‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

The BC Government is moving forward with a predator control plan in an effort to save the Itcha-Ilgachuz mountain ranges’ rapidly declining caribou herd. (Public domain photo)

Itcha-Ilgachuz herd numbers down to 385, from 2,800 in 2003

The provincial government is moving forward next month with plans to remove about 90 wolves in the Itcha-Ilgachuz mountain ranges in an effort to save the area’s dwindling caribou herd.

Read more: Wolf cull being eyed for threatened Itcha-Ilgachuz caribou herd west of Williams Lake

Today approximately 385 caribou remain in the area, a decline from 2,800 in 2003, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development noted.

“Wolves are caribou’s principal predator in B.C. and high wolf numbers are associated with declining caribou populations,” the spokesperson stated. “It is clearly the case for the Chilcotin/Itcha-Ilgachuz caribou herd which has reached a critically low population.”

In addition to the cull, other recovery actions including habitat protection, habitat restoration and maternal penning may be implemented.

“Based on five years of research on wolf management in the central group, we know that wolf populations can rebound quickly. It is imperative to implement a predator control plan to ensure the last remaining caribou in the Itcha-Ilgachuz have a chance to survive.”

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett supports the wolf cull.

“The Itcha-Ilgachuz herd are living in an isolated area, hard to get to,” Barnett said. “I’ve talked to many people who know something about wolves who say it is the right thing to do, so let’s hope it does what it is intended to do and we protect what caribou are left.”

She criticized the ministry for not having public meetings about the caribou recovery plan.

“The more people that understand why this is being done the better. We’ve asked for meetings throughout the region.”

So far the ministry confirmed it has consulted with local government and Indigenous communities on caribou recovery planning.

In 2019, the licensed hunt for caribou was closed in Management Unit 5-12 to protect the Itcha-Ilgachuz herd.

Residents living in the remote area say they have notice a rapid increase in wolf numbers, and a sharp decline in caribou numbers in recent years.

The wolf cull is expected to be carried out by helicopter.

Aerial removal is the favoured method for wolf culls as it is considered the most effective and humane, according to an August 2019 letter penned by ministry staff.

Stop Treating Animals as “Invaders” for Simply Trying to Exist

January 31, 2020
https://sentientmedia.org/stop-treating-animals-as-invaders-for-simply-trying-to-exist/?fbclid=IwAR28cLTlQykd36J1unBDep0osE9XDs7uwkxCPZBZ8oRQQ8dhTDwb0ft_lNIerestEmailWhatsApanimals around the world are being removed frnities and killed en masse. What are the animals doing to deserve this punishment?
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Earlier this month, officials in Australia announced plans to shoot and kill thousands of camels. What did the camels do to deserve this punishment? They were looking for water to drink, and this search brought them into human communities.

Last year, U.S. federal and state governments spent tens of millions of dollars on plans to “eradicate” bands of feral pigs. What did the pigs do to deserve this punishment? They were looking for food to eat, and this search, once again, brought them into human communities.

This year, Denver is poised to kill more of its Canada goose population, after slaughtering 1,600 geese last year. What are the geese doing to deserve this punishment? They are merely trying to live—Colorado is part of their historic range—and are seen as a nuisance.

These stories are the tip of the iceberg. While the details vary, the general theme is always the same. When human and nonhuman interests appear to conflict, we use violence, often in the form of organized extermination campaigns, to resolve these apparent conflicts in our favor.

In many cases, we use militaristic, catastrophizing language to justify this violence against other animals. Instead of portraying nonhumans as fellow creatures who are simply trying to exist, we portray them as enemy invaders who are coming to destroy our communities. For example, as The New York Times wrote last month regarding feral pigs: “Ranchers and government officials here are keeping watch on an enemy army gathering to the north, along the border with Canada.”

The idea of invasive species is political as much as scientific. The U.S. federal government, for instance, defines invasive species as “an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.” By this definition, the mere potential to harm economic interests is enough to qualify a non-native species as invasive. Prominent ecologists like Marc Bekoff note that beliefs about the impacts of “invasive species” are value-laden too–especially when these beliefs inform decisions about whether animals live or die.

