“You're talking to a shocked MLA,” said Dan Davies, when asked about his thoughts on new provincial hunting restrictions and guidelines unveiled by the province Thursday.
“One would think that, we as the MLAs that it's impacting, would be more engaged in this. We never found out until everyone else found out,” said Davies.
“There are a lot of people that live on the land. This is really going to impact many families across the northeast.”
The B.C. government announced a number of hunting closures and changes to regulations in the region.
According to a release from the Ministry of Forests, the province says moose hunting will be restricted to limited entry hunting in the Peace Region for one year.
General open season on moose hunting in the Peace region runs from Aug. 15 to Oct. 31, but the province says moose hunting will also exclude August, and that there will be a full closure during peak mating season from Oct. 1 to 15, 2022.
The Peace Moberly Tract and Moose Lake will be closed to hunting and all caribou hunts have been suspended.
And, further north in the Liard and Northeast Rockies region, the province says moose hunting will be permitted in remote regions and areas without roads.
It won't, however, be restricted by limited entry hunting.
The province says that decision will be revisited next year.
“The challenge, in part, is this isn't based on science and that's all we've asked. If there are scientific reasons that moose populations are in danger, then show us. That's all people want to know,” emphasized Davies.
"These decisions were informed by extensive engagement with the public, First Nations, the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia and the BC Wildlife Federation," the ministry said in its release.
"The hunting regulation changes in northeastern B.C. are an interim measure and part of broader actions to improve wildlife stewardship, uphold Treaty rights and enhance habitat conservation."
Davies can't agree.
“This is purely the government that has led this whole discussion. It's not been transparent and it's impacting average families throughout our region.”
- with files from Matt Preprost
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