Challenge 3: Declining Wildlife Populations



Some wildlife populations are declining across the province.

Opportunities:

  • Set measurable objectives for wildlife populations and ecosystems in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, wildlife and habitat organizations, natural resource development industry stakeholders and the public.
  • Address habitat loss, alteration and fragmentation where required to meet wildlife population and ecosystem objectives.
  • Improve understanding of wildlife population dynamics through improved and more frequent information collection, as well as incorporation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and citizen science to complement existing inventory and monitoring programs.
  • Improve understanding of the links between habitat conservation and healthy wildlife populations.
  • Address other mortality factors, such as hunting, predation and road/rail collisions, that are contributing to population declines.

Discussion Question

  • What measures need to be taken to proactively manage wildlife and habitat and prevent wildlife from becoming species at risk?

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287 responses to “Challenge 3: Declining Wildlife Populations

    User avatar
    [-] Anthony

    I live in the East kootneys, Are elk herds are gone , It’s been mismanaged for years, The Government let’s the Cattle association run the habit ,Mule deer are almost gone!! The communities have more Deer now from Predators chasing them into town where their safe!! The mountains have domestic cows then ever before! Start shutting down mountain bikers from taking over the game trails! People complain the the east kootney environmentalists and nothing is done ! Maybe someone should be accountable for doing nothing! The whole office in Cranbrook is a joke

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    [-] JK

    Show me some science that mountain biking is causing wildlife decline…..

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    [-] SA

    Might be worth some specified research however, I expect it would be similar to the response of wildlife to other human activities (roads, industrial activity). I have encountered loud noises of humans and groups of dogs running in the vicinity of bike trails and the dogs answer elk calls immediately. Hard to see how this would not have an impact, at least on the habitat used during biking season.

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    [-] Dan

    If you really want to address wildlife mortality rates, how about ending aerial spraying for selective regrowth. This practice is starving our moose populations.

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    [-] Steve

    Start with the dedicated funding model from hunting/tag license revenue- and direct that back into the resource.

    Start managing wildlife via science instead of emotion. We cannot say that a wolf cull needs to be done to save caribou based on science, and in the same breath say that the grizzly hunt was closed due to emotion.

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    [-] Nick

    Science based decision need to take presidents

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    [-] Jake

    Landscape level planning is needed which considers all impacts on the landbase, whether historic influences, current practices, or anticipated developments. Greater funding for government researchers and greater collaboration with industry is needed. In a governance level, legislation and policies need to stay current with the best available science. Ie. the percent of our provinces landbase in protected areas should be constantly updated based on both these scientific advances, and on the measuring of how well these areas are doing at accomplishing their goals. I find we have a tenancy for these to become static on the landbase and are then bogged down by government processes if any changes are needed to increase their effectiveness.

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    [-] Geoff

    Resumption of Grizzly Bear hunting and an active predator control program should be provincial priorities. Working with involved wildlife-based NGO’s such as the Wild Sheep Foundation and RMEF should be another priority. Wildlife management should be scientifically based and NOT politically driven.

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    [-] Erin

    Baseline inventories and recruitment rates need to be established before making decisions in wildlife management. Habitat management is the key factor in wildlife decline, decline and destruction of habitat amplifies the effects of other mortality factors (road/rail, predation). The solution is always protecting and preserving habitat.

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    [-] Chris

    Using science and not emotions to manage wildlife. Sometimes predators need to be controlled and that means hunted to reduce numbers. Stop managing based on what uneducated snowflakes feel and make the hard and sometimes unpopular decisions to manage wildlife.

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    [-] Eric

    Wildlife habitat and food sources are a major concern, almost as big as the predators are. Range land needs to be opened up, and predators need to be managed/culled. The combination of high predator densities, and thick bush, make it all to easy for the remaining ungulates to become prey. Successful states and provinces have all culled predators. Provincial and federal funding are both desperately needed to address these issues. Without it, more will follow the caribou to extinction

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    [-] tristan

    -Science based predator management which includes the grizzly bear and excludes emotional / political motivated decisions.
    -Wildlife needs to be at the forefront when considering any type of development to important habitat.
    – Funding for wildlife needs to increase and all user groups of important habitat should pay. Snowmobiles in alpine areas, mountain bikers , bear viewing etc

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    [-] Scott

    1. All money from hunting tags, fees should go directly back into conservation. Another small tax needs to be implemented on other outdoor activities as well to help with habitat loss that they cause ( mountain biking, ski resorts, dirtbiking, snowmobiling, etc). Note* every penny from a new tax needs to go directly back into habitat enhancement and protection.
    2. Migration routes need to be protected and enhanced. Development needs to take serious consideration for this. Highway crossings need to be added where there are known migration corridors.
    3. Forestry needs to do a better job and following science based protocols for wildlife. Stop spraying chemicals, stop planting one species of trees in a cut, Deactivating spur roads once done,No more old growth cutting. To name a few.
    3. Predators, and more predators. This is something our government won’t touch because of social politics. There is a boom in predator numbers, and they need to be controlled and managed. Again social politics needs to stay out of wildlife Management decisions as this is a touchy subject with the general public, just look at the absolutely wrong decision this was made on the sustainable grizzly hunt.
    4. Protect and enhance habitat, this kinda goes without saying. More controlled burns, more habitat protection.
    5. With saying all this it comes down to money, like I said before, we need more money to achieve this. Fish and game clubs, BCWF, wild sheep society, Rocky Mountain elk foundation, and all the hunters , fishers, trappers, guides, have been donating, and putting their own money and time into protecting wildlife more then anyone else in this province. It’s time the government took a stand, listened to the ones who are so invested in this, and help.

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    [-] Shamus

    I strongly agree with this entire comment.

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    [-] Joel

    Strongly agree with all 5 points.

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    [-] Linda

    I also agree with all 5 points. Well said!

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    [-] Linda

    Winter range is being diminished through ever increasing construction with expanding city boundaries which forces wildlife to dwell within city limits. Hence a cull every year.
    Cattle are devouring winter range food and the huge fences to keep wildlife out……… In particularily harsh winters there should be more feeding programs. There would be many people who would volunteer to offer their time including my husband and myself.

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    [-] Warren

    Southern Mountain Cariboo herd.
    Predator predation is the biggest threat facing this species demise. It is not recreational back country users, non-motorized or motorized- that are causing the issues at hand.
    The more that government limits the predator animal hunting opportunities, the less the chance of survival for this species. Plain and simple.
    It would be my wish for this to be looked at with a common sense approach, rather than pressure from paid lobbying efforts/groups to limit back country usage.

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    [-] Micah

    Science based wildlife management need to be at the forefront of proactive wild life management and the government needs to listen to the science!
    The southern mountain caribou heard has been in decline since the 90’s. This issue has been brought up many times over the years and nothing has been done. This highlights one issue in a wider issue of neglect and mismanagement in BC’s wild life and habitat.
    The province needs to start listening to scientists, biologists and NGO conservation organizations and acting on their recommendations.

    In order to raise more money towards conservation all the money from hunting tags and fishing licenses should be put into a conservation fund for habitat and species.
    Secondly a small outdoor recreation tax should be put on all outdoor gear; skiing, hiking, kayaking etc. All the money from that tax should also be put into the same fund for out habitat and species.
    This money should then be used for conservation of species and their habitat.

    Eduction is really important. Teaching the wider public about conservation, wildlife management and the issues within bc is paramount. Many do not understand the concept of managing all wildlife equally – especially when that means culling and predator control.
    Social politics need to stay out of conservation and wildlife management. All the science and numbers were there in regards to grizzly bear hunting as sustainable and important. Yet the government, biologists, NGO’s and outdoorsmen/women failed to stop the ban from happening.

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    [-] Blair

    predator management and habitat enhancement

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    [-] Alan

    All of the comments and suggestions above seem sound and valid. This is the time for action not discusion and compromise, commitment not procrastination. Habitat and wildlife come first – no discussion!

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    [-] Ken

    Increased resources to research, ecology and provincial wildlife studies is needed so we know what is happening to wildlife and can institute changes to benefit wildlife.

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    [-] Evangelia

    The biggest issue in the Lower Mainland with regards to habitat loss is the fact that municipalities are able to overtake wild areas and turn them into housing or commercial areas. I strongly believe that we need to draw a red line around the lower mainland as it is now and stop encroaching on our wild areas. Additional needs for housing should be met by densification and rezoning, not by depriving nature of habitat. The problem is that each municipality has the power to zone as it wishes. This results in North & West Van housing developments creeping higher and higher up the mountains, overtaking wild areas and recreational areas: it also results in Maple Ridge and other eastern suburbs creeping into the forest habitats to the east of the city. Once these natural areas are lost they can never be brought back. We need to stop the sprawling of this city before all local wildlife are driven out.

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    [-] Garry

    First take the “management” out of wildlife management. That wildlife needs to be “managed” is a fallacy sold to us by hunting organizations. Wildlife has managed by itself for eons. In any decisions it is long past time to put the “needs” of wildlife above the “wants” of human greed. The only thing that needs to be managed is human encroachment on and destruction of wildlife habitat. If we want our future generations to be able to see wildlife and wilderness areas we cannot keep reducing their habitat to small pockets of so-called protected areas.

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    [-] Dave

    You are absolutely right that wildlife managed itself for eons . All was fine and dandy until we as humans altered nearly ALL of the critical habitat over a large area of the Provence. Specifically wintering range, migration corridors , calving ranges, high elevation old growth forest , seismic lines all over the peace country, the fighting of wildfire. The list goes on and on but even this small list of negative historical and current human impacts have a massive impact on the health and sustainability of wildlife in our province. We have enabled predators to have easier access in winter time to prey via roads, snowmobile tracks , winter logging, any time that the snow is compacted or removed it benefits the predator. I don’t see how we have any other option but to manage our wildlife with science based practices with the SOLE purpose to protect the wildlife AND their critical habitat.

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    [-] Daniel

    Wildlife absolutly must be managed, we play far to much of a detrimental role on the landscape for wildlife to recover itself. From invasive flora, non native grasses and inedible forage out competing native vegetation, roadways railways and development dominating our valley bottoms and wintering range, and forestry and agriculture fragmenting the remaining habitat, to not manage is a foolish and unrealistic option. Things can be improved, but they will not improve through passivity.

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    [-] Rick

    reinstate the grizzly bear hunt and start actively managing predators where they are a problem. I used to hunt in the East Kootenays before the wolves moved in and the elk herds were heathy. Now there are hardly any elk left. The wolves are devouring the elk and the deer. This is not an isolated problem area either. Sometimes hard decisions need to be made and the government needs to do the right thing regardless of how much noise the vocal minority makes regarding predator control.

    Stop the arial spraying that is killing off the plants that the animals need to eat. A balanced ecosystem is more important than profits.

    Wildlife management costs money! Start funding it.

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    [-] Shelby

    It’s forestry that’s killing the caribou not the wolves.
    A healthy pack will need one caribou to survive For a week or more.
    Most packs would not be able to capture a healthy one which means that that they would be targeting sick and old animals keeping the healthy ones in a better balance.
    Hunters are disgusting and I think all hunting should be banned unless you are Native American and it is part of you culture.
    Ps there are only about 8,000 wolves in the east of BC.
    You kill them the whole food chain is disrupted.
    You want to cull something start with people.

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    [-] Daniel

    Habitat, habitat and habitat. We need to set clear objectives for wildlife recovery, and we need accountability for that recovery . We need to fund the research and work neccisary to achieve these goals. That means following the science, even if it’s the science us sportsmen don’t like to hear.

    The lack of funding for wildlife is staggering considering the overwhelming cries for a direct funding model from hunting licences and tags, increased fees, and the willingness to pay excise taxes from user groups. The people will pay, but we want accountability for the money we put forward.

    Our neighbors to the south faced similar wildlife declines throughout the 1900’s and founded successful conservation strategies and have met and exceeded their recovery goals. We should take notes and follow suit. Funding, research and accountability.

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    [-] Joe

    More money needs to go into conservation. All money from hunting licenses and tags should go to conservations. Habitat improvement is needed. The province needs to burn. Forest fires are vital to a healthy landscape. Our forests have too much under growth( shrubs, dead fall, pine needles, leaves )which chokes out the ability for small plants to grow. Prescribed burns need to be used to improve habitat.

    Ungulate populations were very high 15yrs ago which led to extremely high predator populations. We need to reduce the number of predators, grizzly bears included. Studies out of Alaska have shown 1 male grizzly killed 45 moose/caribou calves in a ~ month.

    Allowing natives to harvest cow Elk/moose and not report their harvest numbers makes it impossible to manage bull to cow ratios and keep the populations from crashing.
    Airial counts should be done every winter.

    Protect wintering areas.

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    [-] Bill

    Most of our wildlife habitat is iver run with domestic cattle!
    How can a moose survive trying to feed in the same areas as 400 head of cattle?
    Should our wildlife continue to suffer so the catylemans association and affliates line their pockets with free feed for their massive herds? While the ” wildlife” gets to starve?
    You cant hunt anywhere these days without it being over run with cattle.
    And worse the offense for shooting a domestic cattle “cow”
    Are 100 times worse that shooting a moose “cow”???
    Are we serious????
    Secondly why do we allow the city folk with their nonsense emotions keep having a vote on what happens with hunting?
    Do we use our emotions to stop them from building more concrete towers?
    We cant let “voter” polls run our wildlife resources they do not buy licenses or tags which is supposed to go back into wildlife management.

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    [-] Darwin

    I live and work for 6 months of the year in the center of the MK. No mining, no roads, no logging no cumulative impacts. Our wildlife populations are declining significantly. There are no babies. We have lots of wolves, LOTS of grizzlies , most of our black bear are gone. Grizzlies eat them and the wolves eat the cubs out of the dens. If you do not manage the predators you will not have any wildlife. You are currently studying them to death and making excuses called cumulative impacts. Just come to my neck of the woods where we have non of the cumulative impacts and do a study we have one common problem “Predators” No babies no recruitment.

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    [-] Byron

    More funding for studies and more predator control. ALL tag and licence funds should go back into wildlife and habitat. Politics doesn’t belong in wildlife management , just science and facts

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    [-] Robert

    When theres lots and it’s beneficial, (ie healthy), allow harvesting with monitoring, When in decline, minimize human impact and make efforts to nourish the healthy sectors and weaken the toxic activities. Prey species, (deer, and other ungulates) require natural predation taking the weak and the sick and leaving the healthy and strong to reproduce, not mans predation that only hunts the healthiest of the animals. If they’re at risk, weaken mans impact first instead of jealously killing the natural predators.

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    [-] Scotty

    Just a little note: predators don’t always just hunt the old and weak. Go spend some time in the wilderness and you will find mature, healthy animals in their prime of their life, killed by wolves and bears. Once you actually spend real time in the “real” outdoors, you will see that all these “social opinions” on our wildlife are not true. Yes predators are a key role in the ecosystem, but so are humans. We have always been part of the balance of nature. We need to be even more now that we have devastated habitat to such a drastic degree.

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    [-] Judy

    We need to STOP letting resource industries pollute and kill off wildlife. Mining and forestry are disasters for our wildlife, and fish farming is possibly even worse. Fish farming should be shut down entirely. We should be raising hemp to reduce the devastation of our forest habitats, and holding mining and other resource extraction companies to very high standards around environmental protections. Right now industries are running the show and destroying the planet, endangering not only wildlife, but human life as well.

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    [-] Lee

    Agreed, the management objective to conserve wildlife and habitat should be reflected in Forestry, Mining and industrial measures policies.

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    [-] roy

    AS A LONG TIME ADVOCATE FOR THE PROTECTION OF A SMALL POPULATION OF GRIZZLY AS WELL AS THE REGIONS MULE DEER POPULATION. RECENT PLANS TO LOG MORE MULE DEER HABITAT HAVE BEEN APPROVED IN SPITE OF A SERIOUS DECLINE IN POPULATION. WHEN ASKED IF THE PRPOSED PLAN HAS TAKEN THE MULE DEER POPULATION INTO CONSIDERATION. WE RECEIVED A REPLY AND A POPULATION ANALYSIS FROM 2012. USING OUTDATED DATA REVEALS A LACK OF REAL CONCERN AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT.

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    [-] John

    Several species of wildlife are already at risk. Your not listening to the hunting groups. You have been listening to the anti’s and the celebrities who have no business controlling our predator population. We should be bringing back bounties on wolf and Grizzly kills.

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    [-] Ted

    Even the “opportunities” section above lists hunting first as a mortality factor.
    I believe that legally licensed hunters are NOT the problem in declining wildlife numbers but a socially constructed anti hunter perception.

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    [-] Peter

    A few years ago I questioned the odds of LEH authorizations for Cow Moose in 7-27 and found actual odds were not the posted 1.7:1 odds in the synopsis. The ministry gave me 10 years worth of information including actual odds of 3.6:1 average, more than twice what was stated. The information also provided LEH hunting success rates of approximately 12-14% annually. Therefore, I believe we can rule out over hunting by authorized hunters and focus on the unknown numbers taken for sustenance, predation, snow levels, and the use of herbicides. It’s time for everyone to pay to utilize this privilege and use the: licensing fees , LEH fees, and tag fees for habitat and culling of predators like Wolves and Grizzlies. It is imperative that all user groups cooperate and participate in restoring and enhancing what Little wildlife we have left.

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    [-] John

    Everyone knows what needs to be done…it’s been studied to death.

    Now get on with it.

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    [-] Nick

    Actually step up and manage forestry, stop letting the timber companies police themselves. Destroying or radically changing habitats is the biggest danger. Wildlife managers should have veto power over any resource development.

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    [-] Trevor

    We need to incorporate other values into land use decisions on crown lands. A prime example is the current monoculture forestry regime. Especially egregious is the spraying of forest lands to kill aspen trees. We cannot have a sensible habitat policy if the majority of the province is devoted to exclusive farming of commercial tree species.

