Meeting called to order by Jim Todd @ 10:00 am.
Welcome to all attendees and the host branch, Lloydminster and District Fish & Game Association.
Joanna Knorr, of the LDFGA, appointed as Recording Secretary for the April 28th, 2018 regional meeting.
Motion to adopt the agenda for April 28th, 2018 by Garry Cunningham, seconded by Maurice Bourassa, carried.
A moment of silence observed for lost members.
Roll call and introduction of guests.
Motion to adopt the 2017 Fall Regional Meeting Minutes by Dwayne Davison, seconded by Gary Laronger, carried.
Discussion regarding having paper copies of the Fall Meeting Minutes available at the Spring Regional Meeting. It was suggested that the Presidents of the individual clubs are responsible for distributing the regional minutes to their membership and to re-circulate the minutes prior to the next regional meeting.
Ministry of Environment Report presented by Rob Tether
• Game Management Plan– Discussed the core document that outlines a 10 year plan
– Possibility of reviewing in 5 years in order to maintain goals and objectives
– Discussion on species management objectives and game allocation to hunters
• Hunter Harvest Survey – 2017 response rate was 26%
– Discussion on ways to engage hunters to improve response rate, and how Saskatchewan’s survey compares to other provinces
– Vacancies in the regional Wildlife Advisory Committee were mentioned
• FWDF Update – Discussion regarding access issues and transition to Co-op pastures
– FWDF lands owned by the Ministry are managed by a Board of Trustees that consists of the SWF, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Ministry
– New signage is now up on approximately 2/3 of the FWDF land
• Changes to Big Game Draw – There has been a large increase of applications, approximately 95,000
in 2017, compared to 24,000 in 2004.
– Discussed the addition of the ‘Legacy’ pool which will include all applicants who have applied for 10 or more consecutive years in the Super A without being successfully drawn. The ‘Legacy’ pool will be the highest priority and will be drawn prior to Super A applicants. The number of tags allotted will determine how many applicants are drawn from the ‘Legacy’ pool.
-Discussion regarding zone 99 applications. Opinions on both supporting and getting rid of Zone 99 applications. No motion on this was put forward.
-The addition of a ‘D’ pool was discussed, where hunters drawn in the 2018 draw will move to the D pool for the 2019 draw, and beginning in 2019 all new draw applicants will be placed in the D pool.
-Pool status will be frozen in the event of ‘no quota available’ for that big game species. (ie: antelope)
-Applicants drawn for more than 2 species may forfeit additional awarded licenses and still maintain their pool status
-Discussed re-evaluating the current changes in 5 years
• Chronic Wasting Disease – There were 825 samples submitted in 2017, from both hunter harvested and
diagnostic heads, of these samples 96 tested positive for CWD. There is a need for more heads to be submitted for testing. It was mentioned that heads can be sent in, providing the skull plate has been properly removed.
– Discussion regarding the time frame for receiving results and the possible negative impact if it takes too long. Possibly the main issue for the delay may be due to the transportation of the heads to the testing facilities.
– It was requested that a pamphlet and/or public service announcement be distributed, within the province, on how to submit heads for CWD testing.
• Big Game Species Update – Moose- Boreal Forest- Bull only season was shorted by 5 days at the end of both the “Early and Late Seasons.
– discussed restrictive Moose management plan
– Elk – status quo season dates
– Mule Deer- status quo season dates
– Whitetail Deer- numbers are improving, one more year status quo
– Brief discussion about the Co-operative Wildlife Management Survey App.
• Hunting Season Dates – October 15th to October 26th (Moose early season)
– November 20th to November 24th (Moose late season)
– Archery Moose – Shorted by 6 days September 15th to 24th. Refer to 2018 Hunting and Trapping Guide.
– Draw Moose is for ALL weapons. For other info on big game animals, check the 2018 Draw supplement and 2018 Hunting and Trapping Guide.
• Dwayne Davison questioned the rational for taking off the last 6 days of the moose archery season. The answer given was to provide an equal opportunity for hunting. Dwayne wondered how it is equal opportunity when you can shoot a moose at 300 yards with a rifle and with a bow, most moose are shot at less than 40 yards. Dwayne asked if there was data to say how many moose where shot in the province in one year. Rob Tether replied that in 2016, there were approx.. 850 moose shot in the province and 89 of those were shot with a bow. Dwayne noted that there is a significantly smaller number taken with a bow than rifle. Dwayne also noted that this is a real negative impact on archery hunting for moose, as archery requires you to be in very close proximity to actually have the opportunity to even take a shot at a moose. This moves the archery season away from prime rut time for moose, so that will cause more limitations to the archery hunter, than a regular rifle hunter.
Enforcement and Compliance Update by Sgt. Troy Thompson
-Discussion regarding First Nations Outfitting and the increase of criminal activity of guided hunting off of Treaty Land. In 2017 a province wide initiative was created that involves the use of quotas where previously there were none. These tags also act as their customer’s export permit. The hopeful outcome from this is to achieve sustainable harvest numbers by 2019. There was a brief discussion regarding the fines and court conditions for poachers who are caught and the consequences of not paying those fines.
