BC Govt Plans a New Independent Wildlife Agency Managed by Guide Outfitters, Trophy Hunters, Trappers

Valhalla Wilderness Society

Box 329, New Denver, British Columbia, Canada V0G 1S0
Phone: (250) 358-2333, Fax: (250) 358-2748, E-mail: vws@vws.org, Web: http://www.vws.org

18 May 2017
Call for action

BC Government wants to establish a new independent wildlife agency managed by hunters, trappers and guide outfitters Valhalla Wilderness Society was appalled when the BC government announced in late March that it intends to establish a new independent wildlife agency (https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017FLNR0037-000783 ) “as part of its long-standing commitment to healthy wildlife populations.” The proposed “independent” agency is a thinly disguised attempt by the BC government to privatize wildlife management. Equally concerning and outrageous is that this agency was cooked up with at least the following 5 organizations, the BC Wildlife Federation, the BC Guide Outfitters Association, the BC Trappers Association, the Wild Sheep Society of BC and the Wildlife Stewardship Council with whom the BC government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). These organizations whose members include hunters, trappers and guide outfitters who guide (trophy) hunters fully support the proposed agency whose mandate appears ironically to be “the growth of wildlife in British Columbia.”

At the announcement, Bill Bennett, then MLA East Kootenay and Minister of Mines and Energy,
explained the need for a new agency as follows: “Government is afraid to manage wolves, for example,are afraid to manage grizzly bears in some cases because of the politics of that. Hopefully, an agency that is separate from government can make decisions that are in the best long-term interest of wildlife and just forget about the politics and do what is best for the animals.”

http://www.summit107.com/news/east-kootenay-news/new-independent-wildlife-group-to-takeover-

bc-government-operations/. Bill Bennett has left BC enough of a devastating legacy with the
Mount Polley mine tailing pond failure which continues to pollute Quesnel Lake.
2
The past president of the BC Wildlife Federation welcomed the announcement of the proposed agency by stating: “I think it’ll put more positive aspect into managing wildlife and getting away from the precautionary principles and get back to real numbers and managing wildlife the way it should be.” The government press release reports that the proposed agency will be funded with start-up funds of $5 million but “subsequently would be supported by hunting licence revenues of $9 million to $10 million each year.”
Valhalla Wilderness Society calls on all members to express their opposition to this outrageous scheme to not only privatize wildlife management in BC but to place it in the hands of hunters, trappers and guide outfitters. Notwithstanding the poor job the BC government has been doing in terms of “growing wildlife”, wildlife should be managed by government. The above-mentioned special interest groups lack the technical expertise to make wildlife decisions based on scientific evidence and are even unwilling to apply the precautionary principle, which- in the face of climate change -, is needed more than ever. The proposed agency can not be held accountable to the public like an elected government, especially as agency members will no doubt be gagged by mandatory confidentiality agreements. Nor can it be bound by the domestic and international legal obligations, such as the Canada-BC Species at Risk Agreement, that bind the Province directly or indirectly through the federal government`s signing of international legal treaties.
The proposed agency does not represent the majority of British Columbians and the fake “public
consultation” process that the BC government has set aside $200,000 for when the mandate,
stakeholders and funding have already been decided is an utter waste of tax payers’ money. Wild
management should not be reduced to the management of species which hunters, trappers and guide outfitters’ clients like to kill: a broad ecosystem approach is needed to ensure that BC’s “wildlife grows” and their habitat is protected. Last but not least, funding for wildlife management should not be contingent on hunting license revenue or on other funding from special interest groups. Please take the time to email John Horgan, leader of the NDP, Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party, and Christy Clark, leader of the BC Liberals, demanding that:
 this proposed agency be shelved and the MOU terminated with immediate effect. Wildlife
management must remain the responsibility of the BC government;
 all wildlife management decisions by government must be made on the basis of scientific evidence guided by the precautionary principle and on a broad ecosystem level, which would automatically remove politics from the decision-making process the $200,000 set aside for so-called “public” consultation on this proposed agency whose establishment has been set in motion by special interest groups be used for restoration of mountain caribou habitat;
documents and meeting minutes with the above-mentioned organizations and others involved in
the establishment of this proposed agency be immediately released to the public.

