British Columbia Begins Review of Wildlife Act
A consultation process for the first major review of British Columbia's Wildlife Act in 25 years is underway, Environment Minister Barry Penner announced.
In launching the three-month consultation phase, Penner released a discussion paper on the Wildlife Act and announced a dedicated website to distribute information and collect input.
British Columbia is responsible for provincial wildlife and the Wildlife Act is the major foundation for conserving and managing fish and wildlife in British Columbia. The Wildlife Act was last substantially amended in 1982 and needs to be modernized to improve the ability to sustainably manage wildlife and meet the needs and expectations of British Columbians.
Objectives for re-writing the Wildlife Act include:
- responding to emerging wildlife issues – e.g., alien invasive species (bullfrogs, etc.), and wildlife diseases
- supporting the New Relationship with First Nations
- establishing more effective and efficient decision making – consistent process and criteria, and using scientific information
- enhancing compliance and enforcement tools
- improving client service – eliminating red tape and streamlining business processes
- simplifying the act – consolidating sections and using plain language
Discussions with First Nations will ensure that a new Wildlife Act will recognize Aboriginal and treaty rights, and contribute to a new relationship with First Nations while balancing the management of wildlife resources, procedural fairness and the economic needs of all British Columbians.
With the launch of the consultation phase, the discussion paper is available on the Ministry of Environment website at www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/wildlifeactreview/discussion/. The document outlines the current content of the act as well as some of the problems, opportunities and suggestions for improving it. The paper is intended to encourage discussion about wildlife management in British Columbia. The information collected will contribute to the re-write of the Wildlife Act, so input from interested parties is an important part of the process.
In each section of the discussion paper, there are drop-down menus that offer opportunities for contributions. They have been structured to ensure input is attached to the appropriate section of the paper. There is also the opportunity to provide more general comments.
The formal consultation phase will conclude at the end of June 2007 with much of the consultation process expected to be completed online. Pages dealing with the Wildlife Act review can be found at www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/wildlifeactreview/.
Questions and comments can also be e-mailed to WildlifeActReview@gov.bc.ca Answers to the most frequently asked questions will be added to a question and answer page.