When we use invasive species rhetoric, we might not intend for our language to contribute to violence against other animals, but it does. This rhetoric creates distance with other animals, erasing them as individuals who matter morally and erasing the reality that humans attack and kill nonhumans much more than the reverse. This rhetoric makes it easier to rationalize killing other animals rather than searching for ways to peacefully co-exist with them.

Invasive species rhetoric is, of course, not the only way that humans create distance from other animals. We also create distance by calling individual animals “it” and by calling violence against certain animals a “cull.” This language is both a product of, and a contributor to, a deeper ideology that prioritizes human interests above all else, an ideology that supports a policy of dispatching with perceived threats to human interests by any means necessary.

According to this human-centric ideology, humans (or, at least some humans) have the right to self-determination. Every other animal is assigned a role based on their value to our species. At one end of the spectrum, domesticated animals are meant to live in captivity and provide humans with benefits ranging from love to food. At the other end, wild animals are meant to live in nature and provide humans with benefits ranging from beauty to ecosystem services. If wild animals play their role, we might let them be. But if they deviate from their human-prescribed role, we respond swiftly and brutally.

Human activity is increasingly leaving other animals without a place to live. Our species is taking over more of the planet, and is also, through human-caused climate change, making more of the planet uninhabitable. It is no coincidence that pigs, camels, geese, and other “invasive” species are desperately searching for food, water, and shelter. While resource scarcity has always been a threat for nonhumans, humans are making these threats worse and creating new ones. We then punish animals for trying to cope with the problems that we create.

What if, instead of assuming that nonhumans are here for us, we accept that they deserve to live their own lives? We can learn to feel inspired rather than threatened by the surprising, creative ways that other animals adapt. Pigs, for example, only exist in the Americas because humans brought them here for food, yet they have proven remarkably resilient. They can survive in many climates, and are adapting to cold weather in Canada and the northern U.S. by learning to burrow into the snow, creating so-called “pigloos.”

Similarly, what if, instead of scapegoating nonhumans for resource scarcity, we accept that humans are primarily responsible? Our focus should be on the human behaviors that are creating these scarcity problems. Camels, for example, only exist in Australia because colonists brought them there to explore the outback. Camels now live in autonomous communities, and humans are blaming—and executing—them for water scarcity. Yet Australian animal agriculture is much more responsible for this problem, along with other environmental problems.

We also need to be thoughtful when assigning responsibility for violence against nonhumans. Our focus should be on the societal structures that create human-nonhuman conflicts and the people in power who work to uphold these structures. In Australia, for instance, the people most responsible for the deaths of the camels are not the Aboriginal communities who approved the “cull”; instead, the people most responsible are the climate change-denying political leaders (and their supporters) who created this predicament.

Many conflicts with other animals can disappear over time if we restructure society to be more inclusive of other species. The more territory and resources that we protect for other animals (for example, by creating parks and reserves), the less that these animals will need to enter “our” communities looking for food, water, or homes. And, the more accommodations that we create for other animals in “our” communities (for instance, by making buildings and roads more animal-friendly), the less conflict there will be among humans and nonhumans co-existing in these spaces.

As we work to build a more just society for humans and nonhumans alike, what should we do about thirsty camels, hungry pigs, and other such animals? We might not, in this deeply imperfect world, be able to treat everyone in the manner they deserve. But we can—and must—envision better ways of living with other animals now. If we can at least discuss perceived conflicts without describing animals as pests and invaders or treating violence as the default solution, then we might be surprised by how humane we can be.

Cruel secret about BC’s wolf kill program revealed

The BC Government lied about how they use wolves to betray their family packs

(GOLDEN, BC – Dec. 11, 2019) A gruesome detail about BC’s wolf-killing program has been revealed in a new government report titled South Peace Caribou Recovery following Five Years of Experimental Wolf Reduction.  Although previously denied by government staff, individual wolves are exposed to repeated trauma in a highly disturbing practice…over and over again.  Despite being denied by government in previous media enquiries, the Methods section of the 2019 experimental report describes how the collared wolf is left to watch as it’s entire family is gunned down from the air, and kept alive year after year, being forced to repeatedly witness the death of any wolf that befriends it.

