This petition will be delivered to:
B.C. Liberals:Premier Christy Clark,Minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource,Hon. Steve Thomson,B.C. Minister of the Environment,Hon. Mary Polak, Green Party Leader,Elizabeth May
Assistant Deputy Minister – Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations,Tom Ethier Conservation Director, Pacific Wild,Ian McAllister
Save B.C. Wolves!
Pacific Wild Denny Island, B.C., Canada
January 15, 2015
B.C. Government green-lights controversial wolf hunt in the South Selkirk and South Peace regions. As many as 184 wolves to be shot from helicopters.
Decades of habitat destruction and human encroachment have left BC’s mountain caribou on the edge of survival. Instead of protecting critical food and habitat for caribou, such as the lichen rich interior forests, the BC government has now placed the blame on wolves. Over 180 wolves are now being targeted for aerial killing in the next two months. These highly social and intelligent animals, icons of our natural heritage, should not be killed because of government negligence. Killing all the wolves in BC won’t bring the caribou back in the absence of habitat protection.
Wolves are highly social and intelligent animals and research shows that predator kill programs increase reproductive rates in wolves and destabilizes pack structure causing more predation of livestock and other non-native prey.
It is the view of Pacific Wild that this announcement is scientifically unsound and that wolves are being used as a scapegoat to divert attention from the fundamental problem of ongoing habitat destruction and displacement caused by human encroachment.
“This is not management, it’s a tax-payer funded kill program of one of our most iconic species.” said Ian McAllister, Conservation Director for Pacific Wild. “This is not only a horrific day for wolves in British Columbia but a sad day for public engagement and policy that will surely bring international condemnation to our borders.”
*(PLEASE NOTE you are NOT donating to Pacific Wild when asked after you have signed the petition – you are donating to change.org)
Please consider DONATING to Pacific Wild’s Save BC Wolves Indiegogo campaign here.Learn more and support the campaign to end the wolf kill and educate the public about this issue.
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Contact Pacific Wild: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pacific Wild is a B.C. based non-profit wildlife conservation organization and a leading advocate for changes to wolf management in British Columbia. www.pacificwild.org
B.C. Liberals Premier Christy Clark
Minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources Hon. Steve Thomson
B.C. Minister of the Environment Hon. Mary Polak
and 3 others
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May
Assistant Deputy Minister – Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Tom Ethier
Conservation Director, Pacific Wild Ian McAllister
Save B.C. Wolves!
Honourable Minister Steve Thomson
Honourable Minister Mary Polak
Assistant Deputy Minister Tom Ethier
Save BC Wolves Campaign
CLICK HERE to support Save B.C. Wolves
Stop the wolf kill, stand up for B.C. wolves. | Crowdfunding is a democratic way to support the fundraising needs of your community. Make a contribution today!
Valhalla Wilderness Watchwildernesswatch@netidea.com
January 21, 2015
Slaughtering wolves from helicopters, transplanting healthy animals to areas that little viable habitat left, where they are quickly killed by predators: some of our smallest and most endangered herds of Mountain Caribou are receiving intensive efforts to boost their numbers. Brutal or desperate, hotly protested or widely lauded, these quick fixes create an appearance of vigorous action to save the caribou; but they are disguising the widespread failure of BC’s Recovery Plan — and the equal failure of the BC Government to correct the fatal sellouts that have compromised the Plan.
Even our larger subpopulations that started out with a much greater chance of surviving have been declining rapidly. These areas still have unprotected intact habitat that could be protected, and they have serious problems with snowmobiles and heli-skiing in critical winter feeding grounds — so there are options for extending and improving the Recovery Plan other than blasting away at wolves from the air; but they are largely being ignored.
When the Plan was announced in 2008, BC had an estimated 1,885 Mountain Caribou. (1) The stated goal was to increase caribou numbers to 2,500 within 20 years; but today, with more than one-third of the time passed, the government says there are only about 1,500 caribou left. (2)
One recent, shocking indicator of the failure of the Recovery Plan is the decline of the Central Selkirk herd by 40% in 2012 and 2014. This subpopulation had been stable for ten years. The government census report says that scientists do not know the cause of the losses, “However displacement of caribou from preferred habitat by recreational activities remains a major concern.” (3)
Another crash is happening in the Wells Gray-North Thompson unit. In this unit the Groundhog caribou population dropped by 74% in a three-year period between 2008 and 2011, from 23 animals down to 6 (4); and over all the Wells Gray-North Thompson unit, which includes the Groundhog, caribou have apparently declined by at least 40% from 2007 to the present.
According to the habitat scientists, the Wells Gray Thompson Planning Unit had 274 caribou in 2007 (5), but the 2011 census for this unit could only find 172 animals. And that’s where the public information stops. There is abundant evidence that some of these losses may be due to heavy snowmobile use in the North Thomson area.
The Recovery Plan’s farcical Snowmobile Management Agreements (SMA’s) allow snowmobile clubs to develop plans to voluntarily stay out of caribou habitat and monitor themselves. This program has miserably failed. In the North Thompson area snowmobile trespasses into closure zones have been recorded in the Foam Creek Snowmobile Mtn. Caribou Ungulate Winter Range, and the North Blue River Valley closure zone. Government scientists have extensive documentation of snowmobile trespasses in the South Purcells (6) and other planning units, yet the political level of government is turning a blind eye.
