LETTERS: Wolf cull an easy way out for provincial government

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

Editor:

A wolf cull was inevitable, it’s the cheapest thing government can do. Politics requires them to seem to be doing something.

Logging roads, backcountry snowmobiling, hunting, fires, have done this. Wolves take the path of least resistance, like us. Why run through bush if you’ve got an open track? Alternatives like habitat restoration (caribou require old growth — good luck with that) and maternal penning (works but females and young are let out after young are big enough) take longer and are expensive.

Logging, beetles, fires, and low prices have taken most loggable stuff down with resulting mill closures, but logging and fire-barrier roads remain. Resulting opportunities for backcountry snowmobiling, hunting need to be seriously addressed.

It’s hard to truly de-activate a logging road. De-activating them doesn’t make them disappear either. While government doesn’t want people on 2017/18 fire-barrier roads, those roads have to be kept open for the future.

What’s missing in a major way is enforcement.

Read More: ‘Critically low’ caribou population prompts wolf cull in the Chilcotin

Quads can easily cross standard closures, some people even carry folding ramps!

B.C. got a few new conservation officers recently but more are acutely needed.

People’s vehicles in remote areas continue to keep roads and trails open, ensuring wolves continue to use them. Some may not realize this but those that do, think snowmobiling or hunting using vehicles is their right. They place themselves above consequences of their activities.

Facing expensive alternatives, government has hit on wolf culls.

Comments like “it’s the most humane way, to shoot from a helicopter” strains credulity. Imagine running along the ground and being shot at from above; how accurate is a guy in a helicopter likely to be? The wolf might go down, but is it dead?

Research shows empty territories are quickly re-occupied by wolves, and reproduction ramps up, so it’s a temporary solution of a few years, at best.

Wolves are necessary parts of the ecosystem, they have a right to continue being so. How many will be left before we face up to what we’ve done to wilder areas, and really start to be the stewards remote areas require?

Fixing ultimate causes like logging old growth forests, open backcountry roads and trails, and the lack of enforcement over them, that’s expensive.

Government worries about expenses and voters. Citizens get angry and government electability becomes questionable.

Speaking of expense, how about that big new road to a big new mine behind Anahim … another road into fairly pristine wilderness. Nah, don’t worry about wolves and caribou, the trucks will take care of that, while government wrings its hands and says: “well, we tried.”

P. Grover

Chilanko Forks

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