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    [-] dru

    Wildlife management decisions need to be based on science and decisions from local biologists rather than “social acceptance” or “the number of” internationally sourced emotionally driven emails from special interest groups as arrogantly admitted when the grizzly hunt was banned. Please stop treating wildlife management as a political football for perceived short term popularity wins

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    [-] Lee

    The latest study shows that “60% of all mammals on Earth are livestock, mostly cattle and pigs, 36% are human and just 4% are wild animals” from “The biomass distribution on Earth
    Yinon M. Bar-On, Rob Phillips, and Ron Milo, PNAS May 21, 2018. 201711842; published ahead of print May 21, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1711842115. This study illustrates the heavy human footprint on wildlife and habitats. We need to increase our percentage of land and water base conservation areas to 17% as agreed in the UN Declaration on Biodiveristy and ensure that these areas are not part of the provinces over-represented rock and ice patches. We need to ensure more funding for park rangers and interpreters for education on wildlife and habitat conservation. We need to amend the Parks Act to remove the fragmentation created by industrial activities within the conservation areas. We need to ensure that all decisions are science led. Most critical is developing a dedicated long-term funding source and required to update scientific studies, for a monitoring plan for wildlife and habitats of concern to take place regularly, and for action to be conducted when triggers such as fire, population declines, human overuse and climate impacts are identified.
    A land use planning board including First Nation involvement should be established (science led) to 1) Ensure that provincial, federal and public/private land managers are supportive of management actions. 2) Develop agreements delegating who will be responsible for what actions. 2) Schedule regular meetings to assess wildlife and habitat condition. 3) Be adaptive in management if a future change warrants action. 4) Develop a protocol for action to take place and a timeline. Be adaptive when emergency action is necessary. 5) Develop a science-based protocol for dealing with conflicts that may arise ( the detriment of one species over another, human pressures).
    In addition, we need to ensure that conservation areas for wildlife and habitats are not just isolated pockets without any connectivity for the interchange of the gene pool and to allow species movement, where possible, during this era of rapid climate change. In areas close to urban centres, we need action and people on the ground to get a handle on the building of illegal trails for ATVs entering sensitive habitats and pushing wildlife sensitive to human disturbance,such as mountain goats, out of their traditional areas.

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    [-] Lee

    The land use planning board should have the expressed Purpose: to conserve wildlife and habitats.

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    [-] Dave

    I believe the new governance structure should solely rely on a scientific model rather than opinion based. Wildlife values should way heavier than resource values on the landscape. A top priority should be placed on over-wintering habitat protection, and the grazing rights throughout the province should be reviewed to determine if the grazing rights warrant the loss of critical habitat. Ultimately, studies must be undertaken, peer-reviewed and published surrounding any wildlife management and habitat conservation concerns for public review, and possibly vote, prior to making any new decisions. When I say public, I mean people who are directly involved with the wildlife and wild lands, such as hunters, recreational users, anglers, foresters, etc. Rural and city users votes and opinions should be separated and weighted heavier towards user-groups who are directly impacted by the decisions that are made involving wildlife and wild lands.
    When the professional biologists suggest a reduction of predator numbers , I believe that is what exactly should be done. In our province we have very vocal Opposition to anything in regard to hunt/cull of either Wolf or bear. While they are magnificent animals that I love to encounter while out in the wilds of BC , they like all wildlife need to be managed to ensure strong and healthy populations throughout all of our wildlife including ungulates.
    One of the biggest misconceptions out there among the non hunting/ limited recreational use groups is that “wildlife has been balancing its self for thousands of years and we humans do not need to interfere in this process.” While I believe that in a 100% natural unaltered state that this would be true but we are few centuries past this point in our encroachment into the wildlife habitat .
    I recently attended a lecture at a local collage about the relationship between the Caribou and the wolf in the peace country Boreal forest. After GPS collaring of the wolves they concluded that the wolf could travel 2.8 times faster on a seismic line then it could in the forest. This indicates that we are altering the landscape to make one of the most deadly predators even more efficient at hunting game species .
    As unappealing as some of these ideas sound to the masses I would call for some strong leadership for REAL wildlife management to ensure a strong future for our magnificent animal species.

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    [-] Brent

    Bang on.

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    [-] Richard

    Agreed

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    [-] CS

    As a base line study for ten years or so shut down all hunting in northern BC parks and see how wildlife rebounds. Edziza caribou were an isolated herd and liberals opened the hunting up. Those caribou will be going down hill. You can’t kill the monarchs of the species and expect the gene pool to stay healthy. Parks were designed not for hunting but for preserving natural history and enjoyment for people. Liberals turned it to a slaughter house.

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    [-] Dave

    Please attach a link to a professional biologists study that shows that hunting of mature male Ungulates reduces the health of a herd . This is something that I have not read before and would be interested to read these studies.

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    [-] Scotty

    That is a limited entry hunt that only has 10 tags per season. I don’t know the numbers for sure, but the success rate would be very low as well as it is isolated and takes a lot of effort to get in and out. Hardly a “slaughter”. Shutting down regulated hunting will only hurt wildlife studys and habitat enhancement even more. The public gets to have their say in this and that includes you, but IMO Your comment is negative is uniformed.

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    [-] CS

    I wound’t say human activity is the problem but what kind of human activity. People who respect the wildlife and let it be are not a problem Those with dogs or guns or extreme harrasing techniques are an issue. With national parks you have all kinds of people and wildlife living together. People and wildlife can coexist but you can’t send two different messages to an animal. Just like you can’t view bear and hunt them I just don’t work. Same with caribou, harasses them or you let caribou get accustomed to people.

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    [-] Norman

    Check out Kootenay Park if you think Parks are such a great thing for wildlife. There is no hunting in the Park yet there are only a small fraction of ungulates left, and also see the decline in Banff and Jasper All parks with no hunting.

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    [-] Glenn

    Properly funding wildlife research should be the baseline starting point. Without current and robust data any management decisions are ill informed “guesstimates”. Any management of harvest levels for game species is virtually meaningless without actively engaging Indigenous communities. If game populations appear to be in decline, reducing hunting opportunities is not the “long term” fix – focus on habitat protection/improvement, predator control, etc.

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    [-] Adam

    Our wildlife populations are declining due to neglect. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel and look to the incredible success of the Americans in all areas of wildlife management. One example is the QDM (Quality Deer Management Progam), available totally free online. Rapid adoption of their proven, science based management systems will benefit everyone!

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    [-] jeff

    I believe that the province does not have enough current data to react to changing conditions/populations quickly. I would be happy to provide much more data than requested in the annual paper survey. Given the right online tools (facebook group, huntingbc.com etc) many outdoor users could provide valuable observations on a timely basis.

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    [-] Dustin

    Create a funding model where stakeholders contribute and ensure that these funds are used to prioritize wildlife and habitat. Research is expensive, but it has to be done. Rehabilitation of habitat is expensive, but it has to be done. The natural resources of our province are not an eternal bank account from which we can continue to make withdrawals.

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    [-] Dick

    Adopt Africa’s stance on poachers: Shoot on sight. We can afford to lose a few humans to save endangered wildlife. There are too many useless humans and not enough wildlife left on this planet. The more animals we kill due to human conflict and habitat loss, the harder it is to recover the species.

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    [-] Marc

    Wildlife needs to be managed scientifically, by skilled biologists and they need to be listened to. Habitat must be protected, predators must be controlled and monitored. And everyone hunting needs to follow the same rules and be accountable. It always seems like we throw around the word equality while getting further from it. I understand the significance of hunting to provide meat and sustenance and in this day in age all indigenous and non-indigenous hunters are using the same methods, motorized vehicles, high powered rifles etc. And therefor we should all follow the same rules and be accountable, which I believe would tie back into allowing the scientific management of wildlife to be carried out.

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    [-] Annie

    Well, you might try actually protecting habitat. Where I live, we’ve lost 70% of the moose population due to habitat lost to industrial development. No habitat – no wildlife. You can spend a lot of time on studies but most 1st year biology students can tell you that fragmented and degraded habitat cannot maintain healthy populations, except for maybe coyotes. Stop allowing industry to self-regulate. They do not care.

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    [-] Judy

    wildlife population distributions , numbers and declines have to be better documented. The province does not even have a grizzly bear management plan. Government science should follow the same rules as individual researchers have to follow, with reviews and publishing in order to be transparent. Habitat loss is critical and is often cited as a reason wildlife populations are declining (ie caribou) and yet the province is doing very little to address this fact. Instead, the province is resorting to killing wolves and this has not helped. The entire relationship between animals, habitats and ecosystems has to be made whole and has to become a priority. The precautionary principle is well understood but yet does not appear to factor in where determinations are being made. The province made a huge mistake by allowing the grizzly bear hunt to continue when there was no science to support this hunt and the only way it stopped was due to a ban by a change in political parties. This should be an embarrassment for provincial wildlife managers and I believe this has led to their lack of credibility. Wildlife management should be based on science, not politics. Science also should hold hands with ethics and there are certainly examples of questionable policies supported by the province that are unethical. For example, trapping and drowning beavers is unethical because it takes a beaver a long time to drown. Organizations in the U.S. do not support drowning of beavers as euthanasia for this reason. Traps are also not monitored in a timely fashion and animals are left to suffer. These practices have to be reviewed and consideration to the ethics, and pain and suffering of the animals has to be considered.

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    [-] Scotty

    BC has been reporting on hunter harvest since 1976, and it is one of the most managed hunts in BC. Grizzly populations are stable and or increasing in areas that have suitable habitat. There are study’s done by BC bios that you can read online. It is actually an embarrassment that the hunt stopped due to social politics. It was a sustainable hunt that brought a balance to certain habitats that don’t have a high carrying capacity for the bear. Also the wolf culling that has and is being done around caribou is heavily monitored as well. They have only been targeting the wolves that are actively hunting theses herds. And if you actually read the year by year study reports on calf survival vs wolves killed. There is a percentage increase for survival. Yes it is human interference that has caused this imbalance to happen at this rate, and it is humans that are the reason why when the those caribou herds are wiped out by predation , there won’t be any other herds migrating into that territory to bring that population back. Just cause you ethically think that culling wolves is wrong. it is one tool we need to absolutely use to help remaining caribou survive in our landscape. We most likely will not ever have the same habitat that they need to survive and flourish in the southern regions of BC, but that doesn’t mean we can just leave them be. And the drowning of beavers is a personal ethics. I may agree with you on that one but I don’t actually know how much they suffer when drowned. Also there are very strict regulations to checking traps. This is something that trappers take great consideration in. The ethics around trapping have never been as good as they are today.

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    [-] Brent

    Something.. anything.. needs to be done to address habitat loss and declining ungulate populations. Stop spraying glyphosphate on their food.. this province is for everyone, not just the timber companies. Amend the Douglas Treaty on Vancouver Island to take into account modern technology. Keep up the wolf cull and consider expanding it to Vancouver island.

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    [-] Rob

    Callum Roberts, an academic from the University of York, outlines in his book; Ocean of Life, the need for completely no-take marine reserves to help declining populations of sea life. This is not just important for the fish themselves and those that predate on them, but the spillover as a result of population growth would lead to greater yields for fishermen without them having to commit more fishing effort.

    Marine reserves are a no-brainer with regards to increasing marine life populations and creates an undeniable win-win as fishermen see greater returns when they fish the surrounding areas.

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    [-] Chantal

    Increased monitoring is an absolute must. Partnerships with universities, First Nations or Indigenous groups, and other non-government organizations can provide the workforce if the government provides the oversight and funding.
    Wholistic ecosystems approaches need to be considered – including the impact industry is having. Quick fixes and “management” of individual species is not effective in the long-term.
    The precautionary principle should be applied when uncertainty exists in high volumes.
    Science-based decision making does not mean ethics have no place in discussions.
    Government science should be open to the same review and publishing processes as external research to ensure accountability.

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    [-] Kathleen

    Within the opportunities listed above/below: Stop culling wildlife, particularly wolves. Protect/cultivate species habitat.

    Set measurable objectives for wildlife populations and ecosystems in collaboration with Indigenous peoples, wildlife and habitat organizations, natural resource development industry stakeholders and the public.
    Address habitat loss, alteration and fragmentation where required to meet wildlife population and ecosystem objectives.
    Improve understanding of wildlife population dynamics through improved and more frequent information collection, as well as incorporation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and citizen science to complement existing inventory and monitoring programs.
    Improve understanding of the links between habitat conservation and healthy wildlife populations.
    Address other mortality factors, such as hunting, predation and road/rail collisions, that are contributing to population declines.

    Thank you.

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    [-] Bart

    It appears you misunderstand our message when it comes to wolf control. There is not a single person that I know of in the hunting community that wants to “cull” wolves. They are a beautiful and integral part of our natural ecosystems. The problem they have is that they are very effective predators and kill indiscriminately. They don’t care if the meal in front of them is a non endangered deer, a moose or an endangered mountain caribou, they just want to eat. As wildlife conservationists, we want to see there numbers controlled, not eliminated in order to help other species that need a reprieve from predation. In most cases, hunting has been significantly reduced, yet populations continue to drop. There is plenty of research to illustrate the effective role predator reduction can accomplish in trying to increase ungulate populations.

    The other points you bring up such as rail collisions, habitat loss, accurate monitoring, collaboration with First Nations and other stakeholders, and setting measurable management goals I agree are valid and should be addressed.

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    [-] Anna

    please prevent the loss of Wildlife, hunting and trapping should not be allowed, nature and wildlife have a right to florish as it was ment, no industrial development, no deforestation, no mining, nor grazing of invasive livestock. No traffic roads through sensitive area’s, where traffic is allowed, reduced speed is required!

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    [-] Bart

    The single biggest reason for wildlife population declines is an erosion over time of quality habitat. Almost every time we turn around, humans are negatively influencing the landscape. Logging, mining, resort developers, recreational users(mountain bikers, snow machines, skiers, etc) ATV’ers all negatively influence wildlife populations, but little is done because they are economic drivers and that is what gets politicians votes.
    Take a look at where people tend to settle. In Valley bottoms near water. Those areas are the most critical habitat for wildlife because it that is wintering habitat. Those areas provide shallower snow packs which allows for easier foraging for animals in the difficult winter months. Yet each and every year municipalities, because of their desire to increase their tax base, push developments further and further along valley bottoms and up mountain sides choking out the habitat. Those developments don’t even take into consideration the effects of agriculture land development(high fencing). Hunting and fishing have very little effect on wildlife population trends. Human presence and a lack of caring for wildlife are the biggest detriments to wildlife.

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    [-] Scotty

    Wildlife is flourishing in certain regions that are heavily managed with hunting and trapping, and has sustainable habitat. Wildlife has always been hunted and trapped by humans. We are also part of nature and the balance of nature. Now there is a huge disconnect between wildlife and the majority of the population that live in city’s. City’s that require us to build roads to farms that have mass agricultural to feed the high populations. City’s that require us to log so we can build more to house more people thus encroaching on wild habitat. City’s that require us to mine so humans can have all these things that make life easier. Wildlife flourished before these city’s took over. The lower mainland and Victoria were once flourishing habitats for wildlife. Now the same people who live in those areas try and talk down to the rural Communities who farm, hunt, and make a living off the land. Your comment is Uninformed and isn’t solving this issue.

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    [-] Deb

    I strongly feel there shouldn’t be an Elk hunt until we know what’s causing the decline in the Kootenays. The money from the tags should go towards research and there must be better wildlife management in place. We certainly don’t need another coal mine (Bingay) in the Elk Valley near Elkford which is a migratory haven for many species. It’s time to stop brining in more industry with destruction and help the animals. The Elk decline is a big wake up call!!!

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    [-] Wayne

    It could be possible that you have the order of the question backwards, maybe it should read: “What measures need to be taken to proactively manage habitat to prevent wildlife from becoming species at risk”.
    If wildlife doesn’t have a home, it can’t survive and when we don’t take into account all of the implications to the wildlife stakeholders when mining, forestry, transportation links, hiking/biking trails etc. are permitted, we put the wildlife at risk. We need to “begin with the end in mind” (Covey). The state of our mountain caribou and the deaths by the coal trains pop into my mind.
    Therefore, decisions need to be made watershed by watershed based on the big picture provided by science and not influenced by user groups for their own interests (eg. forestry companies, hunters, trappers, lobbyists, mountain bikers etc). Thus, armed with the best models of the expected impacts to the landscape (habitat), professionals should be able to make informed permit decisions/policies/regulations on what is best for “wildlife”.
    Once “regulations” are put into place there has to be education and enforcement of them or nothing will change. Money needs to be spent to have the ability to collect data for the professionals to make prudent decisions. Keep politicians out of it.

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    [-] Doris

    Ethics has an important place in discussions.
    Government science should be open to the same review and publishing processes as external research to ensure accountability.

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    [-] Line

    – Consumptive users and lobby groups from the hunting and trapping communities are a small fraction of British Columbians and outdoor recreationists but are often the only groups at the table.
    – Non-consumptive users have just as much stake in how wildlife and habitat are treated and should be represented proportionately.

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    [-] Scotty

    You should ask yourself why are they always at the table? Because they are involved and are working to better the wildlife. They are educated on the subjects at hand and have on the ground, first hand experience in the wilds of BC. Non- consumptive users mostly, compared to consumptive, don’t have as much knowledge and are disconnected from what real “wildlife and wilderness” is. This is where I believe we will run into problems if you have people who only spend a few weekends out of the year in the backcountry, making wildlife decisions.

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    [-] frances

    No species should go extinct. I will modify — invasives like bullfrogs, starlings, grey doves, english sparrows — No problem if they disappear in our area. These invasives have a role to play in native species declining populations.
    Culling predators does not work and has never worked. Simplistic, Devastating and Poor bureaucratic policies around wildlife “management”.

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    [-] Scotty

    Culling predators in certain circumstances has definitely worked. And there has been successful programs in culling invasive species. So you contradict yourself. And yes wildlife MANAGEMENT is very important now and in the coming years to come if we want any wildlife left in our beautiful province.

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    [-] Giavanna

    Well for one, killing wolves is not the answer. We as humans have already upset and unbalanced the natural circle of life. So these are the problems/consequences of our actions. What I believe would help preserve the caribou is establishing a save, secluded habitat that way you wouldn’t have to kill more innocent wolves.

