Originally Published in the December 1992 issue of The Outfitter Magazine.
Ministers announce commitment to Improve Allocation of Adult Moose Validation Tags Within Tourism Industry.
The province will move ahead to improve the system for allocating adult moose tags to the tourism industry, Natural Resources Minister Bud Wildman and Tourism and Recreation Minister Peter North announced recently.
The ministers committed the province to implementing recommendations in a report released today, entitled “A Review of the Allocation of Adult Moose Validation Tags Within the Tourism Industry”.
The report, which focuses on ways to improve key areas of concern in the Tag Share System for moose hunting, we prepared by Cochrane North MPP, Len Wood, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Dan Waters, MPP for Muskoka-Georgian Bay and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Tourism and Recreation.
Mr. Wood and Mr. Waters conducted the review of the system by examining the comments of tourist outfitters and members of the public who attended open meetings and by analyzing the responses of outfitters to a questionnaire.
“Tourist Outfitters and the general public have told us how to improve the tag share system. We look forward to implementing some of those recommendations before the start of the 1993 moose hunting season,” Mr. Wildman said.
“I am pleased that tourist operators took the opportunity to express their views,” said Mr. North. “The recommendations that are implemented will not only strengthen the tourism industry but will also result in economic benefits to the people of Ontario.”
For administrative purposes, the province has been divided into Wildlife Management Units (WMU’s). The Tag Share System considers that each WMU has 1,000 shares. Therefore the number of moose tags each outfitter gets is based on the number of shares he or she holds in a WMU.
The Review of the Allocation of Adult Moose Validation Tags Within the Tourism Industry contains the following key recommendations:
The allocation of the moose harvest to the tourism industry should remain at about 10 per cent provincially.
An outfitter should be permitted to permanently transfer shares to any eligible outfitter. Currently, shares can be transferred only to outfitters already in the tag allocation system.
Procedures and conditions for transfer of shares should be developed as soon as possible by the Ontario Moose Allocation Advisory Committee (OMAAC) in consultation with tourist outfitters. The advisory committee is made up of representatives from the tourism industry and hunters.
Transfers of adult moose validation tags from one outfitter to another should be disallowed except under exceptional circumstances. Where these tags have not been used by a certain period of time, they should be reclaimed by the advisory committee and allocated to other outfitters.
Policies and procedures to guide the decisions of the advisory committee should be developed in conjunction with the tourism industry and set down in writing.
Consistent staff levels and funding should be made available to handle the work load associated with the responsibilities of the advisory committee. Continued advisory support should come from both the ministries of Natural Resources and Tourism and Recreation.
Outfitters should be notified of the tag allocation earlier so they can have more lead time for promotion.
Stronger efforts should be made to educate tourist outfitters on managing the moose resource through tag quotas and on the long-term commercial viability of moose hunting.
In November 1991, Mr. Wildman requested the review of the Tag Share System to consider ways of improving administration and communications between the advisory committee and outfitters, to determine how “new” outfitters might be included in the allocation process or how the operation of existing outfitters could be expanded. The review was also to identify way of reducing the impact of potential moose tag quota reductions on tourist outfitters.
Of the 650 questionnaires sent out in March 1992 to outfitters already in the system and outfitters who have applied to enter the system, 363 were returned. Approximately 300 people attended the consultation meetings which were held this year with outfitters in Timmins, Sudbury, Wawa, Thunder Bay and Dryden.
Copies of “A Review of the Allocation of Adult Moose Validation Tags Within the Tourism Industry” may be obtained at no cost from district and area offices of the Ministry of Natural Resources or district offices of the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation. It is also available from the Natural Resources Information Centre, Room M1-73, Macdonald Block, 900 Bay Street, Toronto, or by calling (416) 314-2225.