BCWF Report for June 2018

BCWF Report

Parksville Qualicum Fish & Game Assn.

June, 2018 

BCWF Action Fund

Last May 26 our club hosted the annual “All Round” shoot which is a fundraiser for the BCWF Action Fund at the Dorman Range.  Registration was capped at 80 shooters so some latecomers were turned away; unfortunate but it doesn’t work for a large number.  The weather was great, the lunch was up to high standard and we generated a bit over $3200 for the Action Fund.

The purpose of the BCWF Action Fund is to defend public access rights to lands and resources in BC.  The “Fund” is our members main resource for funding court action against illegal obstruction to public access to waterways in the Douglas Lake area of the Province.   Our participation in the BC Court of Appeal to support the decision by DFO to raise the resident angler allocation of halibut from 8% to 12% is a prime example where BCWF Action Fund support was important.  Legal costs for a Court Injunction to remove blockades to resident hunters in the Klappan River area also came from the BCWF Action Fund. These initiatives, of course, deplete the Action Fund and it needs ongoing replenishment as long as illegal obstructions to our free access to public lands and waters continue to threaten or deny our rightful legacy as Canadians.  There is no other source of revenue for the Action Fund except from members and clubs like ours.

Bill C 71

The BCWF has coordinated and consulted with the other Canada Wildlife Federation (CWF) Affiliates regarding concerns with Bill C-71 and bringing them to the governments attention.

Although most wildlife federations asked to testify before the Standing Committee for Public Safety and National Defence, only the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) received an invitation.  OFAH consulted with the other federations and their submission was unanimously endorsed by all CWF affiliates.

 

For months now the BCWF has been urging members and clubs to write Federal Minister Ralph Goodale to protest this proposed amendment to the Firearms Act.  If you need more information than you already have please visit the BCWF website.  There’s lots there, then write

1) Download the template letter, format it, print off and mail to Minister Goodale

The Honourable Ralph Goodale,

Minister of Public Safety

House of Commons

Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

2) Email your letter to Ralph Goodale at ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca

3) Find your MP and Book a Meeting with them to talk about why you oppose Bill C-17

As we were told at the recent BCWF convention, “Write early…write often.”

Audit into cattle grazing leases in BC

In the past the BCWF has used legal services offered by the Environmental Law Center in the University of Victoria.  Recently it has collaborated with the Environmental Law Center to develop a case to request the BC Government to conduct an audit and examination of cattle grazing leases currently held on Crown Land and related issues.  Over the years members have made allegations with an increasing number of complaints, particularly from the Kamloops area, from naturalists, birders, and hunters where grazing leaseholders have been putting up gates and no trespassing signs.  Locked gates and ‘No Trespassing’ signs on grazing leases also obstruct public access to key Crown lands not under grazing lease — but are only accessible through grazing lease areas that now exclude the public.

In 1978 the B.C. government tried to get rid of grazing lease tenures that allow holders to lock out the public but failed with the implementation.  While other jurisdictions such as Alberta have made significant efforts to allow reasonable public access to leases, B.C. is living in the dark ages.  Grazing leases have no place in a modern, multiple-use Crown land management regime and a remedy is long overdue.

There is an overview of the request, a link to download the report and information about how you can help advocate for the best interest of the province and fellow British Columbians available by a link on the BCWF website.

Southern Interior Mule Deer Project

The BCWF is a key partner in a new, large-scale research project, involving multiple agencies and universities to tackle one of the most pressing needs in wildlife management in British Columbia – how to understand and reverse declines of mule deer in the Southern Interior. With contributions from Indigenous people, the public, stakeholders, and industry, this project brings together cutting-edge research on deer ecology with multiple partnerships to advance both evidence and cooperative-based approaches to wildlife conservation.

