He explained that the allocation policy was signed in 2009 by the government,
the guide outfitters and resident hunters, and was to be implemented in 2012.
He added that it took three years to negotiate.
allocation split between different species. When it came to moose, for example,
the formula indicated that 75% went to resident hunters and 24% to guide
outfitters,” he explained.
“It gave everybody a chance to work into it for the three years leading up to
2012. Part of the agreement is that if one user group does not harvest their
percentage, some of it would be re-allocated to the other group.”
He said that what’s happened locally is that resident hunters have now been
allocated an additional 9% from guide outfitters, who didn’t reach their
harvest percentage. “This means that in 2012 the guide outfitters would get 18%
and the resident hunters would get 82%.
“The guide outfitters were unhappy with the change in allocation. These are
tough economic times and some of them couldn’t get the American hunters up
here. The cost of travel is up, so they’re just not selling their hunts,” he
“The outfitters complained: they now want changes to the allocation policy
because it’s ‘unfair’ to them.”
He said that the government buckled under pressure from the outfitters and
ordered an independent review, resulting in a report by Chris Trumpy, formerly
from the Ministry of the Environment. “He came back and made a bunch of
recommendations that favoured the guide outfitters and we came back and said,
‘No—it’s a negotiated, signed deal.’
“The government sat on this for a year, while the hunters and outfitters
pressured them to make a decision. Then we’d at least know where the battle
lines were drawn. Finally, the press release about allocation came out last
He said that resident hunters haven’t responded yet, adding that this new
policy will give flexibility to the regional Resource Management office of the
Ministry of Forests to adjust guide outfitter quotas under ‘extenuating
circumstances’ which would come directly off resident hunter quotas.
“We’re concerned that this would include ‘back-door deals’ and we’re
currently attempting to get some clarification on this. For example, we want to
know if this clause will be interpreted the same way in Williams Lake as it is
in Cranbrook,” he stated.
“Our argument is, ‘We negotiated this policy in good faith and you agreed to
it. If you can’t maintain your business and need the government to change
policy for you, well, imagine what would happen if retail stores and
restaurants could go to the government and say they needed subsidizing because
of the economy,” he concluded.
“If you can’t get hunters to buy the hunt, extra allocation isn’t going to do
you any good anyway.”