Challenge 8: Funding



Wildlife management and habitat conservation are funded through annual Ministry budgets, contributions to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation from surcharges on hunting, trapping and guide outfitting licenses, and through partnerships (e.g., academia, non-government organizations, industry, etc.).  Current funding levels may not meet expectations for improved wildlife and habitat conservation.

Opportunities:

  • Provide stable and increasing funding dedicated to wildlife management, habitat conservation and compliance and enforcement.

Discussion Question

  • What are the best funding models, funding sources, and creative financing ideas that could increase resources for wildlife management and habitat conservation and provide additional flexibility for how funding is prioritized and allocated?

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115 responses to “Challenge 8: Funding

    User avatar
    [-] Steve

    100% of hunting license and tag revenue MUST be returned into a dedicated funding model for wildlife, with an independent body overseeing its distribution.

    Institute a Pittman Robertson style taxation as well, and put this money into the same model.

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    [-] HelenClark

    We agree that taxes from independent sources should be utilized effectively!

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    [-] tristan

    For starters, 100% of monies from hunting licences and tags go directly back to wildlife management. I’m sure most sportsman would be on board with an increase to tag and licence fees if they knew the money was actually going to wildlife funding. Or what about something similar to the Pittman-Robertson Act in the United States.

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    [-] Damon

    I believe that some sort of tax on outdoor sporting good should be brought into place similar to the the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson/Wallop-Breaux Acts in the U.S

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    [-] HelenClark

    Animal Alliance Canada
    believes that sportfishing and revenues from tourism can help to pay for wildlife and habitat preservation. Also if the public was aware of how wildlife and habitat are being destroyed by logging, mining, as well as farming methods; they likely would give time and money to assist wild life.

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    [-] Chris

    Start by leaving the money that has been collected by licenses and applications in Wildlife management.

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    [-] Scott

    First off, all money from hunting tags, fees, etc need to go back into conservation. As of now the majority of it goes back into general revenue. This is the absolute first thing that needs to be done. Second, another tax needs to be implemented, either a pitman/Robertson kinda tax or/and a small tax for other outdoor activities and equipment sales that all go directly back into conservation. There also needs to be more work and support done by government to local fish and wildlife clubs around this province. They are the ones who know what is going on in the local woods and should have a seat st the table for where the money is spent in that region.

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    [-] HelenClark

    Yes

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    [-] Mark

    There is already a World class way to support wildlife=US Model. P & R Tax. BC’s problem is funds go into general revenue to be stolen and wasted by officials. All funds raised thru wildlife should remain with wildlife, to manage, support and grow the resource.

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    [-] Scott

    All hunting license and tag revenue needs to go to Wildlife and not subject to Government syphoning.
    It is ridiculous to look at a Limited Entry Hunt Application of $6.30 whereas only $1 goes to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF). With a deer tag, $3 of the $15.75 price goes to the HCTF. This equates to around 15-20% of hunting licenses, tags, applications actually going to Wildlife.
    With the number of licensees, tags and LEH applications annually, this would equate to Millions of dollars of funding overnight for Wildlife and not general government revenue.
    Back of the envelope math proves the potential Funding Increases quite easily.
    Licenses:
    There are over 110,000 hunting licenses sold alone in BC annually. Currently only $7 goes to the HCTF. Therefore, an additional $2,750,000 annually ($25*110,000) can come from full allocation of funding.
    LEH:
    There are over 150,000 LEH applications annually. With full allocation funding, an additional $750,000 ($5*150,000) would be available for Wildlife Management.
    Tags:
    With deer tags alone, there are well over 100,000 tags sold annually. Devoting all of the $15 will equate to an additional $1,200,000 ($12*100,000).
    With other species, the difference widens between the tag cost and HCTF funding. Assuming a much-understated $20 difference between tag cost and Wildlife funding and 100,000 other tags sold, resulting in an additional $2,000,000.
    Overnight, a VERY conservative estimate of $5,500,000 in annual increases in Wildlife funding can be created by devoting 100% of hunting tags, licenses, and LEH to Wildlife.
    This speaks nothing of non-resident tags & licenses or potentially increasing license & tag prices nominally. Most hunters in BC would support reasonable license, tag, & LEH price increases IF they knew a large majority was going back into the resource. As it stands now, that is just seen as a general government fund-tax.

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    [-] Peter

    I don’t need to post anything Scott. You have addressed everything I wanted to say. Government syphoning money from our license fees equates to another type of tax. it Is the Governments mandate to protect habitat and help wildlife flourish for all British Columbians, all fees collected should go back to wildlife protection.

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    [-] Bill

    Start fining people who toss out lit cigarettes and enforce the fine.
    Same with dumping garbage
    Same with polluting our waters

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    [-] Lesley

    The COS/municipal bylaw officers need to FINE offenders – those who feed animals, leave out attractants. Money collected through those fines should be used for community incentives – help communities get Bear Aware status, pay for warning/no feeding signs, and a portion of funding should be used to support wildlife rehabilitation centres in BC. Wildlife is the property of all British Columbians, yet the government does not provide adequate funding to take care of its own property. You must invest in wildlife rehabilitation and take wildlife rehabilitation seriously. Wildlife rehabilitation is part of wildlife management.

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    [-] HelenClark

    Hi Lesley! Yes I totally agree with what you said.
    If only BC would establish a law that protects the wildlife and their environment. It seems that the govt is ignoring the way our beautiful province is being exploited!

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    [-] Jareed

    The Pitman Robertson fund, excise taxes on all outdoor equipment hunting equipment and firearms, these are methods that US use to fund there conversation efforts. Increased license fees along with 100% of the fees going back to aid with improvement of habit, better research etc and not added to the general revenue. We need dedicated funding

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    [-] Lee

    A larger percentage of hunting and license fees should go directly back to wildlife and habitat conservation. Like our environment tax on bottles a similar tax fully dedicated to wildlife and habitat conservation should be instituted on firearms, ammunition, outdoor equipment, ATVs, dirtbikes, etc.

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    [-] HelenClark

    Hi Lee I live in a real logged area of the province called Cariboo.
    We have little representation by any animal rights groups in this region. A ban was put on hunting moose due to a huge loss of tree cover caused by Plateau fire in summer2017. Indigenous and a handful of supporters have put the ban on moose hunting indefinitely. Also we still want to see spraying of conifer trees stopped.
    Thanks for your input.

