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An ongoing series of informational entries


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October 21, 2019

https://www.merrittherald.com/wolf-kill-not-backcountry-bans-saving-caribou/

Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

Tom Fletcher, B.C. Views

It would have come as a relief to many B.C. communities when Forests Minister Doug Donaldson told me in September his latest management plans for 20 endangered caribou herds will not require further industrial or back-country bans.

Now I understand why Donaldson was able to make that decision, after intensive study and community meetings in the Cariboo, Kootenay and Peace regions, packed with people worried about the future of their already fragile resource economies.

Plunging caribou populations are indeed a crisis, one that can be seen across Canada, all the way to the vast herds of Labrador and northern Quebec that are central to the traditional way of life of Indigenous people. That’s why the federal government is poised to invoke its species-at-risk legislation to impose further protection measures on B.C.

It’s already too late for some of the 54 B.C. herds, despite protected areas, mothers and calves captured and held in maternity pens, and an escalating program to control rising wolf populations by shooting them from the air.

Donaldson acted on the latest report from ministry biologists, showing the first glimmer of hope. Three of B.C.’s largest herds in the South Peace have turned the corner from a steep decline towards extinction, and are trending toward recovery. This is after the maternity penning program was extended from Kootenay herds to the South Peace, and the wolf kill was stepped up over four years.

“The decrease in wolf abundance across the South Peace area has shown conclusive evidence that intensive wolf reduction has halted and reversed the declining trends of the Klinse-Za, Kennedy Siding and Quintette caribou populations,” states the B.C. report submitted to Donaldson in August.

The existing set-asides are enormous, and their effectiveness is questionable. By 2016, the area off limits to logging and road-building in South Selkirks was 2.2 million hectares, covering 95 per cent of prime mountain caribou habitat. The South Peace recovery plan covered 400,000 hectares of high-elevation winter habitat.

As the B.C. Council of Forest Industries pointed out last year, banning forestry and mining is no magic answer. Caribou are declining in Wells Gray Provincial Park in central B.C. and Jasper National Park in Alberta, where there has been no modern-day industrial disturbance. They’re gone from Banff National Park, which has been protected since 1885.

Another strategy should be given credit: the efforts of local snowmobile and off-road clubs to keep prime habitat off limits. This is backed up by Conservation Officer Service flights over key areas to enforce restrictions, a daunting task given the size and remoteness of regions. More people are becoming aware of the impact a single snowmobile track through deep snow can have, allowing wolves to quickly penetrate areas they could not otherwise reach.

B.C.’s southern mountain herds have range extending into the United States, and this region has had human settlement and industrial activity for longer than B.C.’s northern regions. The contrast between our efforts and those south of the border was highlighted by a sad news report last week in the Revelstoke Review.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finally declared the whole population of southern mountain caribou endangered, months after they became locally extinct in the U.S.

The last three animals in the cross-border herd, known locally as the Grey Ghosts, were captured and relocated to protective pens north of Revelstoke in January. It’s hoped they can bolster a small herd there.

Tom Fletcher is B.C. legislature reporter and columnist for Black Press Media. Email: [email protected]

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Caribou versus resources and recreation threatens iconic Canadian species

Peter Akman, Investigative Correspondent, W5

@PeterAkman

Published Friday, September 27, 2019 4:00PM EDT

CHETWYND, B.C. - Nestled in a hard-to-reach, secret location, high in the alpine of British Columbia's South Peace River region is what’s being called a last-ditch effort to save the local caribou herd because after decades of steep declines, they are on the brink of local extinction.

Local industries like forestry and mining have taken their toll on the landscape and the caribou. Where there was once a continuous and lush forest there is now a carved up mishmash of clear cut patches, all joined together by a highway system of back-country access roads.

The widespread changes to the land have meant that slow moving animals are no longer able to seek shelter up in the mountains from their main predator - the wolf. And so their populations

"The future of the caribou in its current state is pretty dismal. If we don't take some pretty aggressive management action we're looking at the extirpation of many of the herds around this area" says wildlife biologist Scott McNay, who is with Wildlife Infometrics in B.C.

In 2013 the local caribou herd called the Klinse-za dwindled to just 16 animals. Despite that, local and provincial governments were dragging their feet on a conservation strategy. Feeling there was no time to waste two local First Nations and McNay took matters into their own hands. They built a massive 37-acre maternity pen to protect caribou mothers and their calves from predators.

From the outside, it looks like an impenetrable fortress: high black canvas fencing surrounds the area along with electric wires, all meant to keeps wolves and bears out. Inside the pen are open meadows, thick forest and a constant supply of food.

Around the clock, caretakers from the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations stand guard, keeping watch over the vulnerable animals. They live year round, in a small cabin next to the pen.

Chief Ken Cameron of the Saulteau First Nations said, "I think we need to act like humans and help save them. You know, it's our duty".

The mothers and the calves will remain safe and secure in the pen until the young are strong enough and fast enough to escape and survive on their own in the wild. Just the help they need to bolster a new beginning.

“Yeah we've had some success here at that. It’s a short term success. It’s temporary, it’s not the be all and end all.” says McNay.

This year alone, 13 calves were born and got their start in the pen before being released into the wild in July. Everyone involved knows that this is just a start.

McNay feels there is a long way to go. He said, "In a small way it's working.” It's like they started from a herd of 16 and now this year there's about close to a hundred.

But McNay remains pessimistic of the caribou’s long-term chances. He says unless the animals’ habitat is protected and there is some type of moratorium on industry in the area, the animals won’t survive for long.

“The thing that we don’t know is how far we have to go with protection and restoration of caribou habitat to make a herd become self-sustaining.”

Earlier this year, a proposed recovery plan to save the caribou was announced, a draft partnership agreement that was struck between the Province of British Columbia and the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations. It would have seen the caribou’s habitat protected by limiting industrial development of the area.

But when details of the draft partnership agreement were announced, public outcry from people whose livelihoods depend on the forestry and mining industries was immense. Facing massive backlash, the B.C. government hired Blair Lekstrom, a former B.C. Liberal and current Dawson Creek city councillor, to come up with a new plan to save jobs and the caribou.

“What I don’t want to see go extinct is the resource worker in our country and their families. I mean that’s the balance you try and find,” says Lekstrom.

It’s a compromise that Justina Ray, president of Wildlife Conservation Society Canada says won’t work.

“There will have to be a concerted decision by society that, that the jobs are more important than caribou because balancing them and with half measures at this point will not be, will not, will not allow caribou to recover.”

But like in most Canadian provinces where the caribou populations are quickly dwindling, waiting to figure out a balance between industry and nature means more animals will die.

The fear is eventually, the only place you’ll be able to find a caribou is on the back of a quarter.

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September 25, 2019

Wolf cull: B.C. would target 80% of wolves in caribou recovery areas | Vancouver Sun

Inbox x

They say its lack of land that the caribou are vanishing not the wolves, do these wolves not have legs or are they that stupid that they won’t follow the caribou.

They need to explain why they the conservationists disagree with 5year program numbers with a bit more detail.

https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-predator-cull-would-target-80-per-cent-of-wolves-in-caribou-recovery-areas <https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-predator-cull-would-target-80-per-cent-of-wolves-in-caribou-recovery-areas>

B.C. predator cull would target 80 per cent of wolves in caribou recovery areas

A five-year program of wolf reduction has turned a 15 per cent a year decline in the population of the Central Group of the Southern Mountain Caribou into a 15 per cent a year increase, according a memo from the B.C. Caribou Recovery Program. Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre file photo

The provincial government is proposing a predator cull that would kill more than 80 per cent of the wolf population in parts of central British Columbia that are home to threatened caribou herds, according to correspondence from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

“The objective of this wolf reduction program is to reverse caribou population decline in the Tweedsmuir-Entiako, Hart Ranges, and Itcha-Ilgachuz herds,” says a memo signed by Darcy Peel, director of the B.C. Caribou Recovery Program. “To reverse caribou population declines, high rates of wolf removal (>80%) must be achieved.”

The Tweedsmuir-Entiako and Itcha-Ilgachuz herds are in the central part of the province, roughly east of Bella Coola and west of Quesnel, while the Hart Ranges herd is near the Alberta border, east of Prince George.

A parallel cull is also proposed for the Itcha-Ilgachuz herd area to “remove cougars that have likely begun to focus on caribou as a prey source.”

A 30-day consultation with Indigenous communities and “targeted stakeholders” is underway.

A five-year program of wolf reduction has turned a 15 per cent a year decline in the population of the Central Group of the Southern Mountain Caribou into a 15 per cent a year increase, Peel writes.

A study of 18 caribou herds released earlier this year found that populations stabilized or increased in eight of 12 herds in areas where wolves were culled. Six herds that were not subject to predator removal continued to decline, according to the study led by Robert Serrouya, director of the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute’s Caribou Monitoring Unit.

The Central Group’s Klinse-Za herd posted the most dramatic recovery through a combination of predator reductions and maternal penning, in which pregnant caribou and calves are protected by fencing.

Serrouya found that predator management must be applied “intensively” to produce a positive result and that combining strategies such as culls, restoration and safe havens enhanced the effectiveness of recovery efforts.

Serrouya’s study identifies predators as a “proximate” cause of caribou decline, while ecosystem alteration is the “ultimate factor.”

“Habitat restoration is the long-term piece to this strategy,” Serrouya said in a interview. “But if we wait for the habitat to be restored and do nothing else, there won’t be any caribou to occupy it.”

Several herds in B.C. have already turned around because of this multi-pronged approach, he said.

Bryce Casavant is a conservation policy analyst with Pacific Wild.

B.C. is currently rolling out a $47-million caribou recovery plan <https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/wildlife-conservation/caribou>.

“Wolf populations in these herds are far above the level that research tells us is needed to ensure caribou recovery,” the ministry wrote in response to questions from Postmedia. “These herds have reached a critical point, with a combined total of only 801 individual animals. All have had steep declines in recent years due to predation.”

The proposed cull was condemned as outdated thinking that ignores the real cause of the caribou decline by a one-time NDP candidate and former conservation officer.

Habitat loss to logging, mining, oil and gas development and roadbuilding is the real problem, said Bryce Casavant, now a conservation policy analyst with Pacific Wild.

“It’s not a scientific discovery to say that if we kill the predators, the caribou will do a little better,” he said. “What’s really happening is that taxpayers are subsidizing inappropriate industrial operations by paying for the cull and the wolves are paying with their lives.”

The ministry memo advocates an adaptive management approach to conservation, combining predator management with other strategies and studying their effectiveness as they are applied.

Casavant argued that so-called “science on the go” is intended to support the government’s predator management strategy.

“The data shows that habitat loss is the largest agent of decline, not wolves,” he said.

[email protected] <mailto:[email protected]>>

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September 23, 2019

https://www.thenorthernview.com/news/b-c-interior-caribou-protection-area-big-enough-minister-says/

B.C. Interior caribou protection area big enough, minister says

Proposals sparked protest in Kootenays, Williams Lake region

Tom Fletcher

Caribou calf in a maternity pen near Revelstoke, to protect it from wolves until it is old enough to survive, 2014. (Black Press Media)

Additional caribou protection areas are needed in the Peace region, but not in the majority of B.C. that lies west of the Rocky Mountains, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says.

Residents of the Kootenays and Cariboo regions packed public meetings this spring to demand details of a proposed caribou protection strategy. They were concerned about federal demands to expand industrial and recreational no-go zones in an effort to protect dwindling herds.

Since then, biologists have surveyed the state of 54 B.C. herds, the effect of wolf kills, maternity pens and other protection strategies, and gathered public feedback.

“We’re visiting the communities and we’ve already targeted at least 20 herds for management plans,” Donaldson said in an interview. “We’ll be developing those over the next couple of years in consultation with communities and their interests. But we think we have enough tools at our disposal not to require additional habitat protection areas for those herds.”

The exception is east of the Rockies in the Peace region, home of B.C.’s largest caribou herds and also extensive oil and gas, forestry and mining development. There the province has developed a plan to protect an additional 700,000 hectares of prime caribou habitat.

Premier John Horgan called on Dawson Creek councillor and former MLA Blair Lekstrom to make recommendations this spring, after Peace region residents protested being shut out of talks between the province and the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations on the extent of protection.

The province accepted Lekstrom’s recommendation to put a moratorium on “new high-impact forestry and mining activities” in the Peace region for two years, while consultation continues on restrictions that could shut down some forest operations.

RELATED: Forestry, recreation squeezed by caribou restrictions

RELATED: B.C. temporarily halts northeast mine, forest development

Protection strategies have been expanded in recent years, including snowmobile restrictions and extensive forest protection zones. Despite those measures, mountain caribou herds in the Kootenays have dwindled, in some cases to extinction.

“Our analysts are looking around at the other herds that need to be protected in the province, and they feel that we have enough habitat protection measures in place related to those other herds,” Donaldson said.

The federal government was preparing an emergency order under the Species at Risk Act to impose new restrictions, citing climate change and habitat disturbance as key factors in the population decline. Over the past century, B.C. caribou populations have fallen from an estimated 40,000 animals to about 15,000.

A 2018 report by the Council of Forest Industries pointed out that caribou populations have also declined in Wells Gray Provincial Park and Jasper National Park. Caribou have disappeared from Banff National Park, which has been protected from industrial activity since 1885.

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September 18, 2019

Goats Peak Regional Park Open to the Public

The gates are now open for visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature and outstanding views in another Central Okanagan regional park.

The 52-hectare Goats Peak Regional Park is located along Seclusion Bay Road, off Highway 97 in West Kelowna.

This morning Regional Board Chair Gail Given was joined by Westbank First Nation representatives and West Kelowna Mayor and RDCO Board Vice Chair Gord Milsom in officially opening the park.

Given says “Opening Goats Peak fulfills one of the important environmental areas identified by the Regional Board in our Strategic Priorities for this term. The main park access and Summit trails allow residents to learn about and connect with nature while increasing the number of hectares of regional parks now available for use. It’s an exciting opportunity to expand our interpretation program and raise even more awareness about the importance of the animals and plants that live on these lands to the Okanagan People.”

“Goat’s Peak is a significant area to the syilx Okanagan people. It’s a place of deep spirituality, ceremony and celebration; rich with animals, plants and medicines to support our people,” says Chief Roxanne Lindley. “WFN worked closely with RDCO to ensure the focus was as much on protection as it was on becoming a public space. Opening it up means we all take responsibility to ensure its health remains in-tact for future generations.”

The Regional District purchased the Goats Peak property in September 2014 for $5-million from the Regional Park and Legacy and Park Land Reserve funds. In the time since a Management Plan was developed for the park and in the past year, the first two trails and interpretive amenities and signage were designed and constructed.

Goats Peak Regional Park fills a significant gap in the Okanagan Trail 2000 vision for a continuous recreational trail between the Bennett Bridge and Peachland and protects a sizable portion of ecologically significant lands close to existing and potential residential areas. The 1.3-kilometre Big Sagebrush (qʷl̓qʷlmniɬp) trail is the main access to the park and links to a viewpoint while the 1.2-kilometre Mountain Goat (sx̌ʷƛ̓iʔ) trail climbs over 200 metres to a summit vista.

Learn more about the Regional District’s 30 regional and 20 community parks protecting over 2,100 hectares for the enjoyment of all Central Okanagan residents by visiting rdco.com/pickapark.

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September 11, 2019

Official NFHC Launch

The BCWF is part of the NFHC (National Fishing and Hunting Coalition). OFHA has done the majority of the coordination on this project, which shows a united front from provincial organizations representing anglers and hunters.

As promised, the NFHC launch media release has gone out! The final release is attached and our social media posts can be seen here:

Website: www.ofah.org/nfhc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theOFAH/photos/a.450824197780/10156696523427781/?type=3&av=127166042780&eav=AfZ9kiTNUyuzryX1OuwtTWlO-7nsOV8yPf8atb3cv-2qrGqSp-Me-pVbyYuulCBrSBM&theater

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ofah/status/1169317831265140737

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September 9, 2019

Scientists identify new viruses in wild, farmed salmon in B.C.

Nelson BennettSeptember 4, 2019

Scientists with the Strategic Salmon Health Initiative (SSHI) have discovered three new viruses in chinook, sockeye and farmed salmon in B.C.

Scientists with the Strategic Salmon Health Initiative (SSHI) have discovered three new viruses in chinook, sockeye and farmed salmon in B.C.

One of the viruses was hitherto not known to infect fish, according to the study, published in the journal eLIFe.

The extent to which the viruses may have an impact on fish health is not yet known.

“The discovery in dead and dying farmed salmon of previously unrecognised viruses that are also widely distributed in wild salmon, emphasizes the potential role that viral disease may play in the population dynamics of wild fish stocks, and the threat that these viruses may pose to aquaculture,” the study finds.

“Future work will focus on determining the risks these viruses pose to salmon health and investigating the potential for exchange between hatchery, farmed and wild salmon populations.”

The SSHI is a collaboration between Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Genome B.C. and the Pacific Salmon Foundation. SSHI researchers have been using genomics to identify viruses in both wild Pacific and farmed Atlantic salmon.

Using DNA sequencing, scientists with SSHI have been able to identify a number of viruses in salmon, some of which appear to be apathogenic (causing no disease), and some of which have been identified as potentially disease-causing.

The lead author on the study, Gideon Mordecai, a scientist at the University of B.C., looked for viruses in dead and dying salmon at fish farms, and identified three that had not been identified before.

Scientists then did screening to try to determine the distribution of the viruses in farmed, hatchery and wild salmon.

“Two of the viruses were present in fish from the three sources, while one of the viruses was only found in farmed fish,” the study says. “The fact that the three viruses are distributed differently raises questions about how the viruses are transmitted within and between farmed, hatchery and wild salmon populations.”

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August 29, 2019

from: McLean, Craig A FLNR:EX

It’s that time of year again when people are gearing up and heading into the bush for moose hunting season. As part of your preparations make sure to download the BC Moose Tracker mobile app. By recording your moose observations in the app while hunting you are providing valuable information that will help us all better understand what is happening with our moose populations. In last couple of years less than 3% of moose hunters in BC submitted sightings through the app, with more users we get better information to help inform decisions.

Here’s a few things you can do to help us better understand the moose populations you hunt:

1. Download the app for iOS or Android phones and tablets (you can find links to the downloads here: www.gov.bc.ca/wildlifehealth/moosetracker )

2. Use the app. Whenever you’re in the field hunting moose record the number of hours you’re out and how many moose you see. We only record data at the Management Unit level, so there’s no worry of anyone finding out where your favorite spots are. Even if you’re out of cell service the data will upload to our server when you get back into service.

3. Tell your friends. More users = more data, and with more data we get more reliable results. Please share this email with your hunting companions and others that would be interested.

4. Ask questions. If you have any questions about using the app or want to request the summary report from the first few years of the app please write to [email protected]

Below are some examples of results from the summary report showing the observations of hunters in the field using the app. It’s important to note that the information collected from the app will be different from aerial surveys, but through time the information will allow us to identify trends in population indicators (like bull:cow ratio, calf:cow ratio, and moose seen per hour) that could prompt further investigation. In the map, the grayed out Game Management Zones (GMZ; these are groups of Management Units) are areas where we did not have enough data from the app to reliably summarize the results (a good reason to get more data!).

Number of bulls observed for every 100 cows by users on the BC Moose Tracker app from Sept – Nov , 2016 and 2017. All GMZs with less than 50 observations in both years

were eliminated due to insufficient sample size. Error bars show 90% confidence intervals, starred GMZs had significant differences between years (α=0.10).

The Fish & Wildlife Branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development recognizes the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and anglers, hunters, trappers and guides who contribute to the Trust, for making a significant financial contribution to support the BC Moose Tracker App. Without such support, this project would not have been possible.

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August 29, 2019

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

OFAH FILE:

Date

Dear,

On behalf of the Canadians Concerned About CWD (CCAC), please find attached a copy of our priorities related to chronic wasting disease (CWD) for the next Government of Canada, including concrete actions that must be taken to safeguard Canada’s wildlife, people, and the economy.

The Canadians Concerned About CWD is a network of conservationists, scientists, advocates, industry, and concerned citizens from across the country and diverse backgrounds ringing the alarm bell to ensure that CWD is given due consideration as an important national topic in the upcoming election. Often seen as strictly a hunting-related issue, CWD should be a concern to all Canadians who value healthy wildlife populations and the countless benefits they provide.

CWD is a highly infectious, incurable, and completely fatal disease that affects members of the cervid family. This includes some of Canada’s most iconic animals like moose, caribou, elk, mule deer, and white-tailed deer. One of the greatest threats to wildlife in North America, CWD is having documented population impacts on multiple cervid species. Declining cervid populations lead to reduced hunting opportunities, lost economic benefits associated with hunting and tourism, and threatens the culture and food security of many Canadians, potentially jeopardizing Canada’s fiduciary obligations to Indigenous peoples. Lessons learned from the tragedy of mad cow disease demonstrate the potential for severe economic impacts when countries erect trade barriers to Canada’s agricultural products. While trade barriers related to mad cow disease targeted only meat exports, trade barriers related to CWD have already been expanded to crops and plant-based products, as the infectious agents that cause CWD (called prions) can be taken up through plants. Finally, while there is no direct scientific evidence that humans can contract CWD, primate studies have shown it may be possible and there is no scientific basis for human immunity. If CWD is confirmed in a human, the effect would be disastrous due to the widespread exposure of humans to CWD prions, the seriousness and latency of the disease, and the lack of preparedness of our health care system.