Contact details:
John Horgan, NDP Party leader
Room 201, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4
Tel: 250 387-3655
Email: oppositionleader@leg.bc.ca
Andrew Weaver, Green Party leader and MLA
Room 027C, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4
Tel: 250-387-8347
Email: andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca
Christy Clark, BC Liberal leader
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4
Tel: 250-387-1715
Email: Christy.clark.mla@leg.bc.ca

SB236 Trapping Bill Hearing in MT House Committee

From: Friends of Trap Free Montana Public Lands

If SB236 passes in this committee, it will go before the whole Montana House of Representatives. In order for SB236 to get on the ballot as a constitutional amendment, Senator Fielder will now need 70 of the 100 Representatives to vote for it.

SB236 reads as follows:

THE CITIZENS OF MONTANA HAVE THE RIGHT TO HUNT, FISH, TRAP, AND HARVEST WILD FISH AND WILDLIFE, INCLUDING THE USE OF CUSTOMARY MEANS AND METHODS. HUNTING, FISHING, AND TRAPPING BY CITIZENS IS THE PREFERRED MANNER OF MANAGING WILD FISH AND WILDLIFE AND IS SUBJECT TO NECESSARY AND PROPER MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION STATUTES ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE AND REGULATORY AUTHORITY DELEGATED BY THE LEGISLATURE TO A DESIGNATED PUBLIC AGENCY OR COMMISSION. THE RIGHT TO HARVEST WILD FISH AND WILDLIFE IS A HERITAGE THAT SHALL FOREVER BE PRESERVED TO THE INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS OF THE STATE AND DOES NOT CREATE A RIGHT TO TRESPASS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY OR A DIMINUTION OF OTHER PRIVATE RIGHTS.”

•    Amending our constitution should not be taken lightly or rushed.

•    The purpose of this bill is  to enshrine trapping into our constitution. In 2004, we overwhelmingly voted to add to our Montana constitution the opportunity to preserve hunting and fishing forever more.

•    Requiring the preferred method for wildlife management to be hunting, fishing and trapping shuts out the non-consumptive wildlife user. Wildlife watching is a significant financial contributor to our economy from residents and visitors, alike.

•    The bill negates respectful coexistence, implementation of preventative non-lethal management tools and the intrinsic value and management needs for ALL wildlife.

•    The goal of this bill is to eliminate any wildlife ballot initiatives and put the legislature in charge of wildlife and for them to determine who then manages wildlife.

•    The intent of this bill is to put wildlife management further into the secreted hands of trappers rather than Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists.

•    The motivation of this bill is consistent to Senator’s Fielder’s position on seizing control of our public lands.

Like Senator Fielder and her allie’s goal for our public lands, the goal of SB236 is not for the greater good or for wildlife. It’s for the control, personal gain and exploitation of them both.

Trapping uses lures, bait and takes advantage of animal’s basic needs for shelter, water, territory. In the same vein, SB236 attempts to lure supporters in.

Those that oppose are criticized including Democrats, our Governor and the wildlife managing agency, FWP. Regarding the Senate vote on SB236:

“I think they were under orders not to vote for it. Orders probably coming out of the governor’s office because his office and Montana Fish Wildlife and parks are lobbying hard against it to keep this issue from coming before the voters.”  ~ Senator Fielder

For the record, 2 Republicans voted against SB236 in the Senate. We thank them and all who did, for whatever reasoning, they were right to do so!

Petition: Setting A Bear Trap

MAR 27, 2017 — Watch as we set off a large bear trap and show just how barbaric these devices truly are .

