The Cultural Resource Management Department is proposing a Guide Outfitter Territory that would approximate the area of the trapping area. The area would extend from Indian Point Park, east to Pritchard along the South Thompson, then west following Heffley Creek down to the North Thompson and back to Indian Point. The targeted species would be the California Bighorn sheep, black bear, cougar, lynx, bobcat and coyote, leaving the sustenance species moose, and deer for First Nations and local residents.
Exceptional California Bighorn
Two types of harvest would take place. TIB members only would be permitted to harvest 4-5 ewes or 1-2 juvenile rams per year for sustenance. An LEH (limited entry hunt) would permit a non-Aboriginal harvest of one mature ram to generate revenue estimated at $30,000-$40,000, with a cost of approximately $4,000 to provide the hunt. The permited hunt would be valid within the guide outfitter area and would require the accompaniment of the registered guide outfitter, as licensed by Chief and Council and authorized by the Cultural Resource Management Department.
The LEH would be a cooperative effort between TIB, the Foundation for North America Wild Sheep (FNAWS), and the Ministry of Water, Lands, and Air Protection (WLAP). TIB would administer the permit and thereby account for a portion of the cost to provide the hunt.
An annual harvest is not recommended because over time, it would erode the mature ram component of the population, resulting in too few or no mature, large rams for breeding. As a result, there would also be a reduction in revenue as fewer large rams become available, and the uniqueness of the harvest opportunity is lost.
Finally, if the entire trapping area is designated as a single guide outfitter's territory, a considerable portion of any revenue generated from the permit could likely go into a partnership or joint venture. Few funds would be retained by TIB as proceeds would go toward a wildlife management program, including inventory and research that would generate Band member employment and provide training.