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Recommendations to Ministers Josie Osborne and Katrine Conroy

Who is affected: British Columbians

Posted on November 3, 2022

Council has provided 19 recommendations to the Ministers.


Actions & Next Steps:

Council will continue to press for timely action on these recommendations.


MWAC has submitted 19 recommendations to Ministers Conroy and Osborne, with responses and current status summarized in the table below.

Recommendation Ministers’ response Status
1.      By June 2022, complete a Wildlife Stewardship Planning and Objective-Setting Policy, jointly with the Forum. Council’s paper “Towards a Policy for Wildlife Stewardship Planning and Objective-Setting in B.C.” was used in development of draft policy. Staff are finalizing a draft policy in preparation for engagement with First Nations and stakeholders.
2.        By Fall 2023, enact legislation that legally establishes objectives for wildlife and habitat stewardship and key ecosystems as a priority that applies to all sectors. The Province is considering options for changes to the legal framework.

Staff will continue to seek MWAC advice on legislation and policy changes related to wildlife and habitat, and specifically on the Forest and Range Practices Act to ensure wildlife and habitat values are appropriately included in Forest Landscape Planning.

Staff are considering options for legislative change, seeking input from MWAC, the Forum and PHTAT.
3.         Establish diverse and collaborative Regional Wildlife Advisory Committees to support the development of local wildlife stewardship plans. Significant progress must be made towards establishing these committees by Spring 2022. Staff are seeking MWAC’s strategic advice on establishing regional committees

and input from Council as well as nations and stakeholders.

MWAC, the Forum and PHTAT have jointly met to provide input and advice to the Ministers.
4.        Develop local wildlife stewardship plans collaboratively with Indigenous governments, and with stakeholder engagement through Regional Wildlife Advisory Committees, in all regions of the province. Staff will work with Indigenous Nations and stakeholders to prioritise species and areas for planning and are committed to making progress on developing these plans. Staff intend to collaboratively draft a schedule for developing and updating provincial and regional wildlife species plans (by end of 2022); and initiate highest priority local wildlife stewardship plan(s) (in 2022).
5.        Develop and implement monitoring programs and performance measures to determine if objectives are being met for key ecosystems on all public and private lands, including Conservation Lands. Staff will develop and begin to implement a cost effect and integrated performance management framework for Together for Wildlife. MWAC’s advice has been sought in the development of draft performance measures.

Performance measures will be used in the 2022-23 Directors Report.

6.        By June 2022, increase transparency by establishing a public registry for wildlife stewardship planning. Staff will review existing platforms and approaches in B.C. and other jurisdictions, and will establish an approach for wildlife stewardship planning in B.C. Staff are working to expand existing (or create a new) repository for wildlife stewardship planning.


7.         Support the Council’s recommended principles with respect to long-term, stable, and dedicated funding for wildlife and habitat. Staff will ensure that the principles recommended by Council guide development of options for sufficient, dedicated, long-term funding, as committed to in the Together for Wildlife strategy. Ongoing.
8.        Enact regulatory changes to double the surcharge on hunting and species licenses for resident and non-resident hunters, effective immediately and with regular cost of living updates to the surcharge. Staff will undertake an analysis of policy options for both recommendations and will advance these for a government decision.


In progress.
9.        Together with your colleague Minister George Heyman, undertake a review, rationalization, and increase of the fines levied under the Wildlife Act. As above In progress.
10.    Work with your Environment and Land Use Committee colleagues to establish the funding needed to complete the BioHUB Initiative, which has the potential to transform the management and accessibility of wildlife data in B.C. (estimated at $5.5 million). “Open access” principles must become the norm, with independent oversight on data security. Our Ministry supports the vision and work needed for BioHub and staff will provide updates to Council on decisions, funding and progress.


Awaiting an update report to Council.

Council has also request that Ministers direct staff to ensure that the routine release and availability of data is the norm and complies with the intent of the Government’s Open Information and Open Data Policy.

11.     Work with your colleague, Minister George Heyman, and his team from the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) to formulate an improved policy that better incentivizes data sharing with FLNRORD. Staff will follow up with the Environment Assessment Office and Knowledge Management Branch to identify and review options for requiring data submissions, based on a review of the full environmental assessment and regulatory process. Awaiting an update report to Council.
12.    Integrate management targets with rigorous monitoring to track progress towards these goals. Funding for stewardship efforts must include support for monitoring and account for cumulative impacts of human activity on wildlife, not just project specific impacts. Funding will continue to be made available for monitoring from various sources, including Together for Wildlife and the Land Based Investment Strategy. As for recommendation #5. MWAC’s advice has been sought in the development of draft performance measures.

Performance measures will be used in the 2022-23 Directors Report.

13.     Support the work underway by the Research Working Group to develop options for the creation of a scientific advisory team (or similar body) to support information needs of provincial advisory bodies (PHTAT, Forum, MWAC), support the prioritization and coordination of wildlife science needs across regions, and facilitate interactions among governments (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) and non-government scientists. Staff will continue to support your working group, and ensure alignment among related policy recommendations.


Under consideration by MWAC’s Research Working Group.
14.    That government establish an interdisciplinary, collaborative team to ensure that wildfire recovery management actions (e.g., salvage, retention, reforestation) are developed with Indigenous Nations, informed by the best available information (Indigenous knowledge, science, professional assessments), inclusive of stakeholder input, and implemented with enforceable tools. Staff will further explore a programmatic approach to wildfire management to mitigate negative impacts and maximize benefits of wildfires to wildlife and habitats. Awaiting a progress report to Council.
15.    That post-fire decisions clearly balance the priority for wildlife and wildlife habitat, together with ecosystem health and resilience, with other values and economic drivers. As above Awaiting a progress report to Council.
16.    That government prioritize the implementation of cultural and prescribed fire to proactively reduce the severity of future wildfires and improve wildlife habitats. A task team was established in the Northeast and staff will work to achieve benefits for wildlife in this and other areas of the province. Awaiting a progress report to Council.
17.     The implementation of a stumpage appraisal mechanism that enables the holder of a cutting authority to fairly and equitably recover the costs incurred of carrying out beneficial forestry roads rehabilitation work Staff from the Wildlife and Habitat and Timber Pricing Branches will further review this recommendation and prepare a more detailed response. In the July update to the Interior Appraisal Manual, Government addressed this recommendation for the newly enacted Moose Ungulate Winter Range Orders in the Omineca Region that require road rehabilitation.
18.    Increase funding for the B.C. Hydro Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP). Awaiting response.
19.    B.C. develop a cross-Ministry strategy to systematically review high risk wildlife crossing locations, and make recommendations to reduce harm to people and wildlife. Awaiting response.

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