The Federation’s origins can be traced back to the 1890’s when some of its current clubs were formed. Some were called Fish and Game clubs, while some were called Fish and Game Protective Associations. In those days, the management of British Columbia’s fish and wildlife was managed for the province by one person who was a provincial employee known as the Chief Game Warden. That management of fish and wildlife was a cooperative affair between the clubs and the Chief Game Warden.
During the 1930s and the 1940s the province operated the management of fish and wildlife under their department known as the B.C. Game Commission. They divided the province into various “zones” such as the Vancouver Island zone; the Lower Mainland zone, etc. The B.C. Game Commission in each zone then consulted with the clubs in their respective zones in order to manage the fish and wildlife resource for the benefit of the greater community.
In 1947, the B.C. Game Commission decided to try a new approach to this consultation method and established a scientific management proposal for fish and wildlife resource handling in British Columbia by calling a convention of all fish and game clubs in the province – with the costs being borne by the province (this bearing of costs carried on for ten years). They requested that all clubs be joined together by one body to ease the burden of consultations.
The first convention formed the “Sportsmen’s Council”whose role was to assist the B.C. Game Commission in managing the fish and wildlife resource for all people of the British Columbia. The Council’s first incorporation was in 1951. In 1956, the name was changed to the B.C. Federation of Fish and Game Clubs and a new constitution was adopted. In 1958 and again in 1965, the B.C. Federation of Fish and Game Clubs applied for recognition as a charitable organization.
In 1966, the Federation changed its name to the BC Wildlife Federation and adopted a new constitution. This name change represented more clearly the fact that the Federation was involved in all ways with conservation of fish and wildlife and the environment for the benefit of everyone. The Federation is still growing, and as a result, its constitution is still evolving – the last constitutional change was in 1989 – however the primary aims and objectives from 1966 still remain unchanged.
The BC Wildlife Federation is a province-wide voluntary conservation organization representing all British Columbians whose aims are to protect, enhance and promote the wise use of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.
While our origins can be traced back to the 1890’s when some of its currently operating clubs were formed, the BC Wildlife Federation was incorporated under the B.C. Societies Act in 1951 and it became a registered charity in 1969. The Federation is British Columbia’s largest and oldest conservation organization.
BCWF Strategic Objectives
1. To ensure the sound, long-term management of British Columbia’s fish, wildlife, park and outdoor recreational resources in the best interests of all British Columbians, and to coordinate all the voluntary agencies, societies, clubs and individuals interested in that objective, and
2. To develop and support a comprehensive educational program to make all British Columbians aware of the value of British Columbia’s fish, wildlife, park and outdoor recreational resources, and to arouse in the public conscience a recognition of, and a respect for, the place of fish, wildlife and outdoor recreation in the wise integrated use of the nation’s natural resources.
The Federation’s membership is made up of over 100 separate and distinct clubs from throughout British Columbia, ten Regional Associations, and direct members, for a collective membership of about 50,000. This number contrasts with almost half a million hunters and anglers in British Columbia.
The activities of the Federation are grouped under different committees. Each committee is headed by a chairman who is appointed by the president and who is responsible for coordinating the efforts of member clubs, regional associations, and direct members with respect to conservation issues relating to fish, wildlife, and the environment for the people of British Columbia. The members of these committees are mostly members of member clubs.