The Stewardship Plans represent guidelines for responsible and sustainable land and resource management. All management directions constructed in the Evergreen Stewardship Plans are made based on government data from one or more of the following sources:
- Published policies from government
- Government sponsored or supported scientific research
- Traditional Knowledge from wildlife practitioners
- Direction from past Land and Resource Management Plans
The sub regional plans complement the Chilcotin Ark Stewardship Plan which combines the most important features of the sub regions.
Regional Land and Resource plans were developed by the Government with input from stakeholders in the 1990’s and had limited implementation. A new government took office and developed a new strategy for land and resource management. This new strategy lacks high-level coordination of all resource users. The two 2016 Evergreen Stewardship Plans (link) were designed to restore unified management and promote a healthy balance between social, ecological, and environmental values in the process of land and resource use.
Mike Morris, MLA of Prince George-MacKenzie and parliamentary secretary to the FLNRO, released a report in 2015 which shows that stewardship is at an all-time low. His report makes it clear that government staff is over-loaded and cannot monitor and measure the results of seral developments over time. This is an opportunity for “harnessing the wisdom, talent and expertise of BC wildlife practitioners in wildlife/habitat management,” as recommended by Morris. The following is an excerpt from Morris’ report Getting the balance right: Improving wildlife habitat management in British Columbia:
Many tenure and non-tenure holders as well as First Nations across the province have decades of intimate knowledge of the particular spatial area that their tenures cover, often spatial areas where they have fished, hunted, and resided. These people possess invaluable knowledge that will enhance the ability of the government to accurately assess habitat, wildlife populations, and environmental changes associated with resource development and natural disturbances like forest fires and flooding.
The entire review by Mike Morris can be found here.
Guide outfitters live the nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle, carrying on the cultural traditions from the beginning of the human species. Guide outfitters in British Columbia guided the first international tourists around 1850 before Canada was a country. The tourism industry has grown since then to encompass many different activities, and still guide outfitting is at the core, providing and educating about the most intimate connection with wilderness and nature. The Guide Outfitters Association of BC (GOABC) says “Guide outfitters are the founders of the tourism industry and an important part of the outdoor stewardship and heritage of BC.” In fact, GOABC has published an on-going series called The Stewardship Series that uses workshops with a variety of wildlife practitioners to address wildlife management. They currently have an episode each for stone’s sheep, moose, woodland caribou, and mountain goat. Guide outfitter’s intimate knowledge of wilderness, nature, and the plants and animals which reside in it, put them at the forefront of knowing when nature’s balance is upset. Guide outfitters are the perpetual eyes and ears on the ground, listening to nature’s balance.