Challenge 4: Increasing Human Activity



Habitat loss, alteration and fragmentation are increasing due to human activity.

Opportunities

  • Integrate wildlife and habitat values into decision-making about land and natural resource use on Crown and private land.
  • Expand the use of cumulative effects assessment and habitat modelling to better understand the effects of human activity on wildlife habitats throughout B.C.
  • Use land use planning, access management and other landscape-level tools to reduce the impacts of human activity on wildlife and their habitats.
  • Consider consolidating habitat conservation provisions in provincial natural resource legislation so that they apply to all industries and human activities across B.C.
  • Review the effectiveness of current land conservation designations on both Crown and private land and consider changes to increase their effectiveness.
  • Increase public awareness about the importance of conserving biodiversity and habitats to maintain environmental sustainability, human health, and the provincial economy.
  • Foster individual, industry and community actions that contribute to conservation and habitat stewardship on Crown and private land.

Discussion Question

  • What is the most effective way of ensuring that wildlife and habitats are healthy while fostering a healthy economy to ensure life is affordable for British Columbians?

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115 responses to “Challenge 4: Increasing Human Activity

    User avatar
    [-] Drew

    For wildlife, increase conservation officers. Make First Nations report their harvest records each year and have conservation officers assist band councils in enforcing their members to not over harvest or harvest species at risk. In region 3 increase the amount of non motorized hunting areas. Too much road hunting of mule deer is occurring in this region. Make these full restrictions not with open roads throughout. Make forest licensees fully deactivate RP roads to the old forest practices code standards. Abcfp members are just doing the minimum requirements for road deactivation to the current fpp regs. Match the mule deer regulations between region 5,3 and 8; making region 3 more restrictive. Make all resource companies follow district access manage plans, that support habitat for species that are in decline. Force highways to plan for wildlife crossings to ensure genetic biodiversity.

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    [-] Jake

    100% for this one -> “Consider consolidating habitat conservation provisions in provincial natural resource legislation so that they apply to all industries and human activities across B.C.”. We need to ensure that all users are bound by the same baseline rules.

    Increased public education would also increase the public’s buy-in to protecting our natural resources and provide a better understanding of the impacts that our growing populations can deliver. With growing populations and better access to trails/ backroads/ camping/ etc. information sharing this pressure will increase more and more.

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    [-] Erin

    Consolidating habitat conservation provisions in legislation so that they apply to all industries and human activities across B.C. will be the most effective way of doing this. Everyone has to participate equally to protect habitat and species at risk.

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    [-] Dan

    To whom it may concern,I have lived my entire life in the Pine River valley of North East B.C. South Peace River District. (68 years) born in 1949. I was present when the John Hart highway opened, the PGE rail line was laid, the West Coast Transmission pipelines built, the B.C. hydro lines strung through the Pine Valley, and Pine Pass opening up North East B.C.’s vast resources. This infrastructure corridor is in many places only several hundred meters wide due to the terrain making the Pine River corridor some of the most valuable real estate in the province and the most polluted. Residents have long complained in public meetings (myself among them) about haphazard and shoddy industrial practice, particularly after a weather related event, Most regulations are followed at first but once passed and repair is needed regulations are ignored as repair is called ” temporary” . When the rail line and highway were first laid down, all fish bearing streams had bridges or trestles over them , as per federal regulations many now have culverts blocking spawning Fish stocks and the smaller tributary rivers of the Peace are being destroyed by this practice. Recreational river boating is destroying spawning gravel beds, killing eggs and hatchlings , as fry in shallow water the wash from these powerful boats lift the fish onto the shore killing an entire hatch. The wash of silt covers insects or destroys the insect eggs, no food, no fish. The Pine River is one of the South Peace’s most endangered, most visible , and most beautiful. Please pass legislation to protect it. I would be open to further discussion on this.

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    [-] Bill

    Understand that like Aboriginals, the fish and wildlife were there first so when a human has a confrontation with a wild animal,put the human down, not the animal…… But seriously, respect the rights of animals and if we must intrude, do it on foot, at least when talking about recreation access.

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    [-] JK

    In my part of BC (East Kootenay’s) formal recreational development is severely limited due to the prospect of loss of habitat. This has not stopped the activities from occurring, they are just unmanaged and unregulated. With Destination BC promoting recreation and wildlife to the world (https://www.hellobc.com/) there needs to be some give and take to develop recreation centres/trails/etc to concentrate the usage in certain areas. Right now it is a free for all with very little maintenance occurring. If one branch of the government wants to promote BC as a recreational wonderland then there needs to be support to ensure the infrastructure is there and managed. Providing proper recreational opportunities that meet the expectations of the public can help manage habitat loss by concentrating and controlling users.

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    [-] Anthony

    “If one branch of the government wants to promote BC as a recreational wonderland then there needs to be support to ensure the infrastructure is there and managed. Providing proper recreational opportunities that meet the expectations of the public can help manage habitat loss by concentrating and controlling users.”

    Exactly.

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    [-] Nick

    Absolutely! You can’t preserve nature by putting it in a box, recognize that humans are a natural part of nature. We belong in it just as much as the animals, but our footprint needs to be managed. So provide infrastructure, make rules, and have COs to enforce rules.

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    [-] Rick

    There is a lot of mention of how important habitat is. Then why is the govt allowing arial spraying of herbicides in the Prince George and Quesnell regions to kill the decidous plants and trees to accelerate the growth of lumber species. A balanced ecosystem is essential for animals to flourish.

    The fish and wildlife branch should have more power to enforce habitat protection, limit forestry in critical areas, ensure complete and total road deactivation in critical areas. Road deactivation should mean removing all trace of the road not just digging a couple ditches to stop vehicles. Ditches do not slow down predators.

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    [-] John

    Halt urban sprawl. Every hectare of land that is developed a surcharge of $$ is contributed to a wildlife fund. Stop filling in our wetlands.
    Stop giving the forest land away to the logging companies. For every tree harvested there should be financial levy to habit fund. Stop allowing mining companies to pollute with minimal consequences. We have allowed unlimited access to foreign ownership of land in BC, while other provinces have limits on ownership .

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    [-] Bill

    Habitat and Wilderness don’t belong in the same discussion. Wilderness is truly wild, without roads or resource extraction or human interference. BC needs more wilderness, with limited non-motorized access.