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    [-] Annie

    Surcharges on industry. There should be a major cost to destroying wildlife habitat and it should go right back in to mitigation and remediation programs. And fines, BIG fines for doing wrong.

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    [-] Judy

    Wildlife declines, deaths and injuries and imbalances are, for the majority, caused by humans. Humans have the responsibility to pay for the costs to change this. Funding should come from taxes, user based charges, hunting, fishing and trapping fees, industry and corporations and increased fines where violations occur. Funding models are different in other countries and this should be explored.

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    [-] Chantal

    Many issues facing wildlife and habitat are human-created, and we have an ethical responsibility to address them.
    Funding can be diverted from regular tax base, as well as use charges, including consumptive use (hunting, fishing, trapping, industry) and access charges.
    Increased use of fines as an enforcement tool can help to create revenue streams and reduce needs for services through education.

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    [-] Doris

    Many issues facing wildlife and habitat are human-created, and we have an ethical responsibility to address them. Funding can be diverted from regular tax base.
    Increased use of fines as an enforcement tool can help to create revenue.

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    [-] Line

    – Many issues facing wildlife and habitat are human-created, and we have an ethical responsibility to address them.
    – Funding can be diverted from regular tax base, as well as use charges, including consumptive use (hunting, fishing, trapping, industry) and access charges.
    – Increased use of fines as an enforcement tool can help to create revenue streams and reduce needs for services through education.

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    [-] Evelyn

    Many issues facing wildlife and habitat are human-created, and we have an ethical responsibility to address them.

    Funding can come from use charges, access charges and can be diverted from the regular tax base.

    Increased use of fines as an enforcement tool can help to create revenue streams and reduce needs for services through education.

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    [-] Jonathan

    We need more dedicated funding. Non-hunters need to start helping out too.

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    [-] walter

    Would it be an idea to place a levy on freshwater extraction for human consumption and then dedicate that funding toward conservation, habitat improvement, water retention in logged areas.

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    [-] Shamus

    Put 100% of hunting license and tag dollars back into the resource. Consider creating a tax similar to the Pittman-Robertson fund that United States created.
    Increase tag fees only so long as 100% of the funds go back into the resource
    Charge the HCTF to all wildlife tours as well. They utilize the resource but pay nothing towards the resource

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    [-] Chris

    Yes for sure.
    As with one of the previous questions. All user groups/industries of crown land should have a meaningful component of their licensing going to wildlife management, habitat conservation and compliance and enforcement. When it is for Hunting, Fishing, Trapping that should be 100% without question.

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    [-] Glenn

    Compare BCs LACK of funding for Wildlife, Fish and their Habitat to other places like Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Colorodo……. BC should gang it’s head in shame fir it’s LACK of funding and management or lack there of .
    It’s down right shocking when compared.

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    [-] Chris

    Have 100% of hunting fees be returned to Wildlife Management and conservation, proceeds should not be going to general revenue. Have this fund and its resources be managed by a third party or collection of third parties such as BCWF, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers or Wildlife Biologists who adopt a science based approach.

    Also adopt a tax similar to the The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, most often referred to as the Pittman–Robertson Act in the USA. Have the money generated by the tax used solely for Wildlife in perpetuity.

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    [-] Rick

    Put a small wildlife surcharge on uses of parks and campsites. Also start putting a user fee of the growing bear viewing and whale watching companies comparable to what hunters would pay. Both of these groups are relying on wildlife for their businesses so they should be paying a portion of the fees they collect to assist with wildlife management.

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    [-] Alexander

    Funding for habitat is well understood and examples of funding models exist all over North America which provide hundreds of millions of dollars for conservation in neighbouring jurisdictions. These include:

    -Earmarking all funds collected from hunting license fees for habitat and wildlife conservation. (This was an NDP campaign promise. Fulfill it please!)

    -If, and only if, funds from hunting license fees are earmarked for conservation, then moderately increasing the funds. As a hunter I would happily pay double if it was going to conservation.

    -Excise taxes on outdoor sporting equipment. In the USA, there are two acts, the Pittman-Robertson Act, and the Dingell Johnson Act, which impose small taxes on sporting equipment, firearms and ammunition, and boating equipment which is earmarked for conservation and habitat restoration. In BC the government could implement a small excise tax where everyone who enjoys nature has to contribute to protecting nature by having a small excise tax or a portion of the PST on camping, skiing, biking, hunting, shooting, boating, ATVing, snowmobiling, dirt biking, fishing, etc. equipment going directly to conservation.

    -Resource industries should be required to put up a bond or pay into a fund for remediation and restoration to pre-use or better conditions following resource extraction (Logging, mining, oil and gas etc.)

    -The tourism industry should have to pay fees towards habitat protection and restoration for things like whale, bear, etc. viewing. Ski lift fees and similar revenues should have a portion go to habitat protection and restoration. Sport fishing charters, guided hunts, and other industries that make money off wildlife use or viewing should be charged increased fees.

    -Fees collected in parks or trails should go to habitat

    Ultimately, the more widely spread and diverse the funding sources are, the less of a detrimental impact it will have on any of them. Everyone should share the burden of funding habitat and wildlife restoration and protection.

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    [-] Steven

    As others have said – look to the US model where elk are thriving.

    100% of license $$$ should stay in Wildlife Management, not general coffers. Put a tax on all outdoor goods (not just hunting). Solicit business for donation and make public their generous support. Perhaps require all people that camp, hike, bike, photograph etc. to have a “wild spaces user card” similar to our hunting and fishing licenses… charge a $10 fee that permits them to be in the woods sharing space with nature… CO’s check licenses as well as user cards and fine for non compliance. Add a large mandatory fee to wildlife viewing companies.
    Right now the only paying users of the resource are hunters and trappers. We need to have all resource users pay into the system and then they can have a voice.

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    [-] M

    Dedicated funding is needed, 100% of revenue from hunting licenses and tags should be put into a pot. An excise tax (modeled on the P+R tax in the U.S.) should collect funds for the same pot. This pot of money should be kept far away from politicians of any and all parties, and managed by an independent group that has one goal: the betterment of wildlife and wildlife habitat.

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    [-] Rob

    We need to start by creating an independent agency that receives all license and tag revenue, and which can leverage those funds for maximum benefit. The second step is to charge other users, likely through an excise tax on sporting goods, similar to Pittman-Roberston. Third step is to make resource extraction pay properly for habitat destruction and remediation.

