Trophy animals get protection
B.C. anti-hunting group buys rights of guide-outfitting
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
VANCOUVER - An anti-hunting group has paid $1.35-million to buy the guide-outfitting
rights to a prime piece of B.C.'s wilderness with a view to ending permanently the
commercial killing of all animals in the area.
The Raincoast Conservation Foundation has acquired the guide-outfitting rights to five
contiguous hunting regions along the central coast, stretching from the northern tip of
Vancouver Island in the south to Princess Royal Island in the north, representing a
land mass of more than 20,000 square kilometres.
The regions are home to hundreds of native species, including such popular
commercial game as grizzlies, black bears, the so-called spirit bear (a genetic anomaly
of the black bear that manifests itself in a white coat), wolves, cougars, mountain
goats, moose and deer.
But Raincoast, in conjunction with the six First Nations who occupy the territory -- the
Heiltsuk, Kitasoo, Xai' xais, Wuikinuxv, Gwa'Sala-Nakwaxda'xw and Nuxalk -- intend
to put an immediate end to all commercial hunting in the area. That means from now
on no one from outside British Columbia will be permitted to kill any animals in the
region for sport. B.C. residents, who operate under different regulations, may continue
to hunt and kill wildlife in the area, but members of the First Nations hope to see an
end to that early next year.
The deal will be announced at a press conference in Vancouver later today.
According to provincial regulations, licensed guide-outfitters must continue to facilitate
some hunting in areas for which they are responsible. Raincoast conservation director
Ian McAllister, who helped broker the deal, said Raincoast will live up to those
obligations by allowing hunting of some ungulates for food. But henceforth commercial
trophy hunting will be a thing of the past.
"There is no other example in North America where conservation interests have
bought out such a large commercial hunting area before," Mr. McAllister said.
Raincoast bought the licence from former guide-outfitter Leonard Ellis. It raised the
money over a six-month period mainly from private donations.
© National Post 2005
CanWest News Service
Copyright © 2005 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.
Page Print Story - canada.com network e 1 of 1