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    [-] Scotty

    So you want to basically have the caribou in a high fence area. Just put them in a zoo I guess…?!And why do you want them in the high fence area? To protect them from wolves? They do already have maternity pens to help with calf survival. But to put a fence up around the herds to protect them? You do realize how big of a range these animals live? Migrating up and down during different seasons. Installing fences in the forest is first going to disrupt so many other animals plus it just won’t work. Let alone the actual logic behind it is so flawed, the cost and maintance would use up too much of the fundin resource.
    “Innocent” wolves… wolves are doing what they have always been doing. They aren’t humans, they aren’t innocent or guilty, they are killing machines. Yes they are beautiful creatures but you said it yourself. We have unbalanced the natural circle of life, and more importantly the habitat. And now we need to MANAGE it so we can keep these wild places, and keep certain species on the landscape. IMO your comment is very uniformative and I feel like you just want to stop the hunting of wolves.

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    [-] Evelyn

    Increased monitoring is an absolute must along with partnerships with universities, First Nations or Indigenous groups, and other non-government organizations which can provide the workforce if the government provides the oversight and funding.

    Science-based decision making does not mean ethics have no place in discussions. Government science should be open to the same review and publishing processes as external research to ensure accountability.

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    [-] Bart

    There is a dire need for non emotional, science based decision making. A very close second is a need for a dedicated funding model that enables a significant amount of money be allocated to wildlife management annually. In addition, all user of the outdoors including industry, municipalities developing new subdivisions, hunters, fishers, mountain bikers, skiers, snowmobilers, etc, ALL need to contribute funds to habitat improvements and wildlife management; their actions influence our wildlife. There is a ton of scientific research that has illustrated habitat is key to wildlife population health. We need to do a much better job of protecting what is remaining and improving what we have already damaged.

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    [-] Jonathan

    BC does not manage wildlife as well as most other western North American jurisdictions. We need to ensure that the money generated from hunting licenses is used exclusively for wildlife management. Additionally, we need to remove politics from wildlife management and allow the provincial biologists the freedom to do their jobs.

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    [-] Chris

    I agree with everything you said.

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    [-] walter

    The Columbia Treaty is about to be renegotiated. Repairing and renewing salmon fisheries is very important for places like the upper Skagit and the rivers flowing into Arrow and Kootenay Lakes. If Osooyoos has anything to teach us, it is that this can be done! With Indigeneous leadership and participation.

    also kinder morgan pipeline right of way, BC Hydro, LNG gas lines provide excellent opportunity to manage habitat for the benefit of wildlife.

    hunting is not the problem. habitat loss is. improve habitat and the animals find a way to survive.

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    [-] Chris

    As with the previous question. Science(biologist) needs to dictate the parameters of wildlife and habitat management. All other interests should work within those parameters.

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    [-] Shamus

    Increase funding
    Increase resource officers
    Start utilizing prescribed burns to increase feed for all species
    Reduce motorized access in areas of greater concern
    Increase predator control and reduce predator populations to ease predation and increase survival rates
    Stop the practice by timber companies of spraying herbicides that destroy important brows for moose, etc

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    [-] William

    In my opinion the main reason fr the dramatic decline in wildlife specifically ungulates is lack of predetor control. For the last number of years the act of predetor hunting has been looked down upon by both the anti-hunter and some of the hunting organizations. With the wolves and big cats left to flourish an imbalance has occurred.

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    [-] Rob

    Wolves have taken over in the cariboo. In the last couple of years i have not seen one moose calf. I see bulls as well as cows (although much less moose than a few years ago) but no calves . wolf sign is on every trail and spur. They need to be culled NOW. The definition of cull is to cut back or reduce. It does not mean eliminate. Every hunter i know or have spoken to says the same thing. Please do this now without further delay.

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    [-] John

    Manage predators and unregulated hunting and protect the habitat…. the ungulates be happy

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    [-] John

    Manage predators and unregulated hunting and protect habitat… ungulates
    Will thrive

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    [-] Chris

    From what I understand habitat is the most important factor when it comes to healthy populations of wildlife.
    – Identifying and protecting the wintering ranges of wild life would go a long way. Animals look for safe places to ride out the winter, more and more of those places are being developed by humans whether its for residential or commercial purposes.
    – Have Forest Service Roads properly deactivated when not being commercially used to reduce motorized access into the back country. This might mean replanting not only cut blocks but the roads themselves. This would also have the added benefit of reducing the ease with which predators can track and kill prey species. I say this as a hunter who wants to have game species around for future generations. Hunters as a whole might just need to use their feet more.

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    [-] Chris

    Two other points:
    I would like to see 100% of the proceeds from hunting licenses, tags and limited entries be put towards wildlife management and conservation. Have that written into law, the funds should not be going to general revenue.
    Second point would be for the Provincial government to adopt a Science based approach where Wildlife and Conservation is concerned. Used Science and not public opinion to draft hunting regulations.

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    [-] Josh

    All funding from hunting licences need to go back into wildlife and habitat, and funding from other user groups should be going into habitat and wildlife as well. Logging companies should be required to de activate more logging spur roads, and also should avoid habitat fragmentation. More funding should be put toward wildlife inventories, and predator control programs, look at what just happened with the latest caribou herd to be wiped out in the south of our province..,

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    [-] Alexander

    The most important step to being proactive to manage wildlife and habitat to prevent it from becoming at risk is to mandate a “Habitat and Wildlife Impact Study” is performed by provincial biologists prior to any new resource extraction projects and before an area is logged. This could include collaring animals, sending biologists into the field to evaluate food sources, predator populations, road density, and other habitat conditions. The impact study would identify any areas which are too fragile or critical to allow for resource extraction while guiding where resource extraction would have minimal risk. Part of the study would include a mandatory habitat restoration plan. Once the study is completed and the project is deemed to be of sufficiently low impact then it may go ahead with recurring monitoring. Throughout and following the conclusion of the resource extraction, a restoration plan would need to be executed to restore the habitat to a pre-extraction condition.

    As a hunter I feel that provincial biologists have a critical role to plan in planning, monitoring, restoration and enforcement of habitat protections in the resource extraction industry. They should be given the authority and funding to shape how we do resource management in BC to protect and restore habitat and animal populations and minimize the determinant effects of logging and other extractive processes.

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    [-] Mitch

    We need to start managing our province for the benefit of our wildlife and the wild spaces they live in. Far too often decisions are made with industry and resource extraction in mind with no thought for our landscape. A better balance between our economy and what makes BC so special needs to be found.
    Science based wildlife management needs to determine our decisions. There is absolutely no place for politics here, let alone the opinions of foreign advocacy groups, PERIOD!
    More funding is needed, some examples would be 100% of hunting licenses and tag fees being directed into wildlife management. A tax being implemented on all outdoor users, also a similar tax on industry that uses our ecosystems for profit. Perhaps most important would be accountability for these funds and the removal of politics from the manangement of said funds.
    My last thought, and for sure the most important, politicians from all parties need to realize past practices and the status quo are completely unacceptable. We are managing our wildlife down to zero,, this is not good enough.

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    [-] Steven

    Habitat loss and predation tops this list and needs to be acted upon immediately. Our large ungulates are suffering due to rampant resource extraction. Predators have incredible access and the caribou, elk and moose calves are being eaten as soon as they drop. Wolf packs are dramatically larger and numerous, being so well fed. Black bears are present in record numbers. Contrary to some emotional opinions, Grizzly populations are healthy and rising in most wmu’s. The problem is exponential and needs to be stopped now. Unfortunately decommissioning roads does nothing but keep humans away. 30 -40 years are required to impede predator access and by then it will be too late.
    Wolves need to be culled. Perhaps bring back the bounty on them.
    Grizzly need to be controlled. Perhaps re-instate the LEH where science based management numbers indicate an abundance.
    Black Bears should be hunted and harvested as the delicious game animal they are. Perhaps we need to exchange our cut black bear tag for a certificate that must be presented before a moose or elk tag can be purchased.
    Every hunter should do their best to knock down a few predators each and every season.
    We should stop the spraying of herbicide on cut blocks. ungulates rely on these concentrated food sources.

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    [-] M

    Dedicated funding from 100% of hunting license and tag sales.

    Decisions based on SCIENCE. Not on emotions and politics.

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    [-] Dean

    If you actually travel out in the wilderness you will realize that the predator population is growing way to fast. The large Grizzly populations and Wolf population are decimating the ungulate populations province wide. If you control some predators the ungulate population should increase

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    [-] Brian

    I believe it is time to get these decisions out of the hands of government politicians, there is no accountability there. Ministry staff must be handed mandates for wildlife populations along with accountability for the outcomes. While I do believe science has its place, there is a limit to good science. Many of these animals have been studied to death yet the continuation of studies really shows that no real new evidence has been gained. It’s time to rebuild the habitat, deal with the issues (predators), improve hunting regulations, and move forward to building healthy wildlife populations. What is the mandate given to our regional wildlife biologists? Is it to only sustain the population or are there objectives set to enhance the population densities. While I believe funding is key to healthy wildlife for most of our species it is no longer relevant to be using that money to study and analyze the issues, it’s time to put that money on the ground and truly make a difference.

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    [-] Simon

    Wildlife management needs to be kept in the hands of experts and not the general public that is so easily swayed by emotions and smear campaigns. People with boots on the ground and time spent in the field probably know a bit more about managing our wildlife than people with zero connection to the province and the animals that live here, not sure why they’re dictating policy regarding wildlife management or would have any say whatsoever in the matter.

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    [-] David

    Addressing the unnaturally high populations of wolf would be a start.
    Restricting the use of atv type machinery to recognized roadways.
    Ensuring total accountability from indigenous and non indigenous hunters and fisherpersons of all animals and fish harvested to give planners a more accurate base to work from to make harvest adjustments.
    Be more proactive in the protection of spawning streams.

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    [-] Peter

    Increased monitoring is an absolute must. Partnerships with universities, First Nations or Indigenous groups, and other non-government organizations can provide the workforce if the government provides the oversight and funding.
    Wholistic ecosystems approaches need to be considered – including the impact industry is having. Quick fixes and “management” of individual species is not effective in the long-term.
    The precautionary principle should be applied when uncertainty exists in high volumes.
    Science-based decision making does not mean ethics have no place in discussions.
    Government science should be open to the same review and publishing processes as external research to ensure accountability.

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    [-] jordan

    As I have been growing up hunting and fishing around the province I have seen more and more logging and roads being put into the back country. Go on google earth and scroll across the province. You will see logging cut after logging cut all connected by roads. There is very little habitat that has been left unfragmented. Logging is obliviously very important to the province and the communities and needs to continue. I think local wildlife would benefit greatly having a lot of these logging spur roads dug up and returned to a natural state. I often see predators tracks traveling up and down these roads. People often use them to hunt too, giving wild life less than safe habitat.

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    [-] Judy

    Do not wait until our iconic wolves, who contribute immensely to ecological balance in our natural environment, are driven to the edge of extinction by your costly and cruel “cull”. Decades of research has shown that wolves are not the cause of the decline of mountain caribou populations; habitat loss through human “intervention” (i.e. greed) is the problem. The profiteers who lobby for this ongoing slaughter benefit in the short term by keeping the focus of blame on our beneficial top predators. They want continued and increasing access to the wilderness for further industrial and recreational “development” to benefit the very few.
    Please STOP KILLING OUR WONDERFUL WOLVES!

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    [-] Scotty

    Again. All you want is for the hunting of wolves to be stopped. You don’t care for anything else. You obviously don’t want to hear the complexities of the issues with top predators, nor will you listen. And yes human encroachment has been a major factor in ungulate population crashes. No one is disputing that. But guess what, your favourite majestic wolf population is at an all time high. You want to leave them alone, let them eat all the prat species, continue eating livestock, until blocks of habitat are desolate and animals starve to death. This creating very unbalanced and unhealthy wildlife numbers that have the chance of never recovering now that we have fragmented this land to such a degree. Take a few hours and scroll around google earth and look at all the roads carved into the wilderness. All the highways, towns, mines. “Leave nature alone”, will not work. First, we are part of nature, always have been. Second, now that we have destroyed so much habitat we need to manage nature so healthy populations can continue to live without very intense boom bust cycles that will have devastating consequences. And management of wildlife includes wolf hunting and controlling predator numbers. Period.

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    [-] Don

    We could spend more time and resources studying this problem over and over again OR the government could actually take steps to rectify this issue. #1. Predator control, the wolf population was kept in check for years by active predator management plans that seem to have gone out the window in the last 10 years. As a result their population has exploded. The moose population is at historic lows with calf recruitment levels below 10%. That means less than 1 calf in 10 survives its first year due to predation. Wolves are expanding their range into territory they traditionally have not been before using the vast network of resource roads we have carved through the wilderness. Moose and deer have little timber left to hide in thanks to the mountain pine beetle epidemic. Deer are moving into residential areas in unprecedented numbers in a bid to escape the growing wolf problem. Farmers are having ever increasing numbers of cattle lost to wolves with no help from the provincial government. There are programs in northern BC using Helicopters to cull wolves in an attempt to protect the fragile and diminishing Mountain Caribou populations to no avail. Helicopter culls are not effective in reducing wolf numbers, besides being outrageously expensive, in some areas have the heli culls have actually been shown to increase wolf populations. When a heli cull targets a wolf pack they are rarely able to eliminate the entire pack and often scatter the remaining members which split up to form entirely new packs (one pack becomes 3). The province needs to provide funding for large scale trapping and targeted poisoning of wolf populations all around the province. Have successful knowledgeable trappers train new wolf trappers to increase the effect. Its already almost too late to save some of our ungulate populations.
    Targeting Predators is the only way we will bring back ungulate populations from the brink. Overhunting is not the problem. More Deer and Moose are killed each year by vehicles and trains than by hunting. Region 7a had an generous open season for calf moose until recently when the population started to decline. When the season was cut the population of moose did not increase as hoped instead it had the opposite effect. Those calves previously harvested by hunters were now being taken by wolves instead, further contributing to their exploding population. As wolves have no natural predators, except humans, the only thing that will limit their population is disease or starvation and the starvation part means they’ve killed everything else.

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    [-] Scotty

    Well said. Agree 100 percent with everything you say. If we did all that and some other habitat protection, of course after we get more funding, our wildlife will start to balance itself out.

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    [-] Lorna

    The model of Yellowstone park is used and a balanced eco- system is applied rivers, wildlife, foliage come back culling wolves and predators destroyes environments allows weak deer, elk to survive and destroyes their populations. So much science out their culling species like wolves is the wrong answer.

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    [-] Scotty

    You are wrong. Using the “Yellowstone model” I guess you would call it, won’t work. There are so many factors involved. And the wolves did not make it a fairy tale. Maybe start doing some reading on non bias internet webpages.

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    [-] gerry

    Remove industry and economic interests from the decision making tables for species recovery.

    Invest in habitat restoration for Species at Risk and for salmon streams damaged by development.

    Stop destroying options for action by dumping priorities into phony recovery strategy processes designed to maintain the status quo.

    Implement a precautionary approach to habitat stewardship for declining wildlife populations and do so in a proactive way rather than reactionary.

    Stop pretending to protect local economies while doing nothing to encourage value added industries to thrive near communities impacted by resource extraction.

    Stop using the”we need to protect jobs” argument to divide and conquer small communities when government policies hypocritically destroy local jobs (ie innovative timber sales on the coast, raw log exports etc.) In other words stop taking the easy options and start getting creative for a change.

    Rejigging the same tired broken system is killing the Northern economy as well as the options for maintaining, avoiding wildlife hunting and fishing opportunitiesand ecological values.
    Stop turning once self reliant communities into resource extraction camps by paying more than lip service to economic diversification strategies.

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    [-] gerry

    Remove industry and economic interests from the decision making tables for species recovery.

    Invest in habitat restoration for Species at Risk and for salmon streams damaged by development.

    Stop destroying options for action by dumping priorities into phony recovery strategy processes designed to maintain the status quo.

    Implement a precautionary approach to habitat stewardship for declining wildlife populations and do so in a proactive way rather than reactionary.

    Stop pretending to protect local economies while doing nothing to encourage value added industries to thrive near communities impacted by resource extraction.

    Stop using the”we need to protect jobs” argument to divide and conquer small communities when government policies hypocritically destroy local jobs (ie innovative timber sales on the coast, raw log exports etc.) In other words stop taking the easy options and start getting creative for a change.

    Rejigging the same tired broken system is killing the Northern economy as well as the options for maintaining, wildlife hunting and fishing opportunities and ecological values.
    Stop turning once self reliant communities into resource extraction camps by paying more than lip service to economic diversification strategies.

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    [-] Dylan

    Please, please, please stop logging critical habitat for wildlife. The rate that mule deer winter range is disappearing is unacceptable. Caribou critical habitat is still been removed at a relentless pace. I realize that there is limited forest left for the logging industry, but we must evaluate how to best utilize the remaining old growth forests. Wildlife is important to me and I want my government to protect critical habitat and increase funding for wildlife management.

    Industry and wildlife can coexist. We need to establish acceptable targets for wildlife populations and then allow for industrial development while maintaining wildlife population targets. Let’s put wildlife first!

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    [-] Holly

    This is done by humans period not other animals. Increase their land. Bring in caribou like wi is for elk and moose and with all our wolves they are rapidly increasing. That’s with no wolf hunt. Don’t allow hunting of caribou period.( not sure if they are) a wolf cull is not the answer. All that is is putting a bandage on the problem. Grizzlys are vital too. No reason at all to hunt them. Should preserve the animals. Work on the land and water areas first. Ask zoos John Merriot wildlife photographer that sees what’s going on sees what’s changing. They have all the knowledge you need. But they can talk until they are blue in the face. You have to listen. Plain and simple. This isn’t hard to figure out at all

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    [-] Joey

    Stop the wolf cull! Caribou populations are endangered due to habitat loss, not BC wolves. See Yellowstone for an example of how wolves are a key part of an interconnected ecosystem.

