Keywords:Wildlife Act – S. 60(1); guide outfitter licence; quota; moose; Nass Wildlife Area; R. v. Sparrow, ministry duty to guide outfitters
Robert Milligan appealed the decision of the Regional Manager to allocate him a quota of eight antlered moose in two separate areas of his guide territory in the Skeena region. Mr. Milligan sought a substantial increase in his moose quota.
The Board held that Mr. Milligan produced no evidence to demonstrate that the Ministry’s calculations of the number of moose available for harvest were incorrect, or that the allocation of moose among user groups should be varied.
The Board found that the evidence did not support that the Ministry had established a resident to non-resident hunter ratio that would entitle Mr. Milligan to 23% of the moose available for harvest in the area. The Board also found that the evidence did not support an allocation of available moose on the basis of the size of Mr. Milligan’s guiding territory as a proportion of the total land base on which moose hunting occurs in the region. The Board concluded that the land base method of dividing annual grizzly bear quota among guides in the region was not applicable here, given the dissimilarity of the territories involved and the absence of evidence that would allow a comparison of the guiding areas in this case.
The Board concluded that the Ministry’s moose allocation for First Nations in and around the Nass Wildlife Area recognizes the aboriginal right to hunt set out in the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Sparrow. The Board found that Mr. Milligan had provided no evidence or legal authority to show that the allocation was wrong.
The Board did not accept Mr. Milligan’s argument that his quota provided no economic basis for a guiding business. The Board also found that Mr. Milligan produced no authority to support his contention that the Ministry had a fiduciary duty to make his operation viable.
The Board confirmed the decision of the Regional Manager and dismissed the appeal.