News & Events
Safari Club International STATEMENT ON COVID-19 Washington, DC – (MARCH 18, 2019) – While the U.S. and the rest of the world navigate the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Safari Club International (SCI) is actively monitoring the disruptions the pandemic is wreaking on the global hunting community. Our global membership at SCI includes hunters, outfitters, guides, and operators who will all likely face unforeseen restrictions that will have a negative impact on many businesses in the industry.
In order to help all of our members mitigate the economic impact from the coronavirus, we encourage everyone to check in with relevant authorities regarding rapidly changing travel restrictions, border closings, and business closures. In addition, we encourage all hunters to communicate problems concerning scheduled hunts with all relevant stakeholders as soon as possible so that contingency planning can be done as smoothly as possible.
While the length of this crisis is unknown, SCI is aware of the plight of members in places currently at the peak of their hunting season like New Zealand and Argentina, which are currently under quarantine or quarantining foreigners, respectively. West, Central, and Southern African countries are all currently hosting early hunting seasons while facing an unknown future, with additional seasons scheduled to start over the next several months. Due to the extensive planning many hunting trips require, a number of additional hunting seasons in the summer and fall may also be at risk of low participation if severe travel restrictions continue.
Though times are uncertain for hunters and the hunting industry, it is important that every member and stakeholder in our community come together to support one another. The global spread of the coronavirus will not deter anti-hunters from their attacks on our way of life, so it is important that hunters use this time to maintain our reputation of leadership in social responsibility. In the meantime, SCI will continue to fight in every available avenue for the protection of our right to hunt, so that when this crisis is over we can all freely return to pursuing our passions in the outdoors.
Barbara Crown operates SCI’s Hunter Information Service, providing members information on hunting-related activities and travel. With 20 years’ experience reporting on hunting news worldwide, she is following the effects of COVID-19 developments on the hunting industry. She can be reached at HunterHotline@safariclub.org, at 800-997-0179 or 520-798-4859.
Additionally, SCI’s member-exclusive Hunter Information Service has made its COVID-19 advisories available to the public at safariclub.org.
### Safari Club International – First For Hunters is the leader in protecting the freedom to hunt and in promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. SCI’s approximately 200 Chapters represent all 50 of the United States as well as 106 other countries. SCI’s proactive leadership in a host of cooperative wildlife conservation, outdoor education and humanitarian programs, with the SCI Foundation and other conservation groups, research institutions and government agencies, empowers sportsmen to be contributing community members and participants in sound wildlife management and conservation. Visit the home page www.SafariClub.org or call (520) 620-1220 for more information.
International Headquarters Washington, District of Columbia · Tucson, Arizona · Ottawa, Canada
The Manitoba government says it’s throwing out paper-based outdoor licensing in favour of online shopping for hunting and angling licenses and provincial park vehicle permits. On Monday, the government announced new legislation that will move provincial sales of outdoor licenses and permits online — which will cost consumers an extra few dollars at the check- out, and must still be printed out.
Hunting, fishing licenses and vehicle permits bought online will have added fee and need to be printed out. A $4.50 administrative fee will be tagged on to the cost of base license fees in order to support the new service delivery method, according to the release.
Manitoba is home to 92 provincial parks, spanning more than four million hectares of land and water. Before exploring the wilderness, users will be able to go online, create a customer profile and select the desired product or license, then head to the check- out — much like other 24/7 online shopping experience.
Upon making a purchase, a digital copy will be available for download from the customer’s account. A hard copy of a license must be printed out and carried while fishing or hunting so it can be presented upon request by conservation officers, according to the government news release.
Park permits must be printed for display on the vehicle’s dashboard.
Consumers will also be able to make licensing purchases online at Manitoba Conservation and Climate Change offices around the province and other participating retailers, which will be listed online.
The e-licensing process will also help improve data collection to support program management, the government said in the release.
