Keywords:Wildlife Act – ss. 48, 51, 60(1), guide outfitter licence; quota; mountain goats; population estimates, transfer of unused resident hunting opportunities
Mr. Cooper appealed the decision of the Regional Manager issuing to him an annual quota of three mountain goats and a three-year allocation of three goats; he sought an increase of the three-year allocation to four goats.
Mr. Cooper submitted that an increase in his allocation was warranted on the basis that the mountain goat population in his guiding area was higher than the average for the Kootenay region, that resident harvest in his area had been low, and that the Regional Manager should apply the Ministry policy allowing unused hunting opportunities to be transferred to non-resident hunters where resident hunters have harvested fewer than the allowed number of goats in the previous three years. Mr. Cooper also submitted that the allocation of only three goats would have a negative impact on his guide outfitting business.
The Board found that, given the evidence of a regional decline in the mountain goat population since 1994, it was prudent for the Regional Manager to take a regional view and issue allocations based on the conservation needs at that level, rather than on the mountain goat populations in individual guiding territories. The Board further found that applying the policy allowing transfers of unused opportunities without considering regional population trends could have been contrary to the Ministry’s objective of conserving the mountain goat population and managing that resource for the benefit of all guide outfitters and other stakeholders.
The Board noted, in respect of Mr. Cooper’s concern for the economics of his guiding operation, that the allocation of three goats exceeds the actual harvest in Mr. Cooper’s territory over the prior three years, which was two goats.
The Board upheld the Regional Manager’s quota and allocation, and dismissed the appeal.