Your responses to the following questions will help inform the CCAC, the organizations we represent, and the Canadian public about your party’s position on important issues before they go to the polls in October. The responses from each party will be posted to www.ofah.org/ccac and shared through social media and email by CCAC members.

We would appreciate receiving a response as soon as possible, so that we can share it well ahead of the election. Thank you in advance for participating.

Yours in Conservation,

Matt DeMille

CCAC Priority for the 2019 Federal Election

Question for the Party

Will the Party recognise CWD as a major threat to Canada’s wildlife, people, and economy and commit taking the following actions?

1. Contain the geographic spread of CWD by halting the movement of live farmed cervids, enacting federal regulation on the transport of hunter-harvested cervids, and phasing out cervid farming with compensation for producers;

2. Prevent human exposure to CWD from farmed and hunter-harvested cervid meat;

3. Maintain and strengthen the current federal program of human prion disease surveillance and develope a preparedness plan for the possible emergence of human CWD in Canada, including possible impacts to our blood supply;

4. Initiate and fund research to increase our understanding of CWD and its impacts and ensure that policies designed to address the disease are science-based and up to date.

Background

• Chronic wasting disease is a highly infectious, incurable, and invariably fatal disease that affects members of the cervid family. CWD has been detected in three Canadian provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec), 26 American states, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and South Korea.

• While some of the spread of CWD can be attributed to natural animal movements, human activity has been responsible for the majority of the disease’s spread. The transport of hunter-harvested carcasses from CWD-positive areas has the potential to spread CWD. The cervid farming industry has repeatedly moved infectious but asymptomatic animals, infecting new farms and subsequently spreading CWD to wildlife. There exists no preventative vaccine and no reliable live test for the disease, which means that the disease status of live animals moved by cervid producers cannot be known.

• CWD is bad for cervids: Research has conclusively demonstrated population-level impacts in mule deer, elk, and white-tailed deer. Even successful containment involves the depopulation (killing) of the local deer population. This has serious implications for biodiversity and species at risk such as caribou.

• CWD is bad for the economy: The detection of a single case of mad cow disease (which is related to CWD) in Alberta resulted in multiple countries banning the import of Canadian beef and cost our economy billions of dollars. While bans targeted at mad cow specifically limited the importation of beef, similar bans targeted at CWD could encompass a much wider range of agricultural products. In addition to products from cervid farms, trade restrictions could include plant-based products as CWD can contaminate plants. For example, in 2018 Norway banned the import of straw and hay from any American state or Canadian province where CWD has been detected.

• CWD is bad for people: CWD could lead to lower participation rates in activities such as hunting, tourism, or wildlife viewing, due to declining health and abundance of cervids, and the high degree of uncertainty and misinformation around the disease. Declining cervid populations threaten the cultural identity and food security of many Indigenous peoples and in this way CWD threatens Canada’s fiduciary obligations to Indigenous peoples. Finally, CWD has the potential to impact human health. While there is currently no direct scientific evidence that CWD can affect humans, new research has suggested the potential for non-human primates to contract CWD through the consumption of CWD-positive meat. Furthermore, there is no scientific basis for human immunity to CWD and prion diseases have been shown to cross species barriers in the past with mad cow disease being the best-known example.

Proposed Solutions (by federal agency)

• Canadian Food Inspection Agency

o Phase out cervid farms with compensation for producers and/or transition operations to acceptable alternatives.

o To provide greater certainty on the disease status of animals moved by cervid producers, include CWD on the CFIA Cervid Movement Permit, which currently only includes testing requirements for bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis.

o In collaboration with Canada Border Services Agency, create federal regulation on the importation of live farmed cervids and hunter-harvested cervid carcasses specifically related to CWD.

o Implement mandatory testing of all on-farm deaths and all farmed cervids sent to slaughter at no cost to the farmer.

o Implement mandatory tagging, fencing, and biosecurity requirements for all cervid farms.

o Ensure that all CWD-positive farms are depopulated and not permitted to restock with cervids.

o End the practice of allowing cervids from CWD-infected farms to be sent to slaughter due to the risk this presents of allowing CWD into the human food chain.

o Ban the use of attractants made from deer parts or products.

o Expand trace-outs from CWD-positive farms to include products such as urine and velvet.

o Prove the safety of current practices related to deer farming to allow public confidence that CWD is being kept out of our wildlife populations and food chain.

o Communicate about CWD at a level necessary to engage and educate the public so they understand the importance of this issue and can avoid exposure to CWD.

• Public Health Agency of Canada

o Continue to fund the Canadian Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Surveillance System and ensure that the results of testing are communicated and used to support decision-making.

• Network of Centres of Excellence/Canadian Institutes of Health Research/Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

o Fund research on topics crucial to our understanding of CWD such as the development of rapid in-field diagnostic tests, the impact of CWD on wild cervids, the possible presentation of CWD in humans and research on animal models to determine the risk of human exposure.

o Explore opportunities for jointly-funded CWD-related research across different levels of government.

Conclusion

CWD is one of the greatest threats to wildlife in North America and has the potential for cultural, economic, and human health impacts. Fortunately, the pathways through which this disease spreads are well understood and can be effectively addressed through improved legislation and enforcement. Where gaps in our knowledge exist, Canada’s world-leading scientific community has the ability to obtain answers, but only if their research receives appropriate financial support.

As Canadians we draw immeasurable benefits from healthy populations of deer, moose, elk and caribou. They are important facets of our cultural heritage and are a focal point for many social activities. Hunting and wildlife-related industries contribute billions of dollars annually to our economy. Finally, cervids are an important part of Canada’s biodiversity and fulfill key roles in many of Canada’s most iconic ecosystems.

Chronic wasting disease has the potential to put all of this in jeopardy, in addition to the spectre of economic impacts in the billions of dollars as countries impose trade barriers to Canada’s agricultural exports.

This can be avoided by investing in research, increasing enforceability at our borders, and properly regulating a small and declining cervid industry.

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August 29, 2019

Biking in BC Parks

British Columbia’s provincial parks are home to a diverse range of cycling opportunities from the wet coasts, to the dry interior, to the brisk, high alpine environments. Cyclists of all skill levels can enjoy trails that gently meander through grasslands, twist and flow through lush rainforests, or quickly drop on rocky slopes. In select campgrounds, there are beginner’s pump tracks for youth to develop and hone their skills. Check the webpage of the park you are planning to visit to find out more details on opportunities in your area.

• Find a Park

Responsible cycling etiquette

• Ride on designated trails only. Mountain biking is allowed only on trails designated for cycling.

• Respect trail closures. Trails may be temporarily or permanently closed for ecological or public safety reasons. Watch for signs at trail head or on website for updates.

• Stay alert on trails and watch for wildlife – especially bears. Cyclists are prone to sudden and dangerous bear encounters because of the speed and silence of their travel. Slow down, stay alert and scan ahead. Yell and let bears know you are coming, especially when biking near streams, through dense vegetation, on windy days, or when approaching corners.

• Yield appropriately. Let your fellow trail users know you’re coming. Make each pass a safe and courteous one. Cyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill. Pass horses with extra care and follow directions from the horse riders (ask if uncertain).

• Leave no trace. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to impacts from cyclists than dry ones. This is why it is especially important to stay on existing trails and not create new ones. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in. Leave natural and cultural objects undisturbed for others to discover and enjoy.

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is only permitted on mountain biking-specific or multi-use trails that have been identified by BC Parks. These trails will display signs at trailheads and on park maps. Please refer to the park webpage for mountain bike opportunities at a park near you!

• Mountain biking in BC Parks

Electric bicycles (e-bikes)

BC Parks follows current e-bike industry standards for the 3-class system. The variability of these e-bikes requires BC Parks to differentiate between classes to minimize possible impacts on wildlife, environmental, recreational and cultural values of the parks.

• Class 1 e-bike use is allowed where cycling and mountain biking is already permitted, unless signage indicates that trail is closed to all e-bike access. Some areas have high environmental and wildlife values, and the increased e-bike speed and usage may increase wildlife conflict.

• Class 2 and Class 3 e-bike use is only allowed where motorized use is currently permitted, such as park roadways and off road vehicle areas. In some parks, class 2 e-bikes are also allowed on active transportation designated trails, which are commuter pathways linking communities together like some sections of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail. Refer to the specific park webpage for information about permitted e-bike usage.

• Adaptive mountain bikes (aMTBs) are allowed in areas designated for Class 1 e-bike use, provided they meet the requirements below.

Class Max Continuous Motor Wattage Max Speed Before Motor Cut-off Motor Actuator Method

Class 1 500 W 32 km/h Pedal-assist only (no throttle)

Class 2 500W 32 km/h Throttle actuated

Class 3 500W 45 km/h Pedal assist and/or throttle actuated

Class 1 e-bikes are not considered motor vehicles under the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area (PCRA) regulations and have the following capabilities:

• Motor only provides assistance if rider is pedaling (pedal assist)

• Has a motor with a continuous maximum output of 500 watts

• May have a deactivated throttle actuator so that the motor is only controlled by pedal assist

Class 2 e-bikes are considered as motor vehicles under the PCRA regulations and have the following capabilities:

• Motor is capable of providing assistance in part or exclusively by throttle (throttle actuated)

• Has a motor with a continuous maximum output of 500 watts

• Motor must stop providing assistance once speeds reach or exceed 32km/hr

Class 3 e-bikes are considered as motor vehicles under the PCRA regulations and have the following capabilities:

• Motor is capable of providing assistance in part or exclusively by throttle (throttle actuated)

• Has a motor with a continuous maximum output of 500 watts

• Motor must stop providing assistance once speeds reach or exceed 45km/hr

Adaptive mountain bikes (aMTB) are are not considered motor vehicles and must have:

• Three or four wheels

• Hand or foot cranks able to propel the aMTB without electric power

• A motor with a maximum output of 800 watts

• Either pedal assist or throttle actuated motor control

For a detailed description of e-bike requirements, please visit the ICBC website

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does BC Parks have an e-bikes policy?

Where can I ride my e-bike in BC Parks?

When did the e-bike policy begin and how is it enforced?

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August 28, 2019

Moose in BC: What’s driving the declines?

ased on the data from the interior moose project.

https://youtu.be/xH_epWSjMEo

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August 23, 2019

  BRITISH COLUMBIA

2019 Wildlife Okanagan Hunting Advisory Committee Meeting

April 27, 2019

Notes Provided by Gary Warren of the Keremeos-Cawston Sportsman’s Association

Less than ½ amount of people attending:

Attendees:

Al Grant – Kettle Wildlife Association

Les Best - Kettle Wildlife Association

Andrew Walker - FLNRORD

Craig Mclean – FLNRORD

TJ Gooliaff – FLNRORD

Mike Stern – COS

Barry Brandow Sr – Granby Guide Outfitters

Bear Brandow – Granby Guide Outfitters

Gary Warren – Keremeos-Cawston Sportsman’s Association

Tami Kilback – Kettle River Outfitters; GOABC

Mike Perigo – Region 8 Trappers

Barb Konig – Oceola Fish and Game Club

Pat Whittingham – Okanagan BCWF

John Henderson – WSC

Judy Robinson – Otter Valley Fish and Game Club

Cody Robinson – Otter Valley Fish and Game Club

Al Springer – Peachland Sportsman Association

• Citizen App for tracking animals

• Mule Deer Project

• Sheep Project

• Symposium in Cranbrook 500 people – predators are killing ungulates

• Region 8 has doubled in population

• 2010 Logging 40 hectares size – biggest logging block 494 hectares’

• BCWF advocate to change logging practice – for wildlife

• Moose tracker App 2016-2017

• 100+ cameras will be deployed for the Mule Deer research project.

• ONA Bands want to get more controlled burns, they are the drivers to get burns going where

government can’t

• $31,800.00 for deer ultrasounds covered by the BCWF

o 93% pregnancy rate

o 69% have twins

• Cougar hunting – going to remove males only

• Problem is females and kittens stay in local area

• Sheep – 90 collared

o 5 years

o 29 mortalities – 19 cougar mortalities

o 1 Ram was Rat Posion

John Henderson – Hereditary Chief Vancouver Island

• 30 years – Elk (LEH) allowed 6 Elk for 10 tribes in beginning up to 105 Elk at 50%

• Non-native get 105 Elk 50%

• Guide Outfitters

• Resident Hunters couldn’t get along

• Kicked out of 3 Government meetings

• Wildlife Stewardship Council / Guides

• Helped all of BC Bands – North, South, East & West

• Douglas Treaty – Hunt at night – proven in court

• Follow BC Hunting Synopsis licence

• Firearm Certificates

• If Hunt outside of traditional area, cannot live on reservation. Stripped of title

• Transplant and protect Elk Herd

• Can’t touch animal until 50 animals than can take one

• Recognize protocols

• Tribes do not want other tribes to come in areas – sheltering considered illegal in some nations

• (LEH) Have to have permission and share animal

• They do purchase hunting licenses and tags for hereditary are based on population of Tribe

• $30.00 per tag – and have to support Elders

• Nations provide & participate in hunting data better than resident hunters

• All animals get inspected and sent to Nanaimo office

• Collect all permits issued – whether successful or not; 100% success rate not guaranteed

• Native (LEH) allocate 1 hunter; 1 tag

• 105 Elk tags currently

• 100% Elk tags counted for – whether 100% success

• Government kills to many Bull Elk

rd st

• Group of nations and guide outfitters, 1/3 of guides in BC are 1 Nations?

• Residents need to work with First Nations

• Lisa Wilson Okanagan Nation Contact; ex-DFO

• Problem is not enough data for animals today, using old data. Not enough animals – will decline.

• Human predators are over hunting – 7 generations

• What about unborn – what are we saving

• What does parallel mean – need joint discussion. Parallel process No Good.

• Put camera on Grizzly Bear – killed 38 Caribou in 30 days

• FN hunter under the harvesting agreement on Vancouver Island do get penalized. Ex. Hunter

shot Spike Bull mistaking it for a cow.

• FN Communities accountable under agreement

Trapping:

1. Wildlife Act Commercial Activities Regulation

2. Trapping Synopsis

• Align Black Bear No Open Season Oct 1 – Mar 31˃ Dec 1 to Mar 31 for snares

• Killing snares to limit snaring of Grizzly & Black Bears Dec 1 to Mar 31 for snares 

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August 12, 2019

B.C. Hunting Important Notices

Province taking steps to prevent deadly deer disease in B.C.

The Province is implementing a mandatory sampling program that requires hunters to submit the heads from deer harvested in wildlife management units 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, 4-6 and 4-7 in the Kootenay Region, after Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks discovered five animals with Chronic Wasting Disease 60 km south of the B.C. border.

The Province has been monitoring for the disease since 2002, targeting the Peace and East Kootenay Regions as high-risk areas for disease entry due to its presence in Alberta and Montana. No infected animals have been found in B.C so far, however, more sampling is needed to inform any additional response.

The provincial Wildlife Health Program is calling on all hunters, especially those in the Peace and East Kootenay, to bring deer, moose and elk heads to drop-off locations for testing. Starting September 1, 2019 and ending December 20, 2019, hunters will be required to submit the heads of mule deer and white-tailed deer harvested in specific wildlife management units along the southern BC border in the Kootenay Region.

Anyone encountering an animal exhibiting the symptoms of Chronic Wasting Disease (thin, drooling, poor coordination, stumbling) should report it to the provincial Wildlife Health Program at 250-751-3219 or the Report all Poachers and Polluters hotline at 1-877-952-7277.

For more information on Chronic Wasting Disease in B.C., and for drop-off locations and instructions, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/chronicwastingdisease.ca

August 8, 2019 - Failure to submit a permit to accompany report

A person who fails to submit a permit to accompany report within 10 days after the hunt authorized by the permit is concluded is ineligible to apply for or obtain a licence, permit or authorization issued under the Wildlife Act until the report is submitted.

Since spring of 2018, permits to accompany are processed and issued online in the BC Hunting Online Services.

Authorizations required for transport by person who killed or took wildlife or fish

Persons transporting wildlife or fish that they killed or took, or that a person they supervised killed, are required to:

• Produce all authorizations, or legible copies of authorizations, or FWIDS in specified circumstances, that were required to lawfully kill or take the fish or wildlife

• Carry all species licences, both cancelled and uncancelled, issued to the person for the current licence year, for the type of wildlife being transported

Notice of decision and deemed receipt provisions

Notice of a decision under the Wildlife Act and regulations can be provided to a person by any of the prescribed methods (listed below).

The notice will be deemed to be received a prescribed number of days following delivery of notice (listed below), according to method of delivery.

Form of Notice Notice Received or Deemed to be Received

Physical copy left with person or their agent. Notice received immediately

Physical copy left in mailbox/mail slot at last known address or person/business. 3rd day after notice is left.

Physical copy attached to a door or other conspicuous place at last known address of person/business. 3rd day after notice is left.

Physical copy sent by registered or ordinary mail to last known address of person/business. 14th day after it is mailed.

Electronic copy sent to an address or number provided to the Ministry by the person, or to an electronic account prescribed by the Director registered to that person or agent. 3rd day after the notice or document is sent electronically.

June 24, 2019 - The 2019 Fall Limited Entry Hunting Application Deadline is Extended.

The deadline for applications is 11:59:59 pm June 7, 2019.

The tentative number of authorizations for moose LEH in the Cariboo Region has now been updated. It can be viewed on the LEH application page and in the online LEH synopsis. As with all published LEH authorizations, these numbers are tentative and subject to change prior to running the final draw.

May 30, 2019 - Joss-Tsuius-Mabel Motor Vehicle Prohibition

In 2018, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development enacted a motor vehicle closure above 1700m in the Joss-Tsuius-Mable Mountain Area, except on permitted forest service roads from March 1 to November 30. The closure was established to prevent the off-road vehicle-related damage of sensitive ecosystems and to mitigate disturbance of grizzly bear and ungulate summer ranges. The 2018-2020 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis states that snowmobiles are allowed within this area, which is not consistent with the Motor Vehicle Prohibition Regulation of the Wildlife Act. However, the intent of the closure is to restrict motor vehicle access to permitted forest service roads, while allowing snowmobile access.

This notice is to inform users in the area that the part of the regulation that applies to the prohibition of snowmobiles in the Joss-Tsuius-Mabel Mountain Area will not be enforced.

Please contact the Thompson Okanagan Resource Management office at 1-250-490-8200 with any questions or concerns.

March 21, 2019 - Attention All Resident Hunters

Resident hunters are required to prove they are a resident of British Columbia every 3 years. Hunter's Fish and Wildlife online profile will display the residency expiry date. If your residency credential has not yet expired, but will within six months, visit a Service BC, or FrontCounter BC office to show your proof of residency and ask the counter agent to update your residency credential for another 3 years. You can also update your residency by logging into your online Fish and Wildlife profile, and selecting “Update Residency”. Log in to your online profile at at www.gov.bc.ca/hunting,

December 5, 2018 - Summary of Moose Hunting Regulations in the North Skeena Region

This document provides a summary of the 2018-2020 major moose hunting regulations in the North Skeena Region (Management Units 6-17 to 6-29). Hunters are encouraged to print a copy to refer to while hunting.

• Brochure

Please consult the 2018-2020 Hunting and Trapping Regulation Synopsis and the 2018-2019 Limited Entry Hunting Regulations Synopsis prior to your hunt.

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August 2, 2019

The report is out: https://www.leg.bc.ca/content/CommitteeDocuments/41st-parliament/4th-session/fgs/reports/FGS_41-2-2_Budget-2020-Consultation-Report_2019-08-07.pdf

Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Management

Several organizations expressed concerns about BC’s fish and wildlife resources, and funding and capacity to steward those resources. The B.C. Wildlife Federation noted that as the human population increases, more stress is being placed on natural resources. One of their chapters, Region 7B (Peace-Liard), shared that it is difficult to determine expenditures in this area as responsibilities are shared across multiple branches and ministries; they also reported that stakeholders are increasingly paying for activities, such as wildlife inventory and prescribed burns, which should be core government responsibilities. They further highlighted issues with staffing, particularly with filling positions in the northeast and with turnover in the conservation office service. Another B.C. Wildlife Federation chapter, Region 5 (Cariboo-Chilcotin), observed that fish and wildlife are an integral part of the lifestyle for many residents, pointing out challenges with the decline in a number of species, including mountain cariboo, mule deer, and chilcotin steelhead. They emphasized a need to increase funding for fish and wildlife management, conservation, protection and restoration, as well improving data collection to make well-informed decisions and management plans for all species. Several organizations also specifically identified establishing and funding comprehensive species-at-risk legislation as part of the solution. The B.C. Wildlife Federation, their regional chapters 5 and 7B, and the Spruce City Wildlife Association, suggested directing fees from hunting and fishing to fund conservation and management. The Spruce City Wildlife Association further recommended requiring all users, including wildlife viewing, ecotourism, forestry and mining, to contribute. The Committee also learned about the impacts of flood infrastructure and diking infrastructure on local ecology. The Watershed Watch Salmon Society explained that floodgates, pumps and dikes impede the passage of fish, noting that in the Lower Mainland alone, 1,500 kilometres of waterways are impacted by these structures. They suggested adopting fish friendly criteria for infrastructure funding as well as providing incentives for municipalities to carry out comprehensive flood management planning in their communities. The City of Port Coquitlam supported these recommendations, noting that the BC Wild Salmon Advisory Council identified reconnecting waterways impacted by flood infrastructure as an immediate action to improve salmon populations, and that upgrades and improvements require provincial support. The Spruce City Wildlife Association brought a broader provincial lens to the issue, sharing that anywhere from onethird to one-half of the fish stream crossings in the province likely impede fish passage. They highlighted this as a critical issue for sockeye, chinook, trout and kokanee to reach spawning and rearing streams, and encouraged government to provide funding to fix these crossings.

