these challenging times.
Please stay local, stay safe, and be responsible.
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Learn more about B.C.’s plan to restart the economy amid COVID-19 here.