Dire situation for Fish, Wildlife, and Habitat in British Columbia leads to the formation of a new coalition calling for change
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 12, 2021
A new province-wide coalition is calling on the government to re-establish the province as a world leader in fish, wildlife, and habitat management. The Fish, Wildlife, and Habitat Coalition represent a diverse array of interests which all share common concerns about the decline of fish, wildlife, and habitat including environmental and conservation organizations, hunting and angling guides, wildlife viewing, ecotourism, naturalists, hunters, anglers, and trappers. Together, the group is seeking a commitment from the province to invest in healthy landscapes, waters, and fish and wildlife stewardship, in partnership with First Nations and communities. The Fish, Wildlife, and Habitat Coalition recognizes and respects the constitutionally protected rights of Indigenous peoples and the collective commitment to advancing reconciliation.
The Fish, Wildlife, and Habitat Coalition will work to promote solutions guided by science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge for improved management of species and habitat in B.C.. These will include:
- Creating legislation that protects fish, wildlife, and habitat;
- Integrating the needs of fish, wildlife, and habitat into new and existing legislation;
- Increasing funding and creating a new governance model for fish, wildlife, and habitat management.
By championing solutions for conservation including management, restoration, and protection, the Coalition aims to help B.C. strengthen its communities and economy. These outcomes will be based on healthy and resilient ecosystems and abundant fish and wildlife with self-sustaining populations.
Quotes from reps:
“This coalition was formed in response to the growing concern over the Province’s failure–over successive governments–to adequately deal with a mounting crisis of biodiversity loss and cumulative impacts on ecosystem health. I’m excited about the work we can do together to restore, over the long-term, the sustainability of fish and wildlife populations and habitat in British Columbia.” – Tim Burkhart, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
“I am pleased to see so many groups come together for the benefit of fish, wildlife and habitat. They have been taken for granted for too many years. Abundant fish and wildlife should be the indicator of a healthy forest.” – Scott Ellis, Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia
“In a generation of people, B.C. has gone from being a global leader in fish, wildlife and habitat conservation, to a landscape which can be characterized as at risk, endangered and extirpated. Whether it’s salmon, steelhead, old-growth, moose, or caribou, B.C. has never been in such poor shape. The coalition represents a broad realization that we need to set aside what divides us and work together on what’s important: the conservation, restoration, and protection of fish, wildlife and habitat.” – Jesse Zeman, B.C. Wildlife Federation
“When such a diverse group of organizations can come together and work collaboratively, you know the issue is important. For British Columbia to remain Super, Natural™, fish and wildlife must take priority and be recognized for what they are; essential for healthy, lasting ecosystems.” – Katherine MacRae, Commercial Bear Viewing Association
Photo credit: Moberly Marsh, Alana Higginson