The GPS collars in the Kettle-Granby, Peachland/Garnet Valley, and Cache Creek study areas track the deer movements every 4.25 hours and provide information on the deers’ habitat use, how they move across the landscape, which areas they avoid, when and how they die. When a collar is no longer moving, a message gets sent to the project team which allows them to investigate factors contributing to the animal’s death.  In addition to the collars, at least 200 remote cameras will be deployed in the project areas to provide an understanding of how other animals (predators, prey, and people) interact with mule deer. The cameras will also provide recruitment data (fawn survival) and sex ratios (buck: doe), and potentially help count mule deer and other large mammals.

Respectfully submitted

Rod Wiebe – PQF&G Past President 1992 – 1998

BCWF All Round Shoot – 26th May – Dorman Range

“All Round” Shoot at Dorman Range

Be ready for the “All Round” Shoot on May 26. This shoot is a fund raiser for the BCWF Action Fund. There will be lots of prizes, and of course, a delicious lunch.

There will be 115 ‘birds’ altogether: 25 handicap, 25 wobblers, 15 skeet (4 each at positions 1, 4, & 7 and 3 at position 8) and 50 sporting clays on Stations 6 to 10.

Come on out!

BCWF Report April 25, 2017 – Rod Wiebe

BCWF Report

Parksville Qualicum Fish & Game Assn

April 25, 2017

It has been almost a year since I distributed a BCWF report to the membership.  There is no explanation for this other than reports from any of our Club Committees to our general membership have been few and far between.  Possibly, our club has become so large that the sub-cutures that have developed tend to communicate most with those who share their primary interest and ignore the rest of our membership.  Still, the majority of our members do care how all the components of our club are doing.

The BCWF has a database of email addresses that club members have included in their contact information.  These members get a weekly member update so a lot of BCWF information does get out there, at least, to those who want it.  My job will be to fill in some blanks with that, hopefully, with some consistency.  I also have to confess it is Beth, our newsletter person, who is nagging us back to action with our reporting.

Last weekend our club sent delegates to the BCWF Region 1 AGM held at the Courtenay club facility on Comox Lake.  There are 17 Vancouver Island clubs forming Region 1 with delegates from Victoria to Campbell River in attendance.  All the committees, Tidal Fisheries, Access, Firearms, Aboriginal Relations, etc reported on their activity over the last quarter.  The major item of discussion on the agenda was around access to private lands here on V.I.  There is actually a bit of controversy going on within club ranks around a consistent position in discussions with logging companies regarding increased public access to their lands.

Basically, the difference comes down to an absence of a clear Region policy, supported by all the V.I. clubs, regarding public access to private land.  The BCWF, Provincially and Regionally, have always advocated for public access to public lands but, other than the BCWF Outdoor Passport Program for access to private lands by BCWF members, there is no clear policy regarding advocacy for general public access to those same lands.

Logging companies have increased their outreach to local F&G clubs, ATV clubs, fisherfolks, horse people, etc in the recent past.  Their focus has been, understandably, on groups that have demonstrated responsible use of our landscape most with liability coverage for their members.  Usually these invitations have been to local clubs separate from the V.I. Region who has been the spokesman for us.  This has resulted in some disconnect between the V.I Region Access Committee and some clubs with the Victoria F&G club negotiating an access agreement for their members only exclusive of other BCWF affiliated club members.  This separation is contrary to the principle of inclusion which is at the very heart of BCWF service to its members.

Unqualified access to the general public has been a non-starter for any private land owner and any group advocating this starts out on the wrong foot in discussions with private land holders regarding access to their properties.  Some conditions to accessing private lands can be negotiated; others must be accepted and restrictions on who is admissible are to be expected.

Our club has ongoing discussion with Island Timberlands around access to their lands.  We have leaned towards access for any BCWF member, not just our club members in the expectation that a neighbouring club would speak likewise.  As a club we have good intuition regarding private landowners interests and been fairly silent on access for the general public.  Our Region representatives, however, are more vocal about allowing access on a broader scale.  So far we are all getting along but it would be a sad day if the clubs get Balkanized by different agreements on access to Private lands.  All the clubs, except the Victoria club it would seem, realize this and support getting together with our Regional representatives to review the current policy around access to private lands for mutual support.