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    [-] John

    Comprehensive land use planning at the local level. Focus on the cumulating effects of resources development. More habitat restoration and road de-activation.

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    [-] Nick

    Logging practices need to change. Wildlife managers should have final say on logging decisions. Spread the cut blocks out. Limit their size so the impact is less and recovery is faster. Use some selective logging not just clearcuts. Stop logging on steep erosion probe hillsides. After logging the priority should be to allow land to return to natural state, not using it a a tree farm. Stop planting massive monocultures of pine which breed pine beetles and cause fires.

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    [-] Trevor

    We have devoted enough of the province to human oriented uses. What small areas of undisturbed natural habitat are left need to be preserved immediately. As well, we need to start linking habitat corridors to create contiguous areas for seasonal migration and avoiding genetic drift. An area that comes to mind is are the south Okanagan Grasslands, currently there is an opportunity to preserve a large block of land. This should be done, other areas of similar value can be identified and preserved

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    [-] Lee

    The opportunities listed above are all necessary. I would add that funding is needed for more Park Rangers to control excessive/ damaging human activity in provincial and federal parks. Funding sources should include a small tax on all hunting/ fishing/ outback equipment as well as ATVs and dirtbikes with funds targeted directly for funding monitors (Rangers) for this program. Funding is also required to establish Rangers on Crown lands In conjunction with the Ministry of Environment/Forestry and local land management boards to control irregulated uses and illegal/damaging trails that compromise wildlife and habitats. The Crown land Ranger should post designated trail use and decommission illegal trails built on Crown land such as in the Chilliwack River Valley/Vedder Mountain where ATVs and dirt bike trails run through sensitive wildlife management areas, alpines and rare species habitat. The provincial government should look at fines for disruptive/illegal use of trails.
    Intregrating the “wildlife and habitat values into decision-making about land and natural resource use on Crown and private land” is good. However as in AICHI Target 11, in cases of conflict, nature conservation objectives should not be compromised.

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    [-] Lee

    A current example is the IWMS which provides for less than 90 of the over 1500 species at risk and restricts total habitat for all accumulated species to less than 1% of the annual allowable cut within a forest district. More serious, however, within all species-habitat protected areas (parks, reserves, management areas, etc.) we need to factor in climate change. It is estimated with a 3°C-increase we can expect a 250-km latitude change and/or a 500-m altitude change in their range as a minimum (McArthur 1972, Dorf 1976, Furley et al. 1983). This alone creates serious challenges as species may migrate out of our current protected areas set aside for them. The only way to manage our wildlife and habitats is is through large scale ecosystem planning that maintains 50% of the integrity of each land-based ecosystem. This is the only way we can protect species in our rapidly changing world. This hard reality of large-scale ecosystem planning and forward thinking of having to move species protected habitat areas due to the effects of climate change requires education of the public, our politicians and industries.

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    [-] Annie

    More fines and bigger ones for those that infringe and damage wildlife or wildlife habitat. THat runs from the idiot in my neighborhood leaving out garbage that the bears get in to to to those industries who have left leaking oil wells in the Peace that are leaking years after the project finished (and you pass them on other EAs. Serious, past failures SHOULD count against future approvals). Maybe add a LOT MORE inspectors to identify problems and get remediation started now. And spend the dollars for that remediation as your fines to companies sure aren’t sufficient.

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    [-] Judy

    I agree with all the opportunities listed above and support the direction of these policies. The interpretation of “wildlife values” may be misleading right now because the province values animals that are used for consumption over other animals. All animals should be considered under the same “values” which does not categorize one species over another. An ecosystem approach model should be the objective for the future. As human populations grow and the recreational needs expand the province will have to consider and implement closures and restrictions to protect wildlife and habitat. The national parks already implement regular trails and activities closures, sometimes seasonal, to protect wildlife and that is an example of protect management; where the wildlife takes precedence over human activity.

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    [-] Doris

    Policies should reflect that hunting and trapping are no longer the only reasons people are outdoors.

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    [-] Barry

    Yes, but hunters, trappers, and anglers are the only ones that have to “pay to play”. So why shouldn’t policy be geared towards the people that pay the bills?

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    [-] Line

    – Increased enforcement of human activity, including hunting and trapping, recreational use, and industry use in natural areas will assist in preventing conflict.
    – Recognize that hunting and trapping are no longer the only reasons people are outdoors – and policy should reflect this.

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    [-] Evelyn

    It should be recognize that hunting and trapping are no longer the only reasons people are outdoors and policy should reflect this.

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    [-] Alexander

    Other than in parks, or near the lower mainland, it is actually the only reason I ever see anyone out in woods, hours from the nearest town. The only people I come across when I am way out in the bush, hours from the nearest paved road, are other people who are hunting, fishing, and camping (First Nations and non-First Nations). Near population centres, in established parks or on established trails is the only place you ever find non-hunter/anglers. They explore only a tiny fraction of the back country compared with hunters and anglers.

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    [-] Chris

    Yes! why is this even a question??

    Consider consolidating habitat conservation provisions in provincial natural resource legislation so that they apply to all industries and human activities across B.C.

    For crying out loud.

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    [-] Jason

    In my opinion, there is no bigger threat to BC’s wildlife populations than habitat destruction/loss and I would just like to echo most of the comments that the original poster (Drew) mentioned:
    – hire more conservation officers
    – require everyone (including FN’s) to report their harvest numbers every year
    – increase the number of non-motorized hunting areas; there are too many road hunters and quad riders that constantly pressure vulnerable animals (like mule deer) in very remote and sensitive areas
    – de-activate more logging roads that are no longer in use, particularly in areas where wildlife populations are struggling
    – harmonize mule deer regs in regions 3,5,8
    – increase safe road crossings (tunnels or bridges) for ungulates, particularly mule deer that migrate many many km’s

    And I would like to plead with you to please stop allowing logging companies to cut down aspen trees that they’re not interested in harvesting in the first place because they can’t make 2X4’s out of them. Aspen are one of the staples in moose’s diet and it might explain why their numbers are decreasing everywhere in the province (because we’re destroying a crucial food source). Moreover, please make it illegal for these same logging companies to spray young aspen with herbicides after they’ve logged an area – this is ridiculous!! So not only are we cutting down one of their most important food sources, we’re also spraying whatever younger newer growth aspen (their favourite) might happen to be growing after the block was logged, with POISON, simply because they grow faster than their precious timber. Please start protecting aspen trees and re-think this asinine forestry practice that is severely harming our moose populations, particularly in the central interior.