Environmental Protection and Conservation

Many British Columbians highlighted the protection of water and forests as an area of priority. Our Water B.C., Living Lakes Canada, the Elk River Alliance and a number of other community-based organizations focused on challenges with water sustainability. They described the threats posed to drinking water quality and quantity by droughts, floods and wildfires, and a need to plan, prepare and build resilience. They emphasized that local communities and volunteer groups are at the forefront of protection; however, they need access to long-term stable funding to plan and do the work required to protect local watersheds. They also stressed the importance of planning and building supportive partnerships with local Indigenous communities. Suggesting the establishment of a water sustainability fund to fund watershed protection work, they shared that the fund could be established with a one-time endowment. Some pointed to increasing water rental rates as a potential source of funding. The Committee also received over 200 submissions supporting the Ancient Forest Alliance’s request for dedicated funding to purchase land and protect old-growth forests and ecologically sensitive areas; this was also a key theme in a number of survey responses. These submissions shared that old-growth forests provide benefits such as supporting unique and endangered species, stimulating the tourism industry, storing vast amounts of atmospheric carbon, and supplying clean water; old-growth forests are also vital to many Indigenous cultures. They added that many Indigenous communities on Vancouver Island make significant revenues from old-growth logging yet lack a range of alternative economic development opportunities that would support their local economies into the future and allow them to transition away from old-growth logging, should they wish to do so. Jan Manning spoke about redeveloping the BC Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) course to provide environmental education and address environmental and climate issues. The CORE course was established in the early 1970s and was structured to deliver environmental education in high REPORT ON THE BUDGET 2020 CONSULTATION 27 schools to teach ecology, species identification, wildlife habitat, avalanche awareness, water demands, bear awareness, airsheds, outdoor safety and survival, critical thinking, and ethical leadership. Each level included a mandatory outdoor component with several conservation topics to draw on. Ms. Manning recommended reviving the CORE course to be delivered as a three-part program with an elementary curriculum, secondary curriculum, and a leadership and perception course.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Environment Climate Change and Energy

26. Fully fund and support the CleanBC strategy and increase investments in shifting to clean and renewable energy, including expanding electrification for energy use.

27. Ensure an environmental lens for all infrastructure spending based on criteria consistent with BC's legislated greenhouse gas reduction goals. Environmental Protection and Conservation

28. Advance water sustainability in British Columbia by providing a dedicated, sustainable, annual funding source for First Nations, local government, local watershed protections agencies and community partnerships. REPORT ON THE BUDGET 2020 CONSULTATION 85 Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Management

29. Increase funding for fish and wildlife conservation, management and data collection, including exploring potential revenue sources such as fees from hunting, fishing, natural resource and nature-based tourism enterprises for this purpose.

30. Create and fund a comprehensive species-at-risk legislation to protect and recover species, including prioritizing bio-diversity and species preservation, in consultation with communities, Indigenous peoples and the business sector. Invasive Species

31. Establish a single Invasive Species Act and provide robust funding for education, prevention, monitoring, response and enforcement, including streamlining regulations to better monitor and manage high-risk pathways that introduce and spread invasive species, and ensuring an aggressive remediation process. Parks and Recreation

32. Increase operational funding for BC Parks and Recreation Sites and Trails BC to support staffing, monitoring and enforcement, maintenance, public safety, and recreational infrastructure and services, including promoting and supporting volunteer effort

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August 1, 2019

Biodiversity highest on Indigenous-managed lands

by University of British Columbia

More than one million plant and animal species worldwide are facing extinction, according to a recent United Nations report. Now, a new UBC-led study suggests that Indigenous-managed lands may play a critical role in helping species survive.

The researchers analyzed land and species data from Australia, Brazil and Canada—three of the world's biggest countries—and found that the total numbers of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles were the highest on lands managed or co-managed by Indigenous communities.

Protected areas like parks and wildlife reserves had the second highest levels of biodiversity, followed by randomly selected areas that were not protected.

The study, which focused on 15,621 geographical areas in Canada, Brazil and Australia, also found that the size of an area and its geographical location did not affect species diversity.

"This suggests that it's the land-management practices of many Indigenous communities that are keeping species numbers high," said lead author Richard Schuster, the Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellow at Carleton University, who undertook the research while at UBC. "Going forward, collaborating with Indigenous land stewards will likely be essential in ensuring that species survive and thrive."

The study is the first to compare biodiversity and land management on such a broad geographic scale, the researchers say.

"We looked at three countries with very different climates and species, to see if the pattern held true across these different regions—and it did," said co-author Ryan Germain, a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University. "From frogs and songbirds right up to large mammals like grizzly bears, jaguars and kangaroos, biodiversity was richest in Indigenous-managed lands."

Traditional conservation programs relied on designating certain areas as parks and reserves, and these results highlight the importance of expanding conservation beyond its typical boundaries, says the study's senior author, UBC forestry professor Peter Arcese.

"Protected areas are a cornerstone of biodiversity conservation globally, but current levels of protection will be insufficient to halt the planetary extinction crisis," said Arcese, the Forest Renewal B.C. Chair in Conservation Biology at UBC. "We must manage a larger fraction of world's area in ways that protect species and leads to positive outcomes for people and the species they've relied on for millennia."

The researchers noted that in the past, when protected areas were established, Indigenous peoples were sometimes excluded from using land they had previously relied on for food and materials. This was harmful to many Indigenous communities and did not necessarily achieve the original goals of conservation.

"Indigenous-managed lands represent an important repository of biodiversity in three of the largest countries on Earth, and Indigenous peoples currently manage or have tenure to roughly one-quarter of the planet's land area," said co-author Nick Reo, an associate professor of environmental studies and Native American studies at Dartmouth College and a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario tribe of Chippewa Indians.

"In light of this, collaborating with Indigenous governments, communities and organizations can help to conserve biodiversity as well as support Indigenous rights to land, sustainable resource use and well-being."

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July 26, 2019

District of Peachland asking province for pause on watershed clear cutting

The District of Peachland has asked the provincial government to temporarily curtail logging in nearby watersheds — a move the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance is calling extraordinary.

In a letter dated June 26, 2019 to B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Peachland mayor Cindy Fortin said the district is “concerned that the cumulative effects of harvesting, droughts, fires, and climate change are having negative effects on our water quality and quantity of flow in our watersheds.

Submitted

READ MORE: Okanagan watershed forum held near lake above Peachland

“Our elected officials and the Healthy Watersheds Committee do not support any additional approvals for cutblocks in the Peachland watersheds until a complete watershed assessment has been conducted, and a stakeholder engagement plan for future logging activities is in place.”

Fortin is also the chair of the Healthy Watersheds Committee.

The letter ended asking that the Ministry “support our request for a ‘time out’ on further cutblock permitting, so that the cumulative impacts on water quality, quantity and flow can be thoroughly examined, and we can be provided with a better overall view of the health of our watersheds.”

On Wednesday, the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance (PWPA) called the letter an “extraordinary move” and one that the alliance “has been working towards for two years.”

“The Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance wholly supports the district’s call for a pause in logging and a watershed health assessment,” the organization said in a press release.

“Members are concerned, however, that the provincial government’s currently approved logging plans extending through to 2023 will destroy much of what is left of Peachland’s watersheds.”

PWPA added that B.C. has more than 460 designated community watersheds, but only Vancouver and Victoria watersheds are protected from logging and other industrial development.

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July 19, 2019

​Maybe part of the reason we have a shortage of wildlife today in this area.

If you haven't seen this, you should.

A must watch for all of us here in Peachland. We all rely on water (and healthy watersheds) to live well. To grow food, regulate temperature, for biodiversity and of course to drink. Some of you may have noticed yellow of brown tap water.........this is why.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTSWz7uvLZ4&fbclid=IwAR3RRogfjGZpqLL8flNij1ky7GXvABHcLXOhtNm7VhD-2YR94pCwNaqUAec

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July 18, 2019

What will be at stake if a National Park Reserve becomes a reality in the south Okanagan. Its quit obvious from this report that the lively hood of the residents will become secondary to the species at risk. Between Kaleden and Osoyoos a FLNRO feasibility study in 2018 has identified 131 species at risk. Starting with aquatic spices at risk like the Rocky Mountain Ridgeback Mussel. The mayor of Osoyoos has positioned herself between supporting an NPR and protecting / promoting a tourism based economy that will be drastically effected if the Mussel reaches its full protection status and this is only one of the 131 species identified here.

If the area becomes a National Park Reserve what crippling new agendas to save species at risk will Y2Y and Oliver resident John Thebridge (the south Okanagan NPR originator) impose on the residents but more important who will the South Okanagan residents turn to for help once the province is removed?

…………………………..

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/15/caribou-revelstoke-british-columbia

A small town's economy. Endangered caribou. Which do we protect?

Cassidy Randall Mon 15 Jul 2019 06.00 BST

British Columbia faces extreme protections to help the caribou, which would decimate the economies of towns like Revelstoke – prompting a ‘moral crisis’

British Columbia is rushing to put plans in place to manage the endangered woodland caribou. Photograph: Jim Lawrence

On 15 April, with less than a week’s notice, 700 people squeezed into a community center in Revelstoke, British Columbia, for a last-minute meeting with Canadian government officials. Snowmobilers, skiers, loggers, activists, berry-pickers and business owners were all drawn there to discuss the threat of a widespread closure to the mountains that are the lifeblood of this community.

At stake: three herds of caribou. Or, potentially, the entire town.

British Columbia is rushing to put plans in place to manage the endangered woodland caribou before the Canadian federal government loses patience and invokes the most extreme protections across herd ranges, which would likely involve year-round blanket closures to the mountains to protect caribou habitat. Such mass closures would decimate the economies of neighboring small towns, like Revelstoke, that depend on those same mountains for tourism and resource extraction, like logging.

This debate leaves residents with a troubling question: how much are they expected to sacrifice to save a dying species?

A recently released UN report reveals that the planet is on the brink of the sixth mass extinction. Caribou have long been a symbol of the north, once roaming in vast herds and numbering at least 40,000 in BC alone. Known as “grey ghosts” for their elusive nature, they are in danger of becoming literal ghosts: in May 2018, the federal government declared that the remaining southern mountain population of woodland caribou in the country’s western reaches faced an “imminent threat” to survival. The South Selkirk caribou herd that roamed the US border disappeared earlier this year, taking with it the last caribou from the lower 48. And many of the herds left in Canada have too few animals for a likely chance at long-term survival.

A photo of the now extirpated South Selkirk caribou herd. Photograph: Jim Lawrence

Environmental groups are in favor of more extreme measures to save the disappearing animals. “In the meantime, the logging and road building and recreation activities continue,” Candace Batycki, program director with Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), says of some of the main issues threatening caribou, in addition to climate change and increased predation.

The environmental group has called for increased recovery efforts, because scientists have identified caribou as the most critical terrestrial umbrella species in North America. Caribou rely on large tracts of old-growth forests for their main food source of arboreal lichen. Old-growth forests are havens for a vast array of other animal and plant life, so caribou conservation acts as an umbrella to ensure the survival of large numbers of other species that are too difficult to manage for on an individual basis, such as insects, mosses, lichens and birds like the pileated woodpecker.

There are some perverse incentives on the table here. If you get rid of caribou, then you don’t have a problem

“There are some perverse incentives on the table here,” said Batycki. “If you get rid of caribou, then you don’t have a problem – you can log, snowmobile, heliski, do whatever you want.”

Y2Y has been dismissed derisively by many locals as an outside environmental group with blinders on.

“We’re all environmentalists,” said Teena Rumak, general manager of the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club, which some might say has a vested interest in this debate. The Boulder-Frisby-Queest caribou herd range is also the most popular snowmobiling zone in BC. People travel from all over to snowmobile, generating $30m a year in tourism dollars for this tiny community. “No one wants to see the caribou disappear. In fact, we’ve worked hard to protect them.”

Evolution has gifted mountain caribou with a flexible ankle joint which enables the animal to spread its weight over a larger area and not sink far in deep snow. Photograph: Jim Lawrence

Snowmobilers are often stereotyped as “redneck motorheads” with no regard for the environment. But over a decade ago, the Revelstoke Snowmobile Club implemented a voluntary closure on Frisby Ridge to protect the tiny herd of 11 animals, and still sends volunteers to patrol the closure boundaries. This deliberate closure was in addition to dozens of government-mandated closures in the mid-2000s across the mountains north of Revelstoke to protect the Columbia North herd of 147 caribou – the only herd in the region with a real chance of survival. In combination with other tactics, these closures helped to halt decline and stabilize that herd’s numbers.

Snowmobiling might be a cornerstone of this mountain town, but Revelstoke was literally built on timber, with sawmills going as far back as the 1880s. The town’s current mill, Downie Timber, employs 300 people, a significant percentage for a town of just under 7,000. It prides itself on using the whole of every log, even burning the bark for energy that powers parts of the mill and some local buildings.

Downie receives its lumber from the city-owned Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation (RCFC), which channels proceeds back into the town for community initiatives, scholarships and projects. RCFC’s operation overlaps with the Columbia North caribou herd range. RCFC already protected nearly 25,000 acres in its tenure in the mid-2000s along with those snowmobile closures to aid in caribou recovery. If the federal government invokes an emergency protection order for caribou, RCFC estimates that an additional 90% of its operable area would be shut down – a potentially devastating impact to this community of foresters, loggers and mill workers.

“It’s not like anyone did this to the caribou,” said Darcy Peel, director of BC’s provincial caribou recovery program. He is referring to yet another challenge facing the endangered animals: flooding and massive cuts for power lines from the many dams along the Columbia River, including the Revelstoke Dam that was constructed in the 80s.

“We developed the land in the way we wanted to benefit from it, and those benefits paid for schools, roads, energy to power our hospitals, timber to build our homes and families to have good jobs,” Peel said. “Now we’re seeing there are consequences to the way we altered the landscape.”

Now we’re seeing there are consequences to the way we altered the landscape

While those consequences are landing most heavily on the small towns asked to make the most immediate and biggest sacrifices, the benefits of landscape-level alteration extend far beyond: BC’s timber goes to construct urban buildings, the Columbia River’s dams to power US cities, Canada’s oil and gas to drive cars and heat homes, bucket-list tourism to beautiful places – elevating the question of saving Canada’s caribou to an international issue.

Dr Robert Serrouya is a biologist whose research has informed recovery efforts in this area for years. Hehas researched tactics that have been successfully utilized to stabilize declining herds over a 56,000 sq mile area across eastern BC and western Alberta, including moving small herds to join larger ones, fencing off areas to protect calves and culling predators like wolves and cougars. This last tactic has been highly controversial.

“Every solution impacts someone’s values,” sighed Peel, providing a window into how unenviable his job is between navigating the federal government, provincial government, First Nations tribes and local communities, all while managing plans to recover caribou. The biggest call from people in these mountain towns to Peel, he says, is to be allowed a seat at the table before the government decides their fate.

The immediate future for caribou remains hazy, with no public timeline for when BC has to deliver on a recovery agreement before the federal government invokes an emergency order under the Species at Risk Act. With Canada’s federal election in the fall, the handling of these animals – and the future of these communities – may take center stage or, more likely, will be used as nothing more than a political football.

“We’re students of extinction,” said Batycki. “I feel we need to look deeply at ourselves. Are we going to change our behavior at all? On all levels – the individual backcountry user, community forester, the mill worker and, of course, the government. It’s a moral crisis. We’re about to see morally what we’re made of.”

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July 18, 2019

Govt survey

Have your say on forest and wildlife management. Your feedback is being accepted until October 11, 2019 at the following link:

https://engage.gov.bc.ca/interiorforestrenewal

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July 17, 2019

Fishery Notice - Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Subject: FN0661-Salmon - Fraser River Sockeye Update - Areas 11 to 29 - July 16, 2019

The Fraser River Panel met Tuesday, July 16, to receive an update on the migration of the Fraser Sockeye and Pink runs to date and review the status of migration conditions in the Fraser River watershed. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) provided forecasts of the 2019 Fraser River Sockeye and Pink Salmon abundance, timing and diversion rate to the Fraser Panel for pre-season planning. The majority of Sockeye returning in 2019 will be recruits from adult spawners in 2014 and 2015. DFO has advised that Fraser River Sockeye Salmon forecasts for 2019 continue to be highly uncertain due to variability in annual survival rates and uncertainty about changes in their productivity as a result changing ocean conditions from 2013 to 2018 that included the warm blob and an El Nino event. The 2019 Pink Salmon return will be the recruits from the adult spawners in 2017 which was a very poor return year for Fraser Pink Salmon. For pre-season planning purposes, the Fraser Panel used the 50% probability level forecast (equal chance of a higher or lower return) of 4,795,000 fish for all Sockeye management groups. This is similar to the cycle average of 4.789 million. The largest contributing stocks for the 2019 return are expected to be the Chilko, Stellako, Quesnel and Early Shuswap. For Pink Salmon, the Fraser Panel used the 50% probability level forecast (equal chance of a higher or lower return) of 5,018,600 Pink Salmon. This is well below the long term average of 12.7 million. The Early Stuart and Chilko forecast timing of July 5 and August 10 respectively, were adopted by the Fraser Panel at the June meeting in Suquamish, Washington. Timing for all other Sockeye stocks is based on historical correlations with the Chilko timing mentioned above. The pre-season forecast of the proportion of Fraser River Sockeye and Pink Salmon diverting their migration through Johnstone Strait is 69% and 50% respectively, which the Panel also adopted for planning purposes. For pre-season planning purposes the Fraser Panel has adopted management adjustments for Early Stuart based on the historical median for all years, Early Summer based on the historical median for the dominant/sub-dominant years only (2018/19 cycles) and Summer run Sockeye based on the historical median for all years. The Late run management adjustment is based on the weighted odd year median excluding Birkenhead which is based on the all years median. Model predicted management adjustments based on the water discharge and temperature predictions were not adopted largely due to the high degree of uncertainty in the forecasts. Management adjustments are additional fish that are removed from identified harvest levels and allowed to escape upstream in an attempt to assist in achievement of identified escapement objectives for the different run timing groups. In-season information over the coming weeks will help to inform future decisions on management adjustments for the Early Summer and Summer run management groups while the Early Stuart and Late run management group will be managed based on the respective Low Abundance Exploitation Rate (LAER) of 10% and 20% respectively. There will be no in-season estimates of management adjustment for Early Stuart and Late run Sockeye in 2019 unless their respective run sizes are considerably larger than the median forecast and generate TAC. It is anticipated they will be managed to the LAER, with the expected outcome of a spawning escapement being below goal. The observed water temperature at Qualark on July 15 was 17.7° Celsius which is 1.4° Celsius above average for this date. Water temperatures are forecast to decrease to 16.5° Celsius by July 21. The Fraser River discharge at Hope on July 15 was 4,772 cubic meters per second which is 11% below the average discharge for this date. A significant rock slide in the Fraser River in the Big Bar area of the river just upstream from the community of Lillooet has creates a 5 meter high waterfall/cascade in this section of the river. This has created a migration passage challenge for all salmon that are destined for rivers and streams upstream of this slide. A Unified Command Incident Management Team has been developed which includes participation of the Federal and Provincial governments as well as a number of Fraser First Nations. Information regarding the slide and work being done to address it is located at the link below.    https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-response-and-recovery/incident-summaries/big-bar-landslide-incident Gill net test fishing began in the Fraser River on June 24 at Whonnock, July 2 at Qualark Creek and July 12 at Cottonwood. In Marine areas gill net test fishing began on July 10 in Area 20 and July 11 in Area 12 at Round Island. To date Sockeye catches have been very low in all test fisheries. In-season assessment of Early Stuart Sockeye will be provided later in July once more information becomes available. In-season assessment of all run timing groups generally occurs shortly after identification of their peak migration through marine areas. Currently, First Nations food, social and ceremonial (FSC) Sockeye fisheries are closed due to a 4 week window closure to protect Early Stuart and the earlier timed Early Summer run stocks. Very limited fishing opportunities directed at Chinook Salmon for ceremonial purposes have occurred to date. The start-up of Sockeye directed FSC fisheries is not anticipated before late July or early August depending upon location and will be based on the identification of Sockeye TAC for Early Summers or Summers, in-season run-timing information, as well as considerations as a result of the slide at Big Bar. FSC fishers in marine approach areas as well as the Fraser River are requested to check for the opening times and any restrictions in their local area as additional restrictions are being considered as a result of the slide. Commercial and recreational fisheries are not anticipated to begin until the end of July or  August depending on the identification of commercial TAC. The next in-season meeting of the Fraser River Panel is scheduled to occur on Friday, July 19, 2019.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Regional Salmon Team – DFO Pacific [email protected] DFO fisheries notice website https://notices.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fns-sap/index-eng.cfm

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July 17, 2019

https://hctf.ca/about/publications/

Subject: Peace Liard Strategic Burn Plan Update

Good afternoon:

I am writing to provide an update on recent HCTF investments in prescribed fire planning in northeastern BC. As many of you know, the use of prescribed fire for habitat purposes has long been part of the landscape in that part of the world. Since our inception in 1981, HCTF has been just one of the many significant investors in this work over the years, and we have invested almost $2M thru the years in various projects to support prescribed fire in the Peace and Omineca regions, with the overwhelming majority of these funds provided by hunters, guide-outfitters and trappers thru their licence purchases.