This subject is currently the main subject of discussion and action by the F&G clubs on Vancouver Island.

Respectfully submitted

Rod Wiebe, Past President PQF&G 1992 – 1998

Fishing Forever – Submitted by John D

PARKSVILLE-QUALICUM FISH & GAME FISHING FOREVER

          Under a beautiful, blue, cloudless sky this year’s event heralded the ninth year at the Coombs Campground Pond stocked with 50 lovely Rainbow trout raised at the Vancouver Island University rearing station.

Seventy eight residents of the local Care Homes and their Care Givers enjoyed the picnic-like atmosphere whether they fished or not.  The Derby began just after 10 a.m. and it looked like the fish weren’t interested in the juicy worms offered them.  But soon after they decided to cooperate and began their tug-of-war with the fishers.  Although the numbers nabbed fell far short of last year’s numbers the ones landed were of appreciable size weighing anywhere from a pound to a pound and a half.  Nonetheless, judging from the enthusiastic response from some of  the Care Givers it was evident that this event is a worthwhile community affair and hopefully will prevail for many years.

Quality Foods, as usual, provided the bagged lunches.  Spunky’s Motorcycle Shop was generous in letting us use their new tents that didn’t require a Longshoremen’s Crew to erect the tents as we did with the former cumbersome Pavilion.  Coombs Old Time Fiddlers entertained with their toe-tapping music.  The many volunteers who make this event possible have to be given a big thank you, as well as the Care Givers who are constantly assisting their charges as needed.

One huge difference compared to past years is that we beat the annual Cottonwood “snow fall” that fouls the fishing lines but still had a bit of a nuisance with a slimy growth that isn’t quite as bad as cottonwood fluff.

We also initiated a Brian Borrett Memorial Trophy for the Care Home gang who caught the most fish.  Brian was the sole Coordinator of this important event for about 10 years before his passing last year.  Trillium Lodge won the trophy and one would think they won the lotto as they shouted their joy.  They will enjoy it for one year, but also received a keeper trophy that will remain in their possession in perpetuity.

A Parksville Qualicum News reporter/photographer was clearly enthralled with the proceedings as she spent a lot of time interviewing and photographing some of the participants.

It was a time to meet and enjoy some of the old timers that came out for the day to renew long time friendships over a coffee.

 

Submitted by John Domovich – May 2017

 

 

BCWF Report – April 2017

BCWF Report

April 25, 2017

With the Provincial election coming soon the BCWF has been hosting a series of “Town Hall Meetings” all over BC.  The purpose of these meetings is to bring some facts about the status of our fish and wildlife resources to the attention of our members and to offer questions to ask candidates for election.  Over the past fifteen years the funding for fish and wildlife resource management has remained flat while the overall Provincial budget has increased dramatically overall.  “We need more funding, more science and more social support” was the main message.

In the Times Colonist, on April 26, columnist Jack Knox wrote his insights from the BCWF Town Hall Meeting in Victoria. “Wildlife ‘train wreck’ goes largely unnoticed” was his heading.  The reason for this, Knox believes, is that with 48 of BC’s 87 electoral districts in the lower mainland and Fraser Valley the public will not hear about conservation issues.  The election will be won on issues like housing prices, bridge tolls, the homeless and not on action around vanishing woodland caribou.

Several of us PQ club members attended the Town Hall meeting hosted at the Nanaimo club facility.  It was well attended and the NDP and Green party candidates did a brief presentation.  But the meeting was all about the abysmal state of fish and wildlife populations throughout the province.  Staple game species like moose are down 50 – 70% in BC’s interior.  The world famous Thompson River steelhead are down to 430 fish.  Mule deer and elk in the interior are also in trouble.  So far this year two or three steelhead have been found in the Gold River.  All of this is because fish and wildlife resources are not a priority of our Provincial Government.  Managing bag limits and allowable catches amount to “management to zero.” Reprinted here are the five questions the BCWF suggests we might want to ask our future MLAs.

