The government responded yesterday to a petition calling for the end of bear hunting within a kilometre of Yukon roads.
Environment Minister Currie Dixon said that he appreciates that roadside bears provide valuable wildlife viewing and tourism opportunities.
But agreements with First Nations must come first, he said.
Those agreements set out the process for changing hunting regulations, and those processes must be followed, said Dixon.
“Any member of the public, any group and any organization can make proposals for regulations to be changed, removed or put in place.”
Those proposals must be submitted to the Fish and Wildlife Management Board, he said.
That board must then consult the public and develop recommendations, said Dixon. The environment minister has the final say.
“I respect the sentiments of many people who have signed the petition on the floor today who are now with the House and I have read the news stories and talked personally with people concerned about the practice of harvesting bears near major roadways or near dwellings. However, I must respect the process that the UFA and the final agreements set out.”