Together for Wildlife - Goal 3

Stewardship actions achieve tangible benefits for wildlife

We will develop new policies and tools to ensure wildlife stewardship responds to the needs of British Columbians, shifting priorities, and a changing climate.

View of mountains, forest and river in Skeena Region.To improve wildlife stewardship, we need the right tools to deliver tangible, on-the-ground changes in a timely way. We need to ensure our existing tools—whether policies, legislation, financial mechanisms, land designations, or restoration and enhancement activities—are effective in achieving the intended outcomes and, where needed, develop new tools, including legislation, policies, and procedures, to respond to our changing world.

We will be guided by clear and transparent objectives for wildlife stewardship that are developed collaboratively with Indigenous governments and through engagement with stakeholders.

Science, Indigenous knowledge, local expertise, and the needs, values, and perspectives of all British Columbians will inform these objectives. Our objectives will be specific, measurable, relevant, and time bound. They will be set at appropriate scales to reflect local differences and will enable the actions needed to achieve our vision.

We commit to the following Actions 8-13 to achieve Goal 3

We will establish clear, measurable objectives for wildlife stewardship that take into consideration the interactions among species. In collaboration with the Minister’s Wildlife Advisory Council and the First Nations–B.C. Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Forum, we will draft a renewed approach for setting objectives and linking wildlife populations and habitat. We will implement this approach after broad engagement, by developing provincial stewardship frameworks and regional stewardship plans for priority species and populations.

Action 8 - work completed in 2020-2021

  • Continued to develop provincial and regional stewardship plans with objectives
  • Conducted a jurisdictional scan of objective-setting and management planning
  • Held internal meetings and workshops and drafted background materials to support policy discussions

Action 8 - work underway/planned for 2021-2022

  • Engage with Council, stakeholders and First Nations on an objective-setting policy and procedures
  • Continue to develop provincial and regional plans with objectives

We will invest in on-the-ground stewardship to meet wildlife objectives and ensure wildlife and their habitats are resilient to change. Examples of stewardship actions include enhancing and restoring priority habitats such as wetlands and grasslands; reducing wildlife mortality on highways and railways; working with industry to improve practices; reducing wildlife conflicts with communities; deactivating and reclaiming resource roads; and managing key threats to wildlife and habitats, including invasive species, interspecies interactions, and disease.

We will use evidence to guide actions and funding allocation decisions, and we will strategically leverage other funding opportunities (e.g., Forest Carbon Initiative, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, and Fish and Wildlife Compensation programs) to maximize benefits for wildlife.

Action 9 - work completed in 2020-2021

  • Delivered priority on-the-ground stewardship projects across the province
  • Tracked outcomes and deliverables

Action 9 - work underway/planned for 2021-2022

  • Report out on accomplishments and challenges from 2020-2021
  • Develop regional 5-year T4W implementation plans in collaboration with First Nations and stakeholders
  • Develop provincial-level strategic plans and policy support (e.g., for prescribed burning)

We will complete a comprehensive review of land designations under the Land Act, Wildlife Act, Oil and Gas Activities Act, and Forest and Range Practices Act that contribute to conservation to ensure they effectively target the intended habitats, now and in the future, and in light of climate change impacts and habitat alterations. The results of the review will identify gaps and opportunities to improve the effectiveness of those designations for wildlife.

We will complete more detailed assessments for 10 percent of these designations every year. In collaboration with Indigenous governments, local governments, and key partners, we will recommend changes to these land designations (e.g., boundaries and stewardship) to improve their value for wildlife and to meet established wildlife and habitat objectives. Proposed changes will undergo socio-economic assessments and consultation, as required by the applicable legislation.

Action 10 - work completed in 2020-2021

  • Began a comprehensive GIS analysis of designations and disturbances across the province to inform staff, decision makers, First Nations and stakeholders about current conditions of designations and surrounding landscapes
  • Establishing methods to monitor designations (e.g., old growth field cards)
  • Conducted regional assessments of existing land designations

Action 10 - work underway/planned for 2021-2022

  • Build a dashboard to display, share and enable interpretation of the data from the comprehensive GIS analysis
  • Based on the results from the comprehensive GIS analysis, identify data gaps and priority areas for more detailed assessments
  • Conduct detailed assessments of the effectiveness of land designations
  • Continue to support regional assessments of land designations, with provincial-level support for consistency

We will make investments to manage existing Conservation Lands and acquire new priority lands for wildlife stewardship. We will use these funds to leverage additional investments, and we will strengthen ties with Indigenous governments, conservation partners, resource industries, and stakeholders to better secure and manage Conservation Lands to achieve wildlife objectives.

Action 11 - work completed in 2020-2021

  • Continued to build partnerships with land trust organizations
  • Supported regional Conservation Lands (CL) management planning and on-the-ground stewardship
  • Began to develop operational policy to guide CL management
  • Partnered with First Nations to deliver some T4W funded projects on CLs
  • Supported and participated in a Climate Informed Conservation Planning for BC project to help inform important areas for conservation under climate change (will continue in 2021-22)

Action 11 - work underway/planned for 2021-2022

  • Continue to build partnerships with land trust organizations
  • Assess Land Act designations for conservation and recommend Wildlife Management Area (WMA) designations
  • Continue to explore opportunities to partner with First Nations for management of existing CLs and designation of new WMAs
  • Improve CL administrative and ecological data management
  • Complete additional CL management plans and develop CL policies
  • Explore opportunities to leverage funds

We will review the Wildlife Act and make recommendations to address priority issues, such as reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, determination of objectives, improved wildlife stewardship, effective and accessible service delivery, and dedicated funding. Proposed changes will contribute to wildlife stewardship and support strong, innovative, and sustainable local communities.

Action 12 - work completed in 2020-2021

  • Collaboratively developed short-term Wildlife Act amendment proposals to support reconciliation, and engaged with First Nations
  • Conducted policy analyses to support short-term Wildlife Act amendments
  • Started to compile issues and recommendations for longer-term Wildlife Act improvements

Action 12 - work underway/planned for 2021-2022

  • Identify high-level issues and recommendations for Wildlife Act improvements
  • Identify priority areas to address first
  • Develop policies and procedures to support legislative changes

In collaboration with the Minister’s Wildlife Advisory Council and the First Nations–B.C. Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Forum, we will review existing and potential new creative funding models and make recommendations to ensure sufficient, dedicated, long-term funding for wildlife and habitat stewardship in British Columbia.

Action 13 - work completed in 2020-2021

  • Uplifted wildlife and habitat budget by $10M/year
  • Began exploring potential funding sources within and outside of British Columbia

Action 13 - work underway/planned for 2021-2022

  • Conduct policy analyses on models to ensure sufficient, dedicated, long-term funding for wildlife/habitat with the Council
  • Identify opportunities for partnerships and leveraging funds