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Action Alert: Public Survey on Wildlife Management and the Vision for Recreational Hunting

September 28, 2021

Alberta Environment and Parks is currently seeking public input on their draft Wildlife Management and the Vision for Recreational Hunting (https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/aep-vision-for-wildlife-hunting-fact-sheet.pdf). The consultation includes an online survey consisting of 34 questions, which can be accessed on the Government of Alberta website.

AWA has long sought reform of the Wildlife Act, which manages wildlife mainly as a consumptive resource. The Wildlife Act should be updated to manage wildlife for conservation purposes and Indigenous rights primarily, ahead of recreational hunting purposes. AWA believes this would better reflect the values of Albertans, many of whom recognize the intrinsic worth of having wildlife on the landscape.

If you can, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey by Sunday, October 3rd 2021 and help improve wildlife management in Alberta. The survey can be found here: https://your.alberta.ca/wildlife-vision/survey_tools/survey

You may want to consider incorporating the following points into your survey response.

  • Question 1. Please rank the commitments in the draft Vision based on which are most important to you, with 1 being the most important and 7 being the least important:

2 – Continue to follow the North American Model for Wildlife Management

1 – Review the Wildlife Act and Regulation to improve efficiency, and modernizing game species management plans

3- Investigate ways to provide quality hunting experiences while ensuring game species sustainability

7 – Explore innovative tools to improve hunting opportunities on public and private lands

4 – Ensure inclusivity and transparency in the setting of rules and regulations that guide recreational hunting

5- Facilitate more frequent dialogue with Albertans to understand perspectives and ideas related to recreational hunting

6 -Update information more frequently to ensure transparent decisions and improve stakeholder understanding

  • Question 2. Please indicate why you ranked these commitments from the draft Vision in this order:

 

Wildlife Act reform is long overdue, to modernize habitat protection and mandatory species-at-risk identification and recovery actions. Strongly agree with the core principles as described in the North American model, but Alberta lacks legal mandates for science-based habitat management and protection, especially by limiting and reducing cumulative land-use impacts, and completing a representative, connected protected areas network.

 

 

Wildlife should be managed primarily for conservation purposes and traditional Indigenous rights, with recreational hunting being permitted where sustainable. Wildlife management also should encourage multiple non-consumptive, low-impact recreational ways to appreciate wildlife. Alberta should introduce a provincial species-at-risk act that is separate from the Wildlife Act.

 

  • Questions 4, 5, 6: AWA is strongly dissatisfied with the accessibility of Alberta’s crown lands under government leases.

 

  • Question 17: Do you feel big game species and game birds are being managed sustainably?

 

No.

 

  • Question 18. What have you observed that indicates to you that game birds and big game species are not being managed sustainably?

 

Cumulative impacts from human development and industry degrade and fragment wildlife habitat, and without adequate population monitoring we are unable to assess changes in wildlife population status.

 

  • Question 20. Please provide Alberta Environment and Parks with any additional comments you may have about the management of mule and whitetail deer, moose, elk, bear, pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and game birds:

 

The reference to “bear” is too generic. It should be “black bear.” No consideration should be given to reintroducing grizzly bear hunting. There is a need for solid, evidence-based monitoring and evaluation of wildlife populations. This should include evaluation of habitat status and invasive species impacts.

For more information, contact Devon Earl (Conservation Specialist, dearl@abwild.ca).

We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.
- Wallace Stegner
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