Photo: Jim Lawrence
Canada and British Columbia are considering another agreement to protect mountain caribou, given that the present management plans by BC have failed to stop the decline of most herds, and they are in severe danger of extinction. In response to the governments’ call for public input, VWS just sent a 4-page submission which says the agreement is toothless. BC has committed to protecting only untenured high-elevation habitat. Unless the protection of tenured, low-elevation habitat is included, the agreement is completely meaningless.
The deadline for public input is January 18, 2018. See the draft agreement at http://registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/document/default_e.cfm?documentID=3202.
Send comments to the government at firstname.lastname@example.org
Download the VWS submission to government
Download the January 10, 2018 VWS Press Release
IN 2018 GRIZZLY BEARS IN BC WILL AWAKEN
to a SPRINGTIME SAFE FROM HUNTERS
Valhalla Wilderness Society
(See also: Reflections and Gratitude on the End of the Grizzly Bear Hunt, by VWS Chair, bear biologist Wayne McCrory)
The end of 2017 brought the end to all grizzly bear hunting in BC, except for First Nations’ sustenance and ceremonial use. During the election, the new government administration promised the ban for all of BC, but announced post-election that only the Great Bear Rainforest on the coast would have a total ban; the rest of the province would be subject to a grizzly bear “meat hunt”. Forty-five environmental and animal care groups, bear scientists, grizzly bear viewing businesses and artists sent a letter to government and media charging that the meat hunt was a trophy hunt in disguise. Other groups joined in direct consultations with government, and four thousand people sent emails with 78% favouring an end to all hunting of grizzly bears in BC. Finally, on December 18, 2017 the BC Government announced a complete ban, with the exception of First Nations’ sustenance and ceremonial use. This momentous decision is just cause for celebration by all. The government has also committed to implementing the recommendations of the 2017 Auditor General’s (AG’s) report on BC’s grizzly bear management.
Before the recent election the BC government announced plans to turn the management of the province’s wildlife over to non-government agency funded by the sales of hunting licences. Twenty-two organizations and businesses involved in protecting wildlife have issued an open letter to the BC government with scathing criticism of the plan. They have urged the
government to 1) scrap the proposal for a separate agency; 2) increase the wildlife management staff and funding of government ministries; 3) shift the focus of wildlife management from juggling numbers of game animals for
hunters, to applying the science of ecology; and 4) recognize that only about 2% of the total BC population are registered hunters, whereas a huge majority of British Columbians care about the welfare of our wildlife and ecosystems.
Download the Open Letter to the BC Government
Toadlets found squashed in the road while NACFOR prepares to log
A recent photo and video expedition has revealed thousands of Western Toads are dispersing into their forested habitat that is slated to be imminently logged. The images and video show toads under logging equipment, on logging roads as well as on branch roads into the logging cut blocks. Branch roads were constructed in February 2016. Two weeks ago, NACFOR had started grading the logging roads while hundreds of toads were migrating across it.
“Now they have brought in a feller-buncher, which means logging could begin at any time,” says Craig Pettitt, a director of the Valhalla Wilderness Society. “We recorded young toads all around their machine. We are outraged that the government and NACFOR would allow logging in critical toad habitat when it is clear toads will be killed left, right and centre.”
Read the full Press Release
To View the Video: https://youtu.be/peK9lE8YrWo
Final announcement February 1, 2016.
Spirit Bear Mother and Cub
On February 1, 2016, the province and coastal First Nations announced the “final” protection agreement for the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR) on the BC coast. Since 1/3 of the GBR was protected in 2006, ten years of negotiations between the larger environmental groups, forest companies and coastal First Nations finally resulted in a GBR conservation agreement. Part of this can be found at: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/TASB/SLRP/LRMP/Nanaimo/CLUDI/GBR/Orders/GBR_LUO_Signed_29Jan2016.pdf
There is some cause for celebration since noteworthy improvements have been made in coastal logging guidelines and in adding 10 new partially protected areas which brings the grand total of parks, conservancies and partial protection designations to 38% overall. This is near to the minimum of 40-50% full protection agreed to in 2004 in a landmark GBR-ENGO protocol. One of our favourite watersheds, The Green, will be protected, but unfortunately, Gribbell Island, mother island of the white bears won’t be. Also will be some reduction of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.
Read the full review