Please keep sharing our petition and make your voice heard.

https://www.change.org/p/urge-president-trump-to-keep-protections-in-alaska-s-refuges/u/19835423?utm_medium=email&utm_source=49788&utm_campaign=petition_update&sfmc_tk=oaBgxvdiP59gcWpbzPpWk2XoacEu2Nr8E8nGwlHzYTdZgvECEmuDRGG3dJhnPhaJ

Coyote Refused To Give Up On Mate Caught In Trap

Brooks Fahy has been working for decades to save wild animals from painful traps — and while he has seen hundreds of sad cases, there’s one coyote he’ll never forget.

Fahy, who is the executive director of the nonprofit Predator Defense, received a call from a concerned citizen about an animal caught in a trap. After scouring the Oregon woods, he found the young coyote — his leg was badly pinched in a leghold trap.

Brooks Fahy/Predator Defense

“When I walked up on that coyote, he looked at me and then he looked down, like he was ready to accept his fate,” Fahy told The Dodo.

Animals caught in traps can wait days before they’re found and killed — sometimes for their meat or fur, other times just for recreation. Some animals caught in traps try to gnaw off their own limbs out of desperation. “Traps are notoriously nonselective, whether it’s an M44, a neck snare, a leghold trap, any animal that comes along could get caught,” Fahy said. Endangered species and even people’s beloved dogs can be injured or even killed because of indiscriminate traps.

The trap was set out by Wildlife Services, a branch of the USDA that kills tens of thousands of coyotes each year by trapping, shooting, snaring and poisoning them.

Warning: Graphic image below

The coyote Fahy found seemed to be determined to stay alive. There were some puddles of melted snow near him, which he appeared to have been drinking from, Fahy said: “He had been in the trap a long time, a week minimum.”

Fahy also noticed a branch sticking up out of the ground beside him that was all chewed up.

“He’d been gnawing on it to relieve the pain,” Fahy said.

As Fahy got closer, he noticed paw prints in the ground and the vestiges of smaller animals. “There were these small bones around him — we realized that a mate was bringing him food,” Fahy remembers. “It’s gut-wrenching. It haunts me to this day.”

Fahy did everything he could to save the 2-year-old coyote’s life. Except for his terrible injury, he appeared healthy. “He was in his prime,” Fahy said.

But the coyote’s foot was completely ruined — the bones were jutting out through his skin. And the animal appeared to be exhausted from trying to survive. “When I picked him up and wrapped him in a blanket, I felt him completely relax in my arms,” Fahy said. “He had nothing left.”

Brooks Fahy/Predator Defense

Fahy carried the young coyote a mile to his truck and then drove him to see a veterinarian. Sadly, the coyote was just in too much pain, so Brooks held him while the veterinarian euthanized him with an injection.

“I’ve dealt with hundreds of trapping cases. I’ve seen animals who have lost their teeth because they’re gnawing so hard on the trap, I’ve seen it all,” Brooks said. “But I think of this coyote every day.”

Fahy holds the coyote as he’s being euthanized.Brooks Fahy/Predator Defense

This coyote died in 1992. “Virtually nothing has changed,” Fahy said. “If anything, it’s gotten worse.”

Hundreds of thousands of coyotes like him have been killed since then, many of them by these painful traps. In 2016 alone, Wildlife Services killed 76,963 adult coyotes; over 19,000 of them were killed by leghold traps, foothold traps, leg snares and neck snares. And that doesn’t even count how many coyotes and other animals were killed through trapping by private citizens.

“The brutality of these traps cannot be overstated,” Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, said in a statement. “Steel-jaw leghold traps and Conibear traps slam shut with bone-crushing force, causing massive injury and trauma. Animals trapped in strangulation neck snares — designed to tighten around an animal’s neck as he or she struggles — also suffer in extreme agony for an unconscionable amount of time.”

“Steel-jaw leghold traps, snares, and Conibear traps can cause massive pain, injury and even death to anyone who crosses its path,” Jennifer Place, a program associate at Born Free USA who specializes in trapping issues, told The Dodo. “We have seen it happen too many times: a mountain lion cub caught in a leghold trap; a dog who breaks her teeth to the gum line in her panic to free herself from a trap; a boy rushed to the ER with a Conibear trap on his arm; a young man getting ensnared in a Conibear trap set near a park playground. These traps are cruel, archaic and terrifyingly indiscriminate, and they can be found anywhere.”

