Conservation, Hunting Policy, and Rural Livelihoods in British Columbia
Hunting as a wildlife conservation tool has been the centre of much debate as climate change and increased pressure from human encroachment continue to impact wildlife species globally. As ongoing land use conflicts, natural resource extraction, and population growth threaten habitat, leaders face a dilemma around how to balance sustainable land use management while supporting rural economies. We explored the role of hunting in conservation and looked critically at the perspectives of hunters and those involved in hunting in the western Canadian province of British Columbia. A community-based participatory research methodology guided this
study, and we collected data through semi-structured interviews with resident hunters, conservation officers, wildlife biologists, guide outfitters, hunting suppliers, and Indigenous hunters. The results can help inform inclusive policies that balance the needs of local peoples, communities, and conservation in rural regions. Diverse hunting stakeholders have unique knowledge of regional lands and wildlife management practices that are integral to socio-economic and environmental sustainability in rural regions.
Keywords: hunting, conservation, community-based participatory research, rural livelihoods; British Columbia