Yukon Wildlife Act Regulations Available for Public Review

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The Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board and Environment Yukon are encouraging the public's comments on 15 proposed Wildlife Act regulation changes for the coming year, Environment Minister Dennis Fentie announced November 7th.

The proposals were received from the Alsek Renewable Resources Council, the Department of Environment, the Town of Faro, the Mayo District Renewable Resources Council, the Teslin Renewable Resources Council, and the Yukon Fish and Game Association.

An information package has been prepared to provide details on the proposed changes and the steps that people can take to respond to the proposals before the Friday, December 7 deadline.

The information package is available for pick-up from the board's office at 106 Main Street in Whitehorse, Renewable Resources Councils offices and Environment Yukon offices in the communities, the department's office at 10 Burns Road in Whitehorse, and the Yukon government administration building on Second Avenue in Whitehorse.

A copy can also be viewed or downloaded from the websites of either the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board http://www.yfwmb.yk.ca/ or Environment Yukon http://www.environmentyukon.gov.yk.ca/.

The Friday, December 7 deadline for written comments coincides with the board's public meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening, December 11 at the Westmark Whitehorse which will be an opportunity for members of the public to provide their concerns or comments directly to all board members. The board will then meet to review all comments and provide recommendations to Minister Fentie.

The next steps will be the formal drafting of the proposed changes for the 2008 – 2009 hunting season and decisions on which proposed draft regulations will need to go to a 60-day formal public review as well as formal consultations with First Nations.

Environment Yukon's proposed changes include new steps to manage the annual bison hunt, the removal of the five-year rule for permit applications, changes to the rules on kill reports and biological submissions, a new rule on the retrieval of game meat prior to the removal of antlers or horns, and new steps for providing evidence of sex from grizzly bear and caribou.

The department is also proposing changes that would allow farmers to discourage but not harm wildlife coming on their property and to allow the retail sale of game meat and inedible byproducts obtained from licensed game farms.

The department and the Yukon Fish and Game Association submitted a joint proposal for an elk permit hunt. The department has also joined with the Mayo District Renewable Resources Council to rescind the permit hunt regulation for moose hunting at Ethel and McQuesten Lakes because a new voluntary system has been developed.

The Yukon Fish and Game Association is calling for additional deer permits for youth hunters and two special guided sheep permits for non-residents. The funds raised from a lottery would go to the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Trust and be earmarked for sheep.

The Alsek and Teslin Renewable Resources Councils have called for changes in the bag limits for wolves. The Teslin RRC is calling for an increase in the number that can be taken in a year and a one month increase in the season. The Alsek RRC is calling for the limits to be removed.

The Alsek RRC is also requesting a change in the grizzly bear bag limit to allow one bear to be taken each year to a maximum of three bears harvested in nine years. The current practice permits resident hunters to take one grizzly every three years.

The Town of Faro has asked that special guiding licences for moose not be allowed in the Game Management Subzones 4-42 through 4-46. The concern is that an increase in the number of non-residents taking moose near Faro will reduce hunting opportunities for Yukoners.