There are bills in the U.S. House of Representatives that could finally put some limits on trapping, Place added, like the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 1438), which seeks to ban leghold traps and body traps in national wildlife refuges. “It is time to stop the further spread and use of these brutal devices,” she said.

Another bill introduced to the House this month is the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act (H.R. 1629), which aims to ban the import, export and interstate commerce of steel-jaw leghold traps and Conibear traps, the two most widely used traps in the U.S. And it’s expected that the Limiting Inhumane Federal Trapping (LIFT) for Public Safety Act, which seeks to ban traps on federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior and Wildlife Services, will be reintroduced.

People who have been fighting trapping for years are hopeful that some of the suffering could soon come to an end — but the public needs to know about what’s going on and to speak up for these animals.

“I’ve been doing this work for 40 years and I never cease to be amazed that this is still going on,” Fahy said. “We know through science that these species are self-regulating. It’s time we evolve as a society and stop thinking of animals as natural resources. It’s important for us to empathize with these animals, to feel the loneliness of an animal caught in a trap. They feel pain. They suffer. They want to live.”

To help save animals from suffering in traps, you can call your representatives and urge them to support these bills, or you can write to them about H.R. 1629 and H.R. 1438. You can also donate to Predator Defense.

Stop Montana Senate Bill 236

For once the NRB listened to the citizens. There is a first time for everything.

Your immediate action is needed to stop Montana Senate Bill 236 that will make trapping permanently protected in our Montana Constitution

  • A public Committee hearing on Senate Bill SB236 will be held this Thursday, 2/16.
  • Our hope is to kill SB236 in Committee by urging Committee members to vote against the bill.   
  • If the Committee passes SB236, the bill will go to the full Senate for a vote, after which it will need approval from 2/3 of the legislature to send it to the Montana voters in 2018 to change the MT Constitution.
  • Trappers have unlimited out-of-state funds to sway voters during a campaign.  We can’t let that happen.

How to Help:

  • Testify in person against SB236 in the Senate Fish & Game Committee.
    • We need as many anti-trapping people in the Committee chamber as possible.
    • Please let us know if you can be at the hearing (Th, 3PM, Capitol Bldg. Rm. 422).
    • We will provide pointers on how to testify effectively.
    • We may be able to arrange carpooling.
  • Email Senators on the Committee and urge them to VOTE NO on SB236.
    • Use links and reasons to VOTE NO provided below.
    • Please let us know whom you have emailed so we can track feedback given to the Committee.
    • If possible, please forward copies of your emails to us.
  • Call Senators on the Committee and urge them to VOTE NO on SB236.
    • Please let us know whom you have called so we can track feedback given to the Committee.
  • Call the Capitol receptionist (406-444-4800) and ask that they tell each member of the Senate Fish & Game Committee to VOTE NO on SB236.
  • Share this information with others who want to prevent enshrining trapping in the MT Constitution.

Senate Fish & Game Committee
Meets:  Tu & Thurs, 3PM, Helena, Capitol Bldg., Rm 422
JILL COHENOUR (D)
, E. Helena, 406-227-1144; sen.jill.cohenour@mt.gov
TOM FACEY (D)
, Missoula, 406-240-4242; tfacey@mt.gov
*JENNIFER FIELDER (R), Thompson Falls, sen.jennifer.fielder@mt.gov
STEVE HINEBAUCH (R)
, Wibaux, 406-365-7967; sen.steve.hinebauch@mt.gov
JEDEDIAH HINKLE (R)
, Belgrade, 406-585-0722; sen.jedediah.hinkle@mt.gov
DAVID HOWARD (R)
, Park City, 406-633-2762; sendavidhoward@gmail.com
EDIE MCCLAFFERTY (D)
, Butte, 406-490-5873; edie.mcclafferty@gmail.com
MIKE PHILLIPS (D)
, Bozeman, 406-599-5857; mikephillips@montana.com
CARY L SMITH (R)
, Billings, 406-698-9307; sen.cary.smith@mt.gov
CHAS V VINCENT (R)
, Libby, 406-293-1575; cvvincent@hotmail.com
JEFFREY WELBORN (R)
, Dillon, 406-949-6070; jeffwelborn@hotmail.com
*Bill Sponsor

TALKING POINTS to help your testimony and messages.  Select one or two points and personalize your message to be most effective.

