Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 51, 60(1); Guide Outfitter Licence; quota; black bear; cougar
J. Steven Mohr appealed the decision of the Regional Wildlife Manager (“RWM”) with respect to the quotas in his Guide Outfitter Licence for 2001/2002. The quotas limited the number of black bear and cougar that may be harvested within Mr. Mohr’s guide outfitting territory. Mr. Mohr requested that the quotas be removed from his licence or, alternatively, be significantly increased.
Mr. Mohr submitted that his black bear quota was not reflective of current species populations, and that he needed to be able to hunt more bears in the southern regions of his territory, in order to improve the viability of his business. He further submitted that his clients should be allowed to harvest “problem” bears within his territory.
The RWM submitted that the quotas attached to Mr. Mohr’s 2001/2002 license are the same as those in his previous licences, and that he has only ever used a fraction of that quota. The RWM submitted that allowing guide outfitters to hunt “problem” bears would not be an appropriate recreational activity for the BC government to condone.
The Board found that Mr. Mohr provided insufficient evidence to establish that the black bear population in his territory was such that his quota should be increased or eliminated, or that his quota should be redistributed within his territory. Since Mr. Mohr’s clients had harvested only 1-3 bears in each of the previous 2 seasons, the Board found that his current quota was more than adequate. The Board agreed with the RWM that allowing guide outfitters to hunt “problem” bears could create a public safety risk and should not be promoted.
The Board further found that Mr. Mohr provided no evidence to establish that his cougar quota should be increased.