"Hunting provides important social, economic and environmental benefits to all Albertans, with app 130,000 resident and non-resident hunters participating annually. The allocation of big game hunting opportunity is a significant management consideration,guided by many "working policies" that have been developed and adapted over time to address evolving needs. In 2015 a review of stakeholder perspectives and existing big game allocation practices indicated the need for a renewed, comprehensive, operational policy, guiding the allocation of Big Game hunting opportunities among resource-user groups.
In consultation with the Alberta Game Policy Advisory Council (AGPAC), the Big Game Allocation Policy Sub-Committee was formed to review existing policies around big game allocation and develop recommendations for renewal. The intent was to collaboratively develop a new policy that fairly accomodates the desires of user groups, is transparent in process and is implemented consistently across Wildlife Management Units. The scope of this policy includes the allocation of big game (black bear, cougar, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, moose, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and mountain goat) among resident, non-resident and non-resident alien resource users. This policy included a review of some aspects of special license draws but was not intended as a comprehensive review of that system.
Alberta's Big Game Allocation Policy is founded on the following principles:
- Alberta's big game populations belong to all Albertans, are held in trust by the Government of Alberta and are allocated to users by law.
- Hunting in accordance with the law is a right in Alberta under the Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Heritage Act.
- Harvesting opportunities will be calculated using the best available knowledge, guided by scientific principles.
- Harvesting opportunites will align with species management objectives to ensure viable populations are maintained over the long term.
- Harvesting opportunities will align with the constitutional rights of Indigenous Peoples to harvest big game for subsistence and cultural purposes.
- Harvesting opportunities will be made available to both resident and non-residents user groups.
- Harvesting opportunities will be made available to support a viable outfitted hunting industry.
- The big game allocation process will be objective, transparent and consistently applied throughout the province."
Through a series of deliberations over the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017, the Big Game Allocation Policy Sub-Committee submits the following recommendations to the Alberta Game Policy Advisory Council. The Alberta Bowhunters Association is undertaking this survey to garner feedback and comments to bring to the next AGPAC meeting this coming December. Your input is appreciated and valued - the results of the survey and the comments will be presented at this next meeting.
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