In 2017, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (MFLNRORD) requested $45,000 from HCTF for Project 7-459: Peace Liard Strategic Burn Plan. The HCTF Board approved full funding for this project, which had the following stated objectives:

1. Conduct a literature review and incorporate historical prescribed fire plans

2. Develop a preliminary plan

3. Develop monitoring framework

4. Stakeholder engagement

5. Release final plan

HCTF has paid out the full amount as requested by MFLNRORD, and as a funding agency we find the resulting product to be thorough and comprehensive. MFLNRO engaged Shifting Mosaics Consulting to undertake this work, which is now complete, and the three-part final report is available on the HCTF website. Please go to https://hctf.ca/about/publications/ and then scroll down to “Investing In Conservation”.

I would encourage you to download and read the report, and to share the above link with others in your network who have an interest in the use of prescribed fire in northeastern BC.

Given all of the above it is our hope that, as the funding recipient and project lead, MFLNRORD will:

• Use the plan to guide the potential use of prescribed fire in northeastern BC to ensure that habitat burning approved for this area will be based on the plan.

• More specifically, use the decision criteria and priorities in the plan when 1) planning their own burns; 2) reviewing and deciding about externally proposed prescribed burns; and 3) managing wildfires; and

• Communicate the decision criteria and priorities to other parties with an interest in habitat management in the area.

From a strictly HCTF perspective I can advise that the HCTF Board will use this plan to inform our decisions on future funding proposals regarding the use of prescribed fire in northeastern BC. I am hopeful that others will also see the value of this plan and will use it to guide the responsible use of prescribed fire for habitat enhancement in northeastern BC.

Yours in conservation,

Brian Springinotic, Chief Executive Officer

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

#102 – 2957 Jutland Road V8T 5J9

T (250) 940-9788 or 1-800-387-9853

www.hctf.ca

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July 16, 2019 

https://www.perc.org/2019/06/19/the-north-american-model-of-wildlife-conservation/

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

What does it really mean?

• Hunters and Anglers

• Wildlife

June 19, 2019

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is a unique approach that has achieved enormous success in recovering many large vertebrate species from widespread depletion to healthy or abundant populations today. The model is both a historical narrative and a broad set of principles that, collectively applied, has led to what some have called the “form, function, and successes” of wildlife management in the United States and Canada.

From a historical perspective, the North American conservation approach was revolutionary. It freed wildlife from private control so it could be managed by government for the benefit of present and future generations. Sustainable public use became the foundation of management for a plethora of the continent’s wild animals, most notably migratory birds, ungulates, and edible freshwater fishes. The model also provided solid conservation funding through innovative laws at all levels of government, promoted international cooperation that established treaties for managing migratory birds and other species, and set legal controls and enforcement for wildlife trade.

These were remarkable achievements, almost all of them innovations for their time. The model’s core tenants, many of which were incepted more than a century ago, are best reflected in seven defining principles that were first articulated in the early 1990s by the well-known conservation scientist Valerius Geist:

1. Wildlife resources are a public trust. The heart of the model is the concept that wildlife is owned by no one and is managed by government for the collective benefit of present and future generations.

2. Markets for game are eliminated. Unregulated exploitation of game animals and migratory birds was replaced with federal, provincial, and state laws that regulated harvests and greatly restricted the sale of meat and parts from these animals.

3. Allocation of wildlife is by law. Access and use of wildlife is regulated through public laws and rulemaking processes. These laws and regulations establish the framework and directives regarding which species can and cannot be hunted, which are imperiled and deserve special protection, and other considerations related to public use of wildlife.

4. Wildlife can only be killed for a legitimate purpose. Killing wildlife for frivolous reasons is deemed unacceptable under the model. Moreover, many states have “wanton waste” laws requiring hunters to salvage as much meat from legally killed game as possible.

5. Wildlife is an international resource. Because many wildlife species migrate across political borders, international cooperation is often crucial for protecting species, particularly those subject to human harvest. The Fur Seal Convention of 1911 and the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1916 are early North American-led examples of such agreements. Many nations have followed in providing for international management of wildlife resources in various parts of the world.

6. Science is the basis for informed decision-making in wildlife management. Since the days of Theodore Roosevelt, this principle has been critical to North American wildlife conservation. The approach was further advanced decades later by Aldo Leopold and has led to many advances in the management and conservation of diverse species.

7. Democracy of hunting is standard. Every citizen has opportunity, under the law, to hunt and fish in the United States and Canada. Such opportunity is not restricted by social class, gender, color, creed, or landownership.

Yet despite its principled basis and many achievements for hunted species and their habitats, the North American Model requires thoughtful inspection. Why? Because the model serves as both a historical narrative for understanding the origins and gradual development of North American conservation and as the basis for current regulatory practices. It is also a possible prescription for future conservation success. All aspects are of great import because the model and our understanding of it will undeniably influence wildlife conservation in the 21st century.

Model Emergence

Early European settlers perceived North America’s wildlife abundance as a “new Eden”—a vast natural bounty, virtually inexhaustible, waiting to be conquered by the willing and able. Excesses in wildlife harvest occurred first in eastern settlement areas. Then, as people moved in increasing numbers westward to pursue land, gold, and opportunity, markets expanded, and an extensive trade in wildlife meat, furs, and other products emerged. Such trade was significantly enhanced by railway expansion as well as government policies and social attitudes designed to impoverish First Nations peoples and take their lands. In this regrettable context, commercial hunters and their employers became wealthy through unregulated killing of wildlife and destruction of human cultures at a scale never before realized in North America, or perhaps anywhere else in the world to that time.

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Early European settlers perceived North America’s wildlife abundance as a “new Eden”—a vast natural bounty, virtually inexhaustible, waiting to be conquered by the willing and able.

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These efforts devastated many wildlife species across the North American landscape. Many populations, especially of large vertebrates, were unable to survive the scale and efficiency of the settlers’ methods. This soon became apparent, first to the Native Americans and settler hunters who witnessed the disappearance of game animals firsthand, and eventually to the wider public. Extirpation and also extinction—surely imagined as “Old World problems”—quickly became New World realities. Wild turkey populations were reduced from approximately 10 million to about 200,000 following the arrival of European settlers, while North American elk populations declined from about 10 million animals to just 100,000 by 1890. The passenger pigeon, once a prized food source with a population estimated in the many billions, was extinct by 1914, and the iconic American bison, which had numbered 30 million or more, teetered on the verge, its numbers decimated in less than two decades by commercial slaughter. Forests and freshwater fishes were also decimated.

Little wonder, then, that by the mid- to late 19th century, North Americans had begun to realize there were limits to the continent’s wild abundance and that this had been nearly exhausted. This realization helped provoke a conservation awakening in the United States and Canada. The “citizen-conqueror” was replaced by the “citizen-steward,” an advocate for wise and sustainable use of nature. Since its emergence in the latter part of the 19th century, this approach, now known as the North American Model, has helped restore and safeguard many wildlife populations.

The movement was largely led by a rising class of hunters committed to democratic access to wild living resources; rational use of wildlife for personal, not commercial, reasons; and a fair-chase ethic. At the same time, however, a strong advocacy movement for protection of wilderness and natural systems also emerged, giving birth to an appreciation for nature aesthetics that would also have a lasting impact on conservation policies in both countries. Regrettably, the movement would not include the continent’s Native American cultures; these were either destroyed or vastly diminished and impoverished by that time.

Conservation Economics

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, in its “Policy Statement on Sustainable Use of Wild Living Resources,” concludes that “use of living resources, if sustainable, is an important conservation tool because the social and economic benefits derived from such use provide incentives for people to conserve them.” As humans, we are inclined to protect and maintain that which has value to us. This linkage between conservation success and benefits deriving to people from the use of wildlife was forged very early as a foundation of the North American system.

The North American Model, therefore, provides a practical example of how incentivizing environmental stewardship can produce positive conservation gains as well as economic benefits. The model’s sustainable-use system gave rise to rich supporting industries managed by the private sector—such as hunting clubs, guides and outfitters, and clothing, ammunition, and gun manufacturers—while generating substantial wealth and employment across diverse sectors of local economies, often in rural areas. Such economic outcomes further incentivize support for sustainable-use conservation policies and help create constituencies focused on wildlife’s future.

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The linkage between conservation success and benefits deriving to people from the use of wildlife was forged very early as a foundation of the North American system.

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Currently, economic incentives do not include the commercial sale of wild meat. Indeed, this practice is not just discouraged by the model as it is formulated today but is generally illegal in American and Canadian jurisdictions as a result. In recent years, however, there have been efforts in both nations to modify existing laws to allow some regulated commercial harvest and sale of wildlife. In Texas, for example, a recent proposal

sought to legalize the sale of white-tailed and mule deer venison. Such proposals inevitably provoke intense debate. However, we should not dismiss out of hand the idea that limited and highly regulated commercialization of wild meat could create a wider appreciation of wildlife’s value and, therefore, additional incentives for wildlife conservation. The practice could also help in the management of superabundant wildlife populations.

Modern Realities

As we examine the North American Model and its historical track record, we should recall that while some wildlife species fared well under its prescriptions, others did not. In fact, many species went extinct in the 20th century, even as the recovery of “game” or harvested species proceeded in spectacular fashion. Most that were lost were less visible invertebrates or aquatic species, but terrestrial vertebrates such as the Bachman’s Warbler and Eskimo Curlew also disappeared during that time.

The model has strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing both is critical for assessing its relevancy and for ensuring that historical evidence is used effectively, and impartially, to improve future conservation and management efforts. Conservation is never complete. Nor is it ever easy. It is an unyielding problem that encompasses many of the most difficult social enterprises, such as economics, justice, and politics. It requires unyielding effort that inevitably plays out in a dynamic social reality.

Such scrutiny and effort must apply to the North American Model itself. The model cannot become an orthodoxy, nor questioning it a violation. We should ask whether the extinction of the Bachman’s Warbler, Eskimo Curlew, and a host of lesser-known species is, in any way, a consequence of the model’s focus on a restricted guild of species. Yes, thanks to the efforts and financial support of recreational hunters and anglers, harvested species have generally made remarkable recoveries, and their populations are mostly stable or increasing in size today—though there are some recent exceptions, such as caribou. However, in general, it seems reasonable to question whether the disproportionate attention given to hunted species by state and provincial agencies limited efforts that otherwise could have prevented extinctions of numerous others over the past century.

Indeed, there can be no doubt that the dedicated funding and advocacy by consumptive users has dominated the model’s approach. It is not surprising, therefore, that sustainable wildlife management in North America can appear to some as biased and self-serving, where conservation efforts by agencies preferentially target certain species—the ones that “pay their way.” This is a critical perspective for assessing the model’s ongoing relevance. Groups not traditionally engaged in hunting and angling have often been excluded from wildlife policy development, a reality that simply has to be confronted and responded to effectively. At the same time, however, there must be a dependable funding source in support of this wider view and the set of responsibilities toward nature that flow from it. Conservation is never free.

Perhaps most regrettably, though, are biases with respect to the model’s influence as a historical conservation narrative. The model has never emphasized nor acknowledged the already established systems of wildlife use and habitat management that indigenous peoples had in place long before European colonization. Nor has it acknowledged the deep, experiential knowledge of wildlife these peoples had acquired and applied through millennia of dependency and co-existence with the wild living resources of the continent. The North American Model we recognize today is, of course, a European immigrant construction that was both required and made possible by the destruction of the continent’s pre-Columbian wildlife abundance and its extraordinary diversity of human cultures. The ecological views of these peoples and their unique valuation systems toward wild nature were never incorporated within the model, a reality fraught with consequences. Much has been lost in the silence and neglect surrounding this issue.

Today, tension often exists between the continent’s indigenous communities and other users of wildlife. From the latter’s perspective, indigenous rights to hunt and fish can be viewed as disproportionate or preferential, though indigenous peoples perceive such rights as only natural. This tension is real and deeply felt. It poses challenges legally and from a conservation policy point of view. It has deep implications that cannot be remedied without reference to the historical realities that gave rise to it. In the meantime, it is clear that democratic access to hunting opportunities, one of the key principles of the model, is now confronted by a dichotomy of communities, one indigenous and the other settler-derived, whose legal access to wildlife for harvest and consumption can and do differ, sometimes to dramatic extents.

The Future

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is currently the subject of considerable debate among diverse stakeholders. Since the inception of its conservation movement more than a century ago, North America has witnessed vast social, cultural, and economic change. This evolving context presents ongoing challenges to conservation policies and approaches. Increased urbanization, decreased personal engagement with animal death, and new insights to animal intelligence and behavior are all leading to substantial changes in society’s general attitudes toward animals and our acceptance of using them for human purposes. It is little wonder that these attitudes can alter broad social interpretations of the North American Model and lead to reduced participation in activities long supportive of it, such as recreational hunting and angling.

These shifting values are unlikely to be reversed, predicting increased influence by these movements over time. Their combined effect will be to potentially incite substantive change in the model. Certainly, such social perspectives will predictably lead to increased debate over North America’s conservation approach and will determine how relevant the model itself will remain.

The model’s ongoing relevancy is also affected by new realities regarding public and private land, especially in the United States, where more than 60 percent of land is privately owned and about three-quarters of endangered species rely on private land for habitat. Despite North America’s success in establishing a state-based system of protected areas and the positive extension of land protection by non-governmental organizations, the best available science shows the set-aside of land remains insufficient to address landscape-level requirements for ecological connectivity. Any geographically extensive conservation effort in North America, therefore, must include private land if it is to have any chance to be effective, and new engagement by private landowners as “citizen conservationists” is critical.

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Despite some obvious limitations, the model exemplifies the great hope that concern for wildlife’s welfare can indeed unite disparate groups in fruitful cooperation.

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There can be little doubt that the North American Model needs to address these challenges and the criticisms arising from them. Conservation approaches must continuously innovate. They must also create institutions capable of assuming long-term leadership responsibility for sectoral issues such as science and scholarship, management, policy, law, and law enforcement, but also for wildlife and nature economics. Above all else, conservation institutions must remain sensitive to the social as well as physical environments in which they operate. In the absence of this, existing approaches that are no longer effective may be inappropriately maintained, ill-conceived alternative approaches may be embraced, and the risk of wildlife extinction may dramatically increase.

So, what is the future of the North American Model? The model’s great conservation success was built on an appeal to the citizenry, which led to the formation of prideful constituencies who defined themselves as conservation advocates. For wildlife to thrive, citizens must continue to be engaged. But, of course, the citizenry is changing, and therein lies the model’s greatest challenge: Can it adapt fast enough while securing the basic principles and mechanisms required to retain both public support and wildlife abundance?

Even wider questions remain: Are the existing energies for conservation, regardless of viewpoint, sufficient to its needs? And for whom is wildlife managed and for what purpose? Indeed, will wildlife be managed at all in the future? These are not new questions, of course, nor are the corollaries: Who will care sufficiently to pay for the conservation paradigm of tomorrow? Can we be united in our human affection for nature and wildlife, even if we differ in our views of how best to protect it? Or is conservation to be an ideology, exercised at the expense of that for which it was conceived?

The Great Hope

The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation represents a singular achievement. It has demonstrated that it is possible to reverse declines in natural diversity and abundance across vast geographic areas while maintaining multiple uses and public access to wild, renewable resources. Globally, the model’s importance lies in its demonstration that use of wildlife, where sustainable, can indeed contribute to human needs while maintaining thriving wildlife populations. Conservation need not be an either/or proposition.

Of equal importance, the model has shown that these broad principles of conservation can be applied across great cultural and political divides. Through its example, we discover that human diversity and social complexity are not insurmountable barriers to conservation success. This, too, is a vital lesson for the world. Despite some obvious limitations, the model exemplifies the great hope that concern for wildlife’s welfare can indeed unite disparate groups in fruitful cooperation. Such a reality closely approaches the holy grail for the conservation prospector today and is of certain value to the international conservation community as it pursues solutions to global conservation challenges.

Shane Mahoney

Shane Mahoney is president of Conservation Visions, deputy chair of IUCN’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, international liaison for The Wildlife Society, and executive director of the High Lonesome Institute. His new book, The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, co-edited with Valerius Geist, will be published in September 2019.

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July 16, 2019

How Do Deer Grow Antlers So Quickly?

https://www.outdoorlife.com/secrets-antler-growth/

The science behind antler growth, sheds, and velvet

A whitetail buck in the early stages of antler growth.brm1949/depositphotos.com

When you stop and think about it, antlers seem like the stuff of science fiction rather than real life. They're bones that grow extremely fast outside of a mammals body, and every year they fall off and grow back. For whitetails, at the peak of development, antlers will grow a ¼ inch per day; for bull elk it's more like an inch.

To put that in perspective, imagine that one spring morning, you woke up and had two bones growing out of your forehead. In about a week, they would be 7 inches long, and two weeks later, you’d be knocking into every door frame you tried to walk through. While there still is a lot to learn about antlers, here are some of the secrets behind how antlers grow and what it takes for them to get so big.

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of antler growth, we should get one thing straight. Whitetails, mule deer, elk, moose, caribou, and many other antlered animals across the globe are part of the same deer family, known as Cervidae. Male "cervids" (as well as female caribou) evolved to have antlers, and unlike horns, antlers are made of bone and are shed and grown back every year in a continuous cycle. For a large part of the year, they are made up of living tissue whereas horns are made of dead, fingernail-like tissue called keratin and remain attached to the animal year after year.

Two whitetails sparring with their antlers during the rut.EEI_Tony/depositphotos.com

That the reason cervids have antlers is for mating purposes. Because they live in competitive societies and mate like spring breakers, males need something to work out their differences with and attract the ladies. Big pointy antlers are just the ticket, and while it’s important to note that they aren’t trying to kill each other, deer, elk, moose, and other cervids spend their respective mating seasons using their headgear to duke it out for cows or does.

What Causes Antler Growth?

The short answer is a combination of nutrition, genetics, and age, but it’s a little more complicated than that. The perfect combination of these factors is still hard to track, but when the formula is right, a buck or bull’s antlers will grow abnormally large. Here’s a breakdown of how the big three factors for antler growth work:

Cervids need access to high-quality, protein-rich forage to grow big antlers.mblach/depositphotos

The better the habitat, the bigger the antlers will be at any age. As a general rule, protein-rich forage contributes immensely to antler growth. According to the MSU Deer Lab and a study from Texas, on a 16 percent protein diet, bucks consistently grew antlers that were twice as big as bucks on an 8 percent protein diet. In four years, the bucks that had more protein were sporting racks that scored 20 points higher on the Boone and Crockett scale.

Local native forage varies depending on where you hunt, and in some cases, agriculture and food plots play the most significant role in local deer diet. In terms of wild, high-quality forage some examples cited by the QDMA are blackgum in the north, beggar's lice in the south, and partridge peas into parts of the Midwest. Of course, acorns and other mast are great across the board.

Seasonal changes and rainfall will affect the levels of protein in forage and, as stated above, supplemental feeding is often used to support antler growth.

This one is thrown around a lot at deer camp, but it's a tricky thing to define in the wild. While it's easy to think about big-racked bucks producing more big-racked bucks, the devil is in the details. Nutrition and habitat both impact growth regardless of genetics, and unless you are selectively breeding deer in captivity, it's hard to tell what is doing what.

What we do know is that, just like other animals, genetics are a two-part equation, and both the mother and the father play equally important roles. Genetics will determine the shape and size of the antler, and studies have shown that big antlers are hereditary (more on this later).

However, the other external factors impact antler growth so greatly that it's not the best thing to focus on. The upshot: small deer in your area are most likely not genetically inferior, they're probably just be coming up short on the other two factors, age, and nutrition.

Before a buck can be called a monster, a hawg, a toad, or booner, it has to survive a few seasons. Simply put, dead bucks can't grow antlers. Like the best things in life, antlers get better with time. A whitetail buck will reach generally reach his prime in four to six years, and for elk, it is more like eight to twelve.

Age is one of the easiest factors humans can manipulate to see bigger antlers. Regulations like point restrictions and deer camp customs like passing up smaller bucks can be helpful. But to do this on a large scale, well, that’s the subject of another article.

Male cervids have two soft spots on their skulls called pedicles. In the spring or early summer, two nubs form at the pedicles and are covered in a sensitive type of skin called velvet. The velvet is packed with blood vessels that rapidly bring blood, oxygen, and nutrients that the antlers need for growth. The antlers grow from the tip, starting as cartilage and then calcify into hard bone as they go.