In 2016 the province reluctantly admitted that it net-guns individual wolves from helicopters to fit them with radio collars so that gunmen can be flown in at a later date to relocate the collared wolf with its family and kill them all.  The animals collared in the practice described above are often referred to as “Judas Wolves” to portray a sense of ultimate betrayal; yet Judas made a deliberate choice.

“Knowing that wolves are highly sentient and dependent on each other for survival makes this practice unbearable to think about, yet we must.  Imagine what these collared wolves experience. How many times do they have to suffer?” questions Sadie Parr, executive director of Wolf Awareness.

The South Peace wolf-kill program, which encompasses an area larger than half of Vancouver Island, has killed more than 550 wolves and is proposed to continue for an indefinite period; until the landscape can no longer support prey such as elk, moose and deer to feed wolves.  Conservation group Wolf Awareness maintains that wolves are being scapegoated for industrial and recreational interests, and that wolves, wildlife and ecosystems deserve better.

A secretive letter from the ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development this past August 2019 got leaked which exposed plans to expand the aerial gunning of wolves to three 3 additional caribou herd ranges, adding to the tax-funded killing already underway in the South Peace and areas around Revelstoke and Nelson.

The province recommitted to transparent and fulsome consultation about caribou recovery planning after several heated community meetings elicited outrage in BC’s interior. However, the ministry then conducted a closed consultation in its proposal to expand the wolf kill program underway to three additional areas (Tweedsmuir-Entiako, Hart Ranges, and Itcha-Ilgachuz caribou herd ranges) and pay hunters to kill cougars in the Itcha-Ilgachuz caribou range. The consultation document was finally leaked to conservation groups, who immediately opposed the plans.

Says Parr.  “The tax-funded unethical and inhumane wolf kill program coupled with secrecy and pitifully inadequate caribou habitat protection is a stain on the entire country.  Ethical and ecological considerations are being ignored.”

— 30 –

MEDIA CONTACT: Sadie Parr  sadie@wolfawareness.org    250-272-4695

WOLF AWARENESS is a conservation organization dedicated to promoting positive attitudes towards carnivores in general, the wolf in particular, and to fostering an appreciation for the environment of which we are all a part.

The South Peace wolf-kill program, which encompasses an area larger than half of Vancouver Island, has killed more than 550 wolves and is proposed to continue for an indefinite period; until the landscape can no longer support prey such as elk, moose and deer to feed wolves.  Conservation group Wolf Awareness maintains that wolves are being scapegoated for industrial and recreational interests, and that wolves, wildlife and ecosystems deserve better.

A secretive letter from the ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development this past August 2019 got leaked which exposed plans to expand the aerial gunning of wolves to three 3 additional caribou herd ranges, adding to the tax-funded killing already underway in the South Peace and areas around Revelstoke and Nelson.

The province recommitted to transparent and fulsome consultation about caribou recovery planning after several heated community meetings elicited outrage in BC’s interior. However, the ministry then conducted a closed consultation in its proposal to expand the wolf kill program underway to three additional areas (Tweedsmuir-Entiako, Hart Ranges, and Itcha-Ilgachuz caribou herd ranges) and pay hunters to kill cougars in the Itcha-Ilgachuz caribou range. The consultation document was finally leaked to conservation groups, who immediately opposed the plans.

Says Parr.  “The tax-funded unethical and inhumane wolf kill program coupled with secrecy and pitifully inadequate caribou habitat protection is a stain on the entire country.  Ethical and ecological considerations are being ignored.”

— 30 –

MEDIA CONTACT: Sadie Parr  sadie@wolfawareness.org    250-272-4695

WOLF AWARENESS is a conservation organization dedicated to promoting positive attitudes towards carnivores in general, the wolf in particular, and to fostering an appreciation for the environment of which we are all a part.

WDFW seeks input on wolf management

The state indicates four gray wolf packs, two of which include a breeding pair, in the region.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is asking people to take an online survey or leave comments by going to bit.ly/2ki1TMV. The department will also have interactive webinars later this month and in October where people can ask questions and find out how to provide their views.

Comments may also be mailed to WDFW — Wolf Post-Recovery Plan Scoping, PO Box 43200, Olympia, WA 98504-3200. The deadline to submit comments is Nov. 1.

Washington’s wolf population was virtually eliminated in the 1930s but has rebounded since 2008. The numbers have now grown to the point where wildlife officials expect wolves to be removed from the endangered species list in Washington in the next few years.

