The Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia has announced a five-year, $250,000 commitment to a new provincial Wildlife Stewardship Partner Program, demonstrating the role of the hunter conservationist in wildlife management.
The Wildlife Stewardship Partner Program will provide annual funding of $50,000 per year for community-based wildlife stewardship initiatives.
“Recently, the hunting community has been facing unprecedented attacks in the media. Anti-hunting activists, including some in the provincial and national media, are attempting to impose their own personal beliefs and opinions on the hunting community,” GOABC reported. “They are attempting to divide hunters based on their citizenship, financial position or hunting motivations, believing a house divided cannot stand.”
Hunters, however, are united in their commitment to sustainable, science-based wildlife management for the benefit of wildlife. Hunting is an important part of the social fabric and economy of rural communities, and hunters do not only hunt for the benefit of organic, healthy meat, they hunt for the social, recreational and spiritual aspects of hunting.
Hunters are not mere observers of nature, they are participants. Sustainable hunting is recognized worldwide as an important tool in wildlife management, including population control and to reduce animal habituation.
“The GOABC supports sustainable hunting and the public right to hunt and fish,” the association reported. “We endorse the Province of BC’s science-based, precautionary, and risk-adverse approach to wildlife harvest, and its commitment to conservation, respect for First Nations harvest needs and the Public Right to Hunt and Fish. We continue to support the ethical and sustainable harvest of all big game species, including grizzly bear hunting and predator control programs British Columbia.
Hunting enjoys strong support and wide ranging acceptance due to the passion and stringent ethical standards amongst hunters. A recent Insights West poll reported 72% to 80% of British Columbians support hunting for sustenance reasons. The fair chase hunting tradition is strong, united and here to stay.”
This initiative is another example of hunters giving back to benefit wildlife. The Wildlife Stewardship Partner Program (WSPP) is designed to enhance partnerships between hunters, First Nations and others who care about wildlife. WSPP funds can be used as seed dollars to leverage larger projects, professional fees to design projects for submission to Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and other funding organizations, and education programs on the sustainable use of wildlife.
For more information, please contact Scott Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-541-6332.