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
VWS report to Enbridge Pipeline Review:
ONE MAJOR SPILL COULD WIPE OUT A CORE SPIRIT BEAR POPULATION
Gribbell Island lies in one of the most treacherous marine passages on the BC north where hundreds of huge tankers would carry Enbridge’s deadly tarsands bitumen to China and other markets. In 2012 VWS biologist Wayne McCrory completed a report on the threat of a oil tanker spill to the bears of Gribbell Island and other coastal wildlife. A comparison of the claims made by the Enbridge environmental impact assessment with the facts of what actually happened in the Exxon Valdez oil spill shows that Enbridge enormously under-estimates the risks and impacts of a spill. Since all of the 100-150 black and white-phase Kermode bears would use the marine shoreline of Gribbell for travel and feeding on marine life, a major tanker spill would cause irreparable and long-term harm to this genetically unique “mother island of the white bears”.
Click here to download Wayne McCrory’s oral presentation of this VWS report, and more, to the Joint Review Panel on Enbridge, on January 28, 2013.