Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
The hunting licensing program will receive major upgrades, following a commitment to create an online service that will be flexible, convenient, user-friendly and fit for the 21st century, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced on July 11.
“The new electronic licensing program will make it easier than ever for British Columbians to go hunting and will help ensure sound wildlife management decisions support the ministry’s conservation goals,” Thompson said.
Under the Request for Proposals, the first step in building the system has been taken. A key feature of the upgrade will be an electronic service, which hunters will be able to access 24 hours a day, seven days a week to purchase their hunting licences and apply for Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) opportunities. Currently, licences and LEH applications can only be purchased from Service BC offices or licensed vendors, many of which are not available over the weekend or non-business hours.
The new electronic licensing service will be efficient, convenient, easy to use and increase cost effectiveness in a time of fiscal restraint. Resident hunters will have easier access to hunter services, increasing participation, and guide outfitters’ in-camp clients will be able to obtain licences without waiting for a vendor to open or travelling to a vendor location.
“The new electronic licensing system is a fundamental step forward in improving access to hunting and will help support sustainable wildlife populations by creating a reliable system to collect hunter participation and harvest information,” said Bill Bosch, president of the BC Wildlife Federation.
The system will also help the Province meet important resource management objectives to ensure the health and sustainability of wildlife populations. The electronic system will create a single point of reference for data collection, including compulsory inspection information, guide outfitter hunter reports and resident hunter harvest information, all of which will feed directly into timely and more informed wildlife management decisions.
The ministry is targeting the 2015-16 hunting season to have the new service in place.
The B.C. government is inviting bids to design the upgrade, and those wishing to submit a proposal should visit the BC Bid website at: www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca (Click “Browse”, then choose “by organization”,click “Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations” then select “Document No ITP-011 Consultants: IT Systems Transformation”.)
The deadline for proposals is 2 p.m. Aug. 20, 2013.
Hunting generates $9.2 million in licensing revenues for the Province and is responsible for an additional $500-700 million in broader economic activity, primarily in B.C.’s rural and remote regions.
Under the Province’s Resident Hunter Recruitment and Retention strategy, hunting licence sales have steadily increased and in 2012-13 exceeded 100,000.
The Province successfully introduced the Freshwater Fishing E-Licensing System in fall 2007.
To learn more about wildlife management in B.C., visit the Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management Branch at: www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/