Commentary by Wildlife Defence League
Last Sunday, The Globe and Mail published a scathing article linking the BC wolf cull to logging industry concerns.
A Freedom of Information application requested and obtained by the Wilderness Committee points towards industry representatives from logging corporations as the culprits who suggested initiating a wolf cull. Their suggestion, says the FOI, was due to the potential threat that a federal caribou recovery plan would place further restrictions on logging.
News that BC Liberal government are working hand-in-hand with the timber industry to ensure that wolves are scapegoated while old-growth logging is allowed to run rampant is shocking and completely unacceptable. Industry and government should remain separate and science is supposed to be used to determine appropriate measures in protecting wildlife.
Last year, 84 wolves were tracked down in the snow by helicopter and killed mercilessly by sharpshooters contracted out by the provincial government. This same government had collared some of these wolves in prior years to be studied. The cull showed absolutely no empathy and ordered the killing of entire wolf packs, including mother and pup - and for what reason?
Mountain caribou in British Columbia are on the verge of extinction. Industrial expansion, combined with recreational sports such as snowmobiling are having extremely negative impacts on the herds. Habitat fragmentation through logging, mining and oil and gas have made it nearly impossible for caribou to survive, yet the government has allowed these industries to go completely unchecked. The result - caribou herds with counts as low as 16 animals.
Now we find out that an unexpected wolf cull announcement in 2014 was the result of industry concerns over not being able to further decimate critical caribou habitat.
We have a responsibility, not only to ourselves but also to the wolves and caribou who suffer immensely under the current approach of the provincial government. We must hold this government accountable and demand a scientific-based, ethical conservation management plan in order to preserve wildlife that are threatened by so-called “progress.”