Take action to protect B.C.'s wolves
Public comments ignored as record level of wolf mortality expected in coming years.
April 17, 2014 - GREY WOLF MANAGEMENT PLAN RELEASED (PDF)
On April 17, 2014 the B.C. government quietly released its long-awaited Management Plan for wolves. 16 months ago the BC government opened its doors for public comment on its controversial draft plan and received an unprecedented 3200 submissions. We know from access to Freedom of Information requests that the overwhelming majority of these submissions were in favour of scrapping the plan so that wolves might be protected instead of persecuted. VANCOUVER SUN ARTICLE, Larry Pynn, April 17, 2014
However, a quick scan of the report clearly shows that the public comments were ignored and that the status quo killing of wolves continues to be the preferred management technique for B.C.
The following are some of the highlights of the plan and how we can expect B.C. to manage wolves in the coming years.
The report acknowledges that B.C. does not know how many wolves exist in the province and continues to base its estimates on anecdotal hunter and trapper information. The government estimate varies between 5,300 and 11,600 wolves in the province.
The report states that the annual human caused mortality of wolves is also unknown because of the lack of compulsory inspection or reporting. Moreover, the recent record number of kills (approximately 1400 reported kills/year) is unreliable and that many more kills go unreported. “Without more reliable estimates of the harvest, it is difficult to assess the sustainability of B.C.’s wolf harvest,” the plan states. Therefore the B.C. government does not know how many wolves live in the province nor how many are being killed each year and accepts that it is very difficult to design a management plan without this information.
Nevertheless, it goes on to recommend no change in resident and foreign hunters being allowed to kill a wolf regardless of age or sex. Pups can still legally be killed and status-quo open season and unlimited killing will be allowed in much of the province. There is still no special license required to kill wolves and no mandatory reporting even though hunters that shoot geese or deer need a special license. There is no recommendation for areas to be protected for wolves as scientific benchmark areas in BC instead it alludes to the existing protected areas (hunting of wolves in most parks and protected areas is legal in B.C.) as adequate safeguards against the open season unregulated killing that occurs throughout most of the rest of the province.
The report recognizes that more wolves are now being killed in B.C. than ever before because of incentive-based hunting such as wolf kill contests that offer rewards for the smallest and largest wolf killed. VANCOUVER SUN ARTICLE, LARRY PYNN NOV. 19, 2012
In the few areas where wolf hunting is closed the closure extends from June 15-August 1. The lucky wolves in B.C. get a one and a half month reprieve from hunting.
British Columbia has made it clear that it prefers the extirpation and barbaric killing of one of the most intelligent and social animals on our planet.
Please spread the word and make your voice heard.
Thank you from Pacific Wild.
Please contact Honourable Ministers Steve Thomson and Mary Polak, as well as the other responsible officials listed below, to express your continued opposition to the 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 to consider in your communications.
Write a letter today! We've made it easy for you by pulling together a draft letter, including the points below, which you can edit, sign and send to the appropriate ministers. Simply click here. (This is unavailable in Google Chrome. Please open using a different server)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
CLICK HERE to view the FULL Wolf Management Plan (PDF)
Be sure to cc. your letters to Premier Christy Clark, your MLA, your newspaper of choice, and to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|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
WEBSITE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Hon. Mary Polak - Minister of the Environment
Phone: 250 387-1187
Hon. Steve Thomson--Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources
PO BOX 9049 STN PROV GOVT
VICTORIA BC V8W 9E2
Fax: 250 387-1040
Over the past year Pacific Wild helped expose the shameful “wolf kill contest” that was held in Fort St. John last winter. Prizes were offered for the largest and smallest wolves killed, among other incentives to kill off wolves in the region.
The good news is that as we were preparing a legal challenge against the B.C. government and contest organizers, with the support of West Coast Environmental Law, the contest was quietly cancelled. However, this contest and others like it are still occurring outside the public eye and with the support of our government. More national and international exposure is necessary to end this cruel, unethical and scientifically flawed “population management tool.”
Through education, policy-making, and public support, we can continue to raise awareness for the need to protect, not persecute, British Columbia’s wolves.
We can't do this alone. We need your support. Please consider making a contribution to support our ongoing work to protect wolves.