The state agency maintains a map of gray wolf packs on its website and shows four in this region, including:

the Touchet pack, with at least four wolves including a successful breeding pair in southern Columbia County as well as the upper Whiskey Creek and Coppei Creek areas of Walla Walla County,

the Butte Creek pack, also in southern Columbia County, with at least two wolves but not considered a breeding pair,

the Tucannon pack with a minimum of two wolves not considered a successful breeding pair in southern Columbia and Garfield counties,

Oregon wildlife commissioners adopt wolf management plan

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon wildlife commissioners have approved the state’s long-overdue Wolf Management Plan after years of revisions, contentious meetings, an outside mediator and half the stakeholders abandoning talks.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the plan to govern how wolves are handled in areas of the state where they don’t enjoy federal protection under the Endangered Species Act was approved Friday by the commission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The state’s first wolf plan was issued in 2005, before any wolves had come back to the state after decades of extirpation due to hunting and trapping. The second version of the plan came out in 2010, a year after wolves had been confirmed in Oregon.

The plan finally approved Friday came after hunters and ranchers, and environmentalists and wolf advocates squared off over when wolves can be killed, why and by whom.

News release from ODFW:

Commission adopts revised Wolf Plan in 6-1 vote

SALEM, Ore.—The Commission adopted a Wolf Plan today at its meeting in Salem in a 6-1 vote after hearing from 44 people who came to testify and reviewing thousands of public comments.

Allowing controlled take (limited regulated hunting and trapping of wolves) was one of the most controversial topics in the new Wolf Plan. The original Plan adopted in 2005 allowed for controlled take only in Phase 3 (currently eastern Oregon), in instances of recurring depredations or when wolves are a major cause of ungulate populations not meeting established management objectives or herd management goals. While ODFW believed it needed to remain a tool available for wolf management, the department has not proposed any controlled take of wolves and has no plans to at this time.

Commissioners made some changes related to “controlled take” from the proposed Plan.  An addendum was added clearly stating that “Use of controlled take as a management tool requires Commission approval through a separate public rulemaking process” and the definition of controlled take was modified.

Additional minor changes were made to emphasize the importance of non-lethal tools to address wolf-livestock conflict and easy access to this information. Non-lethal measures to prevent wolf-livestock conflict continue to be emphasized in all phases of the Plan, and required before any lethal control is considered.

After some discussion, Commissioners revised the definition of chronic depredation (which can lead to lethal control of wolves if non-lethals are in use and not working) in Phase 2 and 3 from two confirmed depredations with no specific time frame to two confirmed depredations in nine months.

The Wolf Plan will be filed with the Secretary of State and posted on the ODFW Wolves webpage (www.odfw.com/wolves) within the next few business days.

·Allocated big game auction and raffle tags for 2020.

·Heard a briefing on the crab fishery and reducing the risk of whale entanglements.

·Adopted harvest limits for Pacific sardine in state waters for July 2019-June 2020 based on federal regulations.

·Approved funding for Access and Habitat projects that provide hunting access or improve wildlife habitat on private land.

·Heard a briefing on proposed changes to 2020 big game hunting regulations as part of efforts to improve and simplify the Big Game Hunting Regulations

The Fish and Wildlife Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in Oregon. Its next meeting is Aug. 2 in Salem.

B.C.’s approach to wildlife management needs major ethical reform

Kyle Artelle, Paul Paquet, Faisal Moola, Chris Genovali, and Chris Darimont are scientists and writers at the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Kyle Artelle, Paul Paquet, and Chris Darimont are also at the University of Victoria, and Faisal Moola is also at the University of Guelph

British Columbia has begun an ambitious effort to review the province’s approach to managing wildlife, with $14-million committed so far. The province’s interest in reform is encouraging. As explained in a letter we recently published in the journal Science, this endeavour and its justification are laudable, and if done properly, have the potential for making B.C. a continental leader in wildlife management. Whether this happens, however, will depend largely on whether the reform embraces principles of science honestly and openly, while involving the varied interests of all citizens, rather than only consumptive users (hunters and trappers).