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    [-] Yingyan

    The BC government should stop the inhuman, unethical and totally useless wolf cull immediately. The decline of cariboo is due to industry. Culling wolf only divert the attention on the real issue and endangers the balance of nature. I don’t understand why the government continues this wasteful and useless policy despite all the scientific evidence. Really frustrated by this stupidity.

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    [-] Carleen

    Protect wildlife declines by protecting all of the remaining habitat early.
    When a species is at risk or makes it on the red or blue list make sure it is well known to the public and to forestry workers.
    Save interior old growth forests.
    Re-look at logging practices and make some more changes, for example do not instantly log naturally disturbed forests from insect outbreaks or fire because it is still important habitat for some animals.

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    [-] Alycia

    Protect interior old growth forests before they are gone. Require industry to log second growth forests instead.
    Expand the protected areas for interior cedar.

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    [-] Ian

    As it pertains to wildlife and habitat, there are a few simple, but in depth factors that ought to be considered when making policy and acting on behalf of our overall environment.
    -We can prevent wildlife declines by protecting habitat early. Preventative measures tend to be far more effective than reactive measures.
    -Protect interior old growth forests. These take hundreds of years to develop and grow, creating unique environments that wildlife depends on for survival. We do not allow enough time for harvested forests to eventually become old growth forests. If we have no intention or policy of creating the amount of old growth forest which is removed, where will more old growth forest come from? Leave it alone please. Perhaps focus on harvesting second growth forests instead, at least for now until we see an improvement in endangered and at risk wildlife recovery.
    -Believe it or not, forest fires and insect outbreaks create important wildlife habitat. We tend to immediately move in on these areas and harvest at reduced cost and regulation. These areas are still forest, and serve as habitat for countless species, even those at risk.

    Please, consider at least all of these factors before allowing industry to develop any environment.

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    [-] Hilary

    Habitat loss is huge for loss of wildlife. This together with climate change and human population growth are putting wildlife at serious risk. The moose population in our area is noticeably much l ess than a few years ago. They are often tick infested. They are vulnerable to wolves, especially in winter when all the access roads and snowmobile trails allow easy access for wolves and predators. Those moose that have managed to survive the winter, sadly are then seen dead on the edge of the road where they have been hit by the ever-increasing traffic. The moose may be attracted by the salt on the road. The caribou are sadly disappearing from many of our alpine regions. They are very sensitive to disturbance but now wilderness access is made so much easier through logging roads and ATV/snowmobile trails that they are disturbed away from their feeding and calving grounds.
    Hunting in many ways helps to conserve wildlife through correct quotas and conservation strategies but hunting should not be allowed for any species at risk.

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    [-] Jody

    Key areas of wildlife habitat and essential ecosystems that are critical for providing services such as water purification and oxygen creation should be identified and protected. Critical wildlife habitat should not be significantly fragmented and essential ecosystems should not be polluted.

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    [-] Keaton

    We should be focusing on preventing wildlife declines by protecting habitat early, especially interior old growth forests which are a low-hanging fruit for improved conservation. Also, natural disturbances like forest fires and insect outbreaks can be important to wildlife, for example by providing snags or allowing regeneration that provides browse. Decisions about salvage and sanitation logging should be made with wildlife taken into account.

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    [-] Jesse

    I am a hunter and resident of the east kootenays and in the last 10 years have seen a large decline in elk and moose populations here.I belive this is caused by bad predator managment as well as pressure from hunting and loss of habitat.In the last 5 years i have seen a huge decrease in the population of whitetail deer.this has been caused by doe s being killed in hunting season.there should be no doe season on whitetail deer!Another major factor i see is the amount of deer killed on the highway and on train tracks.i shed hunt during the spring and and find many many deer killed on tracks.we have had a couple severe winters and there is alot of winterkill.thanks for holding this forumand giving us a chance to voice our opinions.

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    [-] Dylan

    Currently, the only real lever that managers of wildlife have to pull is in restricting hunting regulations. More Money has to be dedicated to wildlife and habitat, an all-encompassing plan based on science and data has to be impemented, and it has to include follow up to ensure it is effective. Also, wildife and habitT have to be held in the same value as forestry, mining, and transportation. Currently, it is an afterthought, and habitat is being fractured and lost at an alarming rate.

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    [-] Kim

    Habitat protection needs to be the priority. The wolf cull has not been effective to date, so why assume it would start working now?

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    [-] Kristen

    We need to prioritize preventing wildlife declines by protecting habitat early on to be proactive in protection instead of trying to reconstruct habitat for species.

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    [-] Ken

    One thing that really needs to happen is to stop all hunting from ATV’s…. it is giving the hunter basically ease of access to area’s normally very few would walk into…. Moose no longer have a place to hide…. Years ago all the road hunters would turn around if the road got impassable ….now they just unload the ATV and off they go… things have to slow down a bit if the Moose are going to recover…

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    [-] SA

    There is a need for government and professional staff to take a more proactive role in educating the public about the need for maintaining balance in the ecosystem, and the potential need for predator reductions. Deliberately overharvesting moose or whitetail deer to indirectly reduce predators of caribou is poor stewardship (as occurred in the Revelstoke area and as is being researched in the East Kootenay). If there is a predator problem it needs to be addressed without ruining the existing sustainable resources. And yes … I know there are habitat issues that are extremely important as well for caribou.

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    [-] Ernie

    No study at all was done when high fencing started. It has been a scourge on wildlife populations and halted many migration routes. Places where we used to see herds of mule deer in the Similkameen they have all but vanished. When the remaining ones make it down between vineyards/orchards they are forced down a gauntlet of pavement to certain death. The actual damage that this has done is all but unstoppable and future generations will suffer for it. The relentless use of firearms during the rut for most species most certainly must come to an end and archery seasons are the only alternative to ensure viable wildlife populations in the future. Why our beloved province lags so far behind from other jurisdictions in the respect alarms many resident hunters. A let burn plan for areas must be put into place especially with spring fires being stopped when totally needless to do so.

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    [-] Ray

    Linkages to the opportunities noted are all valid needs to support stronger wildlife management needs. Secure and dependable resources for regional wildlife managers will support better partnership development and increase abilities to leverage support for priority wildlife management needs, under the current model.
    Wildlife management programs will continue to be in conflict with economic drivers and challenged to maintain sustainable wildlife populations and habitat unless there are significant changes in land use planning and legislative tools to do so. Several resource management acts and legislation need to be refined to ensure consideration of ecological values.

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    [-] James

    The opportunities listed above confirm what many believe is required.
    A dedicated funding model.
    Clarify the triggers and drivers
    Links between Forest and mining exploration and wildlife management. Make wildlife a part of the conversation/decision about what happens on the land.
    Wildlife fire and Control burn management
    What happens post fire?
    What is in the best interests of all wildlife?
    Provincial Wildlife Planning
    broad objective setting
    guiding principles
    balanced wildlife populations
    Regional Wildlife Planning
    Objectives
    Principles
    Predator vs Prey relationships
    Species Specific wildlife management planning
    Wildlife
    data collection and analysis
    population objectives
    Habitat
    Carrying capacity
    Plans
    Access
    Industry (regulations)

    Finally, the species management plan should be clear on the objectives and monitoring should be done to measure the success of the plan.

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    [-] billy

    wildlife allocation used for hunting needs to be treated imilar to the new Policy on grizzly Bears. No trophy hunting, no more guide outfitters who sell trophy hunts to people who almost never take the meat home, just the trophy.

    Wildlife needs to be prioritized in a sustainable policy guided in order of the following, 1. Conservation, 2. First Nations, 3. Public and NO hunting for anyone not a resident of BC.

    There needs to be more established local public province wide involvement in how wildlife is managed in communities when the Government is making management decisions.

    The Guide Outfitters of BC need to be moved from selling trophy hunting to more sustainable business like wildlife viewing.

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    [-] Mark

    A first measure is to understand the nature of the problem. The question frames this as though the goal is to avoid becoming a species at risk. However, many conservation biologists have published on this importance of addressing the problem of population decline on it’s own right. Species may be common in terms of distribution, but become low in density due to a multitude of pressures (e.g., habitat loss / homogenization through forestry practices). This can cause problems for the maintenance of ecosystem services and functions. Population declines can disrupt in ecosystem structure, function and services that otherwise add sustained value to the commonwealth of our natural resources. The living biomass of common species regulate the bulk of ecosystem functions.

    A classic example is the passenger pigeon, but the northern leopard frog might be another case in point. These species went from being very common with large population sizes and reached a critical threshold that lead to rapid decline (extinction in the case of the pigeon). These ecological phase transitions are difficult to predict. These lessons learned inform us that we must get serious about population declines and to implement actions that: 1) gives explicit recognition to the core of the problem (i.e., population declines continue under the current framework with no end in sight), and 2) addresses population declines as a priority issue in its own right that is separate from Species at Risk legislation and priorities.

    In Europe there is a recognized problem that populations of common bird species are in decline while conservation efforts are leading to a rise in the less abundant. This has also been recognized for newts where the common and not threatened species are declining more than others. If governments continue to advocate for just the Species at Risk model for conservation, then the game is lost as we will always be waiting for the declining population issue to reach a critical threshold before a response action is taken.

    Biologists need other channels to address the types of issues that are leading to declines in wildlife populations. How can we even know if declines are occurring if there is no priority or mechanism available to monitor common species? For example, we know next nothing about the northern range marginal extents of amphibians in northern BC, which is disconcerting in light of climate change. Amphibians extended rapidly into BC after the last glacial period causing low genetic diversity throughout much of the province. This means that they are more susceptible to decline.

    Road mortality is high and we still focus on fish passage (another major problem) without consideration of culvert design that can allow for passage of small wildlife species. Ecologists need to work with engineers to ensure that their design plans take wildlife migration into consideration. Citizen science initiatives have already been implemented to record and collect data on road mortality in amphibians and other wildlife species. However, a large -scale centralized effort is needed to address the challenges.

    Government shouldn’t be in the business of advocacy when it comes to wildlife – science needs to drive the priorities. I raise the issue of amphibians, because I’m a herpetologist and recognize the bias and emphasis on Caribou, moose, and other charismatic megafauna. The biomass of amphibians greatly outweighs all mammals (birds and reptiles as well) on a per area basis. Hence, there is a strong scientific case to be made that address of declining amphibian populations will do more for Caribou than is immediately apparent; amphibians are experiencing global declines at a rate more rapid than any other vertebrate group. The priorities have to be changed.

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    [-] Karen

    The more human development expands unto wildlife habitat the more we put wildlife at risk. Education and regulation of development limiting constant encroachment into wild areas is needed.

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    [-] Mike

    More money = more science = more information = informed decisions. Science based wildlife management decisions. Legislated objectives on critical factors including road density, fragmentation (wildlife overpasses a solution), population density, critical habitat identification and management, impact studies by industry and requirements that include wildlife factors.

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    [-] Andy

    Your first “Opportunity” is too vague. “Set measurable objectives for wildlife populations” could be status quo, if “measurable objectives” are, say, 5 mountain caribou. The “measurable objectives” should be tied to historic populations.
    “Address habitat loss, alteration and fragmentation where required to meet wildlife population and ecosystem objectives.” is entirely too weaselly. To use the previous example, if your objective is 5 mountain caribou, then there’s no need to “Address habitat loss, alteration and fragmentation”. This objective should just say “”Address habitat loss, alteration and fragmentation”, period.

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    [-] Michael

    Habitat destruction aggravated by out of control access and a near complete lack of inforcement capacity.

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    [-] Craig

    The predator/prey balance is higher on the predator side. I’ve talked with hunters all over the province. From every region I hear the same thing, Wolves everywhere. I see no monetary value in wolves. The solution is available in 1080 poison which is canine specific so no birds, cats or other creatures will be harmed. You need to eradicate the wolves from the entire province to get the numbers turned around.
    You also need to stop all doe/ cow seasons, go from two bucks to one on the Island and put all Moose on LEH. Every year I hear stories of guys finding dead bull moose shot and left because people got excited and thought “he must be legal” and got up to him to find he wasn’t. This province should be the Serengeti of Canada teeming with game but failing to control the predators has led to drastic declines in all species. To save the Wild sheep it should be mandatory to have double solid fencing if you have domestic sheep. Stop all aerial spraying so the moose and other animals have more food. Stop allowing Cattle on crown land. Quadruple spending on wildlife management. Most hunters in the province don’t have degrees but they can use common sense and know where the problem lies. A friend went to Wyoming last year and it was teeming with game. He saw over 1000 deer in a day. Elk all over and he and his buddy both got a Pronghorn. Talking to the locals they learned that there are hardly any predators. If they saw a coyote it was on a flat run for its life. Clients go next door to Alberta each fall and see 100 deer a day and about 40 of those are bucks. There is no reason we cant have the same thing here in BC. Time has come to stop the consultation process and take action!

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    [-] James

    Humans can and will continue to have an impact on the balance of nature as far as wildlife populations. Due to this fact it is imperative that we help keep in balance wildlife populations. A “hands off” approach is insufficient since humans will impact nature whether we want to or not. Declining wildlife populations must be addressed through a mix of habitat management, population management of all species through a mix of hunting and non hunting in some cases. we can not pick and choose which species but must address all species. It is not a matter of doing nothing and letting nature fend for itself due to the fact that man is on the landscape and will impact nature whether we intend to or not. The decline in populations has many reasons but mostly the slow reaction from government to address things quickly. I.E study them for 15 years as they decline and then try and do something to recover them as we have tried with caribou. Predator management is the quick fix and must remain a tool that is used appropriately and without political and personal feelings interfering with its application. One example is trying to recover caribou through wolf control..it does work but not when the populations have declined to the point of recovery being measured in decades not years. Quicker reaction is imperative! Also relevant is closing a healthy populations of grizzly bears to hunting in the same area you are persecuting other predators, makes no sense. This was a political decision that should have been science based.

    To sum it all up we need to react quicker to known issues and use all tools at our disposal to help recover and maintain healthy wildlife populations. Keep a narrow vision on the methods and not let feelings or politics decide…let Science based management prevail!!!!!

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    [-] Sue

    Actually have wildlife take precedence over industry. Wildlife cannot be replaced once extirpated. Industry comes and goes.

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    [-] Judy

    -Need to require INTERNAL retention within cut blocks of minimum size 2 ha wildlife tree patches to ensure cover requirements for species are met. Moose require no more than 200m dash distance; fisher much less. At least require legislatively the 200m i.e. 400m max between retention patches. Professional Relaince to ensure required cover has not worked.
    – large aggragated cut blocks need to have legislated requiments for minimum internal retention % as per Chief Forester’s guidelines. Retention can not be external to block. Retention should be demonstrated representative not all non merchantable or steep terrain.
    – roads should be approved by government so that loop roads and roads to back corners are dnot constructed. Right now we pay industry via stumpage appraisals for this additional roading then moose money proposes rehabbing them.
    – make minimum retention on small streams legislated as per all research and FREP work shows that small streams with minimal retention are most at risk of being non functional. Education of industry people has not changed behavior and resulted in the small stream retention. Therefore retention buffers needs legislation.
    – AAC timber supply reviews need more netdown for wildlife needs
    – remove “without unduly reducing timber supply” from legislation so adequate wildlife cover can be retained
    – last year I drove twice a week for 4 hrs per time into the forest and hardly saw any wildlife. Wildlife populations are in crisis.
    – Prince George Landscape Order does not provide adequate retention for either wildlife or proper ecosystem functioning. Revisit both the science behind the Order and parameters within the order.

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    [-] Judy

    Ecosystem ecologists generally agree that 50% of mature intact forest must be retained in a watershed to ensure that wildlife populations remain sustainable. The landscape orders are much more aggressive with forest retention lower amounts allowed than the high risk % of only 30% retention. I believe most wildlife populations are now below sustainable levels in a free fall eg goshawk, fisher, snakes, moose due to lack of adequate cover and over roading from mainly harvesting. I seldom see game out there any more where 15 yrs ago every drive had a deer, or bear seen.

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    [-] Darcy

    The province has not been monitoring for changes to biodiversity. There are no proper baselines, and there is little ongoing monitoring, aside from some large mammal populations.

    This is one of the first things that has to change.

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    [-] Emery

    I believe creating more bow seasons will help without declining wildlife, because it still allowes people to get out into the back country and enjoy nature. However the success rate will drop drastically because bowhunting is harder. That way we harvest less animals, but keep the hunting opportunities.

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    [-] Rob

    Science-based management including accurate data is imperative to effective management.

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    [-] Anthony

    – All outdoor activities, products, sales, merchandise, services anything that plays a part in our environment, a portion of that tax MUST go back into conservation.
    – Then when it comes to hunting and fishing stores, any tags purchased 100% of the money should go towards conservation
    – Fines given out by the police or CO’s that are related to outdoor activities should go back to conservation.
    – Stop hiring outside agencies to do animals culls in our province. Open it up for residents. This increases business and growth in our province while getting the community involved and not some New Zealand snipers to shoot 500 deer on Haida Gwaii. This can be towards any species, including predators. Let BC Residents do the work!
    – Our land is being destroyed rapidly due to forest fires. This is because we don’t let nature take its course anymore so we have millions of dead fall in old growth forests that light up like a christmas tree. Start introducing more controlled burns so we can start to balance our forests out and create a more nutrient dense environment for our animals.
    – And lastly, never again use political power as a form of decision making. When it comes to Wildlife and Habitat, it must strictly be 100% science based. As humans we will only see anywhere up to 80-90 years if we’re lucky but this province needs to continue to grow for countless generations to come. Let’s not screw it up now

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    [-] Kent

    Improve habitat, reduce all forms of predation, and use the money efficiently ! Also use science over emotion.. Commen sense will tell you that the problem has an easy answer, but as most no Government takes some thing simple and complicates quite easily !

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    [-] Russell

    Funding for Boots on the ground research. Each region is diverse and has its own set of challenges. Things like road deactivation will help most areas. Other areas may need predator culls or controlled burns.

