• John A. Huryn v. Regional Wildlife Manager

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    Decision Date: September 7, 2005

    Panel: Cindy Derkaz

    Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 19(1) (a) and (b); Motor Vehicle Prohibition Regulation ss. 1(a), (b), and (c), 2, 8(1), and 26; Permit Regulation ss. 3 (2)(a), and 5(1)(a) and (b); motor vehicle access; ungulate conservation; trapline.

    John Huryn appealed a decision by the Regional Wildlife Manager (the “Regional Manager”) to refuse to issue Mr. Huryn a permit exempting him from the prohibition against motor vehicle use within the Grave Prairie Access Management Area (“AMA”).  Mr. Huryn’s trapline is partially within the AMA, and he sought the permit to facilitate access to his trapline.

    The Board noted that section 2 of the Motor Vehicle Prohibition Regulation (the “MVP Regulation”) imposes a general prohibition of all vehicle traffic within the AMA, including that for the purpose of trapping.  At the same time, a Regional Manager may issue permits under section 3 of the Permit Regulation that exempt a person from that prohibition.  However, in order to acquire such exemption, a high threshold must be met by virtue of the broad prohibition in section 2 of the MVP Regulation.  In addition, the discretion to issue a permit is subject to section 5(1)(b) of the Permit Regulation.  Namely, the Regional Manager must be satisfied that issuing the permit would not be contrary to the proper management of wildlife resources.  In this case, the Board accepted the Regional Manager’s submission that a permit should only be issued to Mr. Huryn if the permit would provide a net benefit to wildlife, such as if there was a need to reduce predators in areas containing important winter range for ungulates.  Based on the parties’ submissions, the Board found that there was no evidence that there was a need to reduce predators in high value winter range areas in the AMA.  Thus, no net benefit to wildlife would result from the issuance of an exemption permit.

    Accordingly, the Regional Manager’s decision was confirmed, and the appeal was dismissed