British Columbia is blessed with a remarkable diversity of wildlife. Many of the 3,800 known plant and animal species in B.C. live only here. The province is also critical for winged migrations that extend over thousands of kilometres. Unlike most places in North America, B.C. has additionally retained all of the large land animals that were present at the time of European colonization, including grizzly bears, wolves, caribou and cougars, making it among the last havens for the large animals left on the continent.

A sub-adult grizzly bear chases down a salmon near Klemtu, B.C. (File Photo).

JOHN LEHMANN

However, many might be surprised to learn that instead of the management of this wildlife being primarily focused on conservation of species and the ecosystems on which they depend, in B.C., as across much of North America, the focus is typically on the management of wildlife to allow for sustained exploitation by hunters and trappers.

This consumptive focus can overshadow broader concerns about wildlife, including ethical considerations. Although there are clearly ethical considerations in any decisions about the environment, wildlife management is one of the few fields for which ethics remain notably absent. This stands in contrast with other areas of public policy, such as criminal justice and health care, where the recognition of ethics is foundational. Such consideration has led to better outcomes, such as improved well-being of those affected by policy decisions.

The scale of wildlife exploitation can be difficult to comprehend. Although hunting and trapping might evoke visions of traditional, low-scale and low-impact endeavours, both undertakings currently comprise an enormous extractive activity: For many wildlife species, humans kill more adults than all other predators combined.

Given this reality, one might hope that wildlife management would have considerable oversight and rigour to protect against potential negative impacts on wildlife populations. And wildlife managers across North America usually do claim a scientific foundation for their activities. However, recent research in the journal Science Advances found that key hallmarks of science are often missing in management of species across North America. For example, of the 667 management systems that study examined, only 26 per cent had measurable objectives, only 11 per cent explained how hunting quotas or limits were set and only 9 per cent were subject to external review.

To reform management so that science can honestly and credibly support policy decisions will require incorporating key hallmarks of science: 1) Clear objectives are needed for the public to understand what government wildlife managers are trying to achieve. These objectives need to be clear enough to allow assessment of whether they have been met, and their ethical basis needs to be clearly described; 2) Strong evidence is needed to ensure that well-informed decisions are made. In cases with weak evidence, strong caution is warranted; 3) Full transparency to the public is required in how wildlife is managed, including how the funding the public provides for management is used, and; 4) External scrutiny, whereby independentbodies (that is, individuals who are neither part of government, appointed by government, nor too closely affiliated to be unbiased) scrutinize the approach used by government, to ensure approaches used are credible.

The B.C. government recently made the courageous decision to end the province’s ethically questionable, controversial and scientifically suspect grizzly bear trophy hunt, a decision that government leaders acknowledged was partly in response to changing societal values about wildlife management. These included considerations of cultural and other non-lethal values and activities, such as wildlife viewing. The current review of provincial wildlife management provides a tremendous opportunity to further demonstrate leadership for the province and the continent, by addressing the critical need for broader wildlife policy reform that is informed by science and reflective of societal attitudes and desires, including ethical concerns in wildlife management.

One of the largest banks issued an alarming warning that Earth is running out of the resources to sustain life

Beijing smog
A paramilitary officer in Beijing wears a mask after a red alert was issued for heavy air pollution in 2016.
 Jason Lee/Reuters
  • The planet is running out of resources, HSBC warned in a new note.
  • Earth Overshoot Day — the point in a year at which our demand for natural resources exceeds what the planet can renew — occurred on August 1, just seven months into 2018.
  • HSBC said companies and governments are not “adequately prepared” for climate effects.

One of the world’s largest banks says the planet is running out of resources and warns that neither governments nor companies are prepared for climate change.

The world spent its entire natural resource budget for the year by August 1, a group of analysts at HSBC said in a note that cited research from the Global Footprint Network (GFN).

That means that the world’s citizens used up all the planet’s resources for the year in just seven months, according to GFN’s analysis.

“In our opinion, these findings and events show that many businesses and governments are not adequately prepared for climate impacts, nor are they using natural resources efficiently,” the HSBC analysts said in the note.

Many banks and asset managers have started factoring climate risks into their decision-making — a move spurred in part by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But it’s far less common to see multinational banks sound the alarm about climate change so explicitly in their equity research.