An injury to this deer’s leg resulted in an abnormality in its antlers.Matthew Every

During the velvet stage, cervids try to avoid contacting their antlers with just about everything. Injuries to velvet during antler growth can cause changes. Abnormalities, and injuries to other parts of a deer's body, such as the leg, can affect antler growth too. Once the antlers are fully grown, the velvet is cut off from the blood supply, and it dries up and dies before getting rubbed off by the animal. By the time the rut kicks off, a deer's antlers are actually dead bone. Throughout the season, the connections between the pedicles and the antlers weaken, and usually during the winter, well after mating, the antlers fall off. In a matter of weeks, the cycle starts all over again.

At the peak of their growth cycle, a bull moose can put on up to a pound of bone per day.siggesson/depositphotos.com

Depending on the photoperiod, or amount of sunlight during the day that a male cervid is exposed to, they will either be growing or shedding their antlers. Generally, the more sunlight there is, the more the antlers will grow. The change in light triggers the pineal gland to tell the pituitary gland to release more testosterone. With the boost in testosterone, deer antlers can grow up to two inches per week, and in some cases, bull moose can put on a pound of bone per day during the peak of their growth cycle. Here is a general timeline of the antler growth cycle, although, depending on the area or species, the exact months may differ. (For example, moose don't start growing new antlers until roughly two to three months after shedding.

April through May (Spring)

Antler growth begins from the permanent bases on the male cervid's skull. It is slow to start, growing from the tip out.

June to July (Mid Summer)

With the increase in sunlight, growth increases rapidly. The buck or bull's energy is focused on growth.

September (Late Summer)

As fall draws near and the days get shorter, growth slows. The antlers become mineralized, harden up, and blood eventually stops flowing to the velvet. The velvet dries, and afterward, it takes about 24 hours for a buck or bull to shed his velvet.

October-December (Fall to Winter)

The hardened antlers are now dead bone, and at this point bucks or bulls use them for the things that they do best during the rut: rubbing trees, fighting, showing off to females, and getting into all sorts of trouble.

January-March (Late Winter to Early Spring)

Male cervids can only maintain a connection between the pedicle and the antler when testosterone levels are high, so as daylight hours dwindle, levels taper off, the connection weakens. Eventually, the antlers are shed, and without them, the pedicles are open wounds. Scabs form, and in a matter of weeks, antler growth begins again.

A red deer shortly after shedding his antlers.Giedriius/depositphotos.com

The Cost of Antler Growth

Two fast-growing bones on your head are going to cost something, and for deer, elk, and other cervids this cost is huge. Protein from food is, of course, a factor and is a reason that nutrition is so important for healthy antler growth, but there’s another process, more to do with minerals, that takes the concept of recovery to another level.

It's called mobilization, and it has to do with nutrients being drawn from other bones to supplement antler growth. The MSU Deer Lab sums this up best on its website:

“During mobilization, calcium and phosphorus are ‘mobilized’ and transferred from skeletal sites, such as rib bones, to be used in the production of antlers. The skeletal sites are replenished later through dietary intake.”

Elk antlers can grow up to an inch per day, and each antler can weigh up to 20 pounds each.pictureguy/depositphotos.com

In other words, to grow their antlers so fast, whitetails and other cervids need to borrow minerals like calcium and phosphorus from non-weight-bearing bones. This takes an incredible amount of energy for something that is not exactly essential for reproduction, and when you stop and think about it, it’s amazing that so much of a male cervid’s life revolves around acquiring nutrients and minerals to grow his antlers and then recover.

After the growth is complete, they have to replenish those minerals from somewhere, and while the role of vitamins and minerals in a deer's diet is still being studied, it is known that the soil plays a big part. Soils with poor mineral content, make it harder for recovery, and in a lot of cases where soil quality is low, supplemental feeds help to make mobilization a little more efficient.

Read Next: 4 Shed Hunting Experts Told Us Their Strategy for Finding Antlers

One More Thing About Genetics and Antler Growth

Researchers at the MSU Deer Lab have done a lot of work around whitetails and antler production, and one of the lab's recent studiesexplores nature (genetics) vs. nurture (nutrition) and the potential for genetically smaller bucks, from areas lacking in nutrition, to grow larger antlers. As stated above in the section outlining factors for growth, the only way to really dive into the role of genetics is to control the environment and nutrition of two or more genetically different deer. MSU did just that in this study.

A whitetail buck in the process of shedding his velvet.brm1949/depositphotos.com

Researchers took pregnant does from three distinct regions of Mississippi that represent different genetics, the Delta (a lot of nutrients and genetically large deer), Thin Loess (less agriculture and slightly smaller deer), and LCP (genetically smaller deer with poor nutrition).

The plan was to feed the male fawns from the does the exact same high-nutrition diet and see how they grew in captivity. If the smaller deer remained small and the genetically bigger deer remained large, then it could be said that genetics, regardless of nutrition, can hold back the growth of body size and antler size. If the smaller deer grew as large as the others, then nutrition would surpass genetics as the most important factor for growth.

While body size in the first generation remained somewhat consistent to their respective regions, antler size did increase. However, the study took a really interesting turn when the bucks fathered another generation of deer in captivity. The second generation was much bigger than the first, and there was a huge jump in both antler growth and body size. This was especially the case for the genetically smaller deer.

This phenomenon can be explained through something called epigenetics. While the DNA sequence in deer remains the same, environmental conditions cause small changes, and over generations, those changes will alter the expression of the genes. In other words, deer are not only a product of their immediate environment but a product of their parents' and grandparents' environments too. From the MSU study:

“One way to think about it is a series of switches within an animal’s genes. If generations of a family have lived in a low-quality habitat,


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July 14, 2019

Columbia River Treaty Negotiations Status

June 24, 2019 - Negotiators representing Canada (including British Columbia) and the United States returned to Washington, D.C. on June 19 and 20, 2019 to continue discussions on modernizing the Columbia River Treaty. This was the first meeting where Canadian Columbia Basin Indigenous Nations participated as official observers, following Foreign Affairs Canada’s historic announcement in April.

During this round of meetings, negotiators took stock of the progress that has been made since negotiations began in May 2018, and continued discussions on flood risk management, power and adaptive management.

The next round of negotiation meetings will return to the Columbia Basin, taking place in Cranbrook, B.C., September 10 and 11, 2019.

To read a statement on the latest round of negotiations from Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, visit https://news.gov.bc.ca/20079.

Indigenous Nations to participate as observers at Canada-U.S. Columbia River Treaty negotiations

April 26, 2019 - The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, has announced that representatives of the Ktunaxa, Okanagan and Secwepemc Nations will now participate as observers at the Canada-U.S. Columbia River Treaty negotiations.

Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, expressed her strong support for this decision: “Our government applauds Canada’s inclusion of Indigenous Nations in the Canada-U.S. Columbia River Treaty negotiations. Indigenous Nations have been collaborating with the governments of B.C. and Canada on negotiation positions and strategies, and now the relationship has been strengthened. This is an important and unprecedented step in demonstrating our commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to our journey towards reconciliation.”

https://www.canada.ca/en/global-affairs/news/2019/04/federal-government-announces-columbia-river-basin-indigenous-nations-to-participate-as-observers-in-columbia-river-treaty-negotiations.html

April 12, 2019 - On April 10 and 11, 2019, negotiators representing Canada (including British Columbia) and the United States met in Victoria B.C. for the latest round of discussions on modernizing the Columbia River Treaty. The two-day session marked the first time that negotiators have met in B.C.’s capital since negotiations began last year. Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, welcomed the negotiating teams with an opening address on the first day.

Negotiators continued discussions on flood-risk management and hydro power co-ordination. Canada also raised the topics of other Treaty benefits and adaptive management. The negotiators have agreed to conduct technical work between negotiating rounds, to support the progress of discussions.

The next round of negotiation meetings will take place in in Washington, D.C., on June 19 and 20, 2019.

To read Minister Katrine Conroy’s statement on this week’s meetings visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/19425

February 28, 2019 - On Feb. 27 and 28, 2019, negotiators representing Canada (including British Columbia) and the United States met in Washington, D.C., to continue discussions on modernizing the Columbia River Treaty. These meetings continue a process that began in May 2018 in Washington, D.C. and was followed by further negotiation sessions in Nelson, B.C., Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, B.C.

Building on the work done at previous meetings, negotiators advanced the discussions on potential paths forward on flood risk management and hydropower co-ordination through frank conversations regarding operations and benefits. The next round of negotiation meetings will take place in Victoria, B.C. April 10-11.

To read a statement on the latest negotiation meetings from Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, visit https://news.gov.bc.ca/19076

December 14, 2018 - Negotiators representing Canada (including B.C.) and the United States convened for their fourth meeting in Vancouver, B.C. December 12 – 13, to resume discussions on modernization of the Columbia River Treaty. Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, issued this statement, summarizing this year’s activities.

Discussions on the future of the treaty will resume in early 2019, when negotiators return to Washington, D.C., on Feb. 27 and 28, 2019.

October 31, 2018 - In May, 2018, negotiators representing the governments of Canada (including British Columbia) and the United States met in Washington, D.C., to formally launch discussions about the future of the Columbia River Treaty. In August, a second session took place in Nelson, British Columbia, and the third session took place in Portland, Oregon, during the month of October. The next session is scheduled for December 12 and 13 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, issued this statement following the most recent meeting in Portland.

In June 2018, the Province relaunched its engagement with the public on the treaty through a series of community meetings. These took place in Meadow Creek, Jaffray, Creston, Castlegar, Nelson, Valemount, Revelstoke, Golden and Nakusp. The meetings provided an update on treaty negotiations with the U.S.; a summary of work B.C. and Canada have been doing to prepare for negotiations; a review of the input received during the Province’s 2012-2013 Public Consultation; and a discussion on priority issues that should be included in treaty negotiations. Common priorities included: ecosystem restoration; agriculture, recreation, and tourism enhancement; the value of flood control; the importance of First Nation involvement in negotiations; and the desire for broader community engagement, especially focusing on youth. A full report of these meetings is scheduled to be released later this year.

Following the August negotiation sessions in Nelson, Minister Conroy said, “I am optimistic and know that collaboration between our two countries is the key to future success. Working together, I’m confident that we can create a better treaty, and ensure it continues to maximize benefits for Canada and the U.S., while sharing them equitably.”

May 22, 2018 - The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, announced today that Canada and the United States will launch negotiations on May 29, 2018, to renew the Columbia River Treaty. Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, issued a statement in support of this announcement.

The U.S. Department of State has also issued a press release announcing the start of negotiations.

April 25, 2018 - Negotiations between Canada and the United States on modernizing the Columbia River Treaty are expected to begin this Spring or Summer.

The Governments of BC and Canada have been working closely together, in consultation with Indigenous Nations and local governments, to prepare for these upcoming negotiations.

In March 2014, following extensive Indigenous Nations consultation and community engagement, and after conducting a number of technical studies, the Government of British Columbia announced its decision to continue the Columbia River Treaty and seek improvements within the existing framework. This decision is supported by the Government of Canada.

In December 2013 the U.S. Entity delivered its final recommendations to the U.S. Department of State. In the fall of 2016, the U.S. Department of State completed its review of the final recommendations and decided to proceed with negotiations to modernize the Treaty.

After the seventh round of Columbia River Treaty negotiations on June 19 and 20, 2019, in Washington, D.C., Katrine Conroy, Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty, and the Ktunaxa, Syilx/Okanagan and Secwepemc Nations observer team have issued the following statements:

Katrine Conroy, B.C.'s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty –

“This round of negotiations marked a historic moment as representatives of Columbia Basin Indigenous Nations were present as observers for the first time. Representatives of the Ktunaxa, Syilx/Okanagan and Secwepemc Nations had already been collaborating with the governments of British Columbia and Canada on negotiation positions and strategies; but this week, they were present in the negotiating room and participated in breakout discussions with Canada and B.C. during negotiations.

“This is a very significant step forward – not just in terms of the Columbia River Treaty, but also in supporting our government’s commitment to reconciliation and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“During the latest round of negotiations, the American and Canadian delegations took stock of progress of negotiations since the Columbia River Treaty modernization process began in May 2018. The latest discussions focused on flood-risk management, power and adaptive management.”

Joint statement from the observer team representing the Ktunaxa, Syilx/Okanagan and Secwepemc Nations –

“While a great deal of work remains to be done, we are very pleased with what we have observed and participated in to date. This precedent-setting role as observers builds on and enhances our important work with Canada and B.C. over the last two years. We are confident that we can continue to contribute positively to these negotiations and help realize the First Nations’ goals for meaningful outcomes from these negotiations that are of critical importance to our nations and homelands.”

• The talks will return to British Columbia in the fall, with the next round of negotiation meetings scheduled to take place in Cranbrook on Sept. 10 and 11, 2019.

• To share views on the treaty, email: [email protected] or write to the Columbia River Treaty Team, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, PO Box 9314 Stn Prov Govt, Victoria, B.C. V8W 9N1.

Learn More:

To learn more about the treaty, visit: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/columbiarivertreaty/

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July 14, 2019

B.C. Wild Salmon Strategy – Results

March 8, 2019

Engagement Summary

The Province of British Columbia is in the process of developing a made-in-BC wild salmon strategy that will support restoring healthy and abundant wild salmon stocks in B.C. Read more about the winter 2018/2019 public engagement process (https://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcwildsalmonstrategy).

To begin developing the strategy, the Wild Salmon Advisory Council formulated an options paper on:

• Restoration and enhancement of wild salmon populations;

• Sustainable fisheries management and stewardship opportunities for communities; and

• New economic development opportunities to assist viable and sustainable community-based fisheries.

The public could participate in the following ways:

• Attend a community meeting led by the Wild Salmon Advisory Council (http://www.fin.gov.bc.ca/apps/appointments/boardView.asp?boardNum=215180).

• Provide written input through an online feedback form.

Engagement Timeframe(s)

Phase One: August 10 to September 28, 2018

Phase Two: October 11, 2018 to January 11, 2019

Input Received

• 4,842 engagement site visits

• 317 comments received online

• 116 comments received by email

• An estimated 500 people attended community meetings

Input leads to action:

The Wild Salmon Advisory Council has provided their final report to government. Please read their recommendations for a Made-In-B.C. Wild Salmon Strategy.

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July 14, 2019

Re-opening of Little Windy Lake to fishing not Windy Lake

Regulation Number:  2019-03-02

Status:  Decided

Region:  Region 3 - Thompson

MU:  3-12

Regulation Type:  Quota

Season Species:   All

Closing Date:  January 11, 2019 at midnight

Decision Statement:  This regulation was approved as proposed and is included in the 2019-2021 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis.

Current Regulations:  • No Fishing – this lake has been closed to fishing due to illegal introduction of perch

Proposed Regulations:  • Open Little Windy Lake to angling; reverts to regional regulations

Rationale:  • The lake was temporarily closed after Yellow Perch were discovered in downstream Windy Lake. As a precaution Little Windy Lake was also closed while detailed surveys could be conducted on both lakes. It was determined that no Yellow Perch existed in Little Windy Lake and it can be re-opened to fishing.

• Detailed fisheries survey failed to discover Yellow Perch in Little Windy Lake, but a wild population of rainbow trout exist in the lake.

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July 13, 2019

Please find attached a memo describing the Albion test fishery in-season estimate for Spring and Summer 52 Chinook compiled by DFO Biologist Brittany Jenewein.

2019 Spring and Summer 52 Chinook Update based on the Albion Test Fishery The Albion test fishery has operated since 1981 on the lower Fraser River at Albion, BC (near Fort Langley). The test fishery is conducted with a drifted gill net at a specific site near the old Albion ferry crossing. The fishery begins in early April of each year, and fishes until mid-October. On each day of operation, the boat fishes two sets, timed to coincide with the daily high tide (https://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fmgp/fraser/docs/commercial/albionchinook-quinnat-eng.html). Among other valuable biological data, the Albion test fishery provides a long-term continuous index for measuring Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) abundance in British Columbia’s Fraser River. Chamberlain and Parken (2012) developed a model using the test fishery abundance indices (cumulative catch-per-unit-effort, or CPUE) to predict the run size of the aggregate of the Spring and Summer age 52 populations in-season. Since 2012, this model has used data from the standard Chinook net (8 inch mesh) fished by the Albion test fishery and does not incorporate catch from the multi-panel net (which is currently fished on alternate days). Catch and effort data are cumulated by week, starting the first full week in May (stat week 05/1), to provide the input to the model. Run size values used in the model are derived from a separate model that reconstructs the run size of Chinook salmon at the mouth of the Fraser River (terminal return) for individual populations and stock groups (English et al. 2007). The in-season abundance model fit is a log-linear regression of cumulative CPUE against the terminal return, and a different regression is fit for each statistical week from 05/1 through 07/2 (first week of May until second week of July). This regression is then used to predict the terminal return based on the cumulative CPUE for that stat week. The final in-season estimate typically occurs with stat week 06/2, when the cumulative CPUE is most often the best in-season predictor of the terminal return. In 2019, the Albion Chinook test fishery began operating on April 21. The total catch for the period of this update (May 5 to June 15, or stat weeks 05/1 to 06/2) was thirteen (13) Chinook, which is converted to a cumulative catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) of 0.29 (Table 1). Based on this input, the current predicted terminal return for the Fraser River Spring 52 and Summer 52 Chinook aggregate ranges from 29,000 to 81,000 Chinook (median value of 48,380). 2 Since the in-season model began to be used in 2012, it has had a tendency to over-estimate the terminal run size by an average of 38% (Figure 1). For example, if the 2019 in-season estimate has the same overestimation bias then the median estimate of 48,380 may be closer to 30,000. Since 2004, a multi-panel gill net has been used on alternate days to index abundance of several species and age-classes (mesh sizes = 6”, 7”, 8”, 9”). The CPUE data from this multi-panel net was not previously used as an input for our model, as several years of data were required before its predictive abilities could be assessed. DFO is now beginning to assess the predictive capabilities of a model that includes the multi-panel data (“combo” model) and compares its performance to that of the current model using data from only the standard net. The mean average percent error is reduced to an average of 25% when using the combo model (Figure 2), and the uncertainty around the estimate is lower compared to the standard net model. Further refinements and review of the combo model are required prior to adopting the estimates, but they are presented here for consideration. Based on the inputs outlined in Table 1 for both net types, the combo model estimates a predicted return to the mouth of the Fraser for the Fraser River Spring 52 and Summer 52 Chinook aggregates in the range of 28,000 to 78,000 (median value of 47,140). If the over-estimation bias for this model is the same in 2019, then the median estimate may be closer to 35,000. The CPUE at Albion is well below the historical average (Figure 3) but higher than it has been since 2015, which may suggest management actions to increase the number of Spring and Summer 52 Chinook returning to the Fraser River in 2019 are having the intended effect and/or that Chinook productivity has improved for the 2019 return. Further analysis in the post-season will confirm whether management actions were successful. References Chamberlain, M.W. and C.K. Parken. 2012. Utilizing the Albion Test Fishery as an In-season Predictor of Run Size of the Fraser River Spring and Summer Age 52 Chinook Aggregate. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat. Research Document 2012/150, 45 pp. Available online at: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csassccs/Publications/ResDocs-DocRech/2012/2012_150-eng.html English, K.K., R.E. Bailey, and D. Robichaud. 2007. Assessment of Chinook salmon returns to the Fraser River watershed using run reconstruction techniques, 1982-2004. Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat. Research Document 2007/020, 84 pp. Available online at: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/csassccs/publications/resdocs-docrech/2007/2007_020-eng.htm Table 1. Data inputs for Spring and Summer 52 Run Size Model, based on Albion Test Fishery and run reconstruction estimate of the terminal return (i.e. to the mouth of the Fraser River). Note that CPUE and catch are cumulative for statistical weeks 05/1 to 06/2. Year CPUE catch CPUE Catch 2012 0.14 6 0.12 5 37,281 2013 0.13 5 0.14 6 41,552 2014 0.30 14 0.68 26 85,735 2015 0.31 15 0.16 8 74,443 2016 0.13 6 0.19 10 35,167 2017 0.10 4 0.10 4 22,242 2018 0.07 3 0.16 7 23,631 2019 0.29 13 0.30 15 Single Panel Multi-Panel Terminal Return 3 Figure 1. In-season terminal run size estimates using only the data from the standard gill net, compared to the post-season estimate. Error bars are the 95% probability interval. The post-season estimate for 2019 will be available in spring of 2020. Figure 2. In-season terminal run size estimates using data from both the standard and multi-panel gill nets, compared to the post-season estimate. Error bars are the 95% probability interval. The post-season estimate for 2019 will be available in spring of 2020. Figure 3. Albion daily Chinook CPUE compared to the historical average CPUE. Note: In 2019, the Albion test fishery did not begin until April 21. The historical average CPUE data have not been calibrated to remove catch from the April 1 to April 20 period.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada/Government of Canada

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July 13, 2019

Conservation measures for Interior Fraser River (IFR) Steelhead were announced July 11, 2019 by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Link to the news release: https://www.canada.ca/en/fisheries-oceans/news/2019/07/government-of-canada-and-province-of-british-columbia-partner-to-take-bold-action-to-conserve-steelhead-trout.html

The Minister’s announcement outlined broad actions that DFO is taking in conjunction with the Province of BC to conserve, protect, and recover Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead populations, but it did not detail fisheries measures that will be implemented in 2019 to conserve these populations. The purpose of this email is to provide a general outline of those measures. Note that the Southern BC Salmon IFMP will be released shortly, and additional fishery specific details will be contained therein.