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    [-] Josh

    No development areas need to start being created in more areas of critical ungulate winter range.

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    [-] Alexander

    I believe that it is important to include biologists in the planning of resource extraction to minimize the impact on critical habitat and ensure that remediation after the fact restores areas affected by resource extraction such as logging to pre-use conditions. One of the most important ways to do that is by removing logging roads in a meaningful way, rather than simply “Deactivating” them by digging a little ditch which ever 4×4 is able to easily cross. This does not limit human contact, nor does it reduce the ability for predators such as wolves to travel and hunt more effectively. It is not about halting completely resource usage, but rather minimizing the detrimental impacts of it. A portion of the fees or money collected by the province from resource extraction should go do habitat restoration and minimizing the detrimental effects.

    Additionally, by improving habitat, rec sites, and camp sites, across the province, British Columbians will have improved opportunities to enjoy nature with outdoor recreation. Provincial Campsites used to have a lot more interpretive talks about nature, to instill in the public and mostly children the importance and value of wild spaces. We need to bring back outdoor education for children in schools and provincial parks to improve the average person’s connection with nature in BC. Camping is one of the most affordable means of having a holiday and it has the added benefit of improving how much everyone feels connected to and invested in nature. Additionally, by encouraging people to spend time connecting with nature through camping, fishing, hunting, boating, ATVing, snowmobiling, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, etc., people will feel more ownership and responsibility for nature and be more willing to accept fees which are earmarked to protecting habitat, fish, and wildlife. If fees were truly earmarked for conservation and restoration, I believe that most hunters, like myself, would happily pay moderately increased fees. I would hope that other groups would feel that same responsibility for looking after the nature that they spend their recreational time enjoying. Many organizations are able to multiply dollars donated 2, 3 or four times to increase the effectiveness of money raised to protect habitat. If the provincial government were to work closely with these organizations to ensure that earmarked conservation dollars were spent in the most effective way to protect and restore habitat for animals then I believe that all stakeholders would be onboard. The cynicism which exists about fees, levees, or excise taxes is that the funds will not be destined for the intended purpose. This cynicism can easily be addressed by defining funding models which ensure habitat gets the protection and enhancements it deserves.

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    [-] Peter

    Increased enforcement of human activity, including hunting and trapping, recreational use, and industry use in natural areas will assist in preventing conflict.
    Recognize that hunting and trapping are no longer the only reasons people are outdoors – and policy should reflect this.

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    [-] Bernie

    Having science based decisions made instead of politically expedient ones

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    [-] gerry

    Remove large industrial interests from the equation and promote economic diversification for remote communities.
    Self reliance for these communities is essential to promote stewardship values regionally. It is too hard to feel empowered when you are beholden upon centralized government and distant industrial stakeholders to run your economy.
    These groups will never share the values of people living and raising families in these areas but yet are always influencing all decisions and pulling all the strings.
    In simple terms LOCAL CONTROL.
    I believe such a policy will result in a more cohesive relationship among first nations and newcomer communities as they will all be able develop planning based on shared values. It is critical to support such policy in conjunction with investment in carefully planned, non-extractive economic development and diversification.

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    [-] Holly

    Don’t allow humans to disrupt any of the land. Protect it! No hunting no building no cutting nothing. At least until number are up and everything is above par

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    [-] Hilary

    There should be more public education on the importance of biodiversity of both wildlife and habitat. This should be taught in schools to create better awareness. There should be much more restriction of motorized vehicles in any area where wildlife are at risk. Mud-bogging should be banned – just wasting fossil fuels while terrorizing wildlife and smashing sensitive alpine plants and other vegetation.

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    [-] Jody

    We must learn how to live harmoniously within the limits of our bio-regions. If we continue to consume at thresholds that are beyond the capacity of our bio-regions we will eventually come to a point where we can’t sustain ourselves. Our economy is primarily supported by the natural resources provided by our environment so if we degrade our habitats and over-harvest our wildlife, our economy will suffer in the long run.

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    [-] Keaton

    The increased focus on cumulative impacts is very important. We need to stop addressing the impacts of development on a project-by-project basis and see what the overall effect is on the landscape and on wildlife. With this, I hope will come a more prevention-based approach to protecting wildlife, so that we aren’t always waiting until it’s almost too late.

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    [-] Dylan

    Wildlife and habitat have to be held with a higher value when decisions are being made on mining expansions, forestry practices, roadways, and recreational sites.

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    [-] Meghan

    Stop approving tenures for backcountry recreation by companies. These activities, especially when mechanized (snow machine and helicopter use) cause a great deal of hardship to wildlife and the ecosystem. The only way to better manage wildlife and reduce their decline is to manage human activities and keep businesses out of wilderness. Hike in if you want but no helicopter transportation, no new trail building, no new back country lodges etc. Humans need to learn to truly respect other species and that means not invading every square inch of space and claiming as our own…the result otherwise will be continued declines and displacement!

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    [-] Ernie

    The logging of mule deer winter range namely big fir timbered ridges must come to an end. More collaberation between foresters and bios must occur for this to happen. It seems to be a free for all now and with roads being built literally everywhere animals do not stand a chance.

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    [-] Ray

    Support all or most of the opportunities presented in this question would result in immediate progress. A healthy economy needs to be defined as a sustainable economy — set realistic targets which may be accomplished with land use planning. This will always remain a challenge in an open market economy, therefore land use planning can facilitate more informed zonation and timing of land and resource use.

    Increasing capacity for protected areas via GAR budgets, refining GAR exemption process, revisiting existing tools such as ecological reserves, looking at other jurisdictional approaches such as “wilderness experience zones” in New Zealand, introducing environmental taxes on resource users to reflect real cost of business under current economic models. Ensure corporations are required to offset impacts across all resource sectors, not just major projects.