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    [-] Kyle

    What measures need to be taken to proactively manage wildlife and habitat and prevent wildlife from becoming species at risk?
    – Setting mandated population objectives and following that up with frequent and accurate population counts is imperative. Mandatory harvest reports and where needed compulsory inspections will allow wildlife managers to more accurately trach wildlife population trends.
    – Science based management including accurate data is imperative to effective management.
    – Decommissioning abandoned roads from industry and land reclamation will assist in creating sustainable habitat.
    – Fish and wildlife management should have legislated objectives in order that Wildlife Managers can be held accountable. Setting and achieving wildlife population objectives should be a priority.

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    [-] Chad

    More money is needed to accomplish this goal. Plane and simple. Wild more money invested into BCs wildlife better science wouild occur. I even suggest something like the Pitman Robertson tax in the US to accomplish this. As a hunter i would have no problems pahing more for my rifles and bows and ammo knowing that the money is going toward wildlife management. Also an increase in hunting liscence fees is needed. There is no way a moose or elk tag should be 25 bucks. This number needs to be way way higher and adjusted per species. Also if you get a day it should be a mandatory tag payment if you win if not the tag goes back into the draw for the next person. These suggestions could be very easily implemented and accepted providing the money goes straight back into wildlife management.

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    [-] Gary

    Totally agree on the Pitman-Roberts funding model.
    Wildlife protection in BC is woefully under-funded and we, the hunters and those who recreate in the backcountry are the only ones who will want to pay to retain what we love.
    City dwellers who don’t come any further than the front country campsites around the lower mainland won’t tolerate increased general taxation – it’s up to us.

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    [-] Nick

    We need habitat to take front page. Bring back broadcast burning

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    [-] Ben

    I feel there are numerous ways to manage the declining wildlife population, over predation on all fronts is a major issue..our Forests are highways with more access roads then most cities. In being so open to all, it is taken advantage of…people drive in vehicles and harvest any animal they see due to our open seasons on deer, elk, moose…the mule deer numbers in the interior are declining drastically due to logging and road access, logging should have to deactivate a much larger amount of the roads they open.. I also feel the general season on any buck is a disgrace and we are killing the deer before they even know people are a danger… kill the wolves, as many as possible..increase harvest rates on black bears and grizzly…and somehow keep a accurate count on indigenous havest or we will never succeed in a recovery of our wildlife…oh and spraying the moose food really isn’t helping

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    [-] Kaila

    Not allow a government that make decisions based on what pleases the people who voted them in and rather on the science of what is actually going on. Just because it upsets people who live in big city’s doesn’t mean it makes sense for people who don’t know our towns or forested area to make a decision.

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    [-] Linzi

    Lower hunting numbers or remove entirely
    Raise the bar for re-homing funding, policies
    Never kill a living being that could potentially be re-homed

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    [-] Warren

    Setting legislated population objectives, with follow up including frequent and accurate population monitoring is absolutely necessary. Mandatory harvest reporting and where needed, compulsory inspections, will allow wildlife managers to accurately track wildlife population trends.
    Science based management with accurate data is necessary for effective management.
    Fish and Wildlife management should have legislated objectives , so that Wildlife managers can be held accountable.
    Predator control needs to be taken seriously, as a means of rebalancing the predator/prey relationship in areas where prey species populations are declining.

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    [-] Eric

    Challenge 3: BC managers need to not be scared to make big adjustments. Limited entry hunting is not a way to ban hunting; it is simply a useful tool that can be used to manage towards specific goals. I believe limited entry can be a way to manage in more detail in these relatively large management units we have here in BC. We can manage to increase genetic integrity (eg. fix how there are lots of large 5 pt and small 6 pt elk in the EK because of the long running 6 pt season, resulting in 5 points being shot-and-left because of mistake), or to restore populations (eg. the ever declining mule deer in the EK). I believe limited entry hunting that lowers harvests for a couple of years while maintaining hunter opportunity is possible, and will maybe even be accepted in certain areas if it is in the name of the conservation of our game for future years to come.

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    [-] christopher

    Accurate population counts on a consistent basis to assess wildlife populations
    Rectify road density and restore and rehabilitate roads to sustainable habitat use the forest practices code to instate
    Use science based factual data to base regulation, not social pressure to change regulations or seasons

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    [-] Bart

    Wildlife NEEDS to become a priority. At a municipal level, governments need to consider allotting a significant percentage of ALL developed subdivisions for wildlife as untouched land(preferably interconnected). Human beings tend to establish and develop towns and cities in valley bottoms. Valley bottoms are the most critical habitat for ungulates because it is wintering habitat. That habitat is essential to survival at a time when the animals are stressed due temperatures, lack of mobility due to snow depths and lack of food. There is not significant amounts of land set aside for wildlife and I would like to see a legislated minimum mandatory percentage set aside.

    Regarding the extraction of natural resources, I would like to see a small legislated percentage of a companies’ profits be returned to habitat restoration or improvement. This money would not be general revenue, but placed in a fund to be utilized SOLELY for those purposes. I would like to see logging companies replant cut blocks in a way to represent what was harvested from that particular site, not just replanted with 100% lodge pole pine. Also it should be mandatory for all backcountry resource extractors to reclaim roads once their work has been completed.

    Mine companies need to be required to rehabilitate their mine sites to a natural state when they have completed mining.

    It would be hugely beneficial to see wildlife overpasses in areas deemed to be wildlife corridors. The overpasses in Banff national park have proven incredibly effective and should be used more. The wildlife overpass on the connector near peachland is a start, but that highway destroyed a huge yearly migration of mule deer and disrupted a breeding area. Most of the damage could have been minimized with 2-3 properly installed wildlife overpasses.

    I would support predator control in an attempt to stabilize prey populations from further declining.

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    [-] Dea

    Science based decisions must out weight the views of social groups. Need to look at the big picture and find a holistic model that can help bring BC back into balance. Humans are apart of that balance and need to be apart of the solution. Wildlife harvests must be recorded by all hunters to gain a full understanding of hunter impact. Also spraying of broadleaf species needs to be studied as potentially harmful for moose populations. Preditor control needs to be addressed. All outdoor user groups should be involved in the financial burden of research and implementation of policies. All revenue gained through hunting needs to go directly toward animal management.

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    [-] Charlie

    I believe your “opportunities” points lay out the issues quite well. It seems that the government is aware of the issues, not they just need the honestly and integrity to act on it. There will be some tough decisions (limit FN harvest, logging industry), but if we want our wildlife to be intact for generation to come something needs to change. I would also suggest looking at predator control in places and also listening to trained professionals (biologists) instead of anthropomorphic political campaigns like the recent grizzly bear hunt ban.

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    [-] Jeff

    Moooore funding and time spent. For all species. Including the Thompson river steelhead. The caribou/moose/mule deer. Everything.

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    [-] Stephen

    Science-based wildlife management should prevail over emotion. In order to provide sound scientific research, we need more funding for programs. This funding should come from hunting & fishing licenses as well as other user groups on the landscape. I think most British Columbians would even be open to the idea of a fund similar to the Pitman-Robertson excise tax used in the USA, a small tax on the sale of outdoor equipment that is redirected back to wildlife funding. However, this should only be considered after the full revenue of hunting and fishing licenses is rerouted back to wildlife conservation efforts as this is the easiest and most widely supported way of increasing funding.

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    [-] Matt

    Predators are playing a huge role in the decline in certain areas. The over abundance is killing the moose population in certain areas. I’m not sure if some may have been displaced by wildfires and that being a partial reason for seeing the number of cougars, bears (both grizzly and black), wolves but the numbers I’ve seen already have out done any other year I’ve spent in the bush. The moose that I managed to see and did have calves in the spring, no longer have them. The amount of deer has dropped to nil.

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    [-] Peter

    Not a single one of BC’s diverse wild flora and fauna populations lives in isolation. Each exists, and can continue to exist, only interactively with the resources its individual members require from their respective environments. Hence, wildlife management must be driven by a single, overriding goal: to ensure that the respective environment (a.k.a. habitat) of each species population is protected from becoming compromised, exploited, or annihilated by the increasing pressures resulting from unabated human population growth.
    Management toward sustained biodiversity is not congruent with favouring single species (for example, sport fish or game species or timber species) over others. Management toward sustained biodiversity is not congruent with permitting industrial resource extraction and whitewashing the longterm damage with “mitigation” bandaids. On a species-by-species basis, plentiful habitat needs to be protected. If, for a given species population, not enough habitat remains to ensure their long-term well being, more must be set aside and protected. Inconvenient as this may prove to be, rather than wildlife populations being forced to adapt to increasing human-population pressures, we humans must learn and accept that we—as much, if not more so— need to adapt to the needs of our wildlife fellow community members.

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    [-] Gary

    The ONLY effective lever we have in this respect is to restrict development in wild lands.
    Mountain Cariboo are the prime example. No amount of study, maternal penning or wolf culling will recover their populations when they simply will not breed when they are being disturbed by human activities. The areas where the herds are still viable must immediately be permanently closed to development and motorized access. More study simply delays the inevitable and the herds will fall into a state where they are no longer genetically viable.
    We already have a good picture of the mechanism by which wolves have found Cariboo herds to predate on – logging road opens up – Moose follow the logging roads in search of browse to higher elevations – Wolves follow the Moose and find the Cariboo who have nowhere else to go.
    Close and re-tree the logging roads to these areas to restrict the movement of Moose and wolves and leave the Cariboo herds to recover over time.

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    [-] george

    Stop industries, most specifically logging industry, but also oil/gas and mining, from the wholesale alteration of habitat. Resource extraction is possible without the environmental damage.
    Specifically, logging affects a huge percentage of the land base. Its greatest harm is in;
    1. immediately planting commercial species after harvesting, in complete contrast to what nature would do, and
    2. herbicide spraying to kill “competing vegetation”, which kills all deciduous species, all of which are the very plants wildlife depends on for shelter and food, and
    3. impacting water quality and flow regime in entire watersheds.
    These practices need to be stopped. Thinking that adjusting hunting seasons will prevent species from becoming endangered, or save those already endangered, is wishful thinking at its worst.
    When habitat is destroyed to the point of not being able to support a wildlife population that population is not going to survive, regardless of hunting.

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    [-] george

    What we really need is industry management and regulation. The constant talk about ‘wildlife management’ distracts from the real problem. You can’t manage wildlife when its habitat has been shrunken to the point of non-existence.

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    [-] Mandy

    1. I would like to see hunting license and species tag revenue go directly back into wildlife and habitat management. Of the $32 dollars that a hunting license costs you, $25 dollars goes to general revenue, not to wildlife! I would gladly pay double if not triple the amount for some of the species licenses, if I knew it was going directly back to wildlife. In most of the northern states, the species tags cost a lot more than we are charged, they have greater numbers of deer and elk, and more of that money goes to wildlife.
    2. Also predator management needs to be done, and encouraged, even if it is not popular with voters in the very lower half of the province. Time to put science and wildlife first, and emotions and political gains last. The end of the grizzly hunt certainly won’t help moose, elk, or mountain caribou numbers, especially in the regions where the bears are very plentiful. Also there is still a bag limit on wolves in many regions where I also hunt; there are plenty of them! You see more wolves tracks and scat, than any other animal sign on the logging roads.
    3. In addition the forestry industry needs to be more involved in habitat restoration. Spraying of aspen, and willow needs to stop. A lot of summer jobs can be generated from manual brushing of blocks as well! Roads that are not in use should be torn up, and ideally planted, they are a highway for wolves. There are so many blocks where I grew up, even my father, who is a logger, believes there is too much logging going on. There are barely any mature stands of green trees in many areas around my home town.

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    [-] Bob

    One very simple measure to take that would definitely improve wildlife habitat is to forbid the practice of spraying cutblocks with herbicides. Coniferous stands are poor habitat. This simple measure would also help to mitigate wildfire risk, since deciduous species are more fireproof than conifers

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    [-] Monty

    The Big Game Harvest Management Procedure stipulates that hunting regulation development will:
    1. be compatible with achieving the management objectives;
    2. minimize regulation complexity wherever possible within the constraints of
    conservation and other socio-economic considerations;
    3. strive to be consistent with adjacent population management units and
    administrative regions to distribute hunting pressure across the relevant resource
    management regions, and to simplify hunting regulations;
    4. maximize hunting opportunity wherever possible within the constraints of
    conservation and other socio-economic considerations
    5. consider each hunter residency group’s ability to achieve their share of allocated
    harvests; and
    6. where possible, consider the impact of harvest on other game species

    #2 and #3 need updated revision to better address current wildlife management requirements, funding and declining populations. We can no longer rely on simple regulations and no management. Those are archaic ideas from the 90’s.

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    [-] Doug

    The abilitly to do what is right for wildlife with out the threat of public backlash would be a start.
    Predator control right now is the number one needed tool to stop the decline of certain populations of caribou, sheep, mule deer goats and moose. The other tools like habitat improvement are a must but are a lot slower process in growing wildlife.
    Hunters and trappers are the provinces biggest asset and are under utilized when it comes to predator management. Let the sportsmen manage and not put the burden on tax payers whom many don’t even agree with predator management.

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    [-] Jordan

    Setting legislated population objectives and following that up with frequent and accurate population monitoring is imperative. Mandatory harvest reporting, and where needed, compulsory inspections, will allow wildlife managers to more accurately track wildlife population trends. Science-based management including accurate data is imperative to effective management. Decommissioning linear features from industry, and land reclamation/restoration will assist in creating sustainable habitat. Fish and wildlife management should have legislated objectives in order that Wildlife Managers can be held accountable. Setting and achieving wildlife population objectives should be a priority.

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    [-] Ken

    The following measures need to be taken to proactively manage wildlife and habitat and prevent wildlife from becoming species at risk:
    – Predator control
    – Make meaningful changes to FERPA. Forestry has the largest footprint on the ground and the standards governing the industry leave next to nothing for our wildlife.
    o For example, the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) states: “the objective set by government for wildlife and biodiversity at the stand level is, without unduly reducing the supply of timber from British Columbia’s forests, to retain wildlife trees” and the Ministry of Environment’s control refers to a “one per cent impact limit on provincial short and long-term timber supply.” This is short-sighted and damning legislation that robs from future generations.
    o Furthermore, FRPA’s free growing legislation has unintended consequences for wildlife. It promotes the broad use of herbicides that kill the deciduous forage needed for many wildlife species, and the application of fertilizers that kill many bird species. As these old practices come under increasing scrutiny it is another indicator of the need to overhaul outdated legislation.
    o Block layout and design is a huge issue.
    o Leave more deciduous and wildlife-specific trees in place. Our forests are being turned into tree farms which is not good for wildlife, only licensees.
    o Create better access management plans. Roads need to be deactivated. Industry is building 1000s of KM of roads per year. It’s these lineal passages that predators use to gain an unfair advantage of their pursuit of game and it’s devastating our ungulate populations.
    – Pay more attention to hydrology on the land base. Watershed, creeks and rivers are disappearing.

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    [-] Tom

    Caribou, salmon, Orca Killer Whales, Polar bear, etc are all heading for extinction. We may have small pockets remaining in isolated locations, but, generally, the population sizes of the past will never return. Climate change is the main reason. We can’t have a warming planet and the past populations at the same time. Futile efforts to try and restore the past will cost tax payers enormous sums of money, and in the end, no results. The wolf kill in the Selkirk mountains is a prime example. It’s time to move to green energy on a massive scale. The rest is just a comedy act…

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    [-] Dave

    Accurate population counts and mandatory harvest reporting by all stakeholders
    Rectify road density, restore and rehabilitate roads to provide sustainable wildlife habitat
    Establish sustainable population levels through legislation and accountable management
    Use science based factual data to base regulations on, not urban social pressure

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    [-] Karl

    Proactive management and habitat stewardship requires insight, information and pre-emptive planning. Funding for ‘crisis management’ is important, but if pro-action is the goal, dollars must be available to obtain baseline knowledge and data on species and systems before a crisis evolves. A baseline monitoring program would be a good start as long as we study and learn from other jurisdictions that have taken this stepe. We also need higher-order discussion on the expansion of cities and other processes that remove habitat. Every generation has left this rather sticky topic for the next, and as a result, we have set ourselves up for a ‘shifting baseline’ of habitat attributes and species distributions. This is not an easy matter to wade into, but sooner or later society will have to make the plunge or we’ll end up with impoverished wildlife resource.

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    [-] Dan

    Exactly. And follow the lead of other jurisdictions. The current management model is unsustainable, and anti-Darwinian.

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    [-] Bronwen

    There is a need to address the impact industry and habitat loss and fragmentation have on wildlife and how that affects species negatively, including caribou, wolverine, grizzlies and other especially vulnerable plants and animals.

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    [-] Chad

    I believe one of the provinces biggest challenges is the conservation of the canine ” wolf ” problem that we have . They are devastating a range of species in our province and in many areas , even areas that there never was wolves before. I’ve personally been surrounded by 5 wolves before when I was up north , and it was not a fun situation. I was able to evade the situation and move down the mountain quickly . But our winters these days snow heavy and freeze leaving ungulates caught in the snow especially the young and these packs of canines are able to massacre many of the horned species. I personally think there should be more interest in conservating the wolves over anything.

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    [-] Adam

    The top priority ought to be the impact industry and habitat loss and fragmentation have on wildlife and how that affects species negatively, including caribou, wolverine, grizzlies and other especially vulnerable plants and animals.

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    [-] Kelley

    I feel that more areas need to be off limits to humans and motorized vehicles to preserve animal habitat. This should have been the case years ago to try to help save the Kootenay caribou but it is too late for them now. Humans have lots of area to explore so that setting aside some areas as off limits won’t be an undo hardship.

    Jumbo Pass should DEFINATELY be left intact without a ski resort for Grizzly bear and other habitat.