To calculate Earth’s natural resource budget, GFN considers the demand for natural resources — which includes food, forests, and marine products — as well as humans’ effects on the environment from factors like carbon emissions. The combined total is designed give a comprehensive picture of humanity’s global footprint.

Earth Overshoot Day , the point in a year at which we use up a year’s worth of resources, has been steadily moving forward in time since GFN first started tracking it. In 1970, we “overshot” Earth’s resource budget by only 2 days — Overshoot Day fell on December 29, according to HSBC. That date has been pushed up by almost five months since then.

HSBC’s note also warned about extreme events resulting from heat, including the wildfires in Scandinavia and broken temperature records around the world.

“As scientists work on attribution analysis for specific events — the general consensus is that climate change is making these events more likely to occur and more severe,” HSBC said.

The predicted effects of climate change are starting to become real.Wildfires have torn through California in recent years, and they’re part of a worsening trend related to rising global temperatures. Other consequences include increased frequency of hurricanes and flooding, melting ice sheets , and greater numbers of heat waves .

Recent studies have shown that global temperatures by the year 2100 could be up to 15% higher than the highest projections from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

According to HSBC, extreme events have severe economic and social costs.

“In our view, adaptation will move further up the agenda with a growing focus on the social consequences,” the analysts said.

SEE ALSO: On August 1, we’ll have consumed more resources than the Earth can regenerate in a year — here’s how you can reduce your ecological footprint

More: HSBC Climate Change Earth Overshoot Day Environment

Proposed wildlife management plans alarm BC’s naturalists

April 13, 2017

Press release from BC Nature – for immediate release

Nature-lovers across BC are expressing concern over a proposed new method for managing wildlife in the province. Speaking on behalf of BC Nature, the federation of naturalist clubs across BC, president Dr. Alan Burger said “Our members are alarmed by recent statements by government ministers indicating that wildlife management might be handed over to an external agency supported by special interest groups, specifically hunters and guide- outfitters”. This model of wildlife management will undoubtedly work against the interests of the vast majority of British Columbians, added Burger.

Recent statements by Ministers Steve Thomson (Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Management) and Bill Bennett (Energy and Mines) suggest that, if the BC Liberals win this election, much wildlife management will be handed over to an independent agency, funded in part by hunting and fishing licences. Both ministers made these statements while flanked by members of the BC Wildlife Federation, the influential hunting and fishing advocacy group. It is well known that BCWF has long been lobbying the government for a greater say in wildlife management, citing the millions of dollars paid in hunting and fishing licences as the reason for greater input.

“This proposal is flawed at several levels” stated Burger. First, the economic argument is false. Hunting and fishing licences are an important source of revenue and BC Nature agrees that there should be a greater share contributed to wildlife management. But, there is much greater input to the BC economy from the non-consumptive users of wildlife – the tourism and wildlife-watching industry, people selling binoculars, camera gear, field guides, outdoor gear etc. and, most importantly, the vast majority of British Columbians that spend money traveling and camping to simply enjoy seeing animals alive in the wild.

BC has not undertaken research recently to investigate the economic benefits of wildlife- watching, but in neighbouring Washington the research shows that wildlife-watching contributes five times the economic benefit ($1.5 billion) that hunting does. A study in 2006 by the US Fish and Wildlife found that over 71 million Americans spent nearly $45 billion on retail sales while observing, feeding or watching wildlife in the US. Canadians are likely to spend even more per capita. Wildlife viewing is a growing business and BC is becoming a world-class destination for this highly sustainable activity.

Second, the proposed method for implementing wildlife management is flawed. There is no doubt that much more money is needed to enhance wildlife and ecosystem management, secure critical habitat and deal with the increasing impacts of industrial and human footprints in our province. Habitat loss, in particular, is a huge issue across many ecosystems in B.C. But this needs to be done by government and not through some external agency, which might be heavily biased towards consumptive users of wildlife. The B.C. Fish and Wildlife Branch and related departments within the provincial government have a long and proud history of serving the people of this province. They haven’t always made the right decisions and their hands are often tied by the political goals of the ruling party, but

they are professional, accountable to the electorate, can bring in expertise and resources from other government departments and outside consultants, and remain independent of powerful lobby-groups like the BCWF. “This new proposal verges on privatization of our wildlife management” said Burger.

