Province of BC creating wolf management plan: Canadian Wolf Coalition
The Provincial government announced recently they are in the planning stages for creation of a wolf management plan for BC, the Canadian Wolf Coalition says, just one day before Montana and Idaho ended federal protection for wolves in those neighbouring states.
However, members of the Canadian Wolf Coalition (CWC) are concerned that conservation groups and ENGO’s, as well as wolf biologists, First Nations people, the general public and shareholders are being left out of the discussion.
“Without our voices there may be no “conservation” in the plan, just management, and we are concerned that not all strategies to address potential conflicts will be ethical, responsible, nor pro-active in terms of best future for wildlife,” said a coalition press release.
The CWC based in Golden said the biologist who put together the predator control proposal in 2009, Stephen Wilson, has been contracted by the Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations to work on the plan.
The CWC is calling for the wolf’s inherent right to exist in BC in healthy numbers and that the genetic structure (no fertility control) of wolves be protected, as well as protecting habitat for wolves and their prey. Eliminating wolf hunting and trapping was also recommended.
They felt the Yukon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan was a great model for a BC plan. It can be viewed at http://www.environmentyukon.gov.yk.ca/mapspublications/documents/wolf_conservation_mgt_plan.pdf
A Ministry of the Environment report in 2007 said there were at least 30 resident wolves in the Central Selkirk Mountains between Slocan and Trout Lakes, while wolves were patchy and probably do not number much more than 13 in the South Selkirk Mountains near Nelson.
Recent survey work in the West Kootenay suggests there were less than 34 wolves in the Columbia Trench north of Revelstoke.
Just south of the West Kootenay region, federal protections for some 1,200 gray wolves in Montana and Idaho officially ended Thursday under legislation passed by Congress last month, removing them from the endangered species list.
The de-listing places wolves under state wildlife control and opens them to licensed hunting. Another 4,000 wolves in the western Great Lakes region could lose their status as threatened or endangered early next year under a separate government proposal issued last month.
The de-listing in legislation signed into law in April marks the first creature ever taken off the endangered list by an act of Congress rather than through a process of scientific review.
The legislative de-listing also applies to about three dozen wolves in Oregon, Utah and Washington state. Another 300 wolves in Wyoming will remain protected for the time being.
For more information on the CWC, check out www.canadianwolfcoalition.com.