BC Government Seeks Feedback On Extended Wolf Trapping Season

Photo: Ian McAllister/Pacific Wild

Photo: Ian McAllister/Pacific Wild

The provincial government has proposed lengthening the wolf trapping season on Vancouver Island by an additional 51 days, in an ill-informed attempt to protect deer populations.

They are seeking public feedback on the proposal, with a deadline of Friday, Jan.19th, 2018 for submissions.

WDL is opposed to this proposal to lengthen the wolf trapping season - see our submission below for more information. 

Please take a moment to advocate for wolves by submitting feedback on this proposal before the Friday deadline. Feel free to use our submission below as a guideline, but be sure to personalize your letter.

Register a BCeID "basic account"on the government's Angling, Hunting and Trapping Engagement Website (AHTE) and from there you can then submit a comment on the proposal.

You can also send your comments directly to the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development, Doug Donaldson - FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Feedback on Reg. # 2018-1-10 to lengthen wolf trapping season

Please accept this submission as part of the consultation for the proposal to lengthen the wolf trapping season on Vancouver Island. 

We strongly oppose this proposal for a number of reasons - it is based on anecdotal reports that wolf numbers seem to be increasing, but there is no recent reliable, science-based population count of wolves on the island (the last population estimate is from 1994), nor any measurable data to suggest the population is in fact increasing. Even if wolf populations are confirmed scientifically to have increased, that alone does not justify lengthening the trapping season. Similarly, there is no reliable evidence to suggest that any decline in ungulates is necessarily due to wolf populations - any decline in ungulates must be researched in-depth.

We also oppose lengthening the trapping season due to the increased risk of non-target species being caught in these traps, not to mention the safety issues facing the public and domestic animals.

The provincial government has stated that they will be moving forward with a broader consultation process for a renewed wildlife management strategy for the province in 2018, but this one-off policy fails to align with the government’s acknowledgements that a renewed strategy is needed. Instead, it seems more in-line with the previous government’s tendency to scapegoat predators. In addition, the lack of reliable, measurable data surrounding this proposal is incredibly worrisome and dangerous. 

For these reasons, we are calling on the provincial government to reject this proposal to lengthen the wolf trapping season and instead move forward with the process of updating the province's wildlife management strategy so that it is science-based, conservation-focused and aligned with the values of the vast majority of British Columbians.

A Victory for Grizzly Bears in British Columbia

Photo credit: Simon Ager

Photo credit: Simon Ager

The decades-long battle to protect grizzly bears from trophy hunting in British Columbia has officially been won. Today, the BC NDP announced a complete ban on the hunt, closing loopholes that would have allowed trophy hunters to continue killing grizzlies under the guise of a “meat” hunt.

For far too long, this magnificent species has been pursued and slaughtered by resident and non-resident hunters for nothing more than a trophy. Justification for the hunt has crumbled over the years, as First Nations and conservationists exposed the ethical, economic and sustainability issues associated with killing grizzlies for sport. The majority of residents in the province oppose the hunt, with recent polling suggesting 91% disapprove.

Simply put, the social license for hunting grizzly bears no longer exists. 

This announcement follows a hard-fought campaign by Coastal First Nations, Bears Forever, Pacific Wild, the David Suzuki Foundation, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Commercial Bear Viewing Association, Bears Matter, Justice for BC Grizzlies, Grizzly Bear Foundation, Humane Society International/Canada, Wildlife Defence League and many other groups and individuals. To all of our incredible supporters who donated, wrote letters and participated in our Trophy Free BC campaign – thank you!

We’d like to especially thank Lush Cosmetics North America and Patagonia for believing in our work enough to provide grants that help fund our field campaigns and for the incredible support that their stores and employees provided.

While today’s announcement protects upwards of 400 grizzlies a year from trophy hunters, it’s important we continue to advocate for the protection of the species, especially from the threat of habitat destruction. The Auditor General’s report, released in the fall recommended 10 steps the provincial government can take to ensure the survival of grizzly bears for generations to come. The BC NDP chose to adopt all 10 recommendations but it’s up to us to hold them to their word. Sub-populations of grizzlies are endangered in parts of the province and their recovery depends heavily on habitat-protection measures that currently aren’t in place.

As Aldo Leopold so eloquently said, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

Wildlife Defence League is committed to advocating for and taking action to protect critical habitat for grizzly bears, endangered mountain caribou, wolverines and other species. Donations help us continue this important work. Support our efforts today!