1.  Hunting and fishing are already protected in the Constitution.  This repetitive amendment clutters the Constitution with detailed activities.  We can’t add and don’t need amendments to protect each and every type of sport or employment.

2.  Trapping is managed as recreation.  Why not just resolve to protect recreation in MT rather than mess with the Constitution?  This was suggested in South Dakota when legislators killed a similar bill.

3.  Trapping does not provide “life’s basic necessities.”  Trappers made a profit of $56,000 last season and reported harvesting more than 50,000 animals.  That makes trapping a net loss with the associated costs of gas and equipment.  A handful of people in Montana pursue trapping for their livelihood.  In fact, trappers resist a mandatory trap-check time because they have jobs.

4.  Enshrining trapping in the Constitution can severely harm the state’s economy.  Lynx, wolverine, fishers and pine martens are severely depleted species, largely due to trapping.  Lynx are already on the endangered list, soon to be followed by wolverine and fishers.  This type of listing shuts down industry on our public lands.  Timber projects have been halted in the Gallatin, Kootenai and Custer National Forests to protect the endangered lynx.   

PLEASE TAKE ACTION ON THIS BILL.  WE CANNOT LET TRAPPING BECOME A PERMANENT FEATURE OF MONTANA, HARMING OUR WILDLIFE, OUR SAFETY, ECONOMY AND REPUTATION.   THANK YOU!

Montanans for Trapping Reform & Safe Public Lands (MTR)
a legislative action group of Footloose Montana
montanans.trapping.reform@gmail.com
406-549-4647

B.C. Grizzly bear caught in wolf trap, released ‘without incident’

Female grizzly bear caught in a wolf trap near Invermere was freed and released. - BC Conservation Officer Service

http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/399064261.html
. by Tom Fletcher – BC Local News

. Cranbrook Invermere Smithers posted Oct 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Bear-related incidents recorded in the past month by the B.C. Conservation
Officer Service:

. A grizzly bear caught in a wolf trap near the Palliser River west of
Invermere was freed by conservation officers, after the trapper reported the
situation.

“The adult female grizzly was successfully immobilized and the trap was
removed from her paw without any incident,” Deputy Chief Chris Doyle said.

. Conservation officers captured and relocated a female grizzly bear and its
two cubs at Cherryville in the South Okanagan after they were attracted into
someone’s yard by fruit left from trees. The bears were sedated and
relocated within their home range.

. Skeena district conservation officers are investigating after a mother
black bear and two cubs were shot and dumped near Granisle. Another
investigation involves the shooting of five black bears in separate
locations along a road near Fort Nelson.

. Bear conflicts have declined as winter has approached in B.C., but there
are still hotspots, including Kamloops where bear incident reports are the
highest in a decade.

Bears continue to be attracted mainly by exposed garbage, fruit and other
attractants. Province-wide, there were more than 3,000 calls to the COS
about bears in October, and 20,000 since April 1.

Pumpkins are another attractant, and Doyle reminded people who set out
Halloween pumpkins to remove them as soon as the festivities are over.

http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/399064261.html

<http://www.nelsonstar.com/news/399064261.html&gt;

Conservation officers get thousands of bear conflict calls, investigate
mother bear and cubs shot and dumped