In the North Thompson area, the government is even permitting the snowmobile clubs to maintain groomed snowmobile trails that give wolves easy access to critical caribou habitat in an SMA area. (7) Yet the public has been locked out of these internal decisions that continue to erode the taxpayer-funded Recovery Plan.
Faced with these facts, the government hides behind how many gross hectares land it has protected in habitat reserves for the caribou (2.2 million), and how many hectares are “off-limits” to snowmobiles (one million). These figures are very misleading, since most of the 2.2 million hectares is old protection predating the Recovery Plan, and there is very little new protection for the habitat type that’s presently being destroyed and thereby causing the caribou to decline: old-growth low- and mid-elevation forest on gentle slopes.
There are three park proposals in the Mountain Caribou range that would provide substantial habitat support: the Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park Proposal, the proposed Quesnel Lake Wilderness, and the Walker Wilderness proposal near Prince George. But under the current Recovery Plan, the government has never protected even one park in the region of any substantial size.
Regarding the snowmobile closures, a government map shows that extensive areas recommended by government scientists for closure were left open (8). Field assessments by Valhalla Wilderness Watch chairperson, Craig Pettitt, have determined that in some cases, the caribou’s winter habitat was split up between the caribou and the snowmobiles, with the snowmobiles getting the best caribou habitat, and the caribou expected to use steep areas where the snowmobiles can’t go.
The Recovery Plan took some laudable steps forward, but almost every aspect of it has been hollowed out by numerous concessions to vested interests. Mountain Caribou are tragically disappearing, and the government is shamelessly using wolves as a scapegoat for what it hasn’t done to protect the caribou.
Contact persons: Craig Pettitt, 250-358-7997, Anne Sherrod, 250-358-2610
(1) Ministry of Environment, Mountain Caribou Implementation Plan, February, 2009.
(2) Vancouver Sun, January 5, 2015, “Maternity penning offers hope for mountain caribou.”
(3) Ministry of Environment, “2014 Mountain Caribou Census: Central Selkirk Mountains”: “Displacement of caribou from preferred habitat by recreational disturbance has long been a concern in many areas. In particular, the Great Northern Mountain / Mohawk Creek area, the majority of Silvercup Ridge, and the Silent Pass area. These areas contain suitable but unused late winter habitat that is heavily used by snowmobilers and/or snowcat operators and / or heli ski operators.
(4) Surgenor, J., 2011. Mountain Caribou Census for Wells Gray South Subpopulation.
(5) Local Habitat Team, 2007Mountain Caribou Population Recovery Initiative Wells Gray
Thompson Local Habitat Team Report to Directors, December 17, 2007.
(6) Ministry of Environment, “Winter Recreational Activities in Mountain Caribou Habitat: 2007-2010 Monitoring and Compliance”.
(7) Photo and further details available. From the Foam Creek parking lot north of Avola in the North Thompson River valley, over 60 km of twelve foot wide roadway is groomed after every major snowfall, right through critical caribou habitat and up onto subalpine terrain that have in the past been prime occupied caribou habitat.
(8) Harding, Lee, “Southern Mountain Caribou Critical Habitat: A reviews of maps and data to support recovery plans”, March 18, 2014.
Media Statement: December 15, 2014
For immediate release
Victoria, B.C. –The Government of British Columbia’s recent decision to prioritize the guide outfitting industry over the interests of resident British Columbia hunters is directly contrary to the public interest says Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head and Deputy Leader of the BC Green Party.
On December 10th, 2014 the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations released his decision concerning how hunting licenses would be allocated between industry and British Columbians.
Contrary to the established Wildlife Allocation Policy, and the consultation process that developed it, this new decision allocated a massive increase in the proportion of licenses available to industry. This means that BC hunters, many of whom hunt for sustenance, may go without licenses this year.
“What we are seeing is the needs of industry being placed ahead of the needs of British Columbia residents,” said Andrew Weaver. “Last spring we had legislation passed that allowed guide outfitting operations to be owned by a foreign corporations, and now the government is supporting this industry on the backs of British Columbians.”
In February 2013, the government introduced the Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Statutes Amendment Act, 2014, which overhauled guide outfitting in BC. Importantly, it removed the requirement that a guide outfit can only be owned by a citizen of British Columbia, opening up the possibly that guide outfitters are owned and operated by corporations from other countries.
Since the legislation passed, government has maintained a focus on advancing the interests of this industry without mention of how it will affect BC hunters. In his June 2014 mandate letter, the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations was directed to “continue to work with BC Guides and Outfitters and other back country operators to ensure continued access and business certainty to Crown land and provide economic and tourism opportunities in rural British Columbia.”
“There are over 100,000 British Columbia residents who hunt each year, a number that has been growing over time,” said Andrew Weaver. “This government needs to halt their current approach to wildlife management and ensure that it is British Columbians who benefit from their policies.”
“I fail to see why they are advancing the interests of this industry ahead of the interests of British Columbians,” said Andrew Weaver.
Mat Wright – Press Secretary, Andrew Weaver MLA
Cell: 1 250 216 3382
Many thanks to Robert Barron of the Nanaimo Daily News for interviewing us this Easter.
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