The outfitter who sold the area is Leonard Ellis, who is quoted in Canadian press accounts as saying he was tired of dealing with pressure from anti-hunting groups and the Society simply made him a fair offer. The unanswered questions at this point are: 1.) Will all hunting, even by Canadians, indeed be stopped here; and 2.) Is this the start of an avalanche of hunting buy-outs by environmentalists?
The answer to the first question is easy as regards resident Canadian hunting. The buyout should have no immediate effect on that at all, as the area in question is a hunting area with a bona fide harvest quota. It could, however, mean the end to outfitted hunting by international clients, as Raincoast could end that simply by deciding not to conduct such hunts. Indeed, Raincoast has already declared that it will not take international clients on any kind of hunts in the area it has purchased.
There is, though, some question about just how far Raincoast can go with its non-hunting policies, as hunting areas in British Columbia are issued on a use-it-or-lose it basis. John J. Jackson, III, of Conservation Force, says that makes the buy-out illegal. He believes it won't stand. "The new private operator of this area must be trained and qualified in hunting to obtain the hunting lease," Jackson writes in his latest Conservation Force Bulletin. "Moreover, the new owners have to actually pass an examination. One must have an assistant........(continued)