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    [-] Claire

    I would like to see a similar forestry/road situation as Alberta. For every KM of new logging road that goes into the back country, I would like to see a KM of road decommissioned.
    I also would like to see more areas closed to motor vehicle for hunting purposes. In our area a new logging road was put in, which allowed access to an area that was previously closed for motors – the road went around the boundary (a river) and now that area is over hunted, because it became easy access. I don’t mind hunters going into these back country areas, I just would like to see them have to put more effort in.
    Lastly I would like to see fewer mountain bike trails – for every mountain bike trail there is someone with a dirt bike that can get up the same trail, and that allows them access to alpine meadows and prime grizzly habitat – which they can trash in a hurry. The issue being that every hiking trail can become a mountain bike trail quite easily. Do we have to have hiking trails on EVERY mountain??? It is not necessary, but I don’t know how you stop people from building them.

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    [-] James

    Utilize GIS Analytics for habitat assessment. And integrate cumulative effects assessment as factors in decision making.
    What is the impact of mtn biking, heli skiing, ORVs?
    Increasing public awareness on the truth would have high value. To many on social media are mislead by resources which are biased and lack credibility and integrity.
    Building trust among industry and communities to contribute to habitat improvements. IE habitat logging, invasive weed removal programs.

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    [-] Karen

    Valusing of wildlife and the preservation of their habitat as of equal value to economic activity and ensuring that the whole picture and lasting effects of anyactivity is considered. Not allowing industry to opt out of responsibilities to preserve and protect environmental values.

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    [-] Stephanie

    There should be areas that are closed off to motor vehicles in sensitive areas, winter ranges, calving areas etc. And same with new developments, infrastructure. Mining and forestry companies need to cooperate with the government to ensure wildlife and habitat isn’t at risk. There needs to be more enforcement with dumping garbage and polluting. The bcwildlife federation has a great app to report this but I still see it everywhere. On the Fraser river there are people who fish overnight and leave garbage everywhere. All along the river (this is tidal so it gets brought into the water) I’ve seen diapers, human feces, food containers, glass, you name it. It’s disgusting. There need to be more conservation officers. First Nations should follow the same regulations as everyone else in the province. Forested areas, creeks, ravines in and outside the city limits should be maintained and cleared of garbage instead of allowing tent cities to pop up. Like on the vedder river, multiple times the city has had to spend tax payer money to clean up several tons of garbage left by squatters.

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    [-] Judy

    The balance needs to lean much more towards adequate legislation to have more habitat retention. Can’t protect wildlife habitat and populations if “without unduly reducing timber supply” takes priority.
    Improve the cumulative effects framework such that development thresholds happen if over developed. Not just mitigation. Do more population studies with targets that ensure population sustainability.
    Consider proper ecosystem functioning requirements at the watershed level with forest retention requirements backed by ecosystem ecologist expert re functioning targets for sustainability.
    Bring back forest tenure appurtancy so milling occurs in the small communities where the forests are.

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    [-] Darcy

    There were three access management plans that were completed for the east kootenays over a decade ago. Government has put almost no resources towards maintaining and implementing these plans, despite requests from the public. For instance, there is an access plan for the Golden TSA where the plan GIS data, maps and text are in disarray by government, and cannot be located by user groups and proponents for recreational development. In the meantime, land use continues – and government employees administering these plans do not know the landbase very well any more.

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    [-] Rob

    Any industry or backcountry user group that accesses wildlife habitat should be responsible for
    contributing to the well-being of the resource itself and wildlife. Developing a compensatory program for resource and wildlife management would be effective.

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    [-] Kent

    Create a balance. Not every thing has to happen over night. Forestry & Mining can continue, just the rate of extraction needs to slow down..Great habitat comes from both if done right.

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    [-] Kyle

    What is the most effective way of ensuring that wildlife and habitats are healthy while fostering a healthy economy to ensure life is affordable for British Columbians?
    – Increased encroachment on wildlife habitat is placing incredible stress on a multitude of species. Loss of habitat to industry is common, however increased back country access by recreational user groups continues to affect wildlife populations. Mandating wildlife impact studies before approving industrial and backcountry recreational (heliskiing, mountain biking, wildlife viewing) pursuits is imperative.
    – Reduce road density and require rehabilitation.
    – Any industry or backcountry user group that accesses wildlife habitat should be responsible for contributing to the well-being of the resource itself and wildlife. Developing a compensatory program for resource and wildlife management would be effective.

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    [-] Linzi

    Fewer campsites with reservations needed
    Strict fee/fines for littering/rule breaking while camping
    Local pricing (lower) versus tourist (higher) pricing in campsites

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    [-] Warren

    Any industry or backcountry user group that access wildlife habitat, should be held responsible for contributing to the well being of the resource and wildlife.

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    [-] Eric

    A little area-specific, but montane grassland:open forest:closed forest rehabilitation is a great opporunity for the forestry industry and wildlife habitat reclaimation to come together. Not only would it benefit game popoulations such as mule deer (and maybe even the extirpated sharp tailed grouse one day!), but it could also provide foresters an opportunity to boost their environmental image as a company as well as turn a profit on the harvested timber.

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    [-] christopher

    Recognize the effects of recreational and industrial activity on habitat and wildlife
    Compensation programs surcharge
    Mandatory environmental assessments for all recreational and industrial activity ( bear viewing, heli skiing, any developments on or around crown land)

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    [-] Bart

    Animals need areas where they can escape human pressures. Human presence alone, be it hunting, logging, wildlife viewing and photography etc, ALL produce stresses on wild animals. There should be large untouched swaths of land where animals are left to themselves uninfluenced by humans.

    Mandatory Land use planning at all government levels to include allotting significant land for wildlife. I know for certain that the City of Kelowna only cares about the tax base they can create on the next subdivision. They are continuously reminded that each development is permanently destroying critical wintering habitat, but every time they stamp their approval.

    Continuous research should be done in an attempt to better understand and improve human and wildlife interactions. I would support the government dedicating funds to research in order to improve that understanding.

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    [-] Charlie

    I would like to see more vehicle restricted areas for both recreation and hunting. The American’s seem to have quite a good system in place in regards to this, I think Canada should follow suit. This should include anything with an engine.

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    [-] Matt

    There needs to be more of an effort made to cut down on forest service roads. If you go into the back country in some parts of BC you’d think a town used to be there based off how many logging roads there are. This was proven to be an issue for Grizzly Bears in the BC Auditor General’s report and also has a devastating effect on ungulate species such as caribou from improved travel time and kill efficiency from wolves. There is nothing wrong with not having truck or quad access into places, get out and walk, and obviously I know this is not an option for every single person but we should be catering to the wildlife and having people hunt within their means in a sense.

