The BC Wildlife Federation has launched an online petition calling on the BC government to increase funding and to set objectives for our fish, wildlife and habitat.
BC is one of the most biodiverse jurisdictions in North America and at the same time one of the most under-funded.
The intent of the petition is to convey the importance British Columbians place on fish, wildlife and habitat.
Sign the petition HERE
British Columbia (BC) is home to more than half of all fish and wildlife species in Canada. We are losing the unique and abundant biodiversity that makes our province special - and the resources available to stem these declines have been shunted to other areas of government spending.
Declining Fish, Wildlife and Habitat
- The human population of BC nearly doubled between 1975 and 2015, from 2.5 to 4.7 million people, putting tremendous pressure on fish and wildlife habitat
- The endangered mountain caribou are in decline across most of BC; multiple populations now number less than 50
- Moose, elk, and mule deer are declining across many parts of BC. For example, from 1989 to 2014 resident hunter moose harvest declined from 13,000 to 5,000.
- Over 85% of wetlands in the Lower Mainland and the South Okanagan have been lost, removing critical habitat for amphibians, reptiles, fish, and birds - and altering the role these habitats play in cleaning our drinking water
- Kootenay and Arrow Lake kokanee and rainbow trout are at record lows
- Thompson and Chilko River steelhead have declined from over 6,000 fish in 1985 to 600 today; they are now at a record low, and classified as extreme conservation concern
- In spite of these declines, there are no mandated population objectives or goals for fish and wildlife populations
Funding for Fish and Wildlife Management
- BC has one of the most under-funded and under-staffed fish and wildlife management agencies in North America
- BC is one of the only jurisdictions in North America without a dedicated funding model for wildlife management
- From 1984-2010 the number of full-time equivalents (employees) in the Ministry of Environment went from 2,116 to 1,533
- From 1998-2011 the provincial government's budget doubled while funding for renewable resource ministries was cut by 56%
- Only 18% ($2.6 million) of the $14.5 million collected through hunting licence fees are dedicated to BC's fund for fish and wildlife conservation - the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation
- Non-renewable natural resource extraction will have a long-term negative effect on biodiversity and there is no mechanism in place to compensate for these losses
- Activities such as ecotourism, wildlife viewing, mining, heli-skiing, oil and gas, and logging should all contribute to natural resource and biodiversity conservation
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