Decision Date: September 29, 2017
Panel: Linda Michaluk
Keywords: Wildlife Act – ss. 51(2), 60(1); guide outfitter; quota; allocation; mountain goat
John Parker appealed a decision of the Deputy Regional Manager (the “Regional Manager”), Recreational Fisheries and Wildlife Programs, Kootenay-Boundary Region, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (the “Ministry”), regarding Mr. Parker’s annual quota and five-year allocation of mountain goats.
Mr. Parker is a guide outfitter. Each year, guide outfitters apply to the Ministry to renew their guide outfitter licence. Under the Wildlife Act, regional managers may attach a quota as a condition of a guide outfitter licence. A quota sets out the total number of a particular species, or type of species, that may be harvested by the guide’s clients in the guide’s territory during the period specified in the licence. In his decision, the Regional Manager advised Mr. Parker of his quotas for the 2017/18 licence year and his five-year allocations (harvest targets) for 2017-2021. Mr. Parker received quotas and allocations for bull moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, and grizzly bear.
Mr. Parker appealed his quota of two mountain goats, and his five-year allocation of six mountain goats. He argued that the mountain goat population in his guiding territory had increased over the past 10 or 12 years, and few resident hunters hunt for mountain goats in the area, yet his quota and allocation had decreased over time. He requested that his allocation of mountain goats be increased to at least two per year, or a total of 10 mountain goats over five years.
The Regional Manager’s appeal submissions included affidavit evidence detailing how Ministry scientists estimated the mountain goat population in Mr. Parker’s guiding area, and how the Regional Manager applied the Ministries policies and procedures to determine Mr. Parker’s quota and allocation.
The Board found that Mr. Parker had provided insufficient evidence to justify increasing his five-year allocation of mountain goats. There was no evidence that the Ministry’s population estimates should not be relied on, or that the Regional Manager misapplied the Ministry’s policies and procedures. Mr. Parker’s assertion that the mountain goat population had increased was based on anecdotal information, whereas the Ministry’s population estimate was calculated by experienced wildlife biologists based on aerial surveys and scientific methodologies. Mr. Parker’s anecdotal evidence was insufficient to discredit the Ministry’s population estimate. In addition, the Ministry’s evidence showed that mountain goat populations in the area had actually declined over the past few years. Based on this evidence, the Board found that it would contrary to the conservation of mountain goat populations in the area to grant an increase in Mr. Parker’s five-year allocation. For all of those reasons, the Board confirmed the Regional Manager’s decision. Accordingly, the appeal was dismissed.