Stakeholders in hunting and wildlife across B.C. have come together to form The Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Coalition, and are calling on the government to do its part in making B.C. a world leader in wildlife, fish, and habitat management once again.
"The group is seeking a commitment from the province to invest in healthy landscapes, waters, and fish and wildlife stewardship, in partnership with First Nations and communities," reads a press release from the coalition.
The coalition is acting out of a collective concern regarding the decline of fish, wildlife, and habitat management.
Work the coalition will focus on includes creating legislation that protects these three areas, increasing funding, creating a new governing model, and having the needs of fish and wildlife be met in new legislation.
“In a generation of people, B.C. has gone from being a global leader in fish, wildlife and habitat conservation, to a landscape which can be characterized as at risk, endangered and extirpated. Whether it's salmon, steelhead, old-growth, moose, or caribou, B.C. has never been in such poor shape. The coalition represents a broad realization that we need to set aside what divides us and work together on what's important: the conservation, restoration, and protection of fish, wildlife and habitat,” said Jesse Zeman of the B.C. Wildlife Federation.
Some of the groups making up the coalition are the Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia, the BC Wildlife Federation, Hunters for BC - SCI, and Ducks Unlimited Canada. The Peace Region is represented by Gerry Paille (Chair of the BC Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Committee and Regional President) and Evan Saugstad of Hunters for BC, both from Fort St. John.
“I am pleased to see so many groups come together for the benefit of fish, wildlife and habitat. They have been taken for granted for too many years. Abundant fish and wildlife should be the indicator of a healthy forest," said Scott Ellis, Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia.
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