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    [-] Martha

    Increased overpopulation of city and rural areas is causing a huge decline of deer presence in BC. Therefore there is an urgent need to establish new laws for co-habitation with wildlife. For example, many people complain that deer eat in their garden… So, a simple law that makes obligatory to put high fences around those gardens/houses and to sow plants that deer like to eat on outside the fence would easily solve the deer feeding and the garden health. Originally the areas where deer walk are theirs to roam and live. Humans have invaded those territories, so humans should solve that co-habitation peacefully.

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    [-] Carol

    More safety passages across highways .
    More attention given to railway crossings as well, perhaps sounding the horn on approach.
    Total ban on killing wildlife that wander In to urban areas, such as bears , cougars etc., they need to be tranquilized and returned to the wild.
    protected wildlife parks are needed.
    Imprisonment for those found guilty of setting forrest fires.
    The wolves have suffered enough due to the stupidity of man, prohibit future culling and allow nature to balance its self.
    Money needs to be directed to at risk species, such as the Marmots on Vancouver Island and others.
    Heighten awareness of plastics and it’s effects on marine life.
    Finally, and this one will create a furor – reduce the hunting season by three quarters and triple the fees for hunting licenses . I would like to see it outlawed completely, but as a realist, I know that will never happen.
    I don’t expect any of these suggestions to be taken seriously, but it feels good to speak for the animals anyway.

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    [-] Kristyn

    Identify Wildlife corridors & protect them

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    [-] Nadine

    No further loss of habitat. If this is the guiding principle then we only need to figure out how to rehabilitate the habitat that has been lost. Believe that we have had our fair share and that wildlife and wilderness are not ours to do with what we feel. We are responsible for the loss and we must clean it up. Recreation is not benign and must be considered a serious problem. Companies that are applying for tenure to build lodges and trails systems are not environmentally concerned. Like all industry they are profit driven and do not educate their cliental. Stop improving access into wild spaces.

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    [-] Jason

    Revise the forest practice code to eliminate broadleaf herbacide spraying which is killing decidious regrowth. Manage for mixed forests and not monoculture pine plantations.
    Wildlife needs mixed forests to thrive.

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    [-] Marcy

    Habitat reduction is probably one of the biggest problems with declining wildlife populations. Understanding migratory routes, allowing for predators to move within their territories easily, ensuring there’s a good mix of prey and predators to keep prey in check, all of these factors need to be considered. Too often we focus on one small area without looking at the bigger picture of the ecosystem.

    We also need to provide more wildlife corridors across roads and train tracks to prevent collisions from happening while still allowing wildlife to move easily across regions.

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    [-] Karoline

    We need to put a value on wildlife habitat and protect migration paths. Wildlife habitat has been eroding due to profit based organizations, farms and human habitat. As long as our priority is having larger areas of human habitat, allowing more industry in wild areas and increasing farming, then we will continue to lose habitat. When we see wildlife impacted then the first place we look is towards predator species. Predators are the biggest scapegoat…predators that are wildlife themselves. Predators of the human kind ie; tourist hunters etc do not seem to be considered. The culling of predators has not worked well. Culling is inhumane as it often involves shooting from helicopter or airplane which results in injury and slow death, or poisoning. Poisoning is targeted but often impacts other animals too. Industries that thrive from hunting focused tourism support predator culling to support their industry and their incomes.
    So, if we want measures, how about these general ones:
    -No further loss of wildlife habitat for residential or industry needs.
    -Migration paths, where impacted, are reintroduced…even if this means impacting some communities or businesses.
    -Co-existence strategies are put in place and followed in areas where there are wildlife/human conflict.

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    [-] karry

    Focus on co-existence. Where wildlife and humans are in conflict, we can work to build a relationship that works together. Living on the North Shore we have bears wandering in our backyard, deer eating our flowers, cougars in the forests, coyotes sometimes in the parks and many owls. There is no reason for us to not live with these animals.
    Huge fines, HUGE fines need to exist for those people that promote behavior that endangers wildlife (which in turn can endanger humans).
    Understand what wildlife needs. We are the ones bringing change, not them. Information collection is key. There may even be information available from university studies, studies in Europe or from various groups such as the David Suzuki foundation etc. Understand what information exists and move from there.
    Build an understanding of what the cycle of life is within an environment. Wildlife predators are part of that cycle. They should be considered.
    We may need to rethink how much space we humans should occupy for our residential, transport and economic needs. Wildlife habitat and migration paths need to have a priority over a development with big houses and big backyards. Wildlife habitat and migration paths need to have a priority over industry. Wildlife The question is what is valued.
    Culling of predators has not been proven to be effective. It is also often a cruel and inhumane practice. Predators are part of the natural cycle of the wild. Let me be clear in that I am speaking of predators that are also wildlife. It is rare that a human who is a hunter is called a predator but they are also predators. Hunters want more wildlife so they can hunt but they often want less wolves/bears because they impact a human’s hunting possibilities.

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    [-] mei

    Force municipalities to leave effective wildlife corridors in ALL development areas. Force municipalities to leave effective/substantial Passive Park areas. I use the word “force” quite deliberately because municipalities are generally far more interested in maximing property tax income than in creating communities with green space for humans, and certainly not for wildlife. Surrey, (which is even planning development over a sensitive and important aquifer, around a salmon bearing stream, decimating wildlife habitat, behaviour ABSOLUTELY TYPICAL for Surrey) and Township of Langley are among the worst offenders. By “force” I mean create effective legislation mandating preservation of wildlife space, impose oversight, and levy substantial fines for non-cooperation. It will take all of that to have any impact at all. Increase staffing to effective levels at DFO etc, and ENFORCE legislation around salmon streams, Township of Langley routinely fails to monitor soil deposits, including those around salmon streams, in part because they cannot take action unless they are notified by a member of the public, about illegal fill (guess hiw effective that is!) and when notified suggest the person contact DFO, who do nothing because they have no staff and no budget. Township also abdigates responsibility when a QP is appointed (under ALC) rules to manage a particular site – however, the QP is paid by the property owner which sets up a conflict of interest situation which is routinely NOT mitigated by the QP’s professional responsibility/ethics.
    Bottom line: assume the worst possible scenario when it comes to motive, and act accordingly.

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    [-] Mei

    the devil is in the details. FORCE municipalities to provide wildlife corridors connecting larger greenspaces. Surrey and Township of Langley are the worst for prioritizing property tax income over green space for humans or wildlife. FORCE is required – through the law, adequate staffing levels, fines…ALL of it. Surrey and Township of Langley are the WORST

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    [-] Frank

    this is easy. protect habitat especially wintering grounds their has to be a predator control program.their are so many roads pipelines power lines ect. predators use these man made right of-ways to hunt off of and they get good at it. it puts wildlife at a imbalance

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    [-] Teresa

    I think it should be mandatory for residents whose house is near wildlife habitat to be educated about how to minimize their impact on the animals who share the land with them. So many animals like bears have to be shot because people are ignorant and create situations that make the animals vulnerable, like leaving garbage out. People should be fined heavily for leaving food out when camping as well. Penalties should be given in points (like driving infractions) and accumulating so many points should result in mandatory coursework and community service to enhance wildlife in the area. Education material should be provided in many languages to help newcomers understand how serious and committed B.C. is to protecting wildlife. We need to stop cutting the mountains for new residential buildings to ensure that the animals have enough space to live and thrive. AND BAN TROPHY HUNTING.

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    [-] Wayne

    Protect, develop, grow the amount of wetlands in BC. We now have only a fraction of what once was. These are the anchors for healthy watersheds and ecosystems, and a foundation for many wildlife populations. Here in the Chilliwack area we have the Browne Creek Wetlands and the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve, but these are just anecdotal. Like the ALR, we need a system in place to stop developmental encroachment.
    BC Wildlife have the right idea:
    https://bcwfbogblog.com/

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    [-] Andrew

    Open the grizzly bear hunt so hunters and the government can work together to manage this beautiful apex predator. If hunters don’t help manage the population, who will? The government?

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    [-] James

    Hunting is an excellent management tool. Using hunting to control predator populations is win win for all involved.

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    [-] Kyler

    The first thing you should do is re-evaluate the grizzly hunting ban imposed earlier this year. That decision unequivocally goes against every sound science based wildlife management you claim to support and implement. B.C. absolutely must manage it’s grizzly population through regulated hunting. Anything else would be disrespecting the biologists and residents who live along side the charismatic grizzly bear.

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    [-] Bryson

    Follow the latest science from biologists and zoologists when making decisions concerning wildlife and not just the popular opinion of the citys.

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    [-] Garth

    Rifle seasons need to be shortened and add a longer bow season and keep rifle season open for one month instead of 4. Increase Conservation officers doing regular checks. Improve relationships with First Nations and educate them on what is happening with wildlife, so they make wise decisions on when then harvest there ceremonial animals.

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    [-] Jordan

    Immediate effective action on predation. Studies continually state a depressed population will not rebound with wolf populations in the area. Cougar and bears are causing higher mortality in ungulates than previously thought.

    Predators first, now we’ve saved what animals we have left and recruitment can improve and allow numbers to rebound and improve.

    All monies from tags and taxes from outdoor equipment need to go to maximise wildlife numbers not into government revenue to be redistributed to other budgets. Every square inch of Forrest has value and if the value of wildlife and revenue from hunting and outdoor activities was realized and treated as a business then those items could be managed properly.

    Hunting and fishing revenues should go back into building that business. Maximise the animals in the Forrest and fish in the water and the opportunities will increase naturally. Those opportunities increase and then revenues Will increase, which in turn will add the the ability to continue to improve wildlife numbers. If opportunities are better and more sought after tags can be sold for higher prices and more of them sold.

    Now with game numbers on the mend and money available appropriate action into improving habitat and working on targets and goals in each area and region will be achievable. Stakeholders need be held accountable and work together. Mining logging and recreational activities will always occur they just need to be built into the long-term program and goals. Doing business and playing in bc as to take into account the goals surrounding wildlife and habitat.

    Guess what government if you ruin hunting in bc, I’ll buy my gear out of the province and I’ll spend my 100$ in gas to drive to Alberta or go to the states or fly oversees to find a hunting experience worth while. If I spend 10k a year on hunting here in the province don’t expect that money to stay here if the hunting continues to decrease. I’ll take that money and spend it in a province or country that offers an experience worth spending my money on. Keep treating hunting as a revenue stream that will be spent in bc whether or not on hunting and you’ll see where people choose to spend there money. It won’t be back into bc economy. People will turn there 3 weeks of vacation into trips out of bc to spend money over borders and overseas. 2 week all inclusive trip to Mexico sounds better than 2 weeks in gameless valley in bc.

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    [-] Michael

    1.) Predatory management programs in areas that have numbers that are detrimental to ungulates and other wildlife.
    2.) Better land use planning – Fewer access roads more effective deactivation as they create freeways for predators to move and chase prey.
    3.) Rather than continuing with the urban sprawl into wild places; municipalities should have to reclaim existing areas that can be reused prior to the rezoning of provincial or federal(crown) lands.
    4.) setting aside of habitat that has limited access options (no roads, no motorized vehicles, etc.); that can still be accessed for hunting, fishing, hiking, etc.
    5.) Better planning for resource industries (mining, forestry); reclamation plans including required funding agreed to prior to acceptance/approval of the scope.
    6.) all monies from tags, licenses, and LEHs should be returned into conservation or wildlife management initiatives with greater transparency to the public as to where the money goes.
    7.) in regions with historic management needs for predators by CO service (problem bears, coyotes, wolves, cougars); do the research and increase the hunting ability and have the government make money off tags and licenses rather than paying to destroy a “problem” animal. Same goes for non-native species like the article I read about the deer on Haida Gwaii.

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    [-] Brycen

    Perhaps a study of how our neighbours to the east and south manage their wildlife populations may assist in how British Columbia manages it’s wildlife. In some of the US states and provinces such as Alberta and Saskatchewan limited entry hunting has a significant impact on the vast numbers of wildlife. Limited entry hunting does reduce the impact hunting has on a targeted species. Of course hunting is not the sole reason for the decline of wildlife populations. The limited entry system in British Columbia does not appear to address the declining populations in most parts of the province. It does serve to manage already low herd sizes in specific areas however there has been no real fluctuation in the LEH regulations to manage the varying populations across the province.

    As an example, I have noted a marked decline in elk populations in the Peace region of BC. I believe there several reasons outside hunting that have contributed to this decline such as the oil and gas industry and agricultural impacts. However, specific to hunting, there is a very broad elk season which spans from September 1st to October 31 with a 3 point or better and cow elk season. In addition there is a large number of LEH tags assigned during the winter months for cow elk. This has to impact the herd numbers. I love hunting elk and benefit from the seasons as they are however perhaps an adjustment back to 5 or 6 point regulations and limiting the cow season and LEH tags over the winter.

    I don’t hold much hope or value in the LEH system in it’s current shape. It’s hard to continue to applying year after year with limited successful draws. Support may increase if it changed to an Increased Odds model, similar to Saskatchewan or some of the US states. A person puts in for a draw consistently for a 3-4 year period and is guaranteed a draw as their odds increase significantly each year. An increase in the cost of the LEH tags (as a person would have the determined amount of years to save or set aside funds) would help the province insert more money into conservation programs.

    Managing the predator populations is also critical to sustaining healthy herd populations. It appears that the voice of the few has outweighed the belief of the many in regards to predator management. The province needs to rely more on study and science instead of emotion and popularity when it comes to it’s management model. Habitat will continue to shrink as human population grows, this is simply just the reality about civilization. Predators are very adaptable to fluctuating habitats. A wolf will eat almost anything. A coyote will eat almost anything. A bear will eat almost anything. If they lose habitat they eat what they can. Ungulates are less adaptive to a changing or reduced habitat and as a result die off or are killed by predators (humans included).

    I believe the Province will see a benefit in restrictive (LEH) hunting and a reduction in some of its very broad open seasons in areas where herd populations are dwindling. I believe the Province needs to rely more on the citizen science and actual herd numbers when deciding about how predators (including the coveted Grizzly bears) are managed.

    Love the discussion!

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    [-] John

    First things first, we need dedicated funding model from hunting and tag license revenue. This cash flow NEEDS to be directed back into the resource.

    Second, we need to stop making emotion based decisions when it comes to hunting, and focus on the science behind the wildlife.

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    [-] Anne

    All TROPHY hunting should be banned. Hunting should be for food alone. We are STEWARDS of the earth, the earth is there to provide what we NEED, not to show off!
    Our coast-line needs protection too, the marine life! Orcas and others depend on sonar. The more traffic there is along the coast, of whatever kind, interferes with their ability to “hear” each other, their prey and whatever else they use hearing for!

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    [-] Garrett

    Non motorized vehicle restrictions on specific forestry roads for hunters and non hunters, needs to be implemented. Within my general area and the surrounding management units there is to much accessibility from increasing logging roads. Places that once held strong, healthy and a diverse range of wildlife are now threatened by predators, such as humans and animals do to an abundance of roads through natural migration routs, wintering ranges and alpine ranges.
    Prescribed burns in areas that would promote new growth and diminish windfall and other organic fuels that contribute to major wildfires. Generating specific areas through controlled burns to provide rich new vegetation for wildlife to eat and travel corridors for refuge from predators.
    Better funding to acquire more accurate and frequent wildlife studies to address issues before they become problems such as an abundance of predators.
    Remove the white tail deer doe season until sustainable buck and doe ratio numbers return.
    Move the six point or better bull elk rifle season to the month of October. Implement LEH tags for 3 point or better for rifle or bow for the month of October. Give strong genetic heard bulls the chance to bread cow elk during the peak of the rut in September. Allow for immature and any other weak genetic bull elk harvesting to take place during the month of October.
    Bring back the grizzle bear LEH with options of more tags for spring and fall hunting in more areas.
    Remove LEH for mule deer doe until sustainable buck to doe ratio numbers return.
    Remove LEH for cow elk until sustainable bull to cow ratio numbers return.
    Give out stricter fines to poachers and people violating the backcountry.
    If there is little to no knowledge of an area that is being used for profit or nonprofit, new or old, for all aspects of outdoor recreation and or for any other reasons. Then all parties affiliated should be held accountable for contributing to the betterment and sustainability of the wildlife that is or could be at risk. Revisiting these areas to ensure that BC wildlife matters have not been over looked or forgotten.

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    [-] Mike

    Again, I would say the government needs to take a boots on the ground approach. Listen to what the biologists (and anyone using the land really) are saying. And then act on it. For example, police report numerous wildlife-vehicle collisions in an area, then that area needs addressed with a solution (fence, underpass etc). Or biologists say preadator populations are too high in an area, then increase season length or bag limits etc.

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    [-] Nick

    Start managing all aspects, starting with habitat since that’s playing the biggest factor in so many species current situations. Industry isn’t going to fix having no animals left.

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    [-] Kevin

    Bring a back forest practices act that takes wildlife and habitat, corridors, into account. No more female seasons. LEH for deprecated species. All LEH draw only…no special interest tags. Proactive predator control.

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    [-] Chris

    It would probably help imperiled scpecies if you hunting predators more. Like grizzly bears….

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    [-] Thomas

    I truly believe managing predators popukations, such as grizzly bear, wolf and mountain lion thru regulated hunting would be the best way to help declining populations of different ongulates. It has been proven worldwide that the best way to help give value to animals and control
    their population is thru regulated hunting.

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    [-] Oliver

    We need more of our scientist in the field so they can experience, see and learn to understand the issues first hand. Citizen monitoring through surveys etc. just off-loads the responsibility to properly manage the mandated care of our resources. It leaves the process in the hands of individuals not trained for the task and leaves much to be lost in translation.

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    [-] Daniel

    We need to manage habitat loss properly For example not blanket logging large areas of big timber that house moose and elk etc, I believe it would be prudent to have forestry companies sending people in to assess ungulate areas before logging and if there is an area that has substantial use by ungulates etc then don’t log it , especially when there is no other cover around. Secondly we need to re instate the grizzly hunt and support hunters who manage predators instead of falling for useless propaganda and stopping them, hunters and trappers who manage predators are extremely important because as wel all know , humans have interfered too much and nature will never go back to balancing itself.