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    [-] Brian

    I’m sure any creative funding model that ensures the money will be spent directly on wildlife and habitat will have support from the users. A tax (similar to the Pittman/Roberts tax in the US) on outdoor related items, all licence and tag fees, etc. The biggest issue with money coming in is that everyone wants a piece of it for their own use. We need to ensure that the money is used for work on the ground and not tied up in bureaucracy. The governments commitment of allocating $27 million for Caribou recovery has proven that only a small portion is hitting the ground. The bulk of the money is being spent creating positions, meeting to discuss what to do, etc. There must be targets created on what the money is set to achieve and accountability for how the money was spent, and the impact to the resource those dollars had. The money should be allocated with ranges such as 10%-20% for administration of the program with all other funds going to directly benefit the habitat and wildlife. It can’t be the other way around!

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    [-] Peter

    *Many issues facing wildlife and habitat are human-created, and we have an ethical responsibility to address them.
    *Funding can be diverted from regular tax base, as well as use charges, including consumptive use (hunting, fishing, trapping, industry) and access charges.
    *Increased use of fines as an enforcement tool can help to create revenue streams and reduce needs for services through education.

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    [-] jordan

    I would like to see a 100% of Licence and tag fees be used for wildlife management and projects.

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    [-] kathleen

    As an animal advocate and one of many people who adheres to a plant based diet, I believe that many issues facing wildlife and habitat are human-created, and we have an ethical responsibility to address them.

    Funding can be diverted from regular tax base, as well as use charges, including consumptive use (hunting, fishing, trapping, industry) and access charges.

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    [-] Holly

    Use of atv licenses Increase amount, fishing licenses, charge higher for cutting trees, fine higher for those that don’t comply with hunting higher fines for poachers Ect. Shouldn’t be just from hunting licenses. Increase tourism while conserving the land.

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    [-] Keaton

    I agree with many of the other commentators here. Money from hunting licenses should go back into conservation. Additionally, taxes from ecotourism revenues should also go to conservation.

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    [-] Dylan

    Hunting and fishing licenses, draw applications etc, should be dedicated to the resource. When budgets are set, government must understand that BC residents value habitat and wildlife more than what the current government is funding for it.

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    [-] Jason

    Since the provincial gov’t is reticent to significantly increase the amount of funding that our wildlife managers desperately need, its up to hunters to make up the slack. Therefore, let’s immediately double, triple, or quadruple the price of licenses and tags. I know its only a drop in the bucket, but its a start; and if hunters don’t increase the pool of funds that need to go into the system immediately, nobody will.

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    [-] Dylan

    The dollar amount that hunters spend on applications and tags is staggering already. The problem it that these dollars do not go back into the resource. It they did, budgets would be much larger. We must also remember, hunters, fishermen and trappers are not the only group that benefit from wildlife, so saddling them alone with the financial responsibility of them is not representative.

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    [-] Ray

    The best funding model is one that doe not have special interest groups or stakeholders influencing and making decisions on the distribution of funds or is subject to political influences, i.e. a external model must remain objective (non- affiliated board members).
    A funding model that isn’t constrained by government fiscal process.
    A model that isn’t completely open to external applicants (this will lead to inefficiencies and require a substantial amount of resources and planning to ensure strategic delivery and strong innovative projects or initiatives).
    A funding model that is eligible for non-government partnerships, grants, resources. A successful example of Fresh Water Fish Society (some derivation of that model would be successful)

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    [-] James

    Definitely support increased funding opportunities for money to be directed at wildlife ‘management’, studies and inventories.
    We need to bring BC up to the funding levels of other jurisdictions that have successful wildlife management programs.

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    [-] Karen

    International visitors need to be paying a fee for access to parks and wilderness areas especially where there is a high volume and often negative impact .For example Joffre Lakes hike does not have appropriate washroom facilities or maintenance given the high volume of visitors. Eco tourism needs to be balanced and numbers of visitors limited as needed. Residents need not pay the bill for tourists. We undervalue our wildlife resources in the tourism industry. Increasing volumes of uneducated tourists are hurting our resources and faciities.

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    [-] Mike

    The BC Government can “increase involvement and shared stewardship” by creating a new wildlife society made up of First Nations, stakeholder groups and professionals in wildlife management. This new group would use science, measurable objectives and increased land use planning to make informed decisions on management of wildlife and their habitat; funding generated by use of wildlife and habitat such as hunting licenses sales, outdoor gear sales tax, logging contributions and mining contributions; and finally this group would gain social support for these actions through the responsible stewardship of the resource.

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    [-] Mark

    An independent body should be established to steer funding priorities. Funding has been historically based on a species-based priority (e.g., blue, red, or SAR). However, this misses funneling opportunities into research of population declines in what are perceived to be common species. Research in other areas (e.g., Britain) has shown population declines in common species while listed species are showing signs of recover. Population declines is problematic in terms of loss of ecosystem services and functions.

    Funding only SAR is also a concern in terms of determining if and when a decline is occurring in species that are not being monitored (i.e., not included in a funding opportunity). If all we research are species that are already listed, then how will we ever know if others are in decline or a concern? This is especially problematic for northern remote regions of BC along range marginal environments where the effects of climate change are likely to be greater. We have no funding mechanism for getting researchers into these locations to study range marginal extents and how they are being impacted by changes in climate.

    Funding models should be based on science and open proposals. The review committees should base their decisions on the merit of the proposal rather than having a pre-conceived idea on what the priority should be. The alternate too often leads to funding of what are thought to be the issues as opposed to funding projects that may help to determine what the issues are.

    The current amount of funding that is being allocated to various projects should be revised in a new model that looks not just at charismatic megafauna, but looks into an ecosystem based approach. New economic methods of valuation may also assist in understanding the true value of our natural resources along with public educational initiatives to show how much nature really is worth. There are studies showing that ecosystem functions are worth far more than traditionally valued. These new kinds of economic valuation techniques should be explored and considered in relation to annual government budgets and how to allocate resources accordingly.