PARTY AND CANDIDATE QUESTIONS FOR 2017 PROVINCIAL ELECTION

  1. In terms of fish, wildlife and habitat, British Columbia is one of the most diverse jurisdictions in North America. At the same time, B.C. is one of the most under-funded jurisdictions in North America and has no dedicated funding model.  Would you support increased funding for fish, wildlife and habitat (i.e. watershed, landscape) management?  Yes/No/How?
  2. Fish, wildlife and habitat management in B.C. are currently objectiveless. Many fish and wildlife populations are in decline, and some are at record lows.  Cumulative effects in parts of British Columbia from unsustainable resource extraction, invasive species, over-allocation of water resources, and road densities have left our landscape “in the red”.  Do you support legislated objectives for habitat, fish and wildlife populations? Yes/No/Why? How would you achieve them?
  3. Many mountain caribou populations are at a record low and moose populations are in significant decline in parts of B.C. Science has shown anthropogenic change as the leading cause, as wolf predation has become a major source of mortality.  Do you support predator management as a part of sustainable science-based wildlife management?
  4. First Nations negotiations in B.C. are ongoing. These negotiations are Government to Government with no public transparency or consultation.  This approach is divisive and is creating significant uncertainty and externalities due to a lack of public involvement.  Do you believe the public should be involved or consulted, related to negotiations? Yes/No/Why/How?
  5. Public access to public resources such as fish, wildlife, public roads, and campsites is a growing issue in British Columbia. Is public access to public resources, such as fishing, hunting, camping and hiking important to you? How will you deal with these issues?

Respectfully submitted

Rod Wiebe, Past President PQF&G 1992 – 1998

BCWF Report – March 2017 submitted by Rod Wiebe

BCWF Report

Parksville Qualicum Fish & Game Assn

March, 23, 2017

Most of you will have heard the news announced by MFLNRO Minister Steve Thompson about the creation of a new Provincial agency for conservation and management of wildlife.  For years the BCWF has advocated for fishing and hunting license revenues to be directed to those purposes.  It appears that this has happened, at least in part.  The Province plans to invest $5 million in start up costs for the yet to be named agency to begin operating by this fall with hunting license revenues to be added.  That’s an additional $9 – 10 million annually.

It’s a start.  In many of the states to the south of us there is a surcharge on outdoor gear and tourism that brings huge support to conservation and management of fish, wildlife and habitat.  It is embarrassing that BC commits such paltry support, in comparison, for these purposes.  “Super Natural BC” is supposed to just happen on its own to be the expectation of government and a lot of the public too it seems.  First Nations are to be involved in the mix so that should be a positive,  There will be some kinks to work on the major one being getting politics out of management decisions.  Only the players in the agency itself could accomplish that so we will wait and see.  Overall though it is a good turn for wildlife in our Province and hopefully future opportunities for all British Columbians and visitors too.

Reprinted from the BCWF Website

Call to Action: Canadian Firearms Marking Regulation

On June 1, 2017 the “Marking of Imported Firearms (Bill C-10A) Regulations” will come into effect to implement the UN Firearm Marking protocol.

The regulations, as currently drafted, will have a negative impact on Canadians who rely on hunting to feed their families and sports shooters, by significantly increasing the cost of firearms and reducing choice. It is also likely that it will have a disastrous impact on the Canadian firearms industry and result in the loss of jobs. It could also hurt trading relationships with other countries.

The BC Wildlife Federation has written several letters to the Minister of Public Safety expressing our concerns regarding the regulation as drafted, and supporting the solution proposed by the Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA).

It is now time for all members to get directly involved by writing to the Minister of Public Safety, with a carbon copy to your local Member of Parliament, requesting that the regulation be amended.

Please send a physical letter as they have more impact than emails or petitions.

The time to act is now!

 

As your secretary I will draft a letter of protest about this on behalf of our club

 

Respectfully submitted

Rod Wiebe – Past President PQF&G Assn 1992 – 1998