The Backgrounder, including additional details can be found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/fisheries-oceans/news/2019/07/backgrounder-government-of-canada-and-province-of-british-columbia-partner-to-take-bold-action-to-conserve-steelhead-trout.html

2019 Interior Fraser River Steelhead Conservation Measures

Rolling window closures will be implemented in 2019 that will impact all commercial salmon fisheries located along the migratory route of IFR Steelhead, in both the Fraser River and in marine waters. Closures will also apply to commercial, recreational and Food, Social, and Ceremonial (FSC) salmon fisheries within the Fraser River and tributaries downstream of Thompson and Chilcotin River Steelhead spawning and holding areas. Recreational and FSC salmon fisheries in marine areas will not be affected. The duration of the window closure will be either 42 or 27 days, depending on the fishery. Closure dates will occur from early September to late November, depending on the area. Specific details of window closure dates by area are attached, and a summary of measures is provided below.

Commercial Fisheries (Fraser River and marine including Nitinat)

• 42 day moving window closure for gillnet

• 42 day moving window closure for seine (including shallow seine and purse seine)

• 27 day moving window closure for troll

• These measures apply to fisheries on the Steelhead migratory route on both the west coast and the east coast of Vancouver Island, and in the Fraser River and tributaries downstream of Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead spawning and holding areas

• Salmon fisheries occurring in terminal (i.e. non-mixed stock) areas that are not on the migratory path of IFR Steelhead will not be subject to closures. Specifics of these areas are still being finalised and will be detailed in the Southern BC Salmon IFMP when it is released.

Recreational Fisheries

• No closures to marine recreational fisheries (wild Steelhead release)

• 42 day moving window closure for salmon fisheries in the Fraser River and tributaries downstream of Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead spawning and holding areas

• Fisheries occurring in Fraser River tributaries outside of the IFR Steelhead migratory route will not be affected by these measures

Food, Social and Ceremonial Fisheries (Fraser River and marine)

• No closures to marine FSC fisheries (wild Steelhead release)

• 27 day moving window closure for gillnet and selective gear in the Fraser River and tributaries downstream of Thompson and Chilcotin Steelhead spawning and holding areas

• Fisheries occurring in Fraser River tributaries outside of the IFR Steelhead migratory route will not be affected by these measures

………………………………………..

Fisheries and Oceans Canada/Government of Canada

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July 13, 2019

The Hunter Conservationist

13 hrs ·

Bad News for BC Steelhead.

In British Columbia the Thompson and Chilcotin River Steelhead Trout have declined so dramatically over the last several decades there are only a few hundred left in existence.

Today the government of Canada announced it will not be protecting the remaining fish in these two Steelhead populations under Canada's Species at Risk Act.

In its announcement the Government stated,

"The Governor in Council (GiC) has decided that not listing Thompson River and Chilcotin River Steelhead Trout under the Species at Risk Act would result in the greatest overall benefits to current and future generations of Canadians and the conservation of these wildlife species."

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July 11, 2019

BREAKING NEWS.

POTENTIALLY MORE CASES OF CWD NEAR BRITISH COLUMBIA

Three more white-tailed deer in Libby Montana near the BC border have been identified as potentially being infected with CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease). Suspected infected deer are euthanized and tested. Lab results will confirm if they are infected with CWD or not.

Two white-tailed deer have already tested positive for CWD in the Libby area this year.

Managing CWD in BC will require some gut wrenching decisions. Monitoring programs will help provide early detection; however, intensive culls may be the only other option to limit spread.

The first case of CWD in a farmed deer was found last fall in the Grenville-sur-la-Rouge region of Quebec and led to the cull of 3000 domestic deer and 330 wild deer in what officials called a controlled intervention zone. A 400+ square kilometer zone was closed to hunting and trapping. Several US states have banned artificial feeding to limit deer-to-deer contact as well as the use of real deer urine attractant scents. Hunters are urged to not transport unprocessed deer carcasses between provinces/states.

There is no direct scientific evidence that suggests chronic wasting disease can be transmitted from cervids to humans.

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an invariably fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. Despite a 100% fatality rate, areas of high prevalence, and increasingly expanding geographic endemic areas, little is known about the population-level effects of CWD.



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July 2, 20​19

Officials are closing a lake in northern B.C. to recreational fishers due to an infestation of goldfish.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) announced the angling closure Thursday, as a part of a program to prevent the spread of the non-native species.

READ MORE: Goldfish threaten Yellow Lake ecosystem near Penticton

The ministry says the goldfish (Carassius auratus) were recently spotted in Lost Lake, about 1.1 kilometers from the Kitsumkalum River and about 10 kilometres north of Terrace.

The closure takes effect on Saturday, and will remain in place indefinitely.

WATCH: Fisherman reels in 20-pound ‘goldfish’ from Kentucky pond

“Goldfish introductions have had destructive effects in British Columbia. How long goldfish have been in Lost Lake is uncertain. However, multiple sizes of goldfish are evident, which suggests they are reproducing,” said the ministry in a bulletin.

“Biologists are completing assessments of the lake to determine the extent of the goldfish population. The biologists are developing management interventions and treatment options to prevent the goldfish from spreading into the Skeena watershed.”

READ MORE: Fisherman reels in massive 20-pound ‘goldfish’ from Kentucky pond

The Invasive Species Council of B.C. says goldfish compete with native fish for food, potentially threatening an ecosystem.

This isn’t the first time invasive goldfish have turned up in a B.C. lake.

WATCH: Goldfish pose threat to Yellow Lake ecosystem near Penticton

Back in 2017, the Ministry of Environment was called to Yellow Lake near Penticton due to an infestation of golfdfish.

They have previously been spotted in several other lakes throughout the interior.

FLNRO says releasing aquarium fish into the wild remains illegal, and is reminding the public to return any unwanted fish to pet stores rather than freeing them.

Anyone who spots invasive species is asked to call the ministry’s 24-hour Report all Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1 877 952-7277.


July 2, 2019

Info on CWD from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Conference

https://www.ofah.org/ccac/

July 2, 2019

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/elise-stolte-roundup-sprayed-through-alberta-forests-could-be-increasing-wildfire-risks/wcm/e075003c-18b6-4e65-a83f-04620dfd0ec3

Elise Stolte: Herbicide, killing of aspen likely shares blame for growing wildfire damage

Elise Stolte

Updated: June 28, 2019

Yes, climate change is real. But researchers say there’s another factor likely feeding the flames eating up Alberta’s forests.

The widespread practice of killing aspen trees, which forestry companies mechanically remove or spray with herbicide from helicopters, is also having an impact.

Aspen are the trees with white bark and small, fluttering green leaves that grow in clumps or colonies around Edmonton and through northern Alberta. They’re less likely to burn than spruce or pine and cool the forest so well that, when fully-leafed out, wildland firefighters flee to a stand of aspen if the fire unexpectedly shifts.

They’re also food for moose in winter.

Different trees have different wood fibres. Forestry companies consider aspen to be a weed when growing conifers, spruce or pine. So roughly 30,000 hectares a year of forest are sprayed with glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp. That’s roughly half the size of Edmonton or 40 per cent of the 80,000 hectares of forest harvested annually.

It creates a monoculture, killing all broad-leafed plants, making a coniferous tree plantation instead of a forest.

Jen Beverly, assistant professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta, spent the last years measuring how wildfire creates a protective effect in the forest. Land burned one year is unlikely to burn again for 25 to 45 years when left to regrow naturally. Aspen reclaims the charred earth and only slowly adds fuel to the landscape as they die and are replaced with spruce.

The forestry industry used to think harvesting had a similar effect because it removes fuel. But Beverly’s new research focus finds that theory wanting.

Harvesting doesn’t take out all the dead grass, brush and twigs, and the practice of trying to regrow conifers instead of the pioneering aspen is risky.

“You have this planted conifer in a field of grass. A fire is going to move through that really well,” said Beverly, who started gathering satellite images, visiting cutblocks and tracking burn patterns.

The impact of spraying glyphosate is better known west of the Rockies, where it’s been done for decades. B.C. Liberal MLA Mike Morris, of Prince George-Mackenzie, plans to introduce a private member’s bill to ban the practice there this fall.

“It’s too indiscriminate,” said Morris, a trapper for 40 years. He believes glyphosate spray is a big reason why moose populations fell 80 per cent in his area. Fur-bearing animals and bird populations are also down dramatically throughout the interior of B.C.

Eighty-nine species of animals nest or den in hollowed out aspen. They’re suffering. And the insect infestations sweeping the province — pine beetle and now spruce beetle — make the situation worse.

Here in Alberta, the widespread use of glyphosate in forestry started in the 1990s but now outpaces B.C. Local trappers complain it devastates their lines. The government allows companies to spray a forest twice, which ensures aspen won’t return.

“Any time they plant conifers, most of the time they spray them,” said Victor Lieffers, U of A professor of silviculture and forest ecology.

He says part of the issue is provincial regulations. Alberta analyzes the forest by satellite photo, mapping patches of forest as small as two hectares. They’re labelled as mixed, aspen or coniferous and companies are expected to return the forest to the same state as quickly as possible, regardless of natural succession.

The rules assume having this patchwork quilt of a landscape is good enough. It’s likely not, said Lieffers, who presented this week on the topic at a forest ecology conference in Flagstaff, Ariz.

“All you have to do is look at the level of disturbance. We ate smoke for five years every summer,” he said. He is calling for a new industry-wide dialogue. Forestry companies need to be willing to change, even just to protect their investment.

There’s no simple answer here. One could say simply ban the practices of stripping out aspen, but thousands of good-paying jobs in northern Alberta depend on quality timber.

Plus, the science of fire and forestry is complex, as is the regulatory framework where private companies are logging on Crown land. It gets doubly complex in the face of climate change, a political wedge. Blame forest management for the intensity of wildfires and risk getting called a climate change denier. But most catastrophes have multiple causes.

In Alberta’s case, researchers and industry experts have already seen warmer, drier conditions. There’s been a 20-year drought. Could it help to let more aspen grow? What about planting drought-resistant trees, sourcing seed from forests further south, and encouraging mixed forests to hedge our bets?


June 28, 2019

Columbia River Forecast

https://www.wildsalmon.org/news-and-media/news/cbb-treaty-fishing-to-begin-for-summer-chinook-sockeye-run-forecasts-down-from-last-year-s-actual-returns.html

CBB: Treaty Fishing To Begin For Summer Chinook, Sockeye; Run Forecasts Down From Last Year’s Actual Returns

June 12, 2019

Treaty platform fishing and commercial treaty gillnetting will begin this month for summer chinook and sockeye salmon. Tribes had not had a commercial gillnet fishery during the spring chinook run.

Preseason forecasts for these fish are predicted to be lower than actual returns in 2018 and that is reflected in the lower allocation for summer chinook (6,450) and sockeye (6,608) allowed for all treaty summer fisheries.

Only steelhead are forecasted to return at a slightly higher rate than last year, with a preseason estimate of 126,950 fish. Last year the actual count for the fish, which includes both the earlier Skamania stock and the upriver A- and B-Index run, was 100,483.

The two-state Columbia River Compact met Wednesday, June 12, to put their seal of approval on the treaty fishing. Commercial hook and line platform fishing upstream of Bonneville Dam will begin June 24 and continue through the end of the summer season, July 31. Commercial hook and line platform fishing downstream of the dam follows the same schedule.

Commercial gillnetting also will begin 6 am, Monday, June 24 and continue for 2.5 days to 6 pm, Wednesday, June 26.

The Yakama Nation Zone 6 commercial fishery will begin June 24 and will continue until further notice at Drano Lake, and the Wind and Klickitat rivers.

Some 66,668 spring chinook have passed Bonneville as of June 12, or about one-third the 10-year average.

The summer season begins June 16, according to the Compact Summer Fact Sheet No. 1. The latest U.S. v Oregon Technical Advisory Committee, which sets preseason forecasts and adjusts those forecasts in-season, recently downgraded its preseason forecast of spring chinook from 99,300 to 75,000.

The TAC forecast for summer chinook is 36,300 fish and for sockeye the forecast is 94,400, both to the Columbia River mouth. Last year’s actual run of summer chinook was 42,120 and the preseason forecast was 67,300. The actual run of sockeye last year was 210,915, while the forecast was just 99,000.

This year, the Wenatchee River can expect 18,300 sockeye, down slightly from last year’s 18,887. The forecast for the Okanagan River is 74,500, down considerably from last year’s 190,304. Some 1,300 are forecasted for the Yakima River, down slightly from last year’s 1,338. 100 sockeye are expected in the Deschutes River, up from last year’s actual of 89 fish, and the Snake River sockeye, listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act, is forecasted at 200 fish, down from last year’s 297.

The Skamania steelhead run is expected to reach 8,750 fish (of those, 3,250 will be wild), up from last year’s actual run of 6,483 (2,595 wild). The A-Index run is expected to be 110,200 (33,900 wild), up considerably from last year’s 69,338 (21,725 wild). The B-Index run is forecasted at 8,000 fish (950 wild). Last year the run of the generally larger B-run was 24,662 (2,382 wild).

Steelhead over Bonneville Dam as of June 12 was 2,467 (1,159 wild). The 10-year average for that date is 6,728 fish (2,046 wild). Based on the 10-year average timing, the total run would normally be about 30 percent complete and the unclipped run would be about 26 percent complete at Bonneville on June 10. While TAC has not yet reviewed the Skamania run size, the total run and unclipped run are tracking less than forecast based on average timing, the Fact Sheet says.

There is no specific harvest rate limit for steelhead in summer season treaty fisheries, but harvest of steelhead is low in the summer and is expected to remain within recent average rates.

TAC will begin to update run sizes in late June or early July. Actual allowed fishery impacts are based on actual not forecast run sizes. Actual allowed catches will be determined in-season.

June 27, 2019

https://thetyee.ca/News/2019/06/26/Deer-Disease-Trade-Health-Wildfire/

Governments’ Failure to Control Deer Disease Risks Trade, Health and Wildlife, Experts Warn

Chronic wasting disease is being spread by deer farms and poses huge dangers, says letter to Trudeau.

The federal government could face costly trade embargoes and health risks if it doesn’t contain a plague decimating wild deer populations, warn a group of scientists, agricultural economists and First Nations leaders.

In a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and eight cabinet ministers, more than 30 experts and stakeholders called for urgent action to control the spread of chronic wasting disease. Evidence of the risks is “clear, compelling and uncontested,” the group warns.

The letter says the fatal neurological disease, which affects deer, moose, elk and other cervid species, continues to be spread to wild animals by the controversial practice of intensive deer farming.

“Official policy still allows translocation of live animals, products and equipment from cervid farms, movement of hunter carcasses and continued human exposure — in violation of basic principles of science, public trust and professional ethics,” the letter says.

The failure to act could lead to trade embargoes aimed at spreading the disease to other countries, the experts warn.

“The capacity to spread CWD to susceptible species of deer all over the world via agricultural crops has already resulted in trade actions,” the letter states. “On Oct. 24, 2018, Norway banned imports of hay or straw from any state or province with CWD.”

The letter warns that the Norwegian ban “could easily expand to other products and spread to other economic regions seeking not just to avoid the threats, but to leverage tens of billions of dollars per year in competitive advantage.”

The 2003 discovery of mad cow disease in Alberta cost Canadian producers $3 billion, and taxpayers more than $1.5 billion in subsidies.

The letter says chronic wasting disease poses a similar risk. It too is a prion disease. And the disease has repeatedly jumped species barriers and many strains have evolved, the letter notes.

The experts also warn the government about the risk to humans posed by the spread of the disease, which has been detected in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec, 27 U.S. states and in South Korea, Norway and Finland.

In 2017 Health Canada advised that CWD has the potential to infect humans after studies on monkeys found they could be infected by eating meat contaminated with CWD.

The experts’ letter notes that as the disease spreads, “thousands of CWD-infected animals are being consumed by hunters and their families across North America every year.”

“Even a single transfer to a person — proving that humans are susceptible — would bring catastrophic consequences with limited options,” the experts warn.

The letter calls on the government to “develop a preparedness plan for the possible emergence of human CWD in Canada, including possible impacts to our blood supply.”

Darrel Rowledge, executive director of the Alliance for Public Wildlife, is one of those who signed the call to action.

“What will the consequences be if we get a single transmission of CWD to people?” he asked in a Tyee interview. “And how do we maintain confidence in our food supply?”

“Containment is key and the Canadian government is not doing that.”

Other signatories include UBC prion expert Dr. Neil Cashman, Dene National Chief Norman Yakeleya, Chief Stanley Grier of the Piikani Nation and University of Saskatchewan agricultural economist Richard Gray.

First Nations are concerned about the risks to health from eating venison and the threat to a traditional food supply.

“Studies in wild deer populations confirm severe impacts and possible extinctions that present catastrophic threats to Canada’s biodiversity, our economy, cultural identity and food security,” the letter warns.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture declared a state of emergency in 2001 over the disease. Researchers there recently warned that if government can’t halt the spread of CWD, the disease could lead to the extermination of wild deer populations.

Norway, which killed an entire herd of reindeer after detecting chronic wasting disease in several animals in 2016, now only accepts hay and straw from CWD-free zones.

Its ban is based on alarming new University of Texas research that showed that prions — the protein-based agents that cause CWD and similar diseases — can survive both on and in a half dozen agricultural crops, including wheat.

Prions have amazing properties and continue to confound scientists.

Once contaminated with saliva or urine from infected animals, materials including wood, rocks, plastic, glass, cement, stainless steel and aluminum can retain and release prions.

Hamsters housed with these contaminated materials have became infected with CWD and died. A 2018 University of Texas study reported, “Strikingly, most of the hamsters developed classical clinical signs of prion disease and typical disease-associated brain changes.”

The threat to wild deer populations has been well documented. One recent Wyoming study found that CWD killed 10 per cent of the wild deer population between 2003 and 2010. At that rate local populations could go extinct within 50 years, it concluded.

“The decline was caused directly by CWD lowering annual survival of female deer, which have the biggest impact on population growth rates,” said researcher David Edmunds. “This was because CWD-positive deer died both directly from the disease and were more likely to be killed by hunters.”

The plague is also growing and spreading.

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Environment reported a substantial increase in the number of confirmed cases, particularly in central and southeastern parts of the province. The findings were based in deer heads sent to the ministry by hunters.

Researchers identified 349 positive cases in more than 2,000 submissions last year.

The Conservative governments of Ralph Klein and Grant Devine introduced chronic wasting disease to wild deer by promoting deer farming in the 1980s and 1990s. Infected deer escaped into the wild and spread the fatal brain wasting disease.

Both governments ignored the warning by scientists at the time.

There are no effective live animal tests, vaccines or cures for chronic wasting disease.


June 24, 2019

June 23, 2019

Northern B.C. lake closed to fishing due to infestation of invasive goldfish

By Simon LittleOnline Journalist Global News

Officials are closing a lake in northern B.C. to recreational fishers due to an infestation of goldfish.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) announced the angling closure Thursday, as a part of a program to prevent the spread of the non-native species.

READ MORE: Goldfish threaten Yellow Lake ecosystem near Penticton

The ministry says the goldfish (Carassius auratus) were recently spotted in Lost Lake, about 1.1 kilometers from the Kitsumkalum River and about 10 kilometres north of Terrace.

The closure takes effect on Saturday, and will remain in place indefinitely.

“Goldfish introductions have had destructive effects in British Columbia. How long goldfish have been in Lost Lake is uncertain. However, multiple sizes of goldfish are evident, which suggests they are reproducing,” said the ministry in a bulletin.

“Biologists are completing assessments of the lake to determine the extent of the goldfish population. The biologists are developing management interventions and treatment options to prevent the goldfish from spreading into the Skeena watershed.”

The Invasive Species Council of B.C. says goldfish compete with native fish for food, potentially threatening an ecosystem.

This isn’t the first time invasive goldfish have turned up in a B.C. lake.

Back in 2017, the Ministry of Environment was called to Yellow Lake near Penticton due to an infestation of golfdfish.

They have previously been spotted in several other lakes throughout the interior.

FLNRO says releasing aquarium fish into the wild remains illegal, and is reminding the public to return any unwanted fish to pet stores rather than freeing them.

Anyone who spots invasive species is asked to call the ministry’s 24-hour Report all Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) hotline at 1 877 952-7277.


June 22, 2019

Summer fishing bans proposed for South Island waters

http://www.keepcanadafishing.com/south-vancouver-island-fishing-bans/

Posted By: Skye Ryanon: December 12, 2018In: News, Top Stories

David Gunn has enjoyed 40 years of fishing in the Cowichan River, but now the fishing guide wonders how many trips out on it he has left.

“There’s huge problems obviously,” said Gunn, Owner of River Quest Charters.

