Re: Moose and caribou mismanaged by former government

A letter to the editor by MLA Donna Barnett in response to Minister Doug Donaldson

To the editor,

Whenever you find yourself between a rock and a hard place, the easiest thing to do is blame someone else for your misfortune, and that is exactly what Minister Doug Donaldson did in the June 11 edition of the 100 Mile Free Press when he refused to accept responsibility for the NDP’s latest proposal to open up hunting on baby moose and their mothers.

Minister Donaldson thinks the only way he can save highly endangered caribou populations is by starving out wolves through an antlerless moose hunt. But anyone with any common sense knows that wolves will simply target caribou if moose are not available.

Predator management is the best way to save the caribou. Fewer wolves mean less threat and Minister Donaldson should admit that his new proposal is just one giant experiment based on comments made by his staff last week.

The director of the Wildlife and Habitat Branch, Jennifer Psyllakis, stated on CBC radio last week that: “Some of the work is very well documented in the literature across North America. But this particular management approach, we’re somewhat on the forefront of the research with respect to how successful it will be for caribou recovery.”

So in other words, Minister Donaldson is taking a management approach used in very different eco-environments in the hopes it may apply to B.C.’s unique caribou populations. That’s a long stretch by any means.

The fact is Minister Donaldson, moose and caribou populations have plummeted under your watch over the past three years and there is no one to blame except yourself. Hunters, First Nations and locals alike know this and we all know this is a disaster waiting to happen.

The only way to save caribou and moose populations is to directly control the predators. Reducing their food supply and hoping to starve them out is just wishful thinking about a highly adaptive and resourceful predator.

I encourage everyone to sign the online change.org petition entitled “Help save B.C.’s baby moose population” and put a stop to this utter nonsense.

Sincerely,

Donna Barnett, MLA

Cariboo-Chilcotin

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