CHANGES TO BAIT REGULATIONS IN AIS CONTROL ZONES
The Province of Manitoba is conducting a review of their Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) regulations as part of its overall strategic plan. As part of that review, and based on concerns by anglers regarding the use and disposal of frozen bait in AIS control zones, the province recently provided the following clarification – “Commercially supplied dead bait that has not come into contact with water from a waterbody in an AIS Control Zone can be retained by anglers for future use. All live bait possessed in an AIS Control Zone must still be disposed in the trash before leaving the shore, as must any dead bait that has been handled (i.e. hooked) or come into contact with surface water from the lake.” MLOA members who offer guided angling in AIS control zones and who have comments or concerns on this or other aspects of AIS regulations are encouraged to send comments to the fisheries branch at email@example.com as soon as possible so your concerns can be incorporated into the 5-year AIS regulation review.
As a member of an informal working group concerned with the state of the fishery on Lake Winnipeg, MLOA and several partners (Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund, Fish Futures, Manitoba Wildlife Federation, Travel Manitoba, Hooked Magazine, Seven Oaks Game & Fish, Walleye Anglers Association of Manitoba, The Wildlife Society and Kamooki Lures) conducted an economic impact study on the value of the recreational Lake Winnipeg walleye fishery. The study was conducted by Probe Research on behalf of our partners. Over the two years of the study (2016-18), anglers spent over $220 million, contributing a whopping $52 million to Manitoba’s GDP, $44 million in wages and supporting almost 1,400 jobs (person years of employment). The contribution of the recreational anglers and tourism to the economy for just one species (walleye) dwarfs that of the commercial fishing industry by more than 3 times, while catching only 4% of walleye biomass (and more than 50% of those fish are released) compared to the commercial industry.
It is everyone’s responsibility to stop the spread of
Aquatic Invasive Species in Manitoba’s water bodies
Zebra mussels were discovered in some of our province’s water bodies in 2013, however, prior to that Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) existed in our province. Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association (MLOA) had quickly taken an active interest in preventing the spread of AIS throughout Manitoba and beyond. Our members, whether fishing and hunting outfitters, accommodation resorts or eco tourism operators, are business owners who depend on a healthy ecosystem to conduct their businesses for the enjoyment of their customers as well as all others wishing to use our wilderness resources.
AIS can either live in freshwater or marine environments. The majority of the species of concern to Manitoba, such as Zebra mussels, Spiny Water Flea and Rusty Crayfish are freshwater species.
Coordinated Conservation Management
Unless you are an outfitter specializing in specific wildlife hunts, or the person who hunts for the harvest of meat, you will never understand the persecution that wildlife is facing at the hands of illegal poachers. But above all, you will never see how much habitat is being destroyed every day to sustain the booming human population.
Habitat loss threatens to destroy all forms of biodiversity, while unselective and indiscriminate, illegal poaching adds to it.
Only a coordinated effort that incorporates a diversity of scientifically sound management practices will reap long- term solutions. There is no one “fix-all” strategy to conserving wildlife. The only way to achieve success is to implement multiple conservation and management practices that work together for one common goal – the continued survival of wildlife and habitat protection.
On June 2nd Manitoba Lodges and Outfitter’s Association (MLOA) had been invited to make a presentation at the Pointe du Bois Cottager’s Association spring meeting about online accommodation sites and their affect on businesses and cottage owners in provincial parks. MLOA wanted to pass on information regarding cottage rentals popping up throughout Manitoba’s Provincial Parks acting as bed and breakfast accommodations. Up to 83% of these types of rentals are actually unoccupied by the owners during the guest’s stay. Operating a bed and breakfast requires a business license from the regional Sustainable Development office and must meet the same criteria as all other legal accommodations resorts and lodges. Home-share rentals unoccupied by the owner are considered “Ghost Hotels” and are illegally operated in the parks.
And although the online accommodations platform fashions itself as a model of the sharing economy, in reality, big-time commercial operators are responsible for hundreds, up to over one thousand listings by one world-wide property management company. Most of these types of listings, Airbnb, VRBO, etc., do not own any properties nor are they responsible for the maintenance of these properties. They collect fees for booking through their online sites without the regulation requirements and guidelines that lodges and accommodation resorts are enforced to maintain.
It didn’t take long to gain support from the cottagers in attendance, even though there was a cottager in attendance who posts a listing for his cottage on Airbnb (he claimed to have rented it out about 7 times in 2018). Concerns raised were vehicles parked along access roads or in other cottager’s driveways, huge, poorly watched campfires, late night outdoor noise, rowdiness and reckless water behaviour, among others. A local real estate agent mentioned that Airbnb’s are referred to as “party houses” and if they are next door or nearby to a real estate listing they are now the new obstacle considered a “deal breaker” to close a property sale in cottage country.
