The provincial government is taking another step in caribou conservation without any real or meaningful local consultation.
This latest move wasn’t announced, but instead it was leaked out. Maybe that’s because it is, in a word, whacky. The government wants to save the mountain caribou by opening the hunt for baby moose and their mothers.
The idea behind this moose hunt is this. Wolves are the main predators of both caribou and of moose. If there are fewer moose, the wolves will die out. If the wolves die out, then the mountain caribou will be protected.
My colleagues in the Official Opposition have searched high and low for some kind of science that would be driving this decision. We’ve yet to find it. It seems more like an idea from Elmer Fudd, especially when you consider the province has been trying to PROTECT moose populations for years.
Instead of a science-based decision, the moose hunt seems to be based purely on a fear of criticisms of hunting wolves directly. Hunting moose doesn’t come with the same kind of opposition that hunting wolves does. Make no mistake, the goal here is still reducing the number of wolves. It’s just making a choice to starve them rather than shoot them. That doesn’t seem like a very humane choice – and it’s also less direct and effective.
It was also a decision made behind closed doors in Victoria, without any local consultation. People here in the Peace are still upset about the lack of meaningful consultation on protecting the mountain caribou all through last year. People wanted government to hear from them and get the benefit of local knowledge. The community had a clear recommendation that a direct cull of wolves would be the most effective, quickest, and most humane way to protect caribou stocks.
But from an office in far away Victoria, the government chose a different path. The people of the Peace share the same desire to protect these northern herds, the government ignores their advice. Instead they picked a path that has closed large swaths of the backcountry and puts our local economy and way of life at risk.
The government’s caribou plan is failing the caribou, it’s failing moose populations, and it’s failing local communities.
If you have any ideas or questions, please contact me through my office at mike.bernier.MLA@leg.bc.ca, through my Facebook page at MikeBernierBC, at (250) 782-3430, or 1 (855) 582-3430.
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