The deal, quietly released earlier this month, gives registered Métis the ability to hunt and fish year-round throughout northern and central Alberta.
Brian Dingreville of the Alberta Fish and Game Association says it could create too much pressure on those resources.
“We are apprehensive that this agreement opens the door to the unregulated harvesting of Alberta’s wildlife,” said AFGA President Brian Dingreville.
“We have concerns when anyone is given the right to take unlimited quantities of fish or game or to disregard seasonal restrictions which are in place to ensure their long-term survival.”
The agreement does contain provisions for monitoring and managing how many animals are taken.
But Dingreville questions the province’s capacity for such work, as well as its ability to enforce rules over such a wide landscape.
“It is of concern as to who will be doing said monitoring as the enforcement of existing conservation laws has already been limited by insufficient budgets that are dedicated to that task,” Fish and Game said in a statement.
According to the Métis Nation of Alberta, new rules replace a 2010 policy and recognize the rights of eligible MNA citizens to hunt, fish and trap for food in five large regional areas in central and northern Alberta (as opposed to current 25 smaller local areas.)
People who identify as Métis will have to obtain a Métis Harvester Identification Sticker, which will have to be put on their MNA citizenship cards. It is valid for life and is not transferable.
The agreement was reached to bring the province in line with a 2003 Supreme Court decision.
Manitoba and Ontario have reached similar deals with their Métis populations.
The Alberta Fish and Game Association is a not-for-profit volunteer organization that promotes responsible use of fish and wildlife resources and the conservation of their habitats.
— With files from The Canadian Press