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    [-] Sue

    Protection regulations have to apply to all industries. It makes no sense to prevent one industry making roads and damaging habitat while the mining industry could still do so. We need to put protecting the habitat and ecosystems first and then consider what other uses might be allowed. Cumulative impacts of all activity need to be considered as well as both upstream and downstream impacts. The volume of users also needs to be looked at for some areas. Restricting motorized access in some areas may help. We need to look at connecting wildlife corridors as well as ensuring links between ecosystems that allows species to move (particularly with climate change).

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    [-] Peter

    “Economy” is code for “exploiting and using resources for humans”. Does healthy economy mean “continued economic growth”? If yes, this raises a monstrous red flag: if we are serious about sharing fairly with our wildlife community, we must face Al Gore’s inconvenient truth, i.e. that we cannot eat the cake and share it too. If Ministry of Environment is serious about managing toward sustained wildlife biodiversity, it must recognize and publicly acknowledge that economic growth and a healthy ecosphere cannot be pursued together. One of these goals must trump the other. In my view, sustained wildlife biodiversity should be the overriding goal. Public education must play a central roles toward this end!

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    [-] Gary

    Tough one – industry is naturally always looking for the next area to exploit and won’t stop until it’s all gone.
    I’m from Ireland, which was once forested, but has entirely lost its Forests to farmland over the centuries.
    I see this happening around me in BC.
    Here, I see the use of Glysophate by forestry companies in the Prince George area to kill biodiversity (Aspen trees that Moose and Deer depend on for food) in favour of a more profitable monocultural forest as bordering on habitat vandalism, and yet I also work in the (secondary) Forestry sector and understand the cost pressures at play.
    We have to find a way to limit where industry (Forestry, Mining, Tourist resorts, Energy projects are allowed to exist and protect the vast tracts of undeveloped land that the wildlife needs to survive.
    Perhaps more Provincial Parks is the answer, but here again funding must be available for Parks staff (drastically cut back in recent years) to be present and to do their job properly. As has been mentioned previously, a user-pays model such as Pittman-Roberts in the US should be set-up at a Provincial level to levy a charge on all purchases of Hunting, Fishing, Sporting and Recreation equipment (I would include RVs, Camping and ATV/ORVs) that goes directly to wildlife conservation and cannot be directed into general funds.
    In BC, our legacy is our wildlife. We are literally selling the farm by allowing it to be exploited and permanently damaged under the current model.

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    [-] george

    As numbers of people become greater, and industry affects more ground, there is less unaffected area left. For example, the Fraser delta/lower mainland are is getting more and more covered in housing, farms and industry. It is time to completely protect the very few, small areas of unaltered natural habitat still left there.
    Throughout the province, logging has reached the point of soon running out of original natural forests and starting to re-log the regrowth/fiber farms. For many years, when an area was logged, the animals that lived there had lots of other areas to live in, so there was little apparent impact. As we get to the point of logging the last of the original forests, all those species that depend on forest will be added to the endangered species list, all at once. Most of them can not, and will never be able to, survive in the mono-culture fiber farms that have been produced in place of the varied forests we once had. Missing in the fiber farms are deciduous species of plants, old decadent trees and snags, and coarse woody debris. These components are critical habitat for a majority of the species we expect to see in our forests. Given the 60 to 80 year rotation times logging companies are counting on, these three critical components will NEVER be found in our forests again! Try to imagine what that will mean for the kind of world your grandchildren will live in. The regulations that appeared to be OK for logging in the past need to be drastically changed!
    Wetlands are among the very highest value habitat, and many have been destroyed for various reasons. There needs to be regulations introduced to totally protect the remaining ones. No more draining of wetlands. No more dumping any kinds of trash and toxins and polluted runoff into wetlands. No more clear cutting up to and around wetlands. No more covering wetlands for housing, roads, parks, or whatever.

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    [-] Mandy

    I think forestry practices need to change. There is too much planting of monoculture blocks of pine, with spraying of deciduous trees. If you look at a forest that was never logged in northern and central BC, it is mostly spruce and aspen, not just pine. Also, the blocks that are logged are much too large, moose, and deer do not like to cross a huge open expanses. Where I grew up most of the country side has been burned in 2010, and is very slowly growing back, or logged off. The roads also need to be returned to a natural state. These ‘deactivated’ roads are an open highway for wolves to spread, and hunt on.

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    [-] Doug

    Users pay system. Every person using the outdoors leaves a footprint on the enviroment. People accessing the back country whether it be on foot, helicopter, horse etc. need to pay.

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    [-] Jordan

    Increased encroachment on wildlife habitat is placing incredible stress on a multitude of species. Loss of habitat to industry is common, however increased backcountry access by recreational user groups continues to affect wildlife populations. Mandating environmental impact studies which include wildlife population assessments before approving industrial and backcountry recreational (heli-skiing, mountain biking, wildlife viewing) pursuits is imperative. Reduce road density to mandated objectives and require rehabilitation. Any industry or backcountry user group that accesses wildlife habitat should be responsible for contributing to the well-being of the resource itself and wildlife. Developing a compensatory program for resource and wildlife management would be effective.

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    [-] Jesse

    I work in the forest industry and see the magnitude of roads on the landscape. An increasing road density compound wildlife threats and increase predator-prey dynamics that threaten ungulates, such as mountain caribou.

    I believe there is an opportunity to have forest licensees reduce the road network density on the landbase by legislating rehabilitation requirements. The mechanism for this change could be adopted into the stumpage and appraisal system to incent licensees to conduct the works.

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    [-] Dave

    Recognize the effects of recreational and industrial activity on habitat and wildlife
    Reduce road density and require rehabilitation
    Compensation program surcharge – all stakeholders should fund management similar to the US model of a tax on all outdoor gear for all recreational uses eg: ecotourism, hydro dams, bear watching, mountain biking, etc.
    Better environmental assessments for all rercreational and industrial activity eg heliskiing, bear viewing

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    [-] Bronwen

    Cumulative effects assessments are integral to making sustainable land-use decisions that work for people and wildlife.
    – Coexistence measures should be implemented for recreationists, communities and industry.