“I mean there are rivers now that have no fish that had lots of fish when I was a kid. So something needs to be done,” said Gunn.

The province is now proposing summer fishing bans for most streams and rivers on southern Vancouver Island including the Cowichan, as drought conditions persist.

Biologists say that fishing is adding one more strike against fish stocks that are already struggling in warming waters and low stream flows.

“And what we’ve seen is a pattern,” said Brendan Anderson, a fisheries biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resources.

“Where in the southern portion of Vancouver Island most systems will undergo some period of stressful condition,” said Anderson.

So instead of responding in emergency closures like in years past, biologists are proposing putting blanket summer closures on angling in South Island rivers and streams to encourage compliance and prevent surprises to the public.

“To do all that in real time and try to change regulations and communicate that to the public is difficult,” said Anderson.

Lake Cowichan Mayor Rod Peters, who also runs a home supply business in town, is worried about the economic impact this will have on his tourism-reliant community.

“Because they were talking about closing down the west coast of the Island,” said Peters.

“And then all of a sudden they’re talking about our river which drains into the east side of the Island which I was shocked that they were going to do that,” said Peters.

Since the province is encouraging public input on the proposed changes, Peters plans to draft a letter with his council appealing for some concessions on the Cowichan, since it is an important economic driver in his community.

“It would deter people coming up here if they couldn’t fish the river and fly fish,” said Peters.

Those who love and have watched the loss of the Cowichan River are now trying to find a balance between the economics of today’s fishing versus tomorrow’s fish stocks.


June 22, 2019

Why did deer meat from an infected herd end up in Canada's food chain?

https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/cwd-mad-cow-disease-prion-bse-cfia-deer-chronic-wasting-disease-cjd-1.5185795

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said 'no animals known to be infected were released into the human food chain,' after more than 2,000 deer from a Quebec herd infected with chronic wasting disease were permitted to be sold for human consumption. (Shutterstock / Mircea Costina)

________________________________________

This is an excerpt from Second Opinion, a weekly roundup of eclectic and under-the-radar health and medical science news emailed to subscribers every Saturday morning. If you haven't subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here

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Last fall, a dangerous animal sickness — chronic wasting disease (CWD) — was detected in a Quebec deer farm. It was a disturbing development — the first sign of this highly contagious infection outside of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

There were almost 3,000 deer in the herd. Eleven tested positive for CWD. The rest — more than 2,700 animals — tested negative and were released into the food chain.

It was a controversial decision, in part, because so little is known about the human health risk from CWD.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's website cautions that: "A negative test result does not guarantee that an individual animal is not infected with CWD."

"There is not currently a food safety test available for any prion disease," CFIA's spokesperson told CBC News in an email. "The tests that are used are the best available. In accordance with Health Canada's precautionary approach, no animals known to be infected were released into the human food chain."

CWD is similar to another frightening animal illness — mad cow disease, officially called "bovine spongiform encephalopathy" or BSE. It is a fatal infection in cattle that can be spread to humans through beef consumption.

Both CWD and BSE are caused by a strange protein — a prion— which can jump the species barrier, triggering a deadly cascade of neurological damage.

Worldwide, BSE has caused about 225 cases of human prion disease called "variant Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease (vCJD)." There is no treatment and no cure.

After an epidemic of mad cow disease in the U.K. more than two decades ago, governments developed strict controls to prevent BSE infected cattle from being processed for human food.

But so far there are few official controls in place to keep CWD out of the food chain.

Is CWD a human health risk?

At this point, scientists don't know whether CWD can infect humans. So far, no human cases of CWD have been detected.

But there is reason to be concerned, based on research showing that the CWD prion can cross the species barrier into non-human primates.

As a precaution, the World Health Organization and other health agencies recommend that no prion-infected meat should be consumed.

This undated photo provided by the journal Science shows white-tailed deer at the Colorado State University Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Research Facility in Fort Collins, Colo. (Edward A. Hoover/Science/The Associated Press)

But experts say Canadians are unknowingly consuming meat from animals infected with CWD.

"Human exposure to CWD is quite widespread in my opinion," said Michael Coulthard, who tracks prion diseases at the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The risk is highest for people who consume wild deer and elk.

"The big complicating factor is that CWD infected animals can be completely asymptomatic for a long time before they get clinical disease, so if you don't test the animals you won't necessarily have any clue that the animal is infected," said Coulthard.

"In cases like that, it's very likely that many people have been exposed through consumption of those harvested animals."

For 20 years, Coulthard's team has been tracking human prion disease in Canada. So far, there have been two cases caused by infected cattle. Both infections were traced back to the U.K. (There is also a sporadic form of human prion disease that appears spontaneously in about one or two out of every million people).

"We're fairly confident that we haven't seen obvious evidence for CWD having been transmitted to humans," said Coulthard. But scientists suspect human infections from CWD might have unusual symptoms.

"It could look different," said Coulthard. "Prions have repeatedly shown themselves to be sources of scientific surprise."

"I think we're teetering on the edge of a catastrophe, to use a very strong word." - Dr. Neil Cashman, prion scientist, UBC

Meanwhile, word is gradually spreading about ground breaking research by Canadian scientists who were able to infect some macaques with CWD by feeding them deer meat.

The results, if confirmed, would be the most compelling evidence so far that CWD could be a risk to humans.

But the study has not yet been published or peer reviewed, although it has been presented at two international prion conferences. The scientists, based at the Alberta Prion Research Institute, are completing follow-up experiments and plan to submit the work for publication soon.

Scientists, Indigenous leaders and wildlife advocates signed letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging immediate action to stop the spread of chronic wasting disease in Canada. (CBC News)

At this point, Canada and the U.S. are the most heavily affected countries. But the disease has been found in Norway, Finland and Sweden. Scientists believe CWD is spread between animals through saliva, urine, blood and even though the soil.

Scientists demand action from Ottawa

A group of scientists, Indigenous leaders and wildlife advocates sent a letter to Ottawa this week asking the federal government "to recognize the dire nature of this epidemic," and implement controls to stop the spread of CWD including closing game farms and prohibiting transport of CWD infected carcasses.

The letter also demands expanded testing for CWD to ensure the safety of the food supply.

"I think we're teetering on the edge of a catastrophe, to use a very strong word," said Dr. Neil Cashman, one of the prion scientists who signed the letter.

________________________________________

 

About the Author

Kelly Crowe

Medical science

Kelly Crowe is a medical sciences correspondent for CBC News, specializing in health and biomedical research. She joined CBC in 1991, and has spent 25 years reporting on a wide range of national news and current affairs, with a particular interest in science and medicine.

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June 12, 2019

Barbless hooks didn't help fish survival Washington State

https://www.chinookobserver.com/content/tncms/live/ <https://www.chinookobserver.com/content/tncms/live/>

Barbless hooks didn't help fish survival; Chinook returns awful

Columbia Basin BulletinJun 7, 2019

As of June 1, it is no longer mandatory to use barbless hooks to fish for salmon, steelhead and trout in the Columbia River.

In March, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission directed the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to make the use of barbless hooks voluntary for salmon and steelhead fisheries in the Columbia River and its tributaries.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife followed suit, lifting the requirement to use barbless hooks, also on June 1, so that Oregon regulations remain concurrent with Washington in the jointly managed waters of the Columbia River. Oregon’s rule is an emergency rule and will still require the approval of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission this month.

Anglers have been required to use barbless hooks when fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout in the Columbia River since 2013 when Columbia River harvest reforms were initiated by the two states. The barbed hook ban was initiated to promote the recovery of wild salmon and steelhead.

As a conservation tool, barbless hooks are easier to remove than barbed hooks, reducing the likelihood of killing or injuring fish, said WDFW officials at the time.

However, when WDFW completed a performance review of its first five-years of harvest reform last year, the Washington Commission had asked if science supported banning barbed hooks.

“The body of work (studies on conservation savings) is inconclusive that there are measurable savings going from barbed to barbless hooks,” said WDFW’s Ryan Lothrop last week. “The biggest effect is where the fish is hooked.”

Lothrop is WDFW Columbia River fishery manager. He said that before and after harvest reform, mortality rates for caught and released salmon and steelhead had not changed.

However, that does not apply to the smaller trout where barbed hooks could be detrimental in a catch and release fishery, he added.

The commission has also been listening to the public and had been hearing from some anglers and guides that they preferred barbed hooks, Lothrop said.

At its March 2 meeting in Spokane, the Washington Commission voted to allow barbed hooks beginning June 1.

Not everyone agrees. David Moskowitz, executive director of The Conservation Angler, an advocacy group for wild fish, plans to oppose Oregon’s emergency rule at the Commission’s meeting this month. In an email to the Oregon Commission, he said that “there are multiple reasons to require barbless hooks in fisheries in Oregon including human safety and applying principles of ‘fair chase’ to angling,” and added that “We will ask that the Commission not consent to the emergency rule on Thursday.”

Chinook returns dismal

Currently Chinook fishing is not allowed in joint state waters, largely due to an extremely poor return of spring Chinook, but also due to what Lothrop said are “major hatchery shortages” of broodstock. The last spring Chinook angling this year was upstream of Bonneville Dam May 11 and 12.

The U.S. v Oregon Technical Advisory Committee downgraded the already poor run size from the preseason forecast of 99,300 fish to 75,000 May 20. That is a drop from last year’s actual return of 115,081 and half the 10-year average of 198,200 fish.

Just 54,657 spring Chinook had passed the dam as of June 3, 37 percent of the 10-year average on that date of 148,623. Jack Chinook passage is 6,728, 27 percent of the 10-year average on that date of 24,719. Passage of jack salmon in one year are often considered a harbinger of the adult run the following year. Add in the 3,418 that have passed the dam as summer Chinook by June 4 and the total is 58,075 spring Chinook. The Fish Passage Center considers Chinook passing June 1 and after to be summer Chinook, whereas the two-state Columbia River Compact and TAC count as spring Chinook fish passing the dam through June 15.

Steelhead numbers over Bonneville are 2,229 total, 1,081 of those wild, as of June 3. The 10-year average is 5,483 total, with 1,715 of those wild fish. Lothrop said these are Skamania fish. Beginning July 1, steelhead that pass the dam will be mostly upriver and Snake River fish.

Chinook that pass Bonneville Dam after June 15 are summer Chinook. That forecast is dismal: 35,900 summer Chinook are expected, down from last year’s actual count of 42,120 (the 2018 preseason forecast was 67,300).

Upper Columbia summer Chinook have been in a steady decline since 2015’s run of over 120,000 fish.

Lothrop said that it is unlikely that angling for spring Chinook will reopen this year and also that the poor run of summer Chinook means that angling will likely continue to be closed through that season, as well.

That leaves just summer steelhead angling in the mainstem Columbia River and that will be limited. Right now, two hatchery steelhead are allowed, but beginning July 1 that bag limit will drop to one fish, with steelhead fishing closed at night. In addition, further protections will be put in place later in the summer, such as rolling closures, similar to those implemented two years ago, Lothrop said.

Hook-rule end game

The temporary barbed hook rule will remain in effect until further notice or until it expires in late November, Oregon says. For it to become a permanent rule in Oregon, the Fish and Wildlife Commission will need to approve a rule change, which commissioners are expected to consider at a future meeting.

Due to Endangered Species Act permitting with NOAA, WDFW says it is unable to fully lift restrictions on barbed hooks in some areas at this time, including tributaries upstream of McNary Dam, including the Snake River.

Still, barbless hook requirements on salmon and steelhead fishing are being lifted across a broad swath of Washington waters, including the mainstem Columbia River from Buoy 10 to Chief Joseph Dam, and Columbia River tributaries from Buoy 10 to McNary Dam.

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June 10, 2019


Chronic Wasting Disease CWD and B.C.

As mentioned – CWD prions are found in many tissues and organs plus urine, feces, plants, water and soil shared by cervids. Concentration of cervids IS NOT recommended. Animal to animal transmission can occur through bodily fluids like feces, saliva and urine. This tansmission can uccur directly or indirectly through soil, food and water. Once introduced, the CWD protien is contagious, and can spread quickly. Prions can remain in the environment for a very long time after the animals are gone or dead. As of 2018, there is no strong evidence CWD has infected humans but much work remains to be done. For now it is strongly recommended people avoid exposure to CWD animals, tissues and body fluids. CWD continues to be found in captive and non captive members of the deer family. DO NOT FEED wild Deer, Elk and moose (this recommendation from all leading disease control agencies in Canada and USA). Feeding artificially concentrates animals in one location for extended periods of time exposing them to urine, feces, plants, water and soil potentially containing these fatal prions. Avoid the distribution, sales, purchases and use of natural Deer, Elk and Moose urine based lures. These products are slated to be illegal in BC 2019 / 2020. CWD prions have been found by testing urines from cervids, urine based lures are made by collecting urine from captive herds in catch pens that are also contaminated with urine, feces, saliva and blood which may contain the fatal prions. There is absolutely no means in place to govern and ensure urine based lures and attractants are CWD prion free. SYNTHETIC scents and attractants are highly recommended. CWD IS FATAL to Deer, Elk and Moose. Every citizen of BC has a moral and legal obligation to understand the seriousness of this disease and help prevent it from destroying our wildlife.


May 26, 2019

Kootenay Big Game Symposium Presentation Summaries

This is a summary of the Symposium speakers and the key elements of their talks.

Worth while circulating to all and sundry.

The Habitat Conservation Fund material is a bit off base. Joe Hall wasn't in the room, Ray wasn't present either.

A presentation was delivered to Premier Bill Bennett [jr] and his entire Cabinet at the Inn of The South in Cranbrook in May of 1979, headed up by Carmen Purdy, Mario Rocca, Dave [Moke] Melenka, Ron Skiber and Barney Caufield Sr. . The meeting was to be twenty minutes and lasted two hours, the suggestion to place a habitat fee on our hunting, guiding, fishing, trapping licences the topic - to be collected by government and provided to the user groups for critters that pay their way. ie. hunted, trapped or fished. The then Minister of Agriculture, James Hewitt was the main reason for it moving forward fro this meeting, and later many others in the Social Credit Cabinet supported the initiative . At one point we almost had the government convinced to put these collected funds [our money, a volunteer tax] into the hands of the BC Conservation Foundation. Graham Kenyon the president at the time. Vanderzalm killed this initiative. The NDP basically killed the fund, $178,000,000 dollars later provided by hunters, fisherfolk and guides--- We now have less game, fish and fur than when we started. We need an audit of the fund, how the fund has been squandered on non-game species over time. We should still insist that it be turned over to a Game Commission represented by hunters, guides, trappers and fisherman, money being spent on improving fish and game numbers only....or acquiring specific habitat.

Life is good, have a good day , kill a predator.

Cranbrook Mayor, Lee Pratt, welcomed 550 hunters to the Big Game Management Symposium at the Key City Auditorium in Cranbrook, BC on April 13, 2019. While, not a hunter himself, Mayor Pratt supports hunters and acknowledged that hunting has been a big economic driver in his community and in the East Kootenay in general.The organizer of the Symposium, Carmen Purdy, Founder and Chair, Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund opened the Symposium, explaining his long involvement with BC Nature Trust and the BC Wildlife Federation in order to benefit big game in the Kootenays. The work of these organizations has resulted in the enhancement of 32,000 acres and the 28,000 acres acquired for elk and deer and the other plants and animals on those properties. These efforts to support big game date back to 1979 with proposals from Joe Hall and Ray Demarchi to impose a tax of 10 cents on both per tonne of coal and per cubic meter of timber that did not succeed but led to a tax hunters and anglers for each licence and tag-licence which established the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. Supplemental winter feeding of elk was conducted by the Wildlife Branch between 1974 and 1979 and then by Carmen using hay from a field at the Crestbrook Pulp Mill in response to a severe winter in 1980-81 when there was 40 inches of snow. This required a large voluntary effort by hunters similar to the efforts of the last few winters when more than a hundred hunters donated funds and time to feed elk throughout the East Kootenay Trench and the Elk Valley.


Symposium Compendium and Comments

Ken Sumanik was Regional Wildlife Biologist responsible for the entire northern half of the province between 1966 and 1974 when he was transferred to the Kootenay Region as Regional Habitat Protection Biologist and left government to go into private consulting in 1981. Mr. Sumanik provided a definition of habitat as a defined space where one can find a particular plant or animal. When you find yourself your chosen animal’s “habitat” the first question you might ask is “Where are they?” and seeing none the next question should be, “Why aren’t they here?” and the third question is, “What happened to them?” Mr. Sumanik, reflecting on the talks of the five feature speakers, reiterated that it is apparent that our big game populations are in dire straights. How is it that Norway is only 40% the size of BC yet where we harvest a few thousand each of moose and elk annually they currently harvest some 31,000 moose and 42,000 red deer plus an additional 33,000 roe deer and 41,000 roe deer? In regards to moose management, their logging practices create small clear cuts which provide much needed browse as well as residual cover. Heavy cropping of both sexes and a preponderance of calves in the moose harvest maintains a young age structure. However, it is worth noting that these spectacular numbers of animal produced each year have occurred during a long period when wolves existed at very low levels. Wolves are undergoing resurgence throughout Europe including Norway and Sweden. Issues that arise in BC include double standards when it comes to who can and who cannot hunt. Mr. Sumanik summed the symposium by saying that we need hands-on management if we are to recover our big game populations. Mr. Sumanik also stated his opinion that there should be the same laws for all residents of the province. Also that restrictions are being imposed by politicians who respond to what Mr. Sumanik referred to the badly misinformed urban public who have difficulty in comprehending what they do not understand and lobby to force their ill-advised philosophy of letting nature take its course. To quote Dr. Geist, “One should not expect wildlife to fend on its own, unassisted, in landscapes that are ecological caricatures, poor in habitats and filled with barriers, mortal dangers and harassments.” In other words, big game management requires hands-on management if it is to succeed as it has in the Scandinavian and several other European countries.


Kootenay Big Game Symposium Presentation Summaries #2

Raymond Demarchi, retired BC Chief of Wildlife Conservation, described the historic conditions of the East Kootenay prior to and during his 28-year tenure as the Kootenay Regional Wildlife Section Head. In his first year, in the winter of 1964-65, he counted and classified 9,000 big game animals in a region which for many years supported up to 25% of the provincial big game hunting. He stated that big game populations can fluctuate widely and that in the 1800’s and early 1900’s ungulate populations were very low, and then increased rapidly after severe wild fires of the 1920’s and 30’s. These fires were a result of unmanaged slash from extensive railway tie-logging and created temporary or seral shrub-grasslands which provided much needed winter forage for deer, elk and bighorn sheep. This plus the intensive predator control by the BC Game Commission that began after WWII led to a peak of abundance in both species of deer, elk and bighorn sheep. These once productive shrub-grasslands have become overgrown by conifer forest succession which has greatly reduced their usefulness as big game winter ranges. Demarchi suggested that protecting the safety of the public by increasing the moat between predators and the human population and decreasing the potential risk of fire damage to communities by using logging and fire to rehabilitate game ranges should be serious and immediate government priorities. He advised designating and managing specific high capability ungulate winter range areas as a priority over forestry. He advised finding common ground through coordinated planning with other organizations including forestry, livestock and recreational interests and also including farmers who might be induced to remove fences if there were successful programs such as the ones in Colorado to compensate for wildlife damage. While he stated that management of large carnivores had to be part of big game management, alienating the concerned public with predator bashing will only end in a stalemate and a catatonic response from government. In the meantime while increasing the quantity of big game animals through habitat management, focus should also be on quality of populations by ensuring their socio-biological well being by restoring near normal sex and age ratios.


Kootenay Big Game Symposium Presentation Summaries #3

Dr. Valerius Geist, Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary (retired), is a specialist on biology, behaviour and social dynamics of North American ungulates. Geist maintains that grizzly bears and wolves are very sensitive and intelligent animals that can sense when people are a threat to them and will move away readily if people are bold, as was true with bears when bears were hunted in 1959 when he began work as a student at Well Grey Provincial Park. However, he stated that in Banff and Lake Louise, grizzly bears have become less afraid of people because the ones they encounter are hikers and not carrying guns and thus are no threat to them. In the Spatsizi, he studied Stone’s sheep, moose and caribou where there were large gatherings of bulls. Recently there was a superpack of 43 wolves in that area and at the same time he observed that there is a dearth of wild ungulates. Thus Geist described this situation as a “predator pit” when an abundance of predators reduces the numbers of ungulates to 10 percent of the previous long term level. This he feels is the result of protectionism, something that the US National Park Service has admitted is causing a loss of biodiversity and an increase in invasive plant species. He urged the audience to visit the website “Wildergarden” to learn about bringing back biodiversity through management using fire and logging. In the Saxony of Germany where there is the greatest density of wolves in the country, wolves are increasing at the rate of 35% per year leading to severe problems with farmers and game managers and causing traffic fatalities. Historical information about wolves is being ignored. He urged a return to science, scholarship and the middle approach, avoiding extremism. Wolves on average each kill 16 to 22 elk per year in Yellowstone so there is now a deficit of elk. The hunter take of black-tailed deer on Vancouver Island for example has dropped from 25,000 per year [40 to 50] years ago when wolves were near extinction to 2,000 recently when wolves were plentiful. Anecdotal observations reveal that Roosevelt elk have reduced their vocalizations during the rut to avoid wolf predation. The Island’s deer populations are now concentrated on farms and urban areas where they seek security from both cougars and wolves. Geist predicted that the extinction of the wolf will be the result of protecting them as they interbreed with domestic dogs and become coywolves, a hybrid with dogs. Geist’s solution is to manage the land for biodiversity rather than protecting it in parks.


