Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok.

Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok.

Wildlife strategy lacking in many area: MLA Clovechok

Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok has plenty to say about draft wildlife strategy

As reported last week in the Bulletin, the provincial government has put out a new draft Together For Wildlife Policy.

Wildlife management is an issue close to the heart for Columbia River – Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok. He has had some time to read through the report, and while he says it’s not a total waste of time, the strategy does not inspire a lot of confidence because at its root, it is purely politics and doesn’t offer the kind of commitment based on the known problems.

“Wildlife issues in BC are not the fault of any one political party,” Clovechok said. “This crisis has roots back into the 1950’s, and BC frankly has not treated wildlife with the respect or funding it deserves.

“What is a huge problem however is that the BCNDP have been in power for almost three years and nothing has been done to stop the ever decreasing wildlife numbers. The current BCNDP document, Together for Wildlife Strategy, is not a total waste of time. Adding $10 million to the budget for wildlife is good, but frankly it is woefully inadequate. The BC Liberals promised in 2017 to inject $15 million, and that was just to start, for an independent wildlife management society similar to the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. Much more money will be needed.

“This registered “management society” would be able to go outside of government for money tapping into the vast philanthropic network of donors similar to what goes on in the USA.

“The document acknowledges there have been population decreases, although strangely the document does not name those species that are diminishing. The obvious question is why? Why would they not acknowledge the specific species such as elk, sheep, mule deer and moose? Could it be because what they are really saying is that they want to focus on mountain caribou, wolverine and other species that are not hunted and don’t want to be seen to be supporting hunting? Makes one wonder.

Clovechok says the document focuses on habitat, human impact and climate change only, leading the impression that the government believes all the answers will be found there.

“They refer specifically to decommissioning forest roads. They refer to setting aside more crown land in “protected” areas such as parks. The document indicates clearly that the NDP think this is all about the bad humans who are the cause of wildlife population decreases. I believe that this will turn out to include hunters as part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.”

Habitat is a factor, Clovechok says but notes that the current protected areas and parks in B.C. are not producing large umbers of animals.

“Why? Because habitat is not the only answer and in many cases is not the answer at all. But yet, they continue to say it is all about habitat. The document does not refer to the predator/prey balance as a determining factor. Why? Everyone who lives in the Rocky Mountain Trench knows that balance is now tilted in favour of bears, wolves, cougars and coyotes. Why not mention it? It is not mentioned because it is politically incorrect to talk about reducing predators.

“It is much easier and popular in the cities to talk about creating more parks, cutting back on mining, forestry and energy impacts or reduce hunting, than it is to acknowledge that much of the good habitat is void or near empty of animals right now. Why? Because of the preponderance of predators.”

Education is needed, he says. There is a clear gap in thinking between rural and urban on wildlife issues. Those in the city don’t understand hunters, he says.

Clovechok says it is clear to him that the strategy has no intention of dealing with predator issues.

“The document (Action 9) refers to habitat issues, closing roads, locking up more land, reducing mortality on roads and railways, cutting back on industry, invasive species and disease. These are all real factors worth consideration. But again, in this long list, there is no mention of actually managing the predator and prey dynamic as a system. Why?

“The NDP love to strike committees and to “consult”, rather than make decisions and execute on those decisions. It takes political courage to take a principled stand and actually take action that some will not like. Our wildlife is at stake and this gutlessness is leading to populations that are so low, hunters may well be faced with Limited Entry Hunt for elk and deer, something hunters here know is not the right solution.”

The government should also be sourcing knowledge from organizations the BCWF, the BC Trappers, the BC Guideoutfitters and First Nations, he says.

“First Nations have been managing wildlife since time immemorial,” he said.

“NDP history will repeat itself as it creates committees that either exclude these groups or will have them outnumbered by those they have hand picked in any NDP consultation process.

“They talk generally about establishing clear goals but they do not mention establishing population targets for areas like the Rocky Mountain Trench. How many elk, deer, moose and sheep can the area sustain (carrying capacity)? Do they know? Do they want to know? Do they care? Goal 4 is about measuring “progress”. How can you measure how you’re doing with the elk, deer, moose or sheep population if you don’t have population targets to measure against?

“They talk about “leveraging other funding opportunities” like the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund (HCTF). The HCTF was created here in the East Kootenay in the 1980’s. Hunters here suggested to the then Social Credit government that the government should add a surcharge to hunting licenses and tag costs and apply that money to the species hunters care most about: elk, deer, moose & sheep. I would be VERY worried that this government is going to steal more of our money for other species than they already do. The HCTF already is spending our money on salamanders and bobolinks. This is our money! Hunters, trappers & guide outfitters put ALL the money into HCTF and the NDP should keep their hands off that money except for the benefit of the critters the money is supposed to go towards.

“Over $180 million has been raised and spent on 2400 projects since then without producing the game populations that were anticipated. Wonder if an audit of these projects and funds usage would be something that would be useful.

“Lack of funding has always been a problem and the BCNDP 2020 budget signals clearly that this government is not serious about tackling the wildlife problem head on. Nowhere in the budget or the Throne is speech wildlife mentioned; nothing about a “Together” for Wildlife Strategy. In actuality they have cut funding to the allocation to resource stewardship, species at risk recovery, land use planning and the Conservation Officer Service to mention a few.

“I am sorry but this document is a typical NDP cop-out. Try to act like you are taking the bull by the horns but protect yourself politically by creating processes and committees and talk about consultation – all of which is really just treading water. The so-called strategy does not inspire any confidence that anything good is going to come of this. It is, pure & simple, politics, not the kind of commitment based on what we already know to be a problem.

“The time for talk has long past and the problems have been identified; yet the BCNDP want to talk some more while wildlife populations continue to plummet,” Clovechok said. “Put your money where your mouth is and lets do something!”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

Yard waste can be dropped off for free at Columbia Shuswap Regional District landfills. (File photo)
City of Kimberley will pick up your yard waste

No plastic bags accepted, paper only

Kimberley mayor Don McCormick. File photo
Get first available vaccine, Kimberley mayor urges

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick is urging people to get vaccinated, and not… Continue reading

Demolition has begun on the old Save-On-Foods building. Paul Rodgers photo.
WATCH: Demoliton underway on old Save-On-Foods building

After the completion and opening of the brand-new store, demolition has officially… Continue reading

HWY 95 south of Golden will be getting improved cell service.
Funding will improve cell service on northern part of Hwy 95

Although we now live in a very connected world, there are still… Continue reading

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

A picture of Shirley Ann Soosay was rendered from a postmortem photographer and circulated on social media. (DDP graphic)
B.C. genealogist key to naming murder victim in decades-old California cold case

In July 1980, Shirley Ann Soosay was raped and stabbed to death

Most Read