-The Protection Response Team (PRT) is a mandatory change to the duties of Saskatchewan’s Conservation Officers where they may be called to assist with crimes in progress. This will not change their focus of Fish and Wildlife. Discussion regarding how the PRT change will impact the future of Saskatchewan’s Conservation Officers and their duties, whereby there was a concern expressed that this could take them away from the regular duties as a CO. Notwithstanding it does add another way for law enforcement to respond to a critical situation.
BREAK FOR LUNCH
Reed Ludwig calls meeting back to order @ 1:00pm.
SWF Central Office Reports presented by Darrell Crabbe
• Education– There will be 2 boys camps and 1 girls camp for 2018 with a May 11th deadline for
applications. Another camp may be added if numbers continue to grow. Discussed the opportunity for external groups, such as Big Brothers, to book a camp.
– WOW- Women’s Outdoor Weekend will be held September 28th to 30th 2018
– BF Snowshoes- It was suggested to book in advance to ensure snowshoes will be available.
– Wildlife Poster Program- There are currently 14 wildlife posters with at least 2 more to be
added. Please be sure to distribute these to your local schools.
– Geocaching- Adds value to SWF habitat land even during the winter months. There are
currently 3 SWF trackable coins travelling the world.
– S.O.S.- Save Our Shorelines is a program for grades 4-6 where a CO will come into the school and does a power point presentation on how to keep SK shorelines free of garbage and the importance of habitat and the environment. The presentation is followed by a field trip to a local shoreline to clean up garbage and followed by a lunch possibly sponsored by the local branch.
– Fish Artwork Contest- Contest runs from April 15th to May 15th 2018 for grades to 6.
– Canadian Conservation Corps. – SWF currently has 2 CCC guests, Adam and Shannon, to help out in the office and field for the next 4 months. CCC will continue until March 2020.
– Hannin Creek- Discussed the wet/dry research lab. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony and site tour on June 26th 2018.
– NASP- There were 860 archers registered for Provincials which was held in Melville on April 13th and 14th 2018. There are 960 archers registered for the 2018 National Tournament which will be held in Regina.
• Fisheries Report– Region 2 is in need of a representative for Fisheries. The SWF is looking for new projects and will be focusing on Urban Fisheries over the next few years.
• Habitat Report– Land Acquisitions- Please call Darren Newberry with any possible land for sale within your Region.
– Annual SWF Golf Tournament will be held on June 19th 2018 in Elbow.
– Land inspections and signage for the remaining FWDF land will continue this spring
– Adopt and Acre- 2018 is the 40th Anniversary of the SWF Habitat Trust Program, with
currently 68,000 acres and the SWF would like to reach 100,000 acres by their 50th anniversary.
-Each acre costs $50/year to adopt and all funds raised from this go directly into land acquisition.
• Communications Report– A series of radio ads were launched in January that explain who the SWF is as an organization and how to support our cause.
– Saskatchewan Rough Rider, Brendon Labatte, has been working with the SWF on a short video series as well as touring the province speaking at events.
– Discussed having the Conservation Policies and Mission Statements on the SWF website.
• Membership Update– Discussed membership numbers from around the region.
– There is a 30 day grace period, for insurance, from the date the membership was purchased to when it is submitted to head office.
• GMP – The Game Management Plan is 5 to 6 years in the making and will be species by species specific.
Saskatchewan will be one of the first jurisdictions in North America to have a GMP.
• Access Research– There is a push for new legislation regarding access from a few organizations.
– The SWF has not stated a position on this legislation.
– 500 surveys will be sent out amongst 5 different groups: SWF, Sask. Government, Cattleman’s Assoc., SARM, Stock Growers Assoc., and APAS
• Governance– Moving forward, starting this Fall, all voting will be done via secret ballots.
– Motions must be made and carried first by the branch level and then at the regional level before they can be brought forward at SWF Convention.
• FWDF Hatchery and Lands- The upgrades are going well with a 7 year projected completion.
– Tours of the Hatchery in Fort Qu’Appelle can be booked through head office.
– Buffalo Pound is the main spawn camp for 2018.
– FWDF Land is classified as occupied crown.
– Signage on FWDF Land is in progress with 65% completed.
– Discussion regarding WHPA Lands, FWDF Parcels and grazing on Habitat Trust Land.
• Firearm Legislation- Greg and Darrell met with Ralph Goodale to discuss Bill C-71.
– Discussion about supporting of signing online petition, as well as calling your local MP to voice concerns regarding C-71.
• Gosling Fund- There is a $2500 Grant available for conservation projects.
• DAS Insurance– Provides free legal advice and defense on any firearm related incident.
Discussion as to Saskatoon Wildlife Federation no longer being part of the SWF.
Update on the Region 2 Trust Account.
Branch Reports from Lloydminster, Witchekan, Cater Lake, Battlefords, Thickwood Hills, Fielding, Macklin, Cut Knife, and Dorintosh (see attached reports).
2018 Fall meeting will be held by the Fielding Branch in Maymont.
Motion for adjournment by Gordon Moore, seconded by Curtis Paterson, carried.