    A mistake that I keep seeing pop-up in comments is that things have been researched enough – to death – and we already know what to do. This is an incorrect understanding of the interplay between science and policy. Research has a role in terms of updating our knowledge, providing information, and it also changes with context as we learn and continue to inquire about the nature of the problem. This research must include engagement with the public and First Nations – a communication between different sectors in society to ensure that things are being properly valued, assessed, and integrated into management planning in accordance with funding and outcomes.

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    [-] Mark

    Funding should also be supplied by oil and gas and forest sectors using the same model that was used against the tobacco industry for its impact on health. It is evident that industry has had a major impact on wildlife and habitat declines and in terms of climate change related impacts. The cumulative impacts of forest harvesting and road networks fragmenting the landscape cannot be ignored.

    Much of what has been logged has been done so without an understanding of cumulative impacts on the migration of small species (amphibians for example), impacts on the watershed, how this has influenced climate change in terms of solar-albedo feedback; it is well known that the extent of snow plays a major role in the climate system through strong positive feedbacks related to albedo and clearing of land has a role in the retention, seasonal dynamics, and extent of snow coverage. Too often the public is focused on the obvious wildlife and habitat issues, but scientists understand the importance of the little creatures that are the nuts and bolts of the ecosystems. Attention must be directed toward a better understanding of how wildlife has been impacted through all trophic levels to mitigate and manage for a better economic future. I want my children and other members of my community to have jobs in forestry, but the method has been too focused on profit and less on wise stewardship. The forest and oil and gas industry is feeding into a sloppy system that needlessly wastes these goods. The price of product must match the economics of scale and impact.

    Industry needs to be held accountable for the poor economic models that have not properly valued the impacts to wildlife and habitat. They have had licensed permission to clear, harvest, and move through the commonwealth of our natural resources to accumulate a disproportionate amount of profit to the top CEO’s without due concern for the small communities, forestry personnel, and the ecosystems that sustain local economies.

    It is understood that forestry professionals and industry have indicated the importance of stewardship and many are taking action in this regard. However, the historical legacy of damage that has been done that lead to profits by extraction of public goods (ecosystem functions and services) must be addressed and balanced through compensation. A stead-state economic model for natural resource management should be considered in the long-term. In the short-term, it is advised that an act be put forward that requires funds from industry profiting off natural resources to be directed toward mitigation and study of cumulative and climate change related impacts to wildlife and habitat.

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    [-] Stephanie

    100% of licences and tags need to go into conservation. An extra tax on outdoor equipment. Taxes on tourism. All should go directly back into conservation. And repeat offenders of feedingwildlife, leaving garbage bins out that bears get into etc should be slapped with an additional fine that goes right into conservation

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    [-] Chad

    BC should have something set up exactly like the Pittman Robertson fund in the United States. No hunter or fisherman/woman would complain about having that tax on everything the purchase and having that $ go directly to wildlife conservation etc.

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    [-] Sasha

    I would support an increase in license fees so long as a mechanism is put in place to ensure that the revenues are shared between a dedicated fund for wildlife management and habitat enhancement and First Nations who hold aboriginal title to the lands where hunting occurs. At the same time it seems unfair that non consumptive users pay nothing for management and enhancement activity. Perhaps there could be a small surtax on outdoor equipment with revenues shared between wildlife management and search and rescue services.

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    [-] Rob

    It is imperative that every dollar raised from recreational user fees be paid to a dedicated exclusive account that is utilised only for wildlife and habitat management. It is important that these monies do not get placed in to general revenue and all revenue goes directly to wildlife management.

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    [-] Emery

    money from hunting tags should go towards wildlife. Simple as that.

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    [-] Kent

    All monies collected from Hunting licenses, tag’s & LEH applications along with Trapper & Guide outfitter’s fees should all be put back into wildlife management. Also a 1% tax should be implement on sporting goods related to these activities should be put in to wildlife management, that excludes any thing to do with a provincial or national park within the province of BC !

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    [-] Kyle

    What are the best funding models, funding sources, and creative financing ideas that could increase resources for wildlife management and habitat conservation and provide additional flexibility for how funding is prioritized and allocated?
    – It is imperative that every dollar raised from recreational user fees be paid to a dedicated exclusive account that is utilised only for wildlife and habitat management. It is important that these monies do not get placed in to general revenue and ALL of the money go directly to wildlife management.
    – All resource user groups whether wildlife watching, snowmobilers, or the like pay user fees that go to wildlife and habitat management
    – Dedicated budgets be allocated for wildlife management that is mandated by legislation. Wildlife should not be a political issue. Funding should be legislated and maintained from year to year. In other words, a change in the political party should not mean that wildlife budgets suffer.
    – Tags and licence fees need to increase to ensure wildlife management objectives are maintained.

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    [-] Chad

    Every user group needs to be charged more. Especially the photo tour groups. Hunters shoulder the largest load and it’s time for everyone to step up. It is also my belief that our hunting tags are to cheap and the price should be raised. As well as changes to how leh tags are handed out. And LEH moose should be around 250 dollars. Which should be payable upfront or you don’t get the tag. States like Utah Wyoming and Montana are already like this and generate in the 100 of millions for wildlife management. BC is far behind the times when it comes to it funding models and it would only have to look south of the border for those changes

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    [-] Warren

    EVERY dollar raised from recreational user fees be paid to account, for the exclusive use of wildlife/ habitat management.
    All resource user groups whether wildlife watching, snowmobilers, heli skiing pay user fees into the above mentioned account.
    Dedicated budgets allocated to wildlife mangers be mandated by legislation, and maintained from year to year.

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    [-] christopher

    All recreational users pay ,with all funds raised going back in to wildlife and not general coffers
    Proper budgets for inventory management and compliance
    Budgets should be legislated so they remain intact after a change in parties
    Higher non compliance fines
    Increase tag and license fees , All monies going back in to conservation

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    [-] Charlie

    Right now a portion of my hunting and fishing licenses go towards wildlife management and habitat conservation. Why isn’t there additional taxes on camping gear, atv’s, boat gas, bird watching gear, hiking boots? Everyone that buys something that is made to be used in the outdoors should contribute. It is unfair that as a hunter and fisherman i face negative publicity and judgement, yet the same people that judge me do not pay anything to protect wildlife or conserve ecosystems. Protecting the outdoors should be everyone’s responsibility, not just a select few. We all enjoy the outdoors, so we should all help pay to protect it.

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    [-] Jeff

    I feel that more if not all of thetaxes and money hunters spemd on tags and licensing and even weapons shoukd go directly to conservation. Not only for hunters but for all lovers of the wild.