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    [-] Evelyn

    – Cumulative effects assessments are integral to making sustainable land-use decisions that work for people and wildlife.
    – Coexistence measures should be implemented for recreationists, communities and industry.
    – create passes over highways to allow animals to survive moving around THEIR habitat.

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    [-] Evelyn

    – Cumulative effects assessments are integral to making sustainable land-use decisions that work for people and wildlife.
    – Coexistence measures should be implemented for recreationists, communities and industry.

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    [-] Adam

    Cumulative effects assessments are integral to making sustainable land-use decisions that work for people and wildlife. Coexistence measures should be implemented for recreationists, communities and industry.

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    [-] Martha

    There should be a more responsible assignation of land for development and human habitation in every municipality. Areas where wildlife exist should not be put for development and/or human presence. Extinction of species is too rampant today and it’s our responsibility to keep those lands for future generations.

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    [-] Hamish

    I think land use planning, and access management (Opportunity # 3) will be the most effective way to address the increasing impacts of human activity. Resource management is driven by the policies and regulations, as these provide the guidelines on how people and communities can behave and allows enforcement when infractions occur. Many of the other opportunities are well intended, but with soft language like ‘consider consolidating habitat conservation provisions’, ‘review the effectiveness’, ‘better understand the effects’, I am skeptical that these will lead to real change, or improvement. I believe this is best lead through clear and defined policies and regulations, which are implemented through resource management such as land use planning and access management.

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    [-] Ruth

    We’d like to see the funds to help protect wildlife, through rehabilitation and habitat protection.

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    [-] Kristyn

    Identify wildlife corridors & protect them.

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    [-] Michael

    Decreasing pressure on wildlife and habitat needs to be a multi pronged approach.
    -We probably need to scale back our extraction of natural resources to some degree.
    -We need to do a better job of rehabilitating/ restoring habitat after resource extraction takes place, for example deactivating + restoring resource roads,
    -reducing road and linear feature density
    -better studies and more strict approval process for industrial use as well as backcountry recreation
    -any individual or industry that uses crown land in any way should be contributing financially wildlife and habitat conservation to offset their impact.

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    [-] Nela

    i don’t have the knowledge to provide THE most effective way plus factor in a healthy economy but I figure one way of restraining human activity on local wildlife is to require cat-owners to keep their pets indoors during nesting season, so that songbirds can have a chance to raise their nestlings. According to World Wildlife Federation, a number has been tabulated for bird deaths per cat per nightly stalking; at the time I read this, I worked it out that, by having my two cats be year-round indoor pets for ten years, I had saved the lives of a phenomenal number of birds, numbering over 10,000 — I didn’t save the number for future reference. Since then, I have moved to Harrison Hot Springs which is on a migratory route for a number of birds, and every one of my neighbours has at least one cat who preys outdoors (when they aren’t hounded by raccoons). I know that requiring all cats to be indoors would be untenable, but perhaps municipalities should pass legislation requiring cats be kept indoors during the crucial one or two months of nesting. Perhaps that would be enough for our songbird populations to recover.
    Also, under the heading of restraining human activity, fines should be levied automatically for people such as the recent West Vancouver family and the Blue River safari outfit who feed wild bears, and their names should be publicized — no anonymity! Plus — this may be a reach but it is an indication of how fervently I feel this practice needs to be curtailed, and I believe there are others who feel the same way — plus, all those so charged should be made to witness the euthanization of the fed-bear-dead-bear if it should happen, whether in person or on video, but they should be made to witness it. Why should our conservation officers be the only ones to suffer from the deed when it was the others — the ‘cute’ little girls behind their windows with their daddies, and the paying tourists — who sentenced the bear to death by their action?

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    [-] Tammie

    Stop mowing down land just to build another Tim Horton’s.

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    [-] Jason

    Implement a landuse plan that manages for wildlife. Adopt plans that include habitat reconstruction as part of the development plan. Resource extraction of all types need reclamation and restoration with the key focus being enhancement of habitat for wildlife.

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    [-] Nadine

    Develop mandatory recreation and development zones in and around urban areas. The urban environment must include it’s own space for industrial and recreational opportunities. If we can’t put what we want in our immediate space then we can’t have it. We don’t get to develop industries that are remote and promote live away economies. ( Remote mine sites, food production) as an example) Cities must be developed for self sufficiency so we can stop impacting wilderness to get what we want.

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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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    [-] karry

    Designate more protected areas and include migration paths. Development and industry must work around this.
    Build overpasses/underpasses for wildlife over roadways. This was worked well for Banff National Park where there are 38 overpasses and 6 underpasses between it and Yoho National Park. It does take about 5 years for animals to get used to it but elk were using it within the first year.
    Promote awareness for coexistence. Recently a video went viral that had two children feeding a bear cub from their patio door and later a parent gave crackers to the mother bear. This action results in a paltry $345 fine for the people. It could result in an early death for the bears…and possibly harm to a humans if the bears start looking for food in someones backyard. The BCSPCA has education session for in the classroom and for daycare to teach children about domestic animals, we need a similar program from a wildlife perspective. Start with a one hour session geared at 3-5 year olds that focuses on why wildlife is better to see from a distance, why they don’t want to encourage them to come closer. Then branch it out to older children, to teach how to respect wildlife, how live with wildlife etc.

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    [-] Sylvia

    Corridors–my understanding is that access, say, to the other side of the highway may be provided by a tunnel passing under the freeway. Also the provision of pathways which join other pathways to enable wildlife to move, unthreatened.

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    [-] Frank

    burn there wintering grounds that have over grown or log there wintering ground and don’t replant it protect areas of high value where ungulates winter. deactivate roads that are no longer in use and have road restrictions on certain access roads no AMAs .

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    [-] John

    We need to consolidating habitat conservation provisions in provincial natural resource legislation so that they apply to all industries and human activities across B.C.

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    [-] Michael

    1.) Increase Non-motorized access areas. Improve road deactivation process.
    2.) Better highways, resource, and municipal planning for wildlife migration routes and general movement to improve biodiversity.
    3.) Better education for limiting animal-human conflicts.
    4.) Better management of wildlife winter range human use access. Minimize snowmobile access in areas that are proven wildlife winter range.
    5.) some kind of user pay system, I would think the fairest would be a surcharge on equipment/gear associated with outdoor activities (hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, boating, watersports, etc.)