Proponents of this new wildlife management plan indicate that it will follow the model of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, which currently manages recreational fishing as well as freshwater hatcheries in B.C. “There is a fundamental difference between recreational fishing and terrestrial wildlife management”, continued Burger, who taught wildlife ecology at UVic for many years, “Wildlife, like mammals and birds, is enjoyed for many more reasons and in a much wider range of habitats and locations, than the fish taken by recreational fishing. One cannot equate the two management scenarios”.

Third, the words of the two ministers and the enthusiastic endorsement of the hunting lobby indicates that there is a very real risk of wildlife management in BC being more narrowly focused on big game. This is a retrograde step, because the BC government has been slowly moving towards a more scientifically sound ecosystem-based approach, giving appropriate value to the 99% of organisms that are not game animals. This proposal pulls out one component of our ecosystems (big game) and plans to manage it separately. Nature is not compartmentalized. We cannot manage one aspect of the system in isolation.

Finally, it appears that only the hunting-fishing lobby was consulted on this proposal. The ministers’ announcements came as a complete surprise to BC Nature. There is also no evidence that the tourism and wildlife-watching industries, First Nations or the general wildlife-enjoying public was consulted.

People who enjoy viewing wildlife and who endorse a broad ecological approach to managing our province will be watching closely to see where this proposal goes. “It will be good to see wildlife management become an election issue” concluded Burger, “It has been a neglected topic by all major political parties for too long. But this new proposal by the current government is clearly not in the interests of the BC public and seems to serve only a narrow interest-group”.

For further information contact:

Alan Burger – president BC Nature (Federation of BC Naturalists)

WHY WILDLIFE CONSERVATION/MANAGEMENT IS WRONG

by Rosemary Lowe
Teddy Roosevelt (remember him, the Trophy Hunter?), founded the infamous Boone & Crockett Club (Wolf Killer, Aldo Leopold was also a member). From both of these serial animal killers, came the Game Management Ideology–which is the bible for State and Federal Wildlife (Game) agencies—and too often, wildlife groups which claim to “defend” wildlife.
 
 And, what does this Humanist “game” ideology preach, that makes it so popular and supported by so-called “wildlife” groups like Defenders? It preaches the idea that wild animals are something to be used, within “sustainable levels” by humans–for hunting/trapping, viewing, and otherwise getting some kind of human satisfaction. Some wildlife groups, then, can take the easier road of compromise and collaboration with the enemies of wildlife, (hunters/trappers/ranchers), by “working with them to help wildlife.”
 This hunter-conservation/game management nonsense permeates every agency that deals in anyway with wild animals. It is designed to “conserve” populations to a point where they can be killed, and to manipulate such populations to artificially create more animals to be “used” (i.e., hunted, trapped, etc.)  Because this management model is all about manipulation of species and habitat for human use, certain populations are increased so they may provide animal killers (hunters), with targets, such as deer, elk, caribou, ducks, geese, etc. It  is all about species/habitat manipulation, that so-called “predators” such as wolves, coyotes, bears, wolverines, beavers, foxes, bobcat, mountain lion & other species considered “nuisance animals” must be “controlled,” under this barbaric, anti-wildlife system. 
 Millions of wild animals each year are caught & slaughtered in this “Game Management Trap,” which few people understand or oppose. As long as this system continues, no wild species will be able to live in peace. The livestock industry is also part of this system, and this industry demands that wild animals be controlled (trapped, poisoned, shot, burned out of dens, etc.), so Domestic Livestock can graze on National Forests, Wildlife Refuges, wilderness areas & other public lands.  Most wildlife groups appear to be afraid of the livestock special interests, bending over backwards to appease them by sanctioning coyote/wolf hazing techniques and grazing permit buyouts, which only seems to embolden the wildlife killers.
This massive wildlife slaughter is taking a terrible toll on all wild species around the planet.  Now add to this, uncontrolled human population & increasing climate changes, which are killing habitat, food & water sources for non-human beings. Extinction will be Forever!  Why are wild species and wild habitat so important? Its about Biodiversity, wild things (flora and fauna) that are intertwined in the Life Support System of this planet: without The Wild,  all life dies. The Earth can do just fine without Homo sapiens. But, without wild species–down to the most simple bacteria in the soils, air & oceans–nothing will survive. 
As long as wildlife groups like Defenders and others continue to shamefully  follow the game management philosophy of Leopold and Teddy Roosevelt, wild animal populations will be harassed, maimed, and killed, to appease special interests like hunter/trappers, ranchers. 
 