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    [-] Taylor

    Lower bag limits or shorten hunting seasons, closely monitor cattle ranging on crown land, more road closures for less human activity during certain times of the year, open up road closures in wintering ranges to predator hunters, more control of predators via hunting or trapping or culls. Monitor animals regionally instead of as an entire province. Use science based decisions instead of emotion or politically influenced decisions.

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    [-] Vern

    Management of wildlife must be science based and not emotional. Recording and reporting harvest data from all user groups should be mandatory.

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    [-] Ryan

    We need to use the North American Wildlife Conservation model to manage wildlife. Put politics aside and manage wildlife not people or industry. Keep wild wild, look at big business and get them to contribute to funding projects such as controlled burns, and fences along CP rail high impact areas. access management habitat conservation, proper laws that aid all wildlife, not just setting aside protection to predators that are becoming an increasing threat to all wildlife. Our world is getting smaller, we need to put in place strategies such as the great Teddy Roosevelt began doing. Our wildlife is best protected by conservationist, our best conservationist are us, the Hunters1

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    [-] Ron

    we continue to measure and manage almost solely in financial terms for the benefit of the financial stakeholders with complete disregard for those without a financial voice or benefit. Long term species cohabitation will require stepping out of that narrow thought tunnel to a place where different species bring intrinsic value that is often not measured in dollars and cents.

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    [-] Brett

    Predators, human access, amount of tags. All need to be regulated much better.
    No need for people to be able to drive trucks while hunting to the places they are currently able to get to.
    Predators need to be managed a lot better, grizzlies are not endangered and wolves and cougars are at an all time high, add in the amount of hunters BC has with basically free reign of ungulate tags. The ungulates have a next to zero chance of survival.

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    [-] Richard

    Declining wildlife has always and in major part has been blamed on hunters, but this is not accurate, hunters already have in place a bag limit, and a harvest questionnaire at the end of hunting season that clarify the number of wildlife taken, hunters also report any anomaly in the animal habitat, hunting has the science. The method and the ethics. Added to that a lot of limitations and harassment from the media and other organizations.
    Poaching was not mentioned in this discussion, nor a bag limit for the indigenous people., uncontrolled hunting, winter and poaching is never in the agenda why? Reinforcement can help wildlife survive uncontrolled hunting and poaching .
    Loss of habitat for overpopulation is what needs to be addressed, in here real state companies have some responsibility together with construction companies, oil and lumber exploitation of natural resources with indiscriminate abuse of natural habitat, and permits form Government to all those should be more carefully planned.
    The government and wildlife organizations should put the money from fishing and hunting licences and donations for the well being of wildlife and preservation of habitat.
    Limit to overpopulation and demand for land is a must,.
    All that funding received by wildlife organizations and naturalists who receive lots of donations from people who in turn is convinced that hunting is bad, I will like to know how much goes to wildlife habitat?
    Substantial funding from the exploitation of natural resource should be put in place to give back to wildlife habitat lost and limit this exploitation creating more sanctuaries for wildlife. Real state companies also should repair the damage to wildlife habitat. In concrete focusing only in hunting as detriment of wildlife is a distraction that kills more wildlife than hunters.

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    [-] Cody

    First the data that is determining the causes of this wildlife decline needs to be acquired. This is provided by adequately funding scientific study of populations, habitat and practices to determine where and what can be improved.

    In the short term I believe by instituting access management areas to protect vulnerable habitat and wildlife populations from human and vehicle intrusion and damage.

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    [-] Kalen

    In regards to the decline of the elk population in the East Kootenay limiting elk harvesting to 5 point elk and bigger should be done. Same issue arose in the 80’s and after banning shooting cows and spikes the elk population rose. Bottom line is you should only be able to shoot bigger than 5 point elk and outlaw cow and spike seasons.

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    [-] Vickie

    -stop urban spreading into winter ranges
    -improve the winter ranges that are left
    -funding for the science required to make educated decisions regarding population control
    -dedicate 100% of licence fees towards conservation
    -using controlled burning to rejuvenate feeding areas
    -public education about the declining numbers of animals on our landscape, including the importance of predator control
    -increased predator control
    -road deactivation to limit access to sensitive areas, wintering grounds etc

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    [-] Trevor

    I truly believe that a decline of any species in our province is due to a lack of Predator control (mainly wolves and Grizzly bears) and also the abundant amount logging that takes place all across BC.

    Grizzly bear hunt needs to come back and more tags need to be issued than before it was taken away.

    (Forgive my bad grammer/punctuation)

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    [-] Jeff

    There needs to be a better management of predator animals if we’re going to continue to give them a easy meal with all our logging roads and habitat infringement. Just cause wolfs, cats and bears seams to be an animal easier to imagine as a pet, doesn’t mean we can just ignore the weight their presence adds to wildlife population decreasing. They must all be controlled.

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    [-] Nick

    Most hunters in the province will be the first to support more collection of information, reduced bag limits if necessary and advocate on keeping habitat loss to a minimum. Provided these decisions are based in scientific evidence and not just popular opinion of those who don’t have the entire ecosystem in mind and just a favourite animal that they feel should be protected based on little knowledge of what the impacts to the habitat, other animals and human animal interactions will be.

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    [-] Trevor

    I find it amazing that a province with the diversity of wildlife that BC has dedicates such little funding to ensuring the wildlife is actually managed properly. Habitat restoration work, access management, predator control and harvest, ensuring wildlife is managed for growth and long term sustainability is being neglected and has continued to be neglected by the current government.

    Hunters, fishermen and outdoorsmen spend thousands of dollars on conservation work in private conservation groups. Money from tag sales needs to be directed to conservation work. As well, all user groups who are users (mountain bikers, skiiers, ATV, hikers, bear viewing, heli-skiing, etc) all need to pay for their impact to wildlife populations. This is simply not happening.

    To ignore that all humans impact wildlife is asinine and this approach of allowing wildlife numbers to dwindle is unacceptable.

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    [-] Mike

    Put more resources into funding habitat, burns, wildlife and habitat studies.

    Use licence monies to actually fund our wild life

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    [-] Kelly

    Biodiversity and populations are measurable at many levels. This allows for legislative targets and constraints that all must abide by to ensure habitat sustainability and balanced, scientific wildlife management.

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    [-] Chris

    – Dedicated funding model for wildlife and conservation. Funds should not go to general revenue.
    – funding should come from all stakeholders as well as hunting licences. This would include biking and skiing operations, rafting, camping, sight seeing, wildlife viewing etc. Basically all stakeholders that are using wildlife habitat.
    – make a better effort in deactivation of FSR’s. Motorized access into the backcountry puts stress on animals in the winter. Also the roads make predator movements too easy.

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    [-] Dan

    How about studying the link between aerial spraying for selective growth and mortality rates of our wildlife populations?

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    [-] David

    Wildlife decline is caused by a number of different variables include human interaction (dealt with in the next question), climate change (outside the purview of these questions), predation, and loss of habitat.

    The most important thing is to be able to have baseline data – this involves working with stakeholder groups including First Nations, Industry, Scientists and the public (hunters, fishers, outdoor enthusiasts) to collect data on current populations, migration patterns, habitat loss, and loss due to hunting, predation, etc.

    The second most important thing is to acknlowedge that we do need to manage impacts – we can’t just let nature be nature (prey will be decimated by predation) and human “interefence” – either by hunting, managing predators, or establishing preserves is required.

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    [-] Dan

    Look, all of the above ideas are great, but clearly, if there are more Elk in Montana than BC, and that pattern is repeated throughout most big game species, you guys are doing this wrong.

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    [-] Tracey

    I urge all levels of government conserve and preserve British Columbia’s natural spaces and the species that call them home.

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    [-] Jack

    all of the points listed in the “opportunities” section above are important and valid.
    However, we should be looking at habitat more closely than any other. If the land is properly managed the animals will prosper. Focus on healthy ecosystems, and unfragmented landscapes.
    We also need to start researching and collecting harvest data from First Nations.
    My final point would be that commercial interests should not be put in front of resident opportunity.

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    [-] Brad

    Predator managementl needs to be science based, and not emotionally directed.

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    [-] TC

    1)Wildlife funding needs to be a priority for the BC government and not continued to be put on the back burner. Stop taking away money collected through hunting and fishing licences and fees and put it back into where it belongs.
    2)Back country access needs to be addressed immediately.. Forestry, mining, gas, and explorations should be deactivating secondary roads and bringing areas back to natural state. Road closures are not enough.
    3)Predator control is a serious issue and management needs to be implemented. Bring back a regulated grizzly hunt and do something about the wolf and cougar populations.. STOP MANAGING WILDLIFE BASED ON EMOTION!
    4)Limit areas where domestic animals are allowed to free range. Protect wintering areas from OVER-GRAZING and high fences, that disrupt migration routes and winter feed. Hold people accountable..
    5)Prescribed burns… Create feeding areas and control wildfires that will get out of control in the summer months.
    Not one item is solely blame, but all a contributing factors…. TIME TO START MANAGING WILDLIFE AND STOP HOLDING “FEELINGS” SURVEYS.

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    [-] Graham

    Need to shut down the doe and cow seasons. Should also use all money or a greater portion generated from tags and licenses and put it back into wildlife not gerenal revenue. More road closures

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    [-] Dr.

    Address habitat loss, alteration and fragmentation where required to meet wildlife population and ecosystem objectives.
    Improve understanding of wildlife population dynamics through improved and more frequent information collection, as well as incorporation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and citizen science to complement existing inventory and monitoring programs.
    Improve understanding of the links between habitat conservation and healthy wildlife populations.
    Address other mortality factors, such as hunting, predation and road/rail collisions, that are contributing to population declines.

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    [-] Joleen

    Pay attention to the critical data you already know. Head the advice of the wildlife/environmental sectors and do what’s right for the environment. Don’t ignore data that doesn’t support political agendas. Again, common sense should prevail over polital and/or finanical gains. My opinion my not be popular with everyone but at some point we should hold those accountable who dismiss the cold hard facts and just go forward without longterm considerations/consequences.

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    [-] Tammie

    I do feel that most declining wildlife populations are the result of human interference in the form of degradation or outright loss of habitat. However, every time populations fail other wildlife are made convenient scapegoats and culled. I understand that we all need to make a living and that oftentimes the pursuit of that comes into conflict with wildlife. If we could be more careful, do better studies, and make smarter developments, maybe wildlife wouldn’t have to suffer in the first place?

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    [-] Jefferson

    Change the culture of ‘Environment’ and ‘Wildlife & Habitat’ being managed as anthropocentric portfolios where “super market science” refers to species as ‘inventory’ (keeping the shelves stocked), to one that reflects independent, peer-reviewed, science based humility – ecology, food webs, trophic cascades.
    Of course all current consumptive licence fees (hunting, fishing, eco-tourism, Park Users & Permit fees, etc.) should be dedicated to preservation/habitat restoration. Implement 1% “Eco-tax” on everything from sports bras to snow tires, for absolute dedication to protection/preservation/restoration/staffing of wilderness habitat, lakes/rivers/creeks, ‘Conservancies’, ‘Sanctuaries’, BC Parks, etc.
    Restrict extraction.

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    [-] Ben

    We need to keep important winter ranges in good shape( regular burning), under/overpasses for wildlife around high fenced highways, no high fencing for agricultural purposes as this is in prime wildlife refuge areas, keep predator populations in check and keep harvest numbers sustainable. That’s how we can reverse declining wildlife populations.

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    [-] Tracy

    Ban trophy hunting across the board. Limit habitat loss by limiting development. Ban foreign ownership of lands/development.

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    [-] Dustin

    We need more funding for wildlife conservation in this province. I support a bounty from the province on predators that have robust populations in areas where prey species are in danger of being at risk. Science based decisions must be made in favor of emotional ones or appeasement.

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    [-] Clarice

    – stop hunting
    – the full impact of development on the environment and wildlife needs to be considered and approvals only given when there is a plan to address any and all concerns
    – establish protected areas with minimal access allowed by humans

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    [-] Daniel

    I am always worried about the decline on our animals. This is a very important issue we must tackle

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    [-] Chris

    The southern mountain caribou population is continuing to decline, yet the government considers them not sufficiently at risk because the population is over 100 animals! This is ridiculous. When populations reach that level, it is too late. Continually, government policy lags behind the opinions of scientists who have spent years researching these questions. Always business and industry trumps wildlife and conservation. We have great opportunities in B.C. to nurture our wildlife which would be the envy of many other nations. Let us act before it is too late.

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    [-] Norm

    1. Commit to implementing recommendations of the BC Guide/Outfitter Association (2009, 2016) and the Morris (2015) and Gorley (2016) reports.

    2. Implement a consolidated resource strategy to conserve moose and their habitat through inter-agency agreements and partnership with stakeholders to ensure moose do not become a species at risk.

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    [-] Chris

    The discussion document and description of challenges in Phase One are well conceived. It is understandable that important details are still missing at this early stage. I would like to see the following points emphasized in subsequent steps:

    Explicit measurable objectives and appropriate monitoring will be key to tracking progress, learning, and managing adaptively.

    In principle, reducing human exploitation (e.g., hunting) and protecting extant productive habitat will be the quickest, cheapest, and likely the most effective management actions to halt population declines. They should be given first consideration.

    Actions to also restore degraded habitat or to artificially increase population productivity may be warranted, but they will take longer and cost more, and their effectiveness will be less certain. They should NOT be undertaken as a politically preferable alternative to actions that will immediately reduce human exploitation and protect productive habitat.

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    [-] Clayton

    Promote Pred harvest.
    Allow baiting of black bears and the use of electronic calls

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    [-] John

    I absolutely believe that respectful hunting is very important to wildlife conservation and doesn’t decrease wildlife populations. Hunting is an authentic human activity and proper hunting is the most connective way to relate to nature. I believe that wildlife decisions should absolutely be based on science and truths and not on emotional response to false beliefs such as the elimination of the grizzly bear hunt.

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    [-] Tamara

    Heavily fine people who feed wildlife (have bird feeders, no fencing, backyard chickens, leave garbage and recycling outdoors, dirty bbq’s, pet food left out ect). I live in a small community, and too many bears are lured into town by the easily accessible garbage, then they end up trapped and destroyed by COs. No amount of education on the matter is as effective as hitting people’s wallets.

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    [-] George

    Raise provincial priority on wildlife to match other natural resources! Get wildlife management back into MOE where it belongs. Increase spending on wildlife management significantly. Create a “wildlife commission “ with NGO’s to oversee wildlife management.

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    [-] Pete

    -PREDATOR MANAGEMENT (wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, cougars)
    -unregulated harvesting is hugely detrimental to ungulate populations
    -better management of supply and demand
    -improvements on habitat management (burns, reclaiming, excessive clearcutting with no replanting)
    -Use LEH as a tool to help manage populations where needed with reassessments year to year
    -more dynamic approach to wildlife managements
    -more education on the value of BC’s wildlife. Non only financial but biological. It employs poeple, it creates work, it’s a lifestyle, there is room for everyone at this table
    -and I will repeat myself, MANAGE PREDATORS especially the wolves that are killing animals by the thousands and have no predators themselves. We’ve allowed them to be efficient killers with our road systems and exploration. Now we have to manage them and probably reduce their numbers.

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    [-] Lorne

    Regulations need to be put in place for native hunters, where bag limits are recognized and enforced.

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    [-] Leilah

    Ending the taking of large predators when there is completely inadequate population surveying or conservation science being done. It’s not acceptable to pick a number out of thin air and say that’s probably fine to take.

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    [-] Cheyenne

    We can’t help our ungulates thrive and have healthy numbers when we are willingly letting Grizzly Bear populations increase based on emotions from people who don’t live around them.

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    [-] Jeff

    Need to stop the herbicide spray. Every cut block that is sprayed is wiping out habitat and food for all ungulates. Wolves are highly over populated. Cull some wolves. Train tracks kill thousands of moose a year. These three things are what’s killing out ungulates. I’ve grown up and lived in the outdoors my whole life. I’m extremely sad and frustrated on the lack of care our government has for wildlife. I’m tired of studies on moose for the last 10 years with next to nothing being done about it but more underfunded studies just to say we are trying when really they don’t care at all. If our government cared about wildlife in the slightest they would stop the herbicide spray tomorrow but it won’t stop. Even with 50000 signatures to stop it. But somhow 2500 people from Vancouver sign a petition to stop grizzly bear hunting when historically there is more grizzlies now than ever. Science said it is the right thing to have a season and is actually healthy for the bears. It is hard to keep a positive mindset when the choices are made for the wrong reasons.

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    [-] Andrew

    In order to properly manage wildlife all decisions need to be fact and science based. More value need to be placed on wildlife and industries such as the forestry industry which has a direct impact on habitat should not be responsible for creating habitat management plans. Also the DFO should not be responsible for wild salmon stocks and fish farms. The fox shouldn’t guard the hen house.

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    [-] Terita

    Addressing habitat needs for wildlife species before they become endangered. Incorporating Indigenous peoples knowledge about wildlife management. Creating more protected areas where industry is not allowed to operate. Ultimately, removal of invasive species is very important (i.e., American Bullfrogs).

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    [-] Jon

    Honestly the best thing to do would have a bounty in wolfs. I love them they are a beautiful animal but their numbers have exploded. Also I believe there should be a grizzly bear season.

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    [-] Warren

    All decisions that have any effect on the landscape need to have input from wildlife biologists. We must prioritize habitat and develop industry as secondary around wildlife needs. If we do not prioritize wildlife they will always lose out to industry and development.

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    [-] Joel

    Encourage hunting of predators. Manage wildlife with science, find out what’s sustainable and that’s what we hunt.

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    [-] Angela

    The encroachment of forested land and wildlife habitats by realeastate developers should be greatly reduced. As well, logging should be better regulated to protect these habitats.
    Wildlife fencing with over or under passes should be installed along the main highways to protect animals trying to cross.
    Hunting moratoriums should be instituted to allow populations to increase to a healthy number.

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    [-] Alison

    Additional resources must be devoted to research. But action to protect remaining wildlife must be taken NOW, even if all the data isn’t in yet.

