In 17th century Europe, wildlife was closely managed by private land owners and hunting was an activity for the wealthy. For the early settlers, the New World seemed to promise unlimited resources and there were few constraints on the use of wildlife. As a result, by the late 1800s some wildlife populations were noticeably impacted.
Hunters and anglers began to advocate for a new way of looking at the use of natural resources that ensured sustainability for the future and the preservation of their tradition. The principles coming out of this movement eventually coalesced into The North American Wildlife Conservation Model. This model has been critical to the success of wildlife management throughout North America.
The Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC) is a strong supporter of The North American Wildlife Conservation Model. Guide outfitters have a rich tradition of sustainable hunting practices and are conservative in their use of wildlife. The role of the outfitter and hunter conservationist has helped many wildlife species. In British Columbia, successes from this model include whitetail deer, Rocky Mountain elk, Roosevelt elk and black bear. All of these populations were nearly extinct in the early 1900s, but are now healthy and growing. These are the seven pillars of the model: