FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 29, 2018
The B.C. government has announced the formation of a roundtable to address how to improve moose populations and hunting opportunities in the Tŝilhqot’in National Government territory and surrounding areas. Read government release here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018FLNR0292-001899
In response to concern about the wildfires on moose populations in August, the B.C. Government rescinded 68 Limited Entry Hunt (LEH) moose authorizations for resident hunters. The Tŝilhqot’in subsequently called for a ban on moose hunting for the upcoming hunting season and blockaded a public road to restrict access to their territory.
The BCWF applauds the efforts of the Tŝilhqot’in National Government and Minister Donaldson in moving forward with this moose co-management agreement. The BC Wildlife Federation has been calling for a roundtable for some time and is very pleased with this agreement to kick-start a collaborative approach to managing wildlife in the Tŝilhqot’in territory and adjacent areas. As a solution-based organization, the BCWF believes working with government and the Tŝilhqot’in Nation is critical to making a positive difference to increase the moose population. The BCWF recognizes the Tŝilhqot’in Nation Aboriginal titled lands and traditional territory and has confidence that science and traditional knowledge can be used collectively in the conservation and management of wildlife.
BCWF President Harvey Andrusak emphasized that the strategy of producing more moose will lessen the potential for conflict between indigenous and non-indigenous people. Andrusak said, ” We believe that the willingness of government and the Tŝilhqot’in to enter into roundtable discussions is a positive signal and we look forward to contributing constructively to the discussion.”
The BCWF works with several First Nations to improve wildlife populations, especially moose that are a prime source of food. Prescribed burns are one tool that can effectively produce more moose. The BCWF is currently working cooperatively with Tŝilhqot’in Nation and the Tahltan Nation consultants to undertake prescribed burns as early as spring 2019 in the effort to improve wildlife habitat and protect communities.
The BCWF has made it clear to all levels of government that the path to reconciliation is to restore wildlife numbers through the collaborative restoration of wildlife habitat. The BCWF does not support conservation bans that eliminate one group of users only. The federation is satisfied its calls for collaboration on this issue have been answered. “It is in all our interests to see the moose population increase, and we are very pleased with the joint governments’ announcement of establishing a roundtable,” said Andrusak.
The BC Wildlife Federation is British Columbia’s leading conservation organization. Our 40,000 members are passionately committed to protecting, enhancing and promoting the wise use of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.