GUEST VIEW: Killing two species to save one

Letter writer says the over population of wolves is the problem, not the moose!

Mr. Horgan and Mr Donaldson.

I would like to start by asking for a formal reply to my concerns, and request it not be just some type of form letter.

The Government recently released the results of a study completed on Collared Moose within B.C and in that report they indicated that over 50 percent of the moose that were studied were killed by predation ( wolves, grizzly and black bears). I was involved in the S.H.A.C process in Smithers for years, before the recent Biologists disbanded the process, and stopped having any concern for what the stakeholders of the region wanted, or that they might have had concerns about the management of our resource. For over a decade the resident hunters, guide outfitters, trappers and others who sat on the committee brought forward the concerns of the wolf population increase, and the moose population decline, to the FLNR biologists in Region 6 but they refused to deal with the issue because it was a political hot topic, and ignore the problem.

In 2013 the government implemented the Moose research project to investigate the decline in the moose population of B.C . As part of this plan, there was one component that focused on stopping the harvest of cow and calf moose by poaching, and requested first nations stop the harvest of cows and calves to help increase the numbers of moose cows for breeding.

I believe Region 7 has had a wolf reduction project program in place for at least one year that was very successful in the decline of the number of moose and elk killed by predation.

The Parsnip Valley tried to save the Caribou population by reducing he moose population and it failed, the herds of caribou still declined.

Now, the Biologists in Region 6 are attempting the same failed approach, they are willing to kill off two species to save one, How in any world does this make sense! The moose population is down but not dangerously low in region 6 and the wolf population is still strong and on the rise all over B.C. so REDUCE the wolf population. The over population of wolves is the problem, not the Moose!

Killing off twice the number of animals to save the caribou is really not a realistic management style.

The reality of this caribou situation is decades old, in the 80s when moose populations were strong, the caribou were starting to decline and every year the biologists had concerns at our meeting about the decline, ATV access was reduced, any type of human interaction in the alpine was reduced, but nothing seemed to help. For decades the wolf populations have increased, the weather patterns changed with wetter winter conditions in the high country which allowed the wolves to get up into the alpine territory, where they used to have difficulty accessing, subsequently the caribou became more vulnerable. There are many other factors, but this is just an observation.

The Grizzly bears and black bears take a large number of moose and caribou calves in the spring calving season, in addition to the wolves. The ban on Grizzly bear hunting has also increased the demise of the caribou and moose population.

So in closing I would like to say, it is time for the Government to address the problem, and stop playing POLITICS. Reduce the wolf population and save both the Caribou and the Moose, this would help balance the scale of predator to prey numbers.

Stop the killing of two species, in an attempt to save one, deal with the real problem… Wolves!

Mal Haggard

Metis sustenance Hunter and fisherman

Letter to the Editor

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