    Preservation of habitat is critical. Far too much wildlife habitat is lost to clear-cutting, public works projects (such as Site C Dam) and development.
    – All remaining viable habitat in provincial parks must be 100% protected.
    – Laws should require logging companies to replant forested acreage WITHIN 18 MONTHS of logging, with significant fines if they don’t. (Small fines just become a “cost of doing business”.)
    – Companies that log land (whether public or private) must be required to replant appropriate native trees, not a ‘tree farm’ of just a single species that is commercially valuable.
    – All old growth logging must be stopped IMMEDIATELY.
    – Spraying of chemicals as part of forestry practice should not be allowed.

    Open-pen ocean-based fish farms need to be closed as quickly as possible… as soon as each permit expires.

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    [-] mario

    The North American model of wildlife management has proven to be very effective. Legislation and a very active hunting community has been the back bone of this success story. It is important that we don’t let special interest groups and anti hunting groups have undue influence on wildlife management that involve banning hunting. When wildlife has no value it is not preserved and hunters value it more than any other group. In countries that have banned hunting, wildlife populations have plummeted. Look at Kenya as an example of this. Although it has a vibrant ecotourism industry the wildlife experiences are largely inauthentic and sterile, and wildlife populations are only about 10% of what they once were. Cattle have replaced the wildlife because wildlife no longer has a benefit to the people. Base management decisions on sound scientific principles not emotion.

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    [-] M

    Predators are not the problem forestry and over population are. The only predator that needs to be controlled are humans…
    After doing a documentary on wolves in golden bc and talking to experts in the area it’s pretty clear that people are the issue not the wolves. Caribou and wolves lived together just fine until we came into the picture. A caribou main source of food in the winter is Lichen a kind of moss only found in old growth forrest. It takes it years for lichen to grown it’s an extreamly slow growing organism.
    Stop killing out predators if you’ve done any study in biology you’ll know you effect the top of the food chain it ripples right to the bottom.
    Yellow stone is a perfect example along with other places in the world.
    Work on a more replenishable forestry industry instead of using wolves and other large predators as your scapegoat

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    [-] Josh

    A serious commitment by government needs to be given to many different species in decline throughout different regions of BC. Habitat lose/fragmentation as well as over predation can be addressed quickly. Wolves, Grizzlies, Eagles, Sea lions etc. all need to be managed.

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    [-] Kris

    Consider adopting a U.S. model of wildlife management. Whatever they are doing in the western states appears to be working. Lots of deer, elk and antelope down south. The old saying that “hunters and anglers pay for conservation” is a thing of the past. We still pay but the money isn’t going where it should be.. Put the funding back into the resource. We need to protect wilderness and limit access. We need more enforcement of the wildlife act and other environmental laws. Hunters and Anglers will support sound management. The government needs to act now before it is to late for fish and wildlife.

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    [-] Frank

    In considering our dilemma of diminishing wildlife and a degrading environment, it is valuable to seriously reflect on our origins, and on aspects that made an authentic and proper human life.

    Original humans had a natural and genuine relationship with the earth by hunting and gathering, and our relationship was as legitimate as that of any other animal. Humans certainly affected the dynamics of the places we lived, but we did not diminish wildness nor did we permanently degrade the land.

    When we developed ways of feeding ourselves by agricultural practices, we first shortcut, and then totally abandoned the ways of our original life. We have now developed endless methods of exploiting natural resources to serve unlimited selfish and often shallow desires. The vast knowledge of original life has been lost, and our modern lives are a failure from an environmental perspective.

    We should be extremely wary of all ideological movements concerning wildlife and wild places. Ideological movements, by their very design, always steer us from our natural relationships with the earth to embrace behavioral beliefs that are supposedly better, and the more extreme those beliefs are, the more harm is inevitably caused.

    Similarly we must be very wary of believing that ecotourism is the legitimate answer to solving modern wildlife concerns. The novelty and amusement values of ecotourism are disrespectful to wildlife and to genuine human connections to wild places. Ecotourism is simply a fresh twist on the ways of civilization (more of the same), and wildlife and wild places will not flourish under this approach. Industry and progress will gain a deeper foothold, and wildlife and wild places will be relegated to “museum pieces”.

    Wildlife managers have done a much better job of enhancing wildlife populations in North America than the public credits. They face enormous pressures from hunters, fishers, non-hunters, anti-hunters, resource industries, developers, governments, and a “fickle” public. However, from any perspective, the abundance of wildlife we have in North America today compared to the 1800’s seems a miracle, and great caution should be taken before utterly destroying our current conservation system. We should be far more receptive to advice from trained wildlife biologists and managers, and allow them more lead in wildlife matters.

    In our relentless desire to reject our natural relationship with the earth, people are too quick to reject the merits of hunting and gathering, and our original ways on the land. Hunting can still teach us much about the profound paradoxes of life, and about civilization’s contradiction of those truths.

    Hunters and fishers can certainly be criticized for short-cutting their processes, for embracing technologies that diminish original human skills, and for the egotistical entertainment aspects some bring to it, but those failings are the values of civilization and modern culture, not the failings of a genuine human connection to a natural life.

    Despite the reality that hunters and fishers have feet awkwardly stuck in two entirely opposing cultures, they overwhelming support conservation efforts, and have been the major force of conservation in North America for the last 125 years. Hunters need large spaces and an abundance of wildlife in order to hunt, so by virtue of this alone, human hunting is particularly valuable to current wildlife concerns. Hunting seems unfairly brutal to those who are “super-civilized,” but it isn’t inherently destructive to wildlife as civilization is. Regulated hunting designed to account for biological realities does not diminish wildlife populations, and any belief that it does contradicts the natural predator/prey relationship inherent to life itself. We will never return to our origins, but society, as a whole should seriously re-evaluate its current attitudes to human hunting, and understand that retaining some authentic human connection to the natural world is an enormous benefit to wildlife. There is more value to this original relationship than most people care to acknowledge, and it is important to consider and appreciate what hunting can teach us.

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    [-] Daniel

    Increase wintering range habitat for ungulates

    Limit predator numbers

    Prescribed burns

    Increase funding

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    [-] Cam

    Proper game management is crucial. Re instating the grizzly bear hunt.

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    [-] Martin

    100% tag and license money committed annually to fund conservation.

    We need the funding which we pay already! For science drive management of wildlife and they’re ecosystem.

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    [-] Shelly

    Speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves

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    [-] Michele

    I believe we need to take a more serious role in the protection of habitat, such as our march lands, salmon beds, and other critical habitat that is essential to wildlife. I think we should be restoring and creating more of these critical habitats as we have done such a great job destroying them now it is time to restore them.

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    [-] Jacqueline

    Perhaps there needs to be some attention given to the use of herbicides in cut blocks. Deciduous trees are a major food source for many animals that are showing declines in their numbers (due to numerous reasons), but there does appear to be some correlation to low numbers and sprayed cut blocks. Also, perhaps in the the vast areas which are being clear cut, there should be no hunting for the first year so as to allow for the wildlife to adjust to the deforestation. I am a hunter but hunting new cut blocks seems like shooting fish in a barrel…time should be given for recovery. Cow and calf hunts should also be reduced or eliminated all together for declining species.

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    [-] Ian

    I volunteer for Cats and Birds ( part of Nature Canada).
    There’s a huge threat to wildlife that you should be addressing, and that’s outdoor cats.
    I strongly urge you to consider a Province wide solution, or at least send out guidance to the Municipalities.
    At least do some research and contact the Stewardship Center for BC.
    How can we say we’re protecting wildlife when we let our non-native pets roam and kill at will!
    Plus the feral cat population will likely explode soon, as it has in the States and Australia, where they are now culling.
    We need to know how many ferals we have in BC now and estimate their population growth.
    We need action now, as they currently kill 100 to 350 million birds in Canada annually, according to Environment Canada, and several times that many small mammals, reptiles, amphibians etc.

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    [-] Ian

    Cats are the leading cause of death of birds in Canada with Vancouver Island and the Okanagan Valley having the highest density of species at risk, according to Environment Canada

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    [-] Scott

    There is no real strategy and the biologists have been ignored. We need to listen to the science and provide enough funding to recover declining populations.

    The woodland caribou are a great example. We know how to fix the problem but we are just not doing it. The resource industry is taking precedence over wildlife. the change in the habitat and associated increase in access for predators due to resource extraction has put the caribou at the risk of extinction. We can solve the issue, all it takes is limiting access and stopping resource extraction in the endangered areas plus funding to help the caribou recover. I am not sure why we have not taken any meaningful action.

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    [-] Leeanne

    No more culls of wolves. We can NOT kill one specie to protect another. We knew caribou were in trouble decades ago. Habitat loss is the problem. Stop logging and resource extraction in their habitat.
    Wolf culls are cruel and indiscriminate and morally & unethically wrong.

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    [-] April

    Discussion Question – What measures need to be taken to proactively manage wildlife and habitat and prevent wildlife from becoming species at risk?

    I have been a backcountry trail user in British Columbia. for over 35 years. I see a tremendous amount of wilderness that has been compromised by resource roads for mining, logging, power lines and radio towers. I believe this has to be minimized in order to allow wildlife such as caribou to survive.

    I’ve seen quite a few questionable projects approved over the years that compromise the integrity of wilderness areas. A classic example is Western Forest Products was allowed to push a road through to Cape Palmerston just north of Raft Cove on Vancouver Island. They put an RV parking area in an otherwise hard to access wilderness area. Where you used to see wolves and bears roaming the beach, now you see more people walking in from the RV park.

    And finally I am strongly against the killing of Judas wolves and their packs in order to save the caribou. Again, the human activity such as mining and logging is having more impact on the caribou that the wolves.

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    [-] Scott

    Wildlife is a key performance indicator of healthy forests and our forests are not healthy. Without healthy habitats, wildlife cannot thrive. British Columbia is known internationally for the “Super, Natural British Columbia” brand and it is being damaged by the activities of some of the resource sectors. Our forests, water and mountains are not what they once were.

    What we have here in British Columbia is special. Wildlife is a valuable resource; it must be seen as such and managed accordingly. We must take a proactive, aggressive action to ensure we grow abundant wildlife populations for all to enjoy, both today and in the future.

    To have healthy wildlife populations we need to have healthy ecosystems. Decision-makers need to put a value on wildlife and the habitat they depend upon.
    • Management plans should be created with population objective for all species.
    • Population objectives need to be based upon habitat capability
    • The management scale should be at a landscape-level
    • Management decision should be based on science
    • Wildlife managers should have more authority to use all management “levers” to manage wildlife and achieve the population objectives
    • Proactive management is less expensive than recovery management
    • Wildlife must have a value
    • Review resource activities and statutes that have an adverse impact to wildlife and their habitat, i.e. free growing

    There needs to be a better balance on the landscape. With climate change, beetle epidemics, more access and more change to the back country, there needs to be corresponding change in management. Without it, we will experience more population declines. As we look to the future we need better decision making to benefit our wildlife and the habitat it requires. We need to assign a value for wildlife so that it is considered when making decisions. Wildlife managers need objectives to manage to, based upon habitat capability. The foundation of sound wildlife management is science-based decisions.

    Better balance requires inclusion of the broader natural resources sector in British Columbia. Two excellent examples of effective, cohesive wildlife management are the proposed Natural Resource Practices Board (NRPB) and the long-standing Muskwa-Kechika Management Area (M-KMA). The M-KMA was designated in legislation in 1998 and is “where world class integrated resource management decision-making is practiced ensuring that resource development and other human activities take place in harmony with wilderness quality, wildlife and dynamic ecosystems on which they depend.” British Columbia deserves the type of world class wildlife management demonstrated by these models.

    For many reasons, there has been a significant and unsustainable increase in the annual allowable cut. Over many years, this elevated cut has scarred our landscape. Increased logging has resulted in increased roads and many unintended consequences to wildlife. Current silviculture regulations encourage forest licensees to spray the forests with poison to reach ‘free growing’ objectives. These practices are having detrimental impacts to wildlife. Government inventories have documented 50-70% declines in moose populations in some regions. This has had a negative impact on outfitting businesses and is reducing the ability of some First Nations to fulfill their Food, Social and Ceremonial rights.

    GOABC welcomed the review of the Professional Reliance model and believes other polices and/or regulations also need to be reviewed i.e. free-growing. Habitat loss is the greatest threat to wildlife and more work needs to be done in this area to stop more species from be added to the list of ‘species at risk.’

    It is difficult to make changes with some of the current legislation in place. For example, the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) states: “the objective set by government for wildlife and biodiversity at the stand level is, without unduly reducing the supply of timber from British Columbia’s forests, to retain wildlife trees” and the Ministry of Environment’s control refers to a “one per cent impact limit on provincial short and long-term timber supply.” Laws such as these impede advancement. Furthermore, FRPA’s free growing legislation has unintended consequences for wildlife. It promotes the broad use of herbicides that kill the deciduous forage needed for many wildlife species, and the application of fertilizers that kill many bird species. As these old practices come under increasing scrutiny it is another indicator of the need to overhaul outdated legislation.

    Tough decisions must be made in wildlife management. These decisions must be science-based, rooted in habitat capability and populations objectives. Wildlife managers need to be empowered as their own entity so that they can do what needs to be done. This may include such things as limiting access, limiting resource extraction, protecting land and reducing predators. Not always popular decisions when managing to an objective.

    Efforts need to be focused within the scope of impact. There are things that we can control (logging, access, habitat protection, predator density, etc.) and things we cannot (climate change, natural disasters, etc.) Let’s focus our resources on the factors we can make a meaningful impact upon.

    At the same time, we must increase our pace. Studies have been conducted in this province for decades. We now must recognize the urgency of taking proactive and productive action and take steps based upon what the results of those studies are telling us. Studies are not to be shelved; they are to be applied.

    At this stage in the game, we may be forced to apply a triage approach and focus our efforts in the areas of the province, and on the strategies, that will maximize the number of survivors.

    So too, we need to track our results. We must know what impacts our efforts are having – both positive and negative – and be aggressive in our efforts to achieve specific population-recovery goals.

    Primary Prey:
    GOABC is alarmed by the suggestion that primary prey theory be expanded as a method of addressing declining wildlife populations. We are adamantly opposed to this impractical and dangerous approach. We see primary prey theory as a passive and simplistic proposition that does not address the immediacy of the predator problem nor the complex predator-prey relationship. It is a pilot project at best, still lacking adequate evidence that it actually works.

    Predator control MUST be something we do – if we do not, all wildlife will pay the ultimate price. We need clearly defined population objectives for all species. When we observe an imbalance in the predator/prey dynamic, we must then take the appropriate action. Predator control is a critical – and perhaps the most critical – component of moose and caribou recovery. To this end, predator control should be used proactively and consistently until both predator and prey populations are within the desired density.

    We recognize that culling predators is an emotionally-charged issue. However, we must set our fickle emotions aside and adhere to science-based principles and do what is best for wildlife. As stewards of this majestic resource, we must not allow emotional social responses to trump science and prevent the appropriate management of our wilderness.

    The caribou maternal penning program cost roughly $350,00 per year over 15 years to realize an increase of seven caribou. SEVEN?!? Are the costs of this program even coming close to the population gains being achieved? Unless we are going to fence off all of British Columbia, maternal caribou penning is impractical. Are we investing vast resources simply to delay the inevitable? If we’re only serving to make the predator’s next meal a bit larger, more filling and less instinctually-capable of escape, what have we gained? Sounds more like a predator feeding program than a prey recovery program.

    In October of 2016 the province committed $1.2 million to assisting in moose population recovery. Since that time, we have observed various methods of dealing with the situation that seem limited to observing the decline, without the application of corrective action. Managing populations to zero is simply not acceptable. We want the management levers outlined in the Provincial Framework for Moose Management in BC to be used to recover moose.

    The Al Gorley report outlined multiple proactive actions that need to be taken to recover moose populations. We participated in this process and would like to see more action, especially in the following areas:
    1. Develop population objectives for moose (and all other species) and have wildlife managers maintain populations at those levels;
    2. Incorporate proactive predator management to maintain a proper balance on the landscape;
    3. Deactivation of in-block roads and replant with deciduous trees;
    4. With the amount of development there needs to be better access control. We support ATV restrictions in critical moose population areas during moose season;
    5. Ask forest licensees not to use herbicide (to reach the free growing requirement);
    6. Review free growing legislation because it is causing unintended consequences for wildlife; and
    7. Consider wildlife when evaluating salvage permits for burnt areas. We have just created wildlife habitat.

    We must be aggressively proactive otherwise we will lose everything that makes this province super, natural, beautiful British Columbia – and the envy of the rest of the world.

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    [-] Ian

    Our pet cats kill millions of birds and other small critters every year.
    if we want to protect wildlife we should start there.

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    [-] Susan

    The constant factor for species at risk is loss of habitat. Greater research and understanding of what a life sustaining habitat is, must be completed. Can we continue to cut down old growth forests with no loss of species? Will fish farms destroy the natural habitat of wild salmon and resident killer whales?
    We already take more than our fair share. There are factors far more important than profit. We must place equitable value on trees not harvested, rivers left natural. Wood Buffalo National Park is a perfect example how years of seemingly unrelated resource extraction has put this Unesco site in dire danger. No one decision stands alone.
    Unless we put habitat preservation ahead of resource profits we will continue to lose species. Waiting until there are 75 whales, 3 cariboo and one stand of old growth forest can no longet be our call to action. When it is gone it will be gone forever and even the companies who believe they have the right to be first will wish that they had taken less. That will be too late.

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    [-] David

    Nobody wants a species to decline. However, the hard discussion of how much are we willing to sacrifice to halt the decline of a species that we may or may not have any influence over? A prime example is the spotted owl decision on federal lands in the United States. Numerous towns were decimated when the forestry industry shut down to the conservation efforts to save the spotted owl that twenty-five years later proved to be futile. Single species efforts must be weighed against impact to society. Approaching wildlife management from a wholistic perspective that accounts for overlying co-location of habitat requirements should be considered.

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