Kootenay Big Game Symposium Presentation Summaries #4

Dr. Vince “Doc Moose” Crichton of Manitoba stated that the big issue for moose management in Manitoba at the moment is the unregulated harvest and that there a need for regulations that will apply to all hunters. Wolves also can cause a major problem. The main mortality sources for moose are predation by wolves and bears, railroad deaths, excessive access associated with clear cutting, winter ticks, brain worm, and hunting (regulated and non-regulated). In open prairie areas, moose are increasing. In Saskatchewan here were once over 100,000 farms, now there are 30,000 or less and moose numbers have increased on these larger, continuous farms. Fires produce good habitat for moose as well in the forested areas of the province. In 1985 the moose harvest in Manitoba was worth $8 million supported by 8000 hunters . At present there are only 2,000 hunters due to the decline in moose numbers. On Duck Mountain, one of the best hunting areas, from 1993 to 2010 there was a 58% decrease in the number of moose (although 4 areas were not hit with declines). In Alaska, 20 to 25 bulls per 100 cows are adequate because the bulls have harems of females in the open habitats during the rut. In Boreal and Temperate forests, bulls do not gather harems and thus 60 to 65 bulls per 100 cows is a better fit since females are only in oestrus for 30 hours. Larger populations of moose are required to have sufficient numbers of older females that are more productive, having twins, and in the occasional case triplets. Because populations of less than 100-133 moose cannot recover easily, it would be best to close hunting in the many populations in Manitoba that average 100-133 moose but there is a lack of political will to do so. Crichton advised making conservation a way of life (not just talking about it) and using a team approach to develop a shared management plan, putting science before politics. His discussion points with government include protecting cows and calves, enacting conservation closures on small populations, offering outfitters two or three bear tags per guided hunter, giving free bear and wolf tags to licensed Manitoba resident hunters, offering monetary incentives for registered trappers, closure of hunting of moose by non-resident hunters and removing packs of timber wolves from selected areas plus, of course significantly reducing the unregulated harvest.


Kootenay Big Game Symposium Presentation Summaries #5

Dr. Charles E. Kay, PhD, Wildlife Ecology, spoke about the lies, myths and scientific fraud surrounding wildlife issues in North America. Unlike most ecologists, Dr. Kay has spent a great amount of time studying the archaeological records as well as the journals of early western North American explorers. This has led him to conclude that the impact of Indigenous populations on large predators and on ungulates was far more important than previously thought since the human population size may have been underestimated. (He stated that some researchers now estimate 100 million Indigenous people in the Americas). Dr. Kay stated that large predators can have significant effects on prey for example; cougar studies have estimated an average kill of 50 deer per year while bears in Alaska also consume a significant number of moose and caribou calves. According to Parks Canada data, wolves and other predators are having a large effect in places like the Bow Valley and Park Canada’s Ya Ha Tinda Ranch in Alberta where elk numbers declined from 3000 prior to wolf decolonization to only around 300 today. In Yellowstone, wolves were released at three locations after computer modeling predicted there would be no significant impact on ungulates. The actual results, however are that the Northern Yellowstone elk herd which at its peak numbered more than 19,000 elk declined to a low of 3,000 while moose numbers are down to zero. Prior to the release of wolves, 5000 elk wintered In the Gros Ventre valley south of YNP, 3000 on feed and 2000 free ranging. However, today all of those elk are gone. Kay maintains that wolves have not lead to the restoration of deciduous ecosystems in Yellowstone as claimed in a widely seen video by a British videographer. In fact those few small areas that have shown some recovery of shrubs and trees were all at high elevation but all of the low and mid elevation areas with existing photographic records are still in poor condition. Thus, Dr. Kay concludes, the return of the wolf to Yellowstone is not an immediate means of restoring ecosystems which may require 60 years or more to occur. Dr. Kay also discussed predator-mediated competition where the addition of alternative prey species allows the predator to take the most vulnerable prey to very low levels or even extirpation. He discussed examples of predator–mediated competition between mule deer, elk and mountain lions on Elk Ridge in southern Utah, and caribou, moose and wolves across southern Canada. 


Kootenay Big Game Symposium Presentation Summaries #6

Mr. Jim Beers, Biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (retired), outlined the problems that large predators are causing in many areas of the world including North America, Europe, Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and India. Large predators chase, attack wound, kill and eat big game animals, cattle, sheep, dogs and even humans while also spreading infectious diseases. There is usually no documentation of how many occurrences of predator attacks and what was killed and thus there is confusion about the causes of declines of prey. Local communities could solve the problem of predation but far-away political entities in urban centres have become increasingly assertive about enforcing protection for predators. In settled landscapes, large predators will, when uncontrolled amongst abundant food sources, increase their densities until the total food supply dwindles as happened with wolves and moose on Isle Royale Island. Since the 1960’s, national governments both in the US and elsewhere have seized authority and jurisdiction over wildlife. With the support of scientists, wealthy supporters and the environmental/animal rights movement these issues have risen to the United Nations. Beers advised raising a fuss and putting pressure on government. Lobby the government to change the delegation of authority so that the responsibility for the management of big game in a local region is someone you can elect or remove at the next election. He also feels that revenue must be restored for conservation and not for non-game issues. Wildlife is an important natural resource, especially when local people can control wildlife and enhance its value for the local community.


Kootenay Big Game Symposium Presentation Summaries #7

Ken Sumanik

Symposium Compendium and Comments

Ken Sumanik was Regional Wildlife Biologist responsible for the entire northern half of the province between 1966 and 1974 when he was transferred to the Kootenay Region as Regional Habitat Protection Biologist and left government to go into private consulting in 1981. Mr. Sumanik provided a definition of habitat as a defined space where one can find a particular plant or animal. When you find yourself your chosen animal’s “habitat” the first question you might ask is “Where are they?” and seeing none the next question should be, “Why aren’t they here?” and the third question is, “What happened to them?” Mr. Sumanik, reflecting on the talks of the five feature speakers, reiterated that it is apparent that our big game populations are in dire straights. How is it that Norway is only 40% the size of BC yet where we harvest a few thousand each of moose and elk annually they currently harvest some 31,000 moose and 42,000 red deer plus an additional 33,000 roe deer and 41,000 roe deer? In regards to moose management, their logging practices create small clear cuts which provide much needed browse as well as residual cover. Heavy cropping of both sexes and a preponderance of calves in the moose harvest maintains a young age structure. However, it is worth noting that these spectacular numbers of animal produced each year have occurred during a long period when wolves existed at very low levels. Wolves are undergoing resurgence throughout Europe including Norway and Sweden. Issues that arise in BC include double standards when it comes to who can and who cannot hunt. Mr. Sumanik summed the symposium by saying that we need hands-on management if we are to recover our big game populations. Mr. Sumanik also stated his opinion that there should be the same laws for all residents of the province. Also that restrictions are being imposed by politicians who respond to what Mr. Sumanik referred to the badly misinformed urban public who have difficulty in comprehending what they do not understand and lobby to force their ill-advised philosophy of letting nature take its course. To quote Dr. Geist, “One should not expect wildlife to fend on its own, unassisted, in landscapes that are ecological caricatures, poor in habitats and filled with barriers, mortal dangers and harassments.” In other words, big game management requires hands-on management if it is to succeed as it has in the Scandinavian and several other European countries.


Kootenay Big Game Symposium Presentation 8

Cranbrook Mayor, Lee Pratt, welcomed 550 hunters to the Big Game Management Symposium at the Key City Auditorium in Cranbrook, BC on April 13, 2019. While, not a hunter himself, Mayor Pratt supports hunters and acknowledged that hunting has been a big economic driver in his community and in the East Kootenay in general.

The organizer of the Symposium, Carmen Purdy, Founder and Chair, Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund opened the Symposium, explaining his long involvement with BC Nature Trust and the BC Wildlife Federation in order to benefit big game in the Kootenays. The work of these organizations has resulted in the enhancement of 32,000 acres and the 28,000 acres acquired for elk and deer and the other plants and animals on those properties. These efforts to support big game date back to 1979 with proposals from Joe Hall and Ray Demarchi to impose a tax of 10 cents on both per tonne of coal and per cubic meter of timber that did not succeed but led to a tax hunters and anglers for each licence and tag-licence which established the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. Supplemental winter feeding of elk was conducted by the Wildlife Branch between 1974 and 1979 and then by Carmen using hay from a field at the Crestbrook Pulp Mill in response to a severe winter in 1980-81 when there was 40 inches of snow. This required a large voluntary effort by hunters similar to the efforts of the last few winters when more than a hundred hunters donated funds and time to feed elk throughout the East Kootenay Trench and the Elk Valley.

Raymond Demarchi, retired BC Chief of Wildlife Conservation, described the historic conditions of the East Kootenay prior to and during his 28-year tenure as the Kootenay Regional Wildlife Section Head. In his first year, in the winter of 1964-65, he counted and classified 9,000 big game animals in a region which for many years supported up to 25% of the provincial big game hunting. He stated that big game populations can fluctuate widely and that in the 1800’s and early 1900’s ungulate populations were very low, and then increased rapidly after severe wild fires of the 1920’s and 30’s. These fires were a result of unmanaged slash from extensive railway tie-logging and created temporary or seral shrub-grasslands which provided much needed winter forage for deer, elk and bighorn sheep. This plus the intensive predator control by the BC Game Commission that began after WWII led to a peak of abundance in both species of deer, elk and bighorn sheep. These once productive shrub-grasslands have become overgrown by conifer forest succession which has greatly reduced their usefulness as big game winter ranges. Demarchi suggested that protecting the safety of the public by increasing the moat between predators and the human population and decreasing the potential risk of fire damage to communities by using logging and fire to rehabilitate game ranges should be serious and immediate government priorities. He advised designating and managing specific high capability ungulate winter range areas as a priority over forestry. He advised finding common ground through coordinated planning with other organizations including forestry, livestock and recreational interests and also including farmers who might be induced to remove fences if there were successful programs such as the ones in Colorado to compensate for wildlife damage. While he stated that management of large carnivores had to be part of big game management, alienating the concerned public with predator bashing will only end in a stalemate and a catatonic response from government. In the meantime while increasing the quantity of big game animals through habitat management, focus should also be on quality of populations by ensuring their socio-biological well being by restoring near normal sex and age ratios.

Dr. Valerius Geist, Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary (retired), is a specialist on biology, behaviour and social dynamics of North American ungulates. Geist maintains that grizzly bears and wolves are very sensitive and intelligent animals that can sense when people are a threat to them and will move away readily if people are bold, as was true with bears when bears were hunted in 1959 when he began work as a student at Well Grey Provincial Park. However, he stated that in Banff and Lake Louise, grizzly bears have become less afraid of people because the ones they encounter are hikers and not carrying guns and thus are no threat to them. In the Spatsizi, he studied Stone’s sheep, moose and caribou where there were large gatherings of bulls. Recently there was a superpack of 43 wolves in that area and at the same time he observed that there is a dearth of wild ungulates. Thus Geist described this situation as a “predator pit” when an abundance of predators reduces the numbers of ungulates to 10 percent of the previous long term level. This he feels is the result of protectionism, something that the US National Park Service has admitted is causing a loss of biodiversity and an increase in invasive plant species. He urged the audience to visit the website “Wildergarden” to learn about bringing back biodiversity through management using fire and logging. In the Saxony of Germany where there is the greatest density of wolves in the country, wolves are increasing at the rate of 35% per year leading to severe problems with farmers and game managers and causing traffic fatalities. Historical information about wolves is being ignored. He urged a return to science, scholarship and the middle approach, avoiding extremism. Wolves on average each kill 16 to 22 elk per year in Yellowstone so there is now a deficit of elk. The hunter take of black-tailed deer on Vancouver Island for example has dropped from 25,000 per year [40 to 50] years ago when wolves were near extinction to 2,000 recently when wolves were plentiful. Anecdotal observations reveal that Roosevelt elk have reduced their vocalizations during the rut to avoid wolf predation. The Island’s deer populations are now concentrated on farms and urban areas where they seek security from both cougars and wolves. Geist predicted that the extinction of the wolf will be the result of protecting them as they interbreed with domestic dogs and become coywolves, a hybrid with dogs. Geist’s solution is to manage the land for biodiversity rather than protecting it in parks.

Dr. Vince “Doc Moose” Crichton of Manitoba stated that the big issue for moose management in Manitoba at the moment is the unregulated harvest and that there a need for regulations that will apply to all hunters. Wolves also can cause a major problem. The main mortality sources for moose are predation by wolves and bears, railroad deaths, excessive access associated with clear cutting, winter ticks, brain worm, and hunting (regulated and non-regulated). In open prairie areas, moose are increasing. In Saskatchewan here were once over 100,000 farms, now there are 30,000 or less and moose numbers have increased on these larger, continuous farms. Fires produce good habitat for moose as well in the forested areas of the province. In 1985 the moose harvest in Manitoba was worth $8 million supported by 8000 hunters . At present there are only 2,000 hunters due to the decline in moose numbers. On Duck Mountain, one of the best hunting areas, from 1993 to 2010 there was a 58% decrease in the number of moose (although 4 areas were not hit with declines). In Alaska, 20 to 25 bulls per 100 cows are adequate because the bulls have harems of females in the open habitats during the rut. In Boreal and Temperate forests, bulls do not gather harems and thus 60 to 65 bulls per 100 cows is a better fit since females are only in oestrus for 30 hours. Larger populations of moose are required to have sufficient numbers of older females that are more productive, having twins, and in the occasional case triplets. Because populations of less than 100-133 moose cannot recover easily, it would be best to close hunting in the many populations in Manitoba that average 100-133 moose but there is a lack of political will to do so. Crichton advised making conservation a way of life (not just talking about it) and using a team approach to develop a shared management plan, putting science before politics. His discussion points with government include protecting cows and calves, enacting conservation closures on small populations, offering outfitters two or three bear tags per guided hunter, giving free bear and wolf tags to licensed Manitoba resident hunters, offering monetary incentives for registered trappers, closure of hunting of moose by non-resident hunters and removing packs of timber wolves from selected areas plus, of course significantly reducing the unregulated harvest.

Dr. Charles E. Kay, PhD, Wildlife Ecology, spoke about the lies, myths and scientific fraud surrounding wildlife issues in North America. Unlike most ecologists, Dr. Kay has spent a great amount of time studying the archaeological records as well as the journals of early western North American explorers. This has led him to conclude that the impact of Indigenous populations on large predators and on ungulates was far more important than previously thought since the human population size may have been underestimated. (He stated that some researchers now estimate 100 million Indigenous people in the Americas). Dr. Kay stated that large predators can have significant effects on prey for example; cougar studies have estimated an average kill of 50 deer per year while bears in Alaska also consume a significant number of moose and caribou calves. According to Parks Canada data, wolves and other predators are having a large effect in places like the Bow Valley and Park Canada’s Ya Ha Tinda Ranch in Alberta where elk numbers declined from 3000 prior to wolf decolonization to only around 300 today. In Yellowstone, wolves were released at three locations after computer modeling predicted there would be no significant impact on ungulates. The actual results, however are that the Northern Yellowstone elk herd which at its peak numbered more than 19,000 elk declined to a low of 3,000 while moose numbers are down to zero. Prior to the release of wolves, 5000 elk wintered In the Gros Ventre valley south of YNP, 3000 on feed and 2000 free ranging. However, today all of those elk are gone. Kay maintains that wolves have not lead to the restoration of deciduous ecosystems in Yellowstone as claimed in a widely seen video by a British videographer. In fact those few small areas that have shown some recovery of shrubs and trees were all at high elevation but all of the low and mid elevation areas with existing photographic records are still in poor condition. Thus, Dr. Kay concludes, the return of the wolf to Yellowstone is not an immediate means of restoring ecosystems which may require 60 years or more to occur. Dr. Kay also discussed predator-mediated competition where the addition of alternative prey species allows the predator to take the most vulnerable prey to very low levels or even extirpation. He discussed examples of predator–mediated competition between mule deer, elk and mountain lions on Elk Ridge in southern Utah, and caribou, moose and wolves across southern Canada.

Mr. Jim Beers, Biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (retired), outlined the problems that large predators are causing in many areas of the world including North America, Europe, Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and India. Large predators chase, attack wound, kill and eat big game animals, cattle, sheep, dogs and even humans while also spreading infectious diseases. There is usually no documentation of how many occurrences of predator attacks and what was killed and thus there is confusion about the causes of declines of prey. Local communities could solve the problem of predation but far-away political entities in urban centres have become increasingly assertive about enforcing protection for predators. In settled landscapes, large predators will, when uncontrolled amongst abundant food sources, increase their densities until the total food supply dwindles as happened with wolves and moose on Isle Royale Island. Since the 1960’s, national governments both in the US and elsewhere have seized authority and jurisdiction over wildlife. With the support of scientists, wealthy supporters and the environmental/animal rights movement these issues have risen to the United Nations. Beers advised raising a fuss and putting pressure on government. Lobby the government to change the delegation of authority so that the responsibility for the management of big game in a local region is someone you can elect or remove at the next election. He also feels that revenue must be restored for conservation and not for non-game issues. Wildlife is an important natural resource, especially when local people can control wildlife and enhance its value for the local community.

Ken Sumanik


Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund

Please circulate to your contacts and have them forward to others.

Here are all the videos. Took a bit to export them and get them uploaded but it is all there now.

The links below are not searchable publicly yet and will only be available to people you share the links with.

Symposium Links to Individual Speakers

Big Game Symposium Interview Short

https://youtu.be/9UqIIJ1-Cgg

Big Game Symposium Interview Long

https://youtu.be/3RsvQ7P-KPk

Symposium Playlist

Symposium Playlist of all speakers and the interview videos.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAimGzgIpyXLqBa_ruOZspSMvkVIV4t6X

Symposium Links to Individual Speakers

Part 1 Mr. Carmen Purdy

https://youtu.be/mZjbGbJI-EA

Part 2 Mr. Ray Demarchi

https://youtu.be/nbXOuHU0rcM

Part 3 Dr. Val Geist

https://youtu.be/qcf2R6rq4JU

Part 4 Dr. Vince Crichton Doc Moose

https://youtu.be/XoCDiITC3CQ

Part 5 Dr. Charles E Kay

https://youtu.be/xTeWQtLzt-Q

Part 6 Mr. Jim Beers

https://youtu.be/WYR9Jy0pdss

Part 7 Mr. Ken Sumanik

https://youtu.be/mIuZKJ-5OLo



April 29, 2019

Moose Solutions Roundtable: Short Summary of April 2019 Workshop

Background:

• Moose are a common concern and responsibility and declines in the population have made it even more important to find common ground and implement solutions.

• On April 1 & 2, 2019, Indigenous and Provincial representatives in the Cariboo – Chilcotin Region 5, co - hosted a Moose Solutions Roundtable including perspectives from guides, resident hunters,trappers and forestry companies. (Ranchers have been involved in discussions to date but were not able to attend this meeting due to the time of year.) Approximately 50 people participated in the session.

• The aim of the meeting was to review and approve draft Terms of Reference for the Roundtable, provide population and habitat assessment updates, identify shared solutions and actions, and seek consensus on next steps.

• Involvement in discussions was solutions focussed among those with direct interests in moose recovery and management.

• The meeting built upon an inaugural exploratory session held in December 2018.

Key Themes:

1. The Terms of Reference for the Roundtable was accepted in principle with minor revisions. The Roundtable is now established under the strategic direction of a Joint Leadership Group. A Planning Group will undertake the detailed work of the MSR.

2. The Moose Solutions Roundtable reached consensus on 3 top priority solutions for immediate effort and action

for moose recovery and management. These are:

• Plan and undertake access management , especially for non - status roads, combined with forest licensee road deactivation and habitat restoration.

.

• Develop a multi – faceted and integrated approach to understanding and addressing predator impacts on prey while also improving habitat. There is a strong desire for timely action on reducing impacts from predators.

• Enhance population assessment methods to include Indigenous and local data sources and develop a common and accessible information platform to inform decisions.

3. Within the next 12 months, these priority solutions should be trialed in a sub - area of Region 5 to maximize opportunities for monitoring, learning and adapting. Wildlife Management Unit 5-12A&B, and 5-13were proposed.

4. Cumulative effects, wildlife assessments, habitat restoration and better use of legislative/regulatory tools all need to be key components of action planning.

Specific Next Steps:

• The Joint Leadership Group will establish the Round-table and Participating Organizations will identify their representatives for the Planning Group. TOR refinements will be approved ASAP.

• Planning Group will advance specific actions on the 3 priority solutions at their next meeting, to be scheduled soon.

• Consideration may be given to have another large MSR meeting prior to summer to further advance specific action planning.

• A meeting summary will be prepared and availablepublicly.

Contact:

For more information please contact Tsilhqot’in National Government or FLNRORD Cariboo Region Office. 

____________________________________________________________________________________________