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Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Harvest Allocation Policy

Allocation is the process by which the available harvest of a particular wildlife population is divided amongst consumptive users, after the rights of First Nations have been considered.

In British Columbia, decisions around the allocation of harvest opportunities for certain big game populations are guided by the Harvest Allocation Policy and Procedure. This site provides information on the development of the policy and procedure, on matters related to harvest allocation, and answers some Frequently Asked Questions.

For an overview of Harvest Allocation, please view the attached backgrounder.

Interim Guidance on Harvest Allocation Policy Implementation for 2013 and 2014¬†¬†¬†

On December 10, 2012, guidance on the implementation of the Harvest Allocation Policy was announced.  This guidance, which follows extensive consultations with all stakeholders, will determine wildlife allocations through the 2016 hunting season.  To learn more about the announcement click here. You can also view a set of Frequently Asked Questions.

A letter was sent to all guides in the province, on December 14, 2012, informing them of interim direction on implementing the Harvest Allocation Policy in 2013.  For your information click here to view the letter.

Similarly, a letter was sent to all guides in the province, on January 17, 2014, informing them of interim direction on implementing the Harvest Allocation Policy in 2014.  For your information click here to view the letter.

The 2011 Harvest Allocation Policy Review Report

In March 2011, the Ministry received the Harvest Allocation Policy Review report from former Deputy Minister Chris Trumpy, who was contracted to review the potential effects implementing 2007 Harvest Allocation Policy and Procedure could have on the guide outfitting industry. The report contained eleven recommendations. To view a summary of the recommendations and the ministry‚Äôs responses, please view our Backgrounder [PDF 111KB], or view the full report [PDF 406KB].

In addition to the current Ministry Responses, the ministry established a new quota variance principle that will be included in the Quota Procedure, outlined here: The Quota Variance Principle.

Development of the 2007 Harvest Allocation Policy and Procedure

In March 2007, a new Harvest Allocation Policy and Procedure was finalized. The following section provides information on the development of those documents.

Why did we need a new Harvest Allocation Policy?

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations needed a consistent and transparent approach for making allocation decisions across the province. In the past, decisions had been made through long, and sometimes heated, negotiations amongst staff and stakeholders. A new Harvest Allocation Policy and Procedure was needed:

  • To implement a decision-making process that was more objective, data-based, and amicable; and
  • To determine allocation outcomes that are more achievable, efficient, and reflective of stakeholders’ interests.
What guided the development of the 2007 policy?

The development of the 2007 Harvest Allocation Policy and Procedure was guided by input from stakeholders. In 2004, the Ministry convened a Task Group made up of representatives from:

  • the BC Wildlife Federation (to provide the perspective of resident hunters),
  • the Guide Outfitters Association of BC (to provide the perspective of guided hunters),
  • the BC Trappers Association (to provide the perspective of trappers), and
  • the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
In the early stages of the review process, the Task Group developed Terms of Reference [PDF 86KB] and adopted a series of Guiding Principles [PDF 45KB] with respect to hunting, guiding, and trapping opportunities.
What were the results of the policy review?

With input provided by the Task Group, the Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management Branch drafted a series of policies and procedures to help staff make allocation decisions. The policies and procedures that have been created or revised as part of this review are:

One of the main outputs of this policy review was the creation of a Harvest Allocation Procedure [PDF 241KB]. This procedure allows staff to make consistent allocation decisions, using relative importance and past utilization of allocated species by each user group as the key criteria. The results of these criteria are considered in a step-wise decision process that divides the Annual Allowable Harvest (or AAH) between resident hunters and guide outfitters. There are additional rules that constrain this process in order to protect key values, such as resident priority and guide outfitter viability. For example, minimum share percentages are set for each hunter group. Although the resulting procedure is more detailed and technical than the former policy and procedure [PDF 1.27MB], this is necessary for ensuring that allocation decisions are made and applied consistently across the province.