Decision Date: October 8, 1999
Panel: Christine Mayall, Richard Cannings, Elizabeth Keay
Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 60(1); Wildlife Act Commercial Activities Regulation – s. 1.04; Limited Entry Hunting Regulation – s. 9; guide area; grizzly bears; grizzly bear quota; annual allowable harvest; wildlife harvest strategy; translocated bears
This was an appeal by Ken Robins against the December 22, 1998 decision of the Regional Wildlife Manager to assign a quota of one grizzly bear to Mr. Robins’ guide area for the April 1, 1999 to June 5, 1999 hunting season. Mr. Robins sought an order revoking the decision and assigning his guide area a quota of two grizzly bears for the 1999 spring season. He requested further that, because the spring season was almost over by the time the appeal was heard, the additional grizzly be carried forward as additional quota in the next three-year allocation period (2000-2002).
Mr. Robins submitted that the reduction of his quota to one bear would not have occurred if a translocated female “problem” bear that had been recently brought into the management unit area and subsequently killed had not been included in the Regional Manager’s calculations.
The Regional Manager was concerned that six female bears had been killed in the 1994 to 1998 period, resulting in what he believed to be an overharvest. He submitted that he felt that, since two of the six females had been killed by residents and two by non-resident clients of Mr. Robins, it would be fair to distribute the loss of hunting opportunity between the residents and non-residents. He also stated that he would probably have made the same decision even if he had known at the time that one of the female bears killed was a recently translocated bear. He submitted that even if this bear was discounted, his calculations indicated that there would still have been no available margin for the harvest of another female in the 1997-1999 administrative guideline period. He acknowledged however that the counting of translocated bears was a “grey area” in the calculation of the Annual Allowable Harvest.
The Panel found that it was reasonable to discount the translocated bear from the population of the management unit area when it had only been moved there five weeks previously. The Panel found that there was no evidence that this bear was settled enough in its new area to count as a kill against a quota calculated from habitat carrying capacity. The Panel also found that a new calculation, discounting the translocated female bear kill, indicated that the same harvest margin was available as when Mr. Robins was issued a quota for three bears in 1997 and 1998. The Panel therefore found that the Regional Manager was not correct in issuing Mr. Robins a quota of one bear for 1999. The Panel recommended that the Regional Manager add one bear to Mr. Robins’ quota for 2000. The appeal was allowed.