Keywords:Wildlife Act – ss. 48, 51, 60(1); guide outfitter licence; quota; mountain goats; population estimates; transfer of unused resident hunting opportunities
Mike Christensen appealed the decision of the Regional Manager issuing to him an annual quota of six mountain goats and a three-year allocation of six goats; he sought an increase in the three-year allocation to nine goats.
Mr. Christensen submitted that there had been no recent goat population inventory in his guiding area. He further submitted that an increase in his allocation was warranted on the basis that the Ministry’s goat population estimates for the Kootenay region remained unchanged since a prior period when he was issued a higher allocation. Mr. Christensen further submitted that his allocation should be increased on the basis of Ministry policy allowing the Regional Manager to transfer hunting opportunities to non-resident hunters where resident hunters have harvested fewer than their allowed number of goats in the previous three years.
The Board found that Mr. Christensen provided insufficient evidence to justify an increase in his allocation.
The Board accepted the Ministry’s evidence of a decline in the region’s mountain goat population and found that the population estimates used by the Regional Manager were based on the best available information and provide a reasonable basis to calculate Mr. Christensen’s quota and allocation. The Board further found that it was reasonable for the Regional Manager not to apply the transfer policy and that application of the policy without considering regional population trends may be contrary to the Ministry’s objective of conserving the mountain goat population and managing the resource for the benefit of guide outfitters and other stakeholders.
The Board upheld the Regional Manager’s quota and allocation, and dismissed the appeal.