So, what are all you sell-out wildlife groups going to do now?  Compromise even more with a new, more virulent anti-environmental/wildlife president and congress?
copyrighted wolf in water

Killing of Coyotes in Laurelhurst‏

http://unionbaywatch.blogspot.com/2016/07/coyote-challenge.html

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Coyote Challenge

To my readers,

I was extremely disappointed to learn that three coyotes were killed last week, near Union Bay, in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle. Historically, humanity’s fear and ignorance of wild creatures has often led to killing and extermination. My fear is, if we do not learn to coexist with wild creatures then future generations will live in a dismal world of crows, concrete and mechanical contraptions. 
 
My personal goal is to promote harmony between nature and humanity, specifically around Union Bay which includes the Laurelhurst area. My blog about nature-in-the-city is called, Union Bay Watch. I believe that if we pay attention to wildlife, and treat wild creatures intelligently, we can find ways to coexist. 
 
A few weeks ago, I met one of the adult coyotes on the trail in the Union Bay Natural Area. Given the time of the year and because the coyote was out and about at mid-day, I suspect it was looking for food for its young. The coyote turned and fled into the brush as I approached. A perfectly acceptable response from a truly wild creature.
 
Because of my blog and my local interactions, I have talked with many different people who have seen the coyotes. No one who I spoke with mentioned any aggressive behavior. I truly believe the majority of the local people have been excited and happy to have coyotes as neighbors. I hope we can all agree that killing wild creatures should be a last resort.
 
The information I have read and the reaction from the neighbors causes me to seriously question whether extermination was warranted. The only justification I can find for the killing is, as reported on King5 NewsWildlife services received a request to assist in the management of several coyotes near the Laurelhurst neighborhood in Seattle. The coyotes had become increasingly aggressive towards people and pets in the area.
 
This statement leaves a lot to the imagination. I admit I do not know the details. I can however make a couple of logical assumptions given the information provided.
 
a) Since no injuries to humans were reported, I suspect the coyotes did not injure anyone.
 
b) Since no injuries to pets were noted, I suspect the coyotes did not injure any pets, either.
 
If the coyotes did not injure any humans or their pets then I wonder, What exactly did they do? What does “increasingly aggressive” really mean? 
 
Does it mean that in the Spring, with young to feed, the coyotes were being seen more often during the day, because their normal nocturnal hunting was not sufficient? Does it mean that the coyotes chased someone’s cat up a tree? Does it mean that they growled at an off-leash dog that came near their den? Does it mean that the coyotes came into to someone’s yard because the owner left pet food or open garbage outside? All of these fictional examples could be resolved with human education. It makes me wonder if the actual situation could have also been resolved with community guidance and instruction.
 
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife provides an extensive online resource entitled, Living with Wildlife. The highlighted link goes directly to the specific portion of the site related to coyotes. The site lists many non-lethal options.
 
Our Canadian friends propose a simple three-step process for learning to deal with coyotes. The Stanley Park Ecological Society says, “1) Be Big, Brave and Loud. 2) Never Feed. 3) Spread the Word.” They have additional links and information on their site, Co-existing with Coyotes. Please note that they even have an educational program for K-7 students. If our northern neighbors can teach their kindergarten students how to safely encounter coyotes I suspect we should be able to do the same. 
 
Was education given a fair chance? I have read nothing which implies that the folks in Laurelhurst were provided instruction on how to co-exist with coyotes. The next time your organization is contacted to resolved an issue with coyotes, I sincerely hope you will ensure that the community as a whole gets to participate in the process and that the educational alternatives are fully exhausted.
 
Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration of this issue.
 
Larry Hubbell
www.UnionBayWatch.blogspot.com

Update to Readers:

Does anyone happen to have a photo of the coyotes they would be willing to share?

Thank you to Doug Parrott for sharing his coyote photo taken on June 26th at the Union Bay Natural Area.

More Updates:

From the folks at The Laurelhurst Blog.

Here is the post the Laurelhurst Blog did on Friday about the killings: