Thursday, March 20, 2014

BC, Wolves in Peril, protest!

Subject: The B.C. Wolf Management Plan: Wolves in peril, B.C. kill programs ready to escalate
Tom Ethier, Assistant Deputy Minister Resource Stewardship Division

Hon. Bill Bennet--Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
(the ministry responsible for B.C. gaming)

Tel: (250) 387-5896
Fax: (250) 356-2965
Hon. Mary Polak - Minister of the EnvironmentPO BOX 9047 STN PROV GOVT
Phone: 250 387-1187
Fax: 250 387-1356

Hon. Steve Thomson--Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources PO BOX 9049 STN PROV GOVT
Phone: 250-387-6240
Fax: 250 387-1040

Dear Madam, dear Sir,

I want to express my continued opposition to the proposed plan for wolf management in B.C., and to demand a formal scientific peer-review process - that includes ethical and ecological issues- for any plan that is put forward.

Changes are needed on many fronts to the way in which wolves and wolf habitat are managed in B.C.

The following are some points concerning my opposition :

On wolf-killing:

  • Helicopter killing and sterilization must be stopped.
  • Leghold traps, snares, and baiting must be banned.
  • Return to former species license, quotas, bag limits, restricted seasons, and mandatory reporting of kills for hunting wolves.
  • The social bonds of wolf packs have been ignored in the draft plan. When individuals are killed, the entire pack is affected, potentially creating more breeding pairs and social chaos. A provincial management plan should consider the social stability of packs to ensure long-term conservation.
On mountain caribou management:
  • Wolf-cull and sterilization programs designed to protect mountain caribou populations have failed and must be stopped. By their own reports, caribou population declines are mainly caused by habitat loss, as well as snowmobiling and heli-skiing in winter habitat. Demand a stop to logging of old-growth forest in mountain caribou range, an enforced ban on snowmobiles from winter range, and the complete destruction of roads in caribou range to prevent easy access by predators.
On human/livestock conflicts:
  • Government programs for compensation for livestock losses to wild predators should be continued.
  • The government should commit to reduce conflicts through prevention measures including education initiatives and incentives for responsible husbandry practices such as fencing, guard dogs, shepherds, etc.
  • The province needs an adequately-funded Conservation Officer Service that is not partnered with vested interests such as ranchers.
On wolf habitat:
  • Large tracts of habitat should be set aside for multiple wolf packs and their prey, with no hunting or trapping allowed, so that wolves can develop natural packs and behaviour. This will provide benchmarks for scientific research and areas where people can watch wolves.

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