The common consensus among those in attendance was that, regardless of the online platform, cottagers did not want a neighbour renting to strangers that even the owner didn’t know. Most agreed enforcement of existing regulations in the parks bylaws is a resolution that will need to be better imposed to discourage illegal accommodations in provincial parks. Noting that the Cottager’s Handbook, which covers all provincial parks in Manitoba, hasn’t had adequate revisions to reflect the evolution of cottage owners since our grandparents, or our parents, started using the parks for family leisure enjoyment. Therefore immediate legislation to implement the fast-changing cultivation of tranquil environment versus opportunistic capital gain is urgently required.
Provincial Parks Cottager’s Handbook (last edition dated 1981 plus current online revisions) states that:
The Manitoba Cottager’s Handbook has always stated that Businesses are present within most provincial park cottage subdivisions. Generally, however, they have been welcomed by their neighbours, and have provided valuable services to fellow cottagers in the form of accommodations, camping, guiding, grocery stores, liquor outlets, bait and tackle, boat rentals, etc.
Manitoba Conservation requires existing cottage-based businesses to register, and has an established process that future such businesses must follow before becoming established. All businesses that have not already done so must submit a registration form to a Manitoba Conservation office. Forms are available from Parks and Natural Areas Branch.
Anyone who receives remuneration for providing goods or services to others, and conducts some of the activities associated with providing those goods and services at a vacation home lot, is considered to be running a business at that vacation home lot, and must register.
Any cottager wishing to begin or register a business needs to obtain:
- the written support of the local cottage association;
- the written support of all immediate neighbours who may be impacted; and;
- written authorization from Manitoba Conservation, through the local Natural Resource Officer;
- The Director of Parks and Natural Areas Branch may then authorize the business to operate.
Your MLOA will continue to express our concerns and advocate for further consultation while we continue to seek out resolutions suitable to our membership from government and online accommodation sites in Manito
CBC wrote an extensive article on fishing in Manitoba that featured several quotes from MLOA President Paul Conchatre. Highlights include:
In Manitoba, recreational fishing licence sales rose by 13 per cent in between 2008 and 2017 – jumping from about 169,000 licences to 195,000.
Travel Manitoba picked up on that trend in recent years and has managed to exploit it to the benefit of local recreational fishing economies, says the president of the Manitoba Lodges and Outfitters Association. “With Manitoba being almost like an unsung hero for a lot of years, I think the word is out now,” said Paul Conchatre, who is also a former board member of Travel Manitoba. He credits the rise in fishing licence sales to an aggressive shift in how Travel Manitoba approaches the marketing of fishing and tourism online. A different funding model has made that renewed focus on marketing possible, he said.
Out-of-towners typically spend far more on single outings, hiring guides, booking accommodations and transportation costs, said Conchatre. All told, Conchatre estimates local and non-resident anglers have spent $221 million in the past two years on walleye fishing-related activities just in the south basin of Lake Winnipeg and the Red River tributaries. With that comes the suggestion fish stocks are under more pressure.
Please read the full article by Bryce Hoye for CBC News:
According to a 2013 report from Snoman, the snowmobiling industry contributes more than $300 million to the provincial economy each year. Not only does northern Manitoba have a natural advantage because of its longer winter, but an extensive trail system is already in place with dedicated local groups like the Thompson Trailbreakers Snowmobile Club that are willing to maintain them. A marketing strategy framework was laid out during a snowmobiling summit in Snow Lake last Nov. 15, which featured representatives from Flin Flon, The Pas, Cranberry Portage and Swan River. Based on recommendations brought up during this summit, Travel Manitoba is moving into “phase two” of this project, which involves asking the Churchill Regional Economic Development Fund to help them hire a northern co-ordinator and set up committees that can carry out certain tasks. Read More…
A study, produced by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, says the Red River, which forms the border between that U.S. state and North Dakota, has places where there is so much sediment in the water, it makes it hard for fish “to find food, detect predators and reproduce in cloudy water.” As well, the study found fish can’t go into some areas because of high bacteria counts, and levels of both phosphorus and nitrogen are increasing. Read More…