Panel: Toby Vigod, Richard Cannings, William MacFarlane
Keywords:Wildlife Act – s. 60(1); Policy and Procedure Manual, Vol. 4, s.7 (01.01 to 01.07); quota; Administrative Guideline, Mountain Block system; Fuhr-Demarchi
Robert Fontana and 5 other appellants appealed decisions of the Regional Wildlife Manager (the “Manager”) regarding reductions in their three-year Administrative Guideline allocations (1997-99) and annual quotas for grizzly bear. The Appellants are all guide-outfitters in southeastern B.C., who lead hunting expeditions for non-residents. The Appellants argued that the Manager did not follow proper procedures for calculating the allocations and quotas, and did not use the best bear population estimates available. The Appellants sought to have their respective allocations or quotas adjusted, and requested that the system for calculating allocations and quotas be simplified.
The Panel found that the Administrative Guideline allocations were calculated incorrectly. Consequently, the Panel allowed this part of the appeal and adjusted the allocations and quotas for the Appellants, directing the Manager to reallocate the remaining bears available after consultation with the guide-outfitters. The Panel found that the existing method of estimating bear populations (Fuhr-Demarchi) is the best available method. It also noted that the Mountain Block system adds complexity to the already complicated system, but recommended that it be retained until a more acceptable system is negotiated by the relevant stakeholders. The appeal was allowed.