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    [-] Stephen

    It is imperative that every dollar raised from recreational user fees be paid to a dedicated
    exclusive account that is utilised only for wildlife and habitat management. It is important that these monies do not get placed in to general revenue and all revenue goes directly to wildlife management. – All resource user groups whether wildlife watching, snowmobilers, heli-skiing or the like pay
    user fees that go to wildlife and habitat management – Dedicated budgets be allocated for wildlife management that is mandated by legislation. Wildlife should not be a political issue. Funding should be legislated and maintained from year to year. In other words, a change in the political party should not mean that wildlife budgets suffer. These funds should be allocated to a non-government wildlife society for administration based on clear management objectives and policies.

    Additionally, a Pitman-Robertson style taxation not only on firearms and ammunition but on all outdoor equipment (hiking, camping, mountain biking, skiing, etc.) would go a long way to increase funding and if implemented correctly would be widely accepted by British Columbians. User Pay!

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    [-] Scott

    I agree, take politicians out of the equation. Legislate funding and let the biologists manage the resources effectively.

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    [-] Matt

    All of the money from hunting and fishing licences AS WELL AS all of the money spent of species tags should be redirected into wildlife through the HCTF or a new government entity created for the sole purpose of preserving wildlife and wildlife habitat, kind of like the Department of the Interior but on a provincial level. This can be done through a Pittman-Robertson like act but on a provincial level. We should also be taking some of the taxes from purchased recreational outdoors gear such as hunting equipment (ammo, guns, etc.), fishing equipment (lures, rods, etc.), camping and even hiking gear. The way I see it, if you’re enjoying the outdoors, even by just hiking, you are having an impact on it and the money you spend on your equipment should be going back into said outdoors.

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    [-] Gary

    As said before, we need a BC version of the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell Johnson funding models that are applied in the US.

    I believe that the users of the wild spaces would willingly pay a reasonable levy to protect in perpetuity the places that they cherish.

    The payback would have to be that the funds would ALL have to go to conservation or rehabilitation projects, education programs, and protection of endangered species by buying and re-wilding private lands if appropriate. These funds could never be used to support general revenue and an independent oversight body would need to be set-up to scrutinize and qualify applications for funding.

    If we did this, funding for our wilderness and wildlife would be assured on an ongoing basis regardless of the political changes that occur in Victoria.

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    [-] george

    No harm in applying license fees toward conservation and rehabilitation. But why on earth are we not expecting industries to pay for the damage they do, and leaving the area they work on in acceptable habitat condition!!!
    Oil/gas industry leaves areas contaminated and just walk away. Change company name and ditch all financial responsibility for rehabilitation. Logging industry converts our diverse forests into habitat poor fiber farms. Then we try to find funds from hunting, fishing, recreational users to mitigate the damage to populations.
    Habitat and wildlife repair expenses should come out of the industries that are causing the problems.
    But we also need to change regulations, so industry can’t say that they were just doing what was legally allowed.

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    [-] Mandy

    I believe all the money that comes from the sale of hunting licenses and species licenses should go back to wildlife, not general revenue. Right now $25 of the $32 hunting license fee goes to general revenue, not wildlife! I would gladly pay double, if not triple, for some species licenses if I knew that money was going back into fish and wildlife. In many northern states the species licenses cost a lot more than we are charged, and more of their money goes back into fish and game.

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    [-] Caleb

    A revenue generated through hunting and fishing licenses should all go towards wildlife management!!
    We are way behind in dollars spent on wildlife in comparison to our southern neighbors.

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    [-] Jordan

    It is imperative that every dollar raised from recreational user fees be paid to a dedicated exclusive account that is utilised only for wildlife and habitat management. It is important that these monies do not get placed in to general revenue and all revenue goes directly to wildlife management. All resource user groups whether wildlife watching, snowmobilers, heli-skiing or the like pay user fees that go to wildlife and habitat management- Dedicated budgets be allocated for wildlife management that is mandated by legislation. Wildlife should not be a political issue. Funding should be legislated and maintained from year to year. In other words, a change in the political party should not mean that wildlife budgets suffer. These funds should be allocated to a non-government wildlife society for administration based on clear management objectives and policies.

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    [-] kr

    Why no “Pittman Robertson” style tax, to make it fair – the cyclists and everyone else should pay for the resource, not just anglers and hunters.

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    [-] Karl

    I am a bit concerned with the wording of the discussion question, as it does not specify financing ideas for research per se. My feeling is that it has become increasingly difficult over the past 20 years to find dollars for actual research on wildlife in this province, other than the large charismatic species. Funds for ‘wildlife management’ and ‘habitat conservation’ are obviously critical, but let’s face it, these activities require research to provide directions and recommendations. Researchers have by necessity gotten clever at disguising ‘research’ as stewardship, but it would be nice to see a more clear-cut, out-in-the-open provision of research dollars for a wide range of species.

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    [-] Rob

    The best funding models would devote 100% of hunting license revenue to an independent agency tasked with conservation. It would also collect revenue from all users of the environment, from hikers to mountain bikers to skiers. The compensation paid by commercial enterprises, whether recreational or resource extraction, must be increased.

    In the short term the budget for conservation and wildlife must be doubled (in which case it would still be less than a rounding error for everyday government spending).

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    [-] Jenny

    I and several others will second this comment “For starters, 100% of monies from hunting licences and tags go directly back to wildlife management. I’m sure most sportsman would be on board with an increase to tag and licence fees if they knew the money was actually going to wildlife funding. Or what about something similar to the Pittman-Robertson Act in the United States.”

    I’m confused at how we could spend billions on a bridge but not even a quarter of that budget towards annual wildlife efforts. Our city spends as much as our total wildlife budget in a day…how could we allocate such a small amount for the year? To protect our “beautiful bc”?

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    [-] Jason

    Habitat is key. Any disrupter (industrial, developer rancer, farmer, corporation) whom disrupts habitat must restore, enhance and protect wildlife habitat. Development must be managed to improve habitat, no net loss!

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    [-] Nadine

    I believe funding for wildlife and wilderness should be a direct line item on the budget period. It should be based on the cost of rehabilitation of habitat and all measures of wildlife enhancement. I don’t believe funding from user groups should be a direct source. Once someone funds something the they believe they should have a greater right to dictate policy. Example Guide outfitters should not have their needs prioritized because of the funds they pay. The right decisions on where the money is spent and how much must be free from external funding sources. I believe we need to properly charge all user groups for their use of wilderness and wildlife. Recreation tenure holders, heavy industries, hunting, fishing licenses, and farming use, must reflect the true cost of using wilderness plus a percentage of profit and this money is general revenue. Fines for deliberate and non deliberate destruction of wilderness, poaching and interference must be laid, reflect the true cost of the damage and all that money must be used to clean up and re-habilitate. (Mount Polly mine owners should still be charged the full amount of the cost for the clean up and restoration. Poachers pay the fine, go to jail, lose their fire arms and never get them back, never get a hunting license and if they are guide outfitters they forfeit their tenure and the government can either resell it or discontinue it. Fish farms are another example of not paying for the use and destruction of wild habitat. This does not dismiss the opportunity for non profits to donate to specific enhancement programs.

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    [-] Frank

    taxes taxes. there is enough money out there to fund wildlife management bc will prosper more with a good science based approach to wildlife management. we don’t come close to the amount of money the USA spend on their programs not even close maybe its time we put our money where our wildlife live

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    [-] Bryson

    Introduce a 2% tax on all outdoor related clothing and gear… from rain jackets and boots to backpacks and trailers…. anything that is even remotely related to the outdoors or outdoor activities

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    [-] Garth

    To ensure that 100% of hunting and trapping fees go back into wildlife. To insert a Pittman Robinson taxation on hunting equipment including backpacking equipment. Get funding from large Liscensees in the forest industry to make sure they and a part of there stumpage go back into wildlife management

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    [-] John

    A majority of tag and license revenue, if not ALL, should go directly back to find wildlife conservation efforts.

    A Pittman Robertson style fund would be an amazing way to fund efforts as well.

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    [-] Brycen

    There is very limited support of our current Limited Entry Hunting system. It is an odds based system where your odds are said to increase however this does not hold true. Perhaps the Province could look to some of its neighbours to the east (Alberta and Saskatchewan) and south (US). There are models out there where an applicant applies for a set amount of years while their odds significantly increase each year. At the end of a determined amount of years (4-5) the applicant’s odds stay high until they are drawn.

    I believe residents in BC would support paying more than the current $6.50 per application if they knew in a reasonable amount of time they would be successfully drawn. In it’s current state the LEH system feels like a random draw where some people are drawn every year and some never. Out of frustration people put their money elsewhere than into the LEH system.

    I echo the opinions already on this forum. Take the revenues which hunters pay each year and inject it right back into conservation, wildlife and habitat.

    Great discussions!

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    [-] Michael

    1.) Increase the percentage from hunting, fishing, trapping and guide outfitting licenses that goes toward improving habitat and wildlife conservation.

    2.) Implement a reasonable surcharge on outdoor industry purchases that include every activity that impacts habitat and wildlife. (hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, skiing(on & off resort), watersports, Park use, as well as tour groups, etc.) Similar thought for business groups using for livelihood (free range cattle, sheep, cat skiing, etc.)

    3.) Reclamation fines for industries that run over on contractual agreed upon timeframe and standards for remediation work.

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    [-] Nick

    The Pittman-Robertson act in the USA is the best model out there. Put a tax on every gun, hiking boot, tent or any other piece of outdoor gear purchased and make 100% of it go towards conservation.

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    [-] Douglas

    Increase funding substantially. Remove foreign guide outfitters. All licensing funds should be allocated to management.

    Stop the spraying of timber lands.

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    [-] Kevin

    Lotteries, tax on foreign corporations.

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    [-] Dave

    All money from hunting and trapping fees should be going to managing hunting and trapping. It should not be the source of funding for wildlife or natural resource management. Too many important players who impact the sector are not hunters or trappers.

    Industry needs to pay a fee, park users, First Nations, road users, tourists as well. In other words, everyone in the province. Money from general revenue should be helping a science based management of our wildlife and habitat, not just the relative peanuts hunting and fishing licenses provide.

    Many people who are not hunters want to have a voice in regulating hunting. That is democracy. If they feel that this is an important issue, they need to support some of their funds going to support their opinion. As such, general tax funds should be going to this sector.

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    [-] Vern

    100% of the revenue from fishing and hunting licenses must be put back into conservation. Adopting a Pittman Robertson/Dingle Johnson style system should also be looked into.

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    [-] GREG

    THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD INCREASE THEIR EFFORT TO FACILITATE ENCOURAGE AND FUND ORGANISATIONS SUCH AS STREAM KEEPERS – PACIFIC SALMON FOUNDATION AND THE NATURE TRUST OF BC IN ACQUIRING MANAGING AND CONSERVING WILD HABITATS IN PERPETUITY

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    [-] Brett

    Funding needs to increase ten fold.
    We are so far behind in wildlife funding compared to other provinces and states.

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    [-] Jennifer

    INCREASE FUNDING. Wildlife belong to all British Columbians and our tax dollars pay to manage them. This includes activities like the conservation officer service and hunting and trapping. I’d like to see those funds also used to help protect wildlife, through rehabilitation and habitat protection.

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    [-] Nick

    The province could do so much more and like others have suggested as well those who use the wild places should pay into them. This inculdes not only hunters and anglers license and tag fees but other parties who value the wild spaces such as hikers, campers, boaters, etc anyone who participates is an activity that has the potential to affect wildlife or their habitats should pitch in. I would like to see BC become the leader in wildlife conservation and management for all to enjoy, veiw and harvest. Whether the funds come from small additional taxes on outdoor goods, parking fees, camping fees etc…. The important part is that it goes directly back into the wildlife conservation, management and management of habitats.

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    [-] Kyle

    All outdoor equipment should be additionally taxed and 100% of revenues need to be allocated to wildlife projects. Same goes for fishing and hunting license revenues, it should not go to general revenues.

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    [-] Kelly

    Talking to hunters/anglers/ecotourists, etc, I haven’t met one that isn’t willing to pay more for licenses, or a tax on gear, photography gear, outdoor gear, etc. Apparently BC residents pay approx $7 per year to habitat wildlife management per current budgets. The budget for wildlife and habitat as not moved in 30 years while all other areas have increased. It’s time we change the funding model and source more $ before it’s too late. We have lived in abundance, it’s time we consider the fact our resources are finite.

