An editorial byMel Rothenburger.
THE UTTER INSANITY of B.C.’s wildlife management practices is no more evident than in the NDP government’s plan to expand the hunting of cow and calf moose.
The logic is mind-blowing. It goes like this: caribou numbers have been declining due to loss of habitat and predation. In order to save the caribou from wolves, the plan is to shoot more anterless moose.
In so doing, the government’s rationale goes, wolves will kill fewer caribou because they won’t be moving into areas where moose are around and attacking the caribou as collateral damage.
One might think the wolves would be more inclined to hunt caribou if moose aren’t available but not according to the brain trusts who make such decisions for the government. Meanwhile, of course, this government is big on killing off more wolves, too.
Wildlife has long been mismanaged in this province but at least increasing the number of tags issued for species has usually been based on a perceived over-abundance of animals in a particular area, not on some cockamamie notion that killing more of one kind of prey will help another.
Moose in B.C., especially cow moose and their calves, need to be protected rather than targeted. Their numbers have been in decline due largely to loss of habitat, especially in recent wildfire years.
Despite NDP cabinet minister Doug Donaldson’s insistence that issuing more Limited Entry Hunting licences for cow moose and their calves is all very scientific, opponents of the hunt say the strategy doesn’t work.
The Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. and more than 30 First Nations are among those concerned about moose populations. And a Williams Lake man named Dan Simmons started the Cow Moose Sign Project five years ago that urges a total moratorium on hunting them so they can recover.
The government can still do the right thing by reversing the expansion of this moose hunt.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.