As Manitoba's Conservation and Water Stewardship minister, I welcome all readers to the 2014/2015 Trapper's Guide. This annual guide underlines my department's commitment to the long-term management of fur bearing animals and harvesting of wild fur in Manitoba.
I am pleased to advise you that Manitoba has seen an increase in trapping licences issued this year. This is indicative of your commitment to your industry and a good sign for the health of your industry in our province.
Beginning this year, trappers will contribute directly to fur bearing animal management. From each trapping and hunting licence sold, five dollars will go the Fish and Wildlife Enhancement Fund. This newly established trust fund will be used for wildlife projects, including those focused on fur bearing animals throughout the province.
Trappers and hunters will be represented on the wildlife subcommittee that recommends the projects to be funded. These projects will benefit Manitoba's fur bearing animals now and in the future, ensuring that ample trapping opportunities lie ahead. At the same time, the cost of a trapping licence will remain lower in Manitoba than in any other province.
This past year, I was able to spend a day with a trapper in the Interlake region and attend the Thompson Fur Table. Both experiences offered me tremendous opportunities to learn more about fur harvesting, pelt preparation and the sale of those pelts.
Also this past year, the department established the Livestock and Predator Management Working Group. The group is made up of stakeholders such as the Manitoba Beef Producers, Manitoba Sheep Association, Manitoba Goat Producers, Manitoba Trappers Association and representatives from Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and Agri-Food Canada. Thanks to the collaborative effort of these organizations, a number of livestock predator management workshops took place in chronic predator conflict areas.
I want to thank the trappers of Manitoba for helping manage the province's fur bearing animals. I am especially grateful for your assistance with species like coyotes, which sometimes come into conflict with livestock producers.
I invite you to review this guide for information you should know before you begin this year's trapping activity.
Minister of Conservation and Water Stewardship