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    [-] Scott

    There is an easy start to increasing funding, all the money from hunting licenses and tags should go into conservation, not general revenue. This was a campaign promise that has yet to be followed through. We must hold our elected representatives accountable for this.

    We should also be looking at an additional levy on the resource industry that operates in B.C. that directly funds conversation. The government should also increase funding, I am sure that a 50 billion a year budget could accommodate more that the approximately 30 million they spend on wildlife management.

    Finally as an outdoor enthusiast and sportsman I would be willing to pay an additional tax on all outdoor, hunting, and fishing equipment as long as it was earmarked for conservation and could not be siphoned off into general revenue i.e the ICBC fiasco. This would be very similar to the US model which has been very successful.

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    [-] David

    We already have funding sources: campground fees, hinting licenses, fishing licenses, corporate/industry fees, fines and responsibilities.

    All that needs to be done is to see that those fees are collected and applied to wildlife management instead of general revenues.

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    [-] Graham

    All money or a greater portion from tags and licenses need to be directed back into wildlife.

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    [-] Keith

    Money taken by hunting fees should go directly back into conservation. My understanding is that it goes into general revenue. In the U.S. this is the opposite. Hunters need to be able to claim that we care for the environment so the money from licenses, auctions and tags should go right back into the environment,.

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    [-] Ben

    Profits from hunting licenses, tags, limited entry should without question should be 100% be put back into wildlife management. Rates could be increased and I’m sure if sportsmen and women knew it was going back into wildlife they’d have no problem paying a bit extra

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    [-] John

    All revenues from hunting licenses and tags should be put back into wildlife management and habitat conservation. Further, other user groups, particularly industry, should also be paying into the funding model. Forestry, mining, oil and gas, etc should all be required to put funding into habitat conservation, in particular. Ditto for tourism-related user groups, whether photographers or kayakers or hikers, everyone that’s using our wilderness should be putting money back into it in one way or another. This could be done by following the hunting and fishing license model, much as the CBVA is doing with bear viewing licenses that will be going back into wildlife management and bear conservation.

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    [-] Clint

    All money from hunting tags and licenses need to go directly to wildlife conservation….. that would be like a 70% increase from where we are today. Can you imagine what could be done with that!

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    [-] Michael

    FIrst of all, any money spent by hunters on tags, licences etc. should be put back towards conservation. Most hunters, myself included would be happy to pay more for tags and license IF and only IF they knew that 100% of it was going back to our wildlife and habitat. Second, all recreational and industrial users should be paying for their use of our natural spaces and resources, the same way that hunters do. Third, a small tax could be implemented on firearms, ammunition and outdoor gear to help fund conservation, similar to the pittman robertson act in the US. The tax could go further to include recreational vehicles like boats and atvs and UTV’s. I’m usually against raising taxes because it is so often a government cash grab that goes into general revenue; however, if the monies were going exclusively into wildlife and habitat research and projects, I would be all for it.

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    [-] Sorelle

    • The feral rabbit issue was greatly exacerbated by past FLNRORD policy, FLNRORD should have an obligation to help fix it by facilitating research funding, seed funding, crown property use and/or other resources.
    • The government can divert crown land to contain sterilized rabbits allowing them to live out their lives in a controlled natural environment that will also diminish the need for ongoing care and maintenance funds.
    • Trapping and sterilizing costs about the same as trapping and humanely euthanizing. Rescues can be invited to take over guardianship once the rabbits are sterilized. (Sterilization and containment will be paramount). Rabbit fans will donate to help save the bunnies.
    • Private citizens can pay to have the feral rabbits removed from their properties
    • Budgets spent on fixing rabbit damage (private citizens, municipal, provincial and federal properties) can be diverted to rabbit control.
    • Partnerships agencies and grant programs can also contribute financially and in other ways, eg: municipalities can provide limited building supplies and labour to compliment a crown land lease.
    • The goal is to bring the feral rabbit populations down (via trapping and prevention) allowing ongoing control from the municipalities.
    • The need for funding for feral rabbit control should decrease over a 15 year control period as all the areas are cleared and the rabbit die off in the sanctuaries.
    • In the long term, licensing fees charged to breeders who sell European rabbits can be implemented (to compliment identification and sterilization regulations also needed) and those funds can help finance feral rabbit control.

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    [-] Pete

    Partner with associations and local clubs. Wild sheep foundation, SCI, B&C, P&Y, Ducks unlimited, Trout unlimited ect ect. They have budgets, and specialized resources to help. They have knowledge. Speak to them. Partner with them.

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    [-] John

    Hunters have been the ones funding wildlife since the beginning of the conservation movement and seems to have gone unappreciated. Would be nice to see other stake holders contribute. Also 100% of all hunting, trapping and guide outfitting licenses should be going to wildlife management. Maybe time for municipalities that have high human wildlife conflicts to hire there their own wildlife mangers and free up conservation officer to deal with poaching and backcountry wildlife offenders.

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    [-] Andrew

    All outdoor gear and outdoor sports equipment such as camping, hiking, biking, boating, skiing, snowboarding etc should have a small tax that goes directly to habitat and conservation. All money spent on fishing licences and tags should go towards habitat and conservation.

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    [-] Warren

    The NDP campaigned on the fact that they would take ALL money from licences and tag and use it for wildlife management and stop the practice of moving the majority of the funds for the provincial governments general revenue. This would be a great first step to increase funding. Second step need to be bringing on board other user groups that operate in wildlife habitat (skier, bikers, ORV users, backpackers, wildlife viewers, heli-hike, heli-ski and heli-bikers) and have them contribute to funding for habitat conservation as well. Hunters and anglers would have zero issues with paying more for licences and tags if they know the money was used for habitat and wildlife conservation. The next revenue stream should be paid for by industry. Mining and forestry need to step up and give back for conservation. Maybe something like the model of 2% for conservation and apply that to industry.

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    [-] Josh

    Resource excretion is by for the largest footprint on wild land and needs to pay more for habitat fragmentation. More Special Lottery and Auction tags. The funding is there if the government decides managing wildlife for abundance and as a valuable resource is priority.

