We’re going down the path of the Big Bad Wolf again, says Sadie Parr wolf advocate and outreach facilitator at the Northern Lights Wolf Centre in Golden.
Parr is concerned about the release of the BC Wolf Management Program (Daily Bulletin, Friday, November 16, 2012) and says not only does it not consider the wolf, it outlines a grim and barbaric future for the species.
Parr is urging people to read the report and give the government input in this two week public comment period.
“Nobody is considering the wolf,” Parr said. “It’s a keystone species. What happens to the wolf effects the health and balance of a whole ecosystem.”
She says that any management plan needs to reflect an understanding of the wolf’s social nature.
“You can’t manage a social animal like an ungulate. It’s different.
“The plan is full of discussion on the “harvesting” of wolves, as if they are some kind of crop like wheat or barley. It further states the lofty objective to “…ensure self-sustaining populations throughout the species range.” A self-sustaining population is a good start, but nothing to be too proud of when the report states that would allow for harvest rates of up to 34 per cent.”
Parr says that one of the objectives listed in the plan is to “Control specific populations where wolves are preventing caribou recovery”.
“This is really a continuation of the slaughter that began in 2001, sterilizing and killing wolves while development continues,” she said. “To date the wolves that have been killed have provided no evidence of more caribou, but the government wants the killing and sterilization to continue. In the meantime, so will mineral exploration, snowmobiling, heli-skiing, and other activities that compromise sensitive caribou and many other species.”
The other thing that irks Parr considerably is the government’s assertion that many stakeholders were involved in the creation of the draft plan.
“They didn’t involve a single conservation group. Now they drop this plan on the public with two weeks to comment, at the end of the year. It’s pretty unfortunate. I will definitely be asking for an extension to that deadline.”
The Northern Lights Wolf Centre, has joined together with Pacific Wild, Valhalla Wilderness Society, Furbearers Defenders, the LifeForce Foundation, World Temperate Rainforest Network, and the Peter A. Dettling Wilderness Education Centre to speak against the management plan.
“The way this draft plan is structured, unless significant public opposition is mobilized in the coming weeks, the B.C. government will further relax and liberalize wolf hunting, trapping and other kill programs for years to come,” she said. “What happened to do no harm?”