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    [-] Mike

    Integrate wildlife conservation values into land use decision making and legislate the rules so that industry can still function, but has accountability to the land and wildlife.

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    [-] Nick

    Don’t put our environment at risk for jobs. There’s more jobs every day but once you push an animal to extinction, there’s no coming back from that.

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    [-] Kevin

    Enhance and diversify wildlife by transplanting all species throughout the province.

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    [-] Dave

    Increase the decommissioning of roads when logging is done in an area. Most of us are pretty lazy and will use vehicles to get to the more isolated areas. The animals have to walk. By closing more roads once the economic activity is done, you allow the economic benifit, but also create more space for nature to recover in peace. The land is not restricted to hunters or hikers, but they have to work harder to get to it. This is also more effective than declaring it a park, as you can ignore a law, but you can’t drive over a well dug up road.

    More broadly, put some real money into science based data collection, including citizen science. In many places, we don’t actually know what is going on. Listening to my Dad say there are more mule deer in Kamloops than in the 60’s might be true or it might be his memory playing up how great a hunter he was then! We need science based data. All sides, environmentalist, industry, First Nation, hunter and hiker can get behind getting the data. They then argue over what it means.

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    [-] Onni

    The questions revolves around the definition of “healthy economy”. We have had a “healthy economy” based on an avalanche of “progress and development”. The result is that corporations have become rich while the land and its animals have become collateral damage. Until the government decides that renewable energy is in our best interests, until the government decides that effective protection for habitat and wildlife is their priority, until the government decides that the dangers of cumulative projects in an area must limit development, this discussion is empty rhetoric.

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    [-] DKG

    You banned Grizzly bear hunting to control the population but not ban grizzly bear tours. People’s interactions by the tour load are ruining the bears natural environment and getting them use to human interaction. In turn will lead to more grizzles being shot by conservation officers.

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    [-] Ron

    We have numerous studies about the harmful impact on wildlife from human activity. I have not seen leadership that takes the position that value cannot always be measured in dollars. This means that we need to keep urban areas urban and leave as much of the non urban areas unencumbered by human activity.

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    [-] Brett

    I think we need to take some notes from other provinces and American states on how they treat there wildlife. A little bit more restrictions on how many tags are given out (for all peoples) no other state or province has as long of seasons as we do and they do not just hand out tags, they give out the proper amount of tags for the amount of animals in the area.
    No matter what human activity is going to keep increasing. Restricting access is the only solution I can think of, more hunting road closures possibly.

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    [-] Jeff

    There should be fees in place for extracurricular activities like mountain biking, snowmobiling, snow skiiing, hiking ect that would go directly into habitat management. Everyone seams to turn their head at the fact that all activity in the wild is effecting habitat loss. We all need to be held accountable not just hunters.

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    [-] Kelly

    Ensuring that advisory boards exist with regards to land management and that those boards include spokesman for BC habitat and wildlife and future generations (rather than stakeholders that have a ‘stake’ in the here and now) is required to ensure long term sustainability of the environment (what makes BC special).

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    [-] David

    Healthy habitats involve limited access, while still maintaining access. This starts with resource extraction.

    Logging roads, cut lines, etc. bisect “habitat blocks” and this does two things: makes it easier for predator species and reduces habitats and migration paths.

    While we still want British Columbians to have access to the environment we must look to limiting the intensity of resource extraction impacts (e.g. more selective logging, heli-logging, etc.) as well as ensure that once commercial activity has ceased we do more to return the landscape to it’s natural state (e.g. better job of de-activating roads, tree planting, etc)

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    [-] Jack

    Habitat protection funding needs to be a part of land use decisions. Whether it’s resource extraction or ATV use, wildlife habitat preservation and enhancement needs to be at the forefront of those policies.

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    [-] Graham

    More year round road closures on deactivated logging roads and more road closures during hunting season

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    [-] John

    Three things: one, we need to move from this economic model that says we always have to grow our economy at the expense of the environment. Rather, our model should be to grow our economy IF it’s agreeable with the health of the environment.

    Two, increased enforcement of human activity (WAY more COs, way more enforcement in general), including hunting and trapping, recreational use and industry use, in natural areas will assist in preventing conflict.

    And three, recognize that hunting and trapping are no longer the only reasons people are outdoors – new policy should reflect this.

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    [-] Tracy

    All of the above!

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    [-] Scott

    We need to protect ungulate winter ranges and migration corridors, keep industry out of sensitive areas, limit access to motorized vehicles, properly deactivate logging roads, replant cut blocks with diverse timber not just commercial species, and increase funding for more Conservation Officers who can educate the public and provide reinforcement where required.

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    [-] John

    future resource extraction plans need to have a wildlife management component, which should be legislated. This planning needs to be approved by the agency reponsible for wildlife managements in the province. Standards need to be set for expectations for restoration after resource extraction is completed. quality assurance needs to be the responsibility if govt inspectors, for instance the C.O. Service. Road deactivation needs to be a component of this approach as there is currently to much access . Invasive species also need proactive management on critical winter habitat. There needs to be an public educational component to future resource extraction /wildlife management plans which will encourage buy in by the public. Wildlife needs to be managed at arms length from government by an agency similar to the Fresh Water Fisheries Society.

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    [-] John

    I believe the increase in human activity in the back country is having a negative impact on wildlife and needs to be addressed. Everything from increased mountain biking, recreational hiking, and back country skiing can have negative impacts on wildlife and habitat and needs to considered. Dirt biking and ATV seem to be out of control and not obeying the road closures driving through sensitive habitat through the alpine and pushing more and more trails through bush making it increasingly harder for wildlife to find places to not be bugged. There could definitely be more motorised vehicle closures and increase in enforcement on people not obeying the rules.

