Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Management (page 40 Report Volume 1)
The Committee heard from several organizations about the need for increased investment and regulations to protect fish and wildlife. The B.C. Wildlife Federation, a conservation organization that promotes the wise use of fish, wildlife and habitat, stated that B.C.’s fish and wildlife management agencies have been understaffed and underfunded. They explained that this has resulted in more species, such as mountain caribou and Chilcotin and Thompson River steelhead, being classified as endangered or facing extinction. They also pointed to the mountain pine beetle epidemic, inadequate fire suppression methods, and climate change as having significant impacts on B.C.’s forest ecosystem.
Several organizations, including the B.C. Wildlife Federation, and the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, stressed the need to increase funding for fish and wildlife habitat conservation, protection and restoration to effectively manage the water and land that fish and wildlife require to prosper. The Spruce City Wildlife Association suggested that rent from natural resource users could be collected for fish and wildlife conservation. Along with the B.C. Wildlife Federation, Regions 7B and 5, they recommended directing fees from hunting and fishing to conservation and management.
Recommendations (page 44 Report Volume 1)
Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Management
- Increase funding for fish and wildlife conservation, management and data collection, including exploring potential revenue sources such as fees from hunting, fishing, natural resource and nature-based tourism enterprises for this purpose.
- Prioritize biodiversity and species preservation to protect and recover species, in consultation with communities, Indigenous peoples and the business sector.
- Advance water sustainability in British Columbia by providing a dedicated, sustainable, annual funding source.
The Committee Members recognized the need to advance water sustainability in British Columbia by providing a dedicated, sustainable, annual funding source. This funding could be directed to Indigenous communities, local governments, local watershed protections agencies, farmers, ranchers, and stakeholders to establish community partnerships on water stewardship. The Committee also noted that B.C.’s coastal communities are facing declining biodiversity, intensifying climate change impacts, and increasing conflicts over resources, and were supportive of conservation efforts for coastal communities.
The call for a Water Security Fund is the legacy of the BCWF’s late Alan Martin, which has been championed by the BCWF and a coalition of provincial water leaders.
Read the full committee report: https://www.leg.bc.ca/parliamentary-business/committees/41stparliament-5thsession-fgs
Read the BCWF submissions: https://bcwf.bc.ca/presentation-to-the-select-standing-committee-on-finance-and-government-services/