  TRAPPING SEASON UNDERWAY RIGHT BEFORE I-177 VOTE

Most General Trapping seasons don’t open until November 1st; there has already been a dog trapped in the Flathead area.
MISSOULA, MT,10/28/16- Montana is about to embark on another season of broad recreational and commercial fur trapping on public land, and people, pets and wildlife are all at risk. Beaver trapping is already underway in most districts, and Otter, Mink, Muskrat, Swift Fox and more will open statewide November 1st. If I-177 fails to pass, Bobcat and Fisher will open December 1st. There has already been a trapped dog on public lands in the Kalispell area this week, and statistics show that non-target animals will suffer equally alongside the tens of thousands of animals that will be killed intentionally for their fur this trapping season.
It is also important to note that species like Coyote, Badger, Raccoon, Fox, and more are allowed to be trapped year-round without quota, and the trapping of these animals is not subject to trail-setback and other laws meant to protect public lands users because they are not managed under the furbearer program. Also, the number of dogs trapped every year in Montana indicates the trail-setbacks for furbearers are inadequate even when observed.
Many species legally being trapped this year are vulnerable to environmental pressures, have largely unknown populations, and can still legally be killed after quotas are reached during the grace period as long as the casualty is reported to FWP.
For those interested in supporting Montanans for Trap-Free Public Lands, its not too late to get informed or make a donation by visiting yeson177.org. For more information on trap-free public lands, please contact Footloose Montana’s Executive Director (Contact Info Below).
Media Contact:
Christopher Justice
Executive Director, Footloose Montana
(406) 282-1482
info@footloosemontana.org

For once the NRB listened to the citizens. There is a first time for everything.

Ballot Initiative I-177 is a sensible measure to protect people, pets and wildlife from trapping on Montana’s wild public lands. Please vote yes on Nov. 8.

While trapping will still be allowed on private lands throughout the state, I-177 would ensure that Montana’s national forests, state parks and other public lands are kept free of cruel, archaic traps that injure and kill many animals by accident every year.

This measure would not limit hunting on public lands, contrary to the claims of its detractors. 

Your yes vote will help save thousands of animals annually from these brutal traps. Let the world know that Montana cares about its wildlife by voting yes on I-177. Visit www.yeson177.org for more information.


Donate now to support the Center’s work.

Trapping Ban Will Appear On November Ballot In Montana

http://mtpr.org/post/trapping-ban-will-appear-november-ballot-montana#stream/0
By EDWARD O’BRIEN • JUL 1, 2016

Voters this November will decide the future of traps and snares on Montana’s public lands. A proposal to end commercial and recreational trapping on Montana’s public lands will appear on November’s ballot.
Voters this November will decide the future of traps and snares on Montana’s public lands. A proposal to end commercial and recreational trapping on Montana’s public lands will appear on November’s ballot.

Listen Listening…1:09 Trapping Ban Will Appear On November Ballot In Montana

Voters this November will decide the future of traps and snares on Montana’s public lands. A proposal to end commercial and recreational trapping on Montana’s public lands will appear on November’s ballot.

Supporters of I-177 say they were notified Thursday that they had collected more than enough valid signatures.

A similar measure failed to qualify in 2010.

Connie Poten of Montana Trap-Free Public Lands says a lot has changed since then.

“Most people then didn’t even know trapping existed. There was a lot of education we had to do and we’ve been doing it over the past six years, so many more people are aware of trapping and how unnecessary it is and how cruel it is.”

Representatives of the Montana Trappers Association could not be immediately reached for comment today.

I-177 supporters say trapping would be allowed to protect livestock, property, health and safety when non-lethal methods have failed.

http://mtpr.org/post/trapping-ban-will-appear-november-ballot-montana#stream/0

For once the NRB listened to the citizens. There is a first time for everything.

CAT RESCUED FROM HUNTING TRAP

Tags: , , , ,

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Jessamine County Animal Care and Control say a cat has been released from a hunting trap after the animal was found on Williamsburg Drive dragging the trap behind it.

Officers were able to catch the cat and bring it to a local veterinarian who removed the trap.  The cat then underwent surgery, losing two toes because of the damage the trap had caused.

The veterinarian says the trap was probably on the cat for somewhere between 24 and 48 hours.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife is stressing that using a trap life the one that the cat was caught in is not a legal method to capture free roaming or feral cats.