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    [-] Sorelle

    • Humans are encroaching on wildlife habitats by releasing domestic pets into the wild, and those pets in turn crowd out native species, compete for resources and/or damage native habitats.
    • Feral rabbits (and pets like red-eared slider turtles) are becoming alarmingly prolific because of humans, and they need to be controlled by a combination of removing them from the environment and more aggressively regulating the sources.
    • Over the last decade, the provincial government has prevented the control of abandoned rabbits by pet rescuers willing to recapture them by a prohibitive permit processes and by refusing to endorse sanctuaries capable of containing most if not all of the rabbits.
    • Over the next decade, it can be rectified by setting aside contained parcels of crown land to temporarily house the trapped and sterilized rabbits until the populations are under control, a trap, neuter and release program that has worked well to control feral cats.
    • Rabbits are not big travellers especially when neutered; providing minimally containable spaces will localize and eventually phase out the populations.
    • The province also failed to act on a Union of BC Municipalities request to restrict the sales of unsterilized pet rabbits.
    • Private properties can also be mandated to securely contain breeding rabbits.
    • Encouraging, if not regulating, landlords and stratas to accept pets in their housing will also cut down on the abandonment, as the most prominent reason for abandonment is the lack of housing options for people with pets.
    • The municipalities are responsible for animal control and should also be mandated to pick up the abandoned pets within their jurisdictions.

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    [-] Andrew

    More value needs to be placed on wildlife and fish stocks. A small tax should be placed on all outdoor gear and outdoor sports equipment that goes directly towards wildlife and habitat. All money that is spent on fishing and hunting licenses should go towards wildlife and habitat not just a portion.

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    [-] Andrew

    Increase the fines for wildlife and habitat violations such as poaching and habitat destruction.

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    [-] Warren

    We must get a handle on what crown land tenures are given out. The use of industrialized recreation in BC’s backcountry is a major contributor to the disruption in wildlife high value habitat. Crown Land tenure applications need to involve the use of wildlife biologists on each and every application. To have an applicant state that they are committed to follow established guidelines when operating in wildlife habitat is not enough.

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    [-] Josh

    More restricstion on the volume of both renewable and non renewable natural resources being exported from BC. This could also reduce the non resident population and future reduce or limit human/industry activity in nature.

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    [-] Yolanda

    Animals come first the economy comes second. Wildlife has been forced out of their homes due to housing and economic development. They will disappear if their survival isnt put first. Im not willing to accept that.

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    [-] Shelly

    Humans need to stop reproducing

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    [-] Martin

    Very interested in seeing a hundred percent of tag money going toward conservation… Would like to see science driven wildlife management done. The science needs to be done to really know how are populations actives and encroachment on habitat is affecting them.

    Seems like habitat such as winter range is often gobbled up my development… I get that we humans grow and need a place but so do the wildlife and alternate range area needs to be development it would seem. That said we don’t have the science as we don’t have the funding from the Government as they have not used tag and license money to do so even tho year after year the hunters and tag buyer pay. Essentially government is taxing hunters multiple 100’s a percentage on there conservation moneies as they just spend the money else where

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    [-] Dea

    I feel that ski and bike trails need to be considered as invasive as well. Constant human presents on a trail, cat or helicopter will force animals out of an area. Cat skiing outfits are making trails in the alpine and sub alpine, cutting trees and littering the alpine with flagging and stakes. Some of them bambo which is highly invasive if they ever rooted themself and if you know bambo you know it’s possible.
    Also agree with other comments on research needed on the effects of sprays used on broad leaf plants. How do these sprays effect our streams and plant lift in them. The people making decisions about our logging practices are the ones profiting from them. I have seen so many private logging outfits selectively log leaving many of the small trees to grow. Clear cutting strips the soil, broad leaf plants are nature’s way of healing the soil, proving shade and mulch with return moisture and help the evergreens grow faster and stronger. Not to mention the protection from forest fire.

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    [-] Leeanne

    We need to make more habitat for wildlife and not decrease it. We can’t breath & drink money.

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    [-] Vickie

    I can think of a few things that could be done to protect wildlife habitat:
    -more road closures, especially through sesitive areas
    -increased funding for habitat conservation
    – take another look at the length of open hunting seasons and the restrictions on the open seasons
    – reevaluating logging strategies…could do away with massive cut blocks for the most part
    – funding towards actual science regarding the many diverse habitats in this astounding providence

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    [-] Scott

    We live in British Columbia because we love British Columbia. But to live here, we must work here. We have something in this province that the rest of the world only wishes they had. But we are losing it at an alarming rate. A balance must be struck between sustaining our lifestyle and preserving our lifestyle.

    What we appreciate, appreciates. We must assign values to things beyond rocks and trees and never allow an insatiable desire for natural resource extraction to trump what makes British Columbia a super, natural place to live. To that end, we must put a value on wildlife and take the necessary steps to conserve it. It is the ultimate renewable resource – and needs to be cared for with keen stewardship.

    The expansion of the natural resource sector over the last decade has resulted in the new construction of thousands of kilometers of resource roads. These roads are having significant and unintended consequences on the moose population. It’s these lineal features that help predators be more effective and gain an unfair advantage on their pursuit of game, which we are witnessing in the current devastation of our ungulate populations. This access needs to be managed through the development of clear access management objectives and procedures. The maximum road density should be 0.6 km/km2 moose habitat with an objective of maintaining road density less than this depending upon regional plans.

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    [-] David

    1. Listen to forest management professionals including foresters and biologists.
    2. Support active forest management vs. attempting to preserve everything.

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    [-] Andrea

    Invest in industries that are not focused on resource extraction. Cooperatives over corporations.

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    [-] Jefferson

    Prioritize independent, peer-reviewed science based preservation of Provincial ecological integrity/’biodiversity’ – with legislation applicable to human activities whether recreational and/or industrial/commercial.
    Recognition that there is no ‘economy’ for British Columbians with ecosystem collapse. See wild Pacific salmon populations (open-pen farmed salmon/$37 million Cohen Commission); logging practices (decreased Winter range for cervids, increased predator efficiency with segmented habitat and roadways/UN’s 1987 Brundtland Report stating preservation of minimum 12% of various ecosystems , not land mass), etc. etc.
    Change course of human behaviour by investing in preservation of natural habitat and maximizing economic benefit from any ‘extraction’ industry e.g. value added jobs timber/wood extraction;
    dry land, closed-containment for farmed salmon.
    Invest in alternative energy sector and infrastructure e.g. commercial property tax reduction incentive for shopping malls to build solar panel covered parking tarmac area & charging stations.
    Water/wetland protection from sewage outfalls, storm drain systems, commercial/farming contamination.

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