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    [-] Yolanda

    More funding now for conservation officers. More fines for offenders.more punishment follow through for offenders

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    [-] John

    Funding needs to increase for wildlife management as BC is behind in proactive management. The C O Service is understaffed and underfunded. Funding sources are all licence, tag, LEH application, permits returned to an 8ndependent agency with the mandate to manage wildlife. Non concumptive users, ie birders, photographer, wildlife sightseers, bikers, hikers, and other outdoor users need to contribute, much the same as the Robertson Pittman Act in the US.

    Studies that are conducted by academics can be dovetailed to provide data that maybe of value to wildlife management. Cofunding on such studies can enhance the financial aspect of these studies.
    Funding for critical winter habitat currently comes from the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. If there were tax incentives for landowners who wished to see wildlife values retained on their properties, there needs to be a way to compensate them. For example the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation facilitates landowners establishing easements on their properties which provides tax breaks to the owners as well as retaining wildlife values. The owner retains ownership and use of the property, however future development ie, housing subdivisions, are stopped. This has been very successful in preserving critical tracks of land for all wildlife species, not just elk. The RMEF, a large conservation group, has funded large tracks of critical habitat to enhance access for the general public as well as to protect habitat. They have often helped in bridging financing the purchases with other wildlife agencies. The RMEF turns ownership over to other agencies. The RMEF is funded primarily by tax deductible donations. The RMEF funds many wildlife studies, prescribrd burns, habitat improvement projects, elk transplants, chronic wasting disease studies. A funding model similar to this could be used in BC.
    If the opportunity existed for more “on the ground “ involvement by the public or groups in wildlife management projects, ie, habitat improvement, invasive species eradication, fence removal, re is no doubt that groups such as BCWF members would participate. These types of endeavours would need the oversight of the agency responsible for wildlife management.
    Resource extraction companies could have a levy with the funds going to wildlife management.

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    [-] Martin

    Would like to see 100% of tags and licenses to go towards the conservation of wildlife and wild places. Funds being used for science should tell use what is needed. Would like to see science based conservation for the betterment and management of BCs wildlife.

    A built in tax (2-3%) on outdoor gear, ammunition/guns, recreation vehicle such as ATVs, dirt bikes, boats, ski pass, wildlife veiwing, ect outdoor stuff

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    [-] Leeanne

    More people need to be able to contribute to these surcharges for conservation and NOT just hunters & trappers. The non hunting public need to be included in helping fund this and have a voice at tge table. Its unfair that the hunting & trapping minority have such a stronghold in here

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    [-] Vickie

    I’m sure that I am not alone in saying that if we had to pay more for our resident hunting license and tags I would be more than okay with that as long as the money didn’t go straight to taxes but went to conservation. Also if there was an additional tax on hunting/outdoor related items that was dedicated strictly towards conservation, I imagine that most people involved in such activities would also be okay with that.

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    [-] Vickie

    Also would link to add that 100% of our current license fees be dedicated to conservation ASAP and not waiting for any changes to happen in regards to increasing fees or not

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    [-] Scott

    “If it pays, it stays.”

    The model of hunters and anglers paying the HCTF is a great model; however, we are disappointed with the lack of funding we’re seeing for projects related to caribou and moose. We are displeased when inventory work that should be done by government, as part of government’s core responsibility, is being funded by HCTF instead.

    A couple of great funding examples we can look to are the Pittman-Robertson Act, and the Dingell-Johnson Act. Both acts demonstrate that when users see their money being invested back into the resource, they are willing to pay. Applied in British Columbia, this type of model would include placing an excise tax on certain products, including non-consumptive users, producing a bigger catchment. Everybody who goes into the backcountry should contribute to the protection and maintenance of the resource.

    From Wikipedia July 26, 2018:
    The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937, most often referred to as the Pittman–Robertson Act . Prior to the creation of the Pittman–Robertson Act, many species of wildlife were driven to or near extinction by commercial/market hunting pressure and/or habitat degradation from humans. The Act created an excise tax that provides funds to each state to manage such animals and their habitats.

    The Pittman–Robertson Act took over a pre-existing 11% excise tax on firearms and ammunition. The money is kept separate and is given to the Secretary of the Interior to distribute to the States, based upon a formula that takes into account both the area of the state and its number of licensed hunters.

    States must fulfill certain requirements to use the money apportioned to them. None of the money from their hunting license sales may be used by anyone other than the state’s fish and game department. Plans for what to do with the money must be submitted to and approved by the Secretary of the Interior. Acceptable options include research, surveys, management of wildlife and/or habitat, and acquisition or lease of land. Once a plan has been approved, the state must pay the full cost and is later reimbursed for up to 75% of that cost through P–R funds. The 25% of the cost that the state must pay generally comes from its hunting license sales.

    This piece of legislation has provided states with funding for research and projects that would have been unaffordable otherwise. According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service webpage that was updated in January 2010, over two billion dollars of federal aid has been generated through this program, which in turn means that states have kept up their 25% contributions with over 500 million dollars.

    The habitat acquisition and improvement made possible by this money has allowed some species with large ranges such as American black bears, elk, and cougars, to expand their ranges beyond their normal boundaries prior to the implementation of the act. Important game populations such as white-tailed deer and several Galliformes have also had a chance to recover and expand their populations.

    The Dingell–Johnson Act, also called the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act, is a United States federal law from 1950 that authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance for state fish restoration and management plans and projects.

    Another concept is to apply a one dollar per cubic meter tax to stumpage that would be directed to wildlife and habitat enhancement. It’s a small price to pay for the destruction of our forests, and would add up to millions.

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    [-] David

    Best way to generate funding is to not limit economic activity from natural resource. This is the primary source of non-tax revenue for this province.

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    [-] Jefferson

    Of course all current consumptive licence fees (hunting, fishing, eco-tourism, Park Users & Permit fees, etc.) should be dedicated to preservation/habitat restoration. Increase monetary amounts, enforce and collect fines under the BC Wildlife Act, for violations and non-compliance regarding non-natural attractant management commercial/farm/residential. All dedicated back to habitat/species preservation.
    Implement 1% “Eco-tax” on everything from sports bras to snow tires, for absolute dedication to protection/preservation/restoration/staffing of wilderness habitat, lakes/rivers/creeks, ‘Conservancies’, ‘Sanctuaries’, BC Parks, etc.
    Or choose to prioritize allocation of tax revenues to invest in preservation/rehabilitation of habitat, as wild places keep life living (see oxygen, carbon dioxide, water, soils, food webs).

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