Wolf cull, B.C.’s cheap solution to save caribou

Letter to the Editor from P. Grover

Re: ‘Critically low’ caribou population prompt wolf cull in the Chilcotin,’ Trail Times Jan. 29.

Read story here: Wolf cull

The Cariboo-Chilcotin wolf cull to save caribou was inevitable, it’s the cheapest thing government can do. Politics requires them to seem to be doing something. Logging roads, backcountry snowmobiling/hunting, fires, started this.

Wolves take the path of least resistance, like us. Why run thru bush if you’ve got an open track?

Alternatives like caribou habitat restoration (they require old growth – good luck with that) and maternal penning (works but females and young are let out after young are big enough) take longer and are expensive. Logging, beetles, fires, low timber prices have all taken most loggable stuff down with resulting mill closures, but logging and fire-barrier roads remain.

Resulting opportunities for backcountry snowmobiling/hunting need to be seriously addressed. It’s hard to truly de-activate a logging road. De-activating them doesn’t make them disappear either.

While government doesn’t want people on 2017/18 fire-barrier roads, those roads have to be kept open for the future. What’s missing in a MAJOR way is enforcement.

Quads can easily cross standard closures, some people even carry folding ramps! B.C. got a few new conservation officers recently but more are acutely needed. Using vehicles in remote areas continues to keep roads/trails open, ensuring wolves continue to use them.

Some may not realize this but those that DO, think snowmobiling or hunting using vehicles is their right. They place themselves above consequences of their activities. Mass education and enforcement with fines and vehicle impoundment is required.

Facing expensive alternatives, government has hit on wolf culls.

Comments like “it’s the most humane way, to shoot from a helicopter” strains credulity.

Imagine running along the ground and being shot at from above; how accurate is a guy in a helicopter likely to be? The wolf might go down, but is it DEAD?

Research shows empty territories are quickly re-occupied by wolves, and reproduction ramps up, so it’s a temporary solution of a few years, at best. Wolves are necessary parts of the ecosystem, they have a right to continue being so.

How many will be left before we face up to what we’ve done to wilder areas, and really start to be the stewards remote areas require?

Fixing ultimate causes of dwindling caribou like logging old growth, open backcountry roads/trails, and lack of enforcement over them, THAT’S expensive. Govt. worries about expenses and voters; electability becomes questionable.

Speaking of govt. expense, how about that big new road to a big new mine behind Anahim. Another road into fairly pristine wilderness, right in the heart of caribou habitat.

Nah, don’t worry about wolves and caribou.

The trucks will take care of THAT, while government wrings its hands and says “well, we TRIED.” Not nearly good enough!

From P. Grover, Chilanko Forks, B.C.

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