• Harold Koenig v. Regional Manager, Recreational Fisheries and Wildlife Program

    Decision Date:
    File Numbers:
    Decision Numbers:
    Third Party:
    BC Wildlife Federation, Participant


    Decision Date:  November 27, 2012

    Panel:  Loreen Williams

    Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 60; guide outfitter; quota; grizzly bear; population estimate

    Harold Koenig appealed a decision of the Regional Manager, Recreational Fisheries and Wildlife Program, Skeena Region, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (the “Ministry”), with respect to his quota of grizzly bear for the 2012/13 guiding season. Mr. Koenig is a guide outfitter operating in a guide territory located in the Skeena region of B.C. He guides hunters who pay to take part in a hunt for specific species of wildlife. Mr. Koenig’s annual guide outfitter licence is issued with species quotas, which are the number of individuals of specific wildlife species that his clients may kill. Mr. Koenig’s guide outfitter licence for the 2012/13 season was issued with a quota of ten moose and zero grizzly bear. In the past, Mr. Koenig was granted a quota of one grizzly bear per five-year period. The Regional Manager issued a quota of zero on the basis that the estimated grizzly bear population of 58 bears in Mr. Koenig’s territory was too low to support any hunting.

    Mr. Koenig appealed to the Board, and requested that the Board grant him a quota to hunt grizzly bears in his guide territory. He submitted that the Ministry’s grizzly bear population estimate for his territory is too low, and that the population can support a quota of one bear every five years.

    The Board found that, in 2012, the Ministry re-evaluated its previous grizzly bear population estimates, using data from recent inventories and more sophisticated statistical analysis. As a result, the estimated population of grizzly bears in Mr. Koenig’s territory fell from 140 bears in 2008 to 58 bears in 2012. The Ministry’s policy with respect to grizzly bears is that, for conservation reasons, no hunting is permitted in population units with less than 100 bears. Although Mr. Koenig expressed concerns about the accuracy of the Ministry’s population estimate, the Board found that the Ministry provided the best evidence with respect to the bear population in the territory. The Board also found that, even if the estimate of 58 bears is conservative, it is still well below the Ministry’s 100-bear threshold for allowing hunting. The Board found that this was compelling evidence of a conservation concern, and that it was appropriate to reduce Mr. Koenig’s grizzly bear quota to zero for the 2012/13 season.

    Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.