Tahltan First Nation Takes Bold Step in Wildlife Management

Tough decisions need to be made in wildlife management.  These decisions must be science-based, rooted in habitat capability and populations objectives.

The Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia supports wildlife management that is based upon science and is informed by local and traditional knowledge.

Tough decisions need to be made in wildlife management.  These decisions must be science-based, rooted in habitat capability and populations objectives.  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.

We applaud leaders like Chad Norman Day, President of the Tahltan Central Government, who have the courage to make the bold decision to balance the predator-prey dynamic in their territory, with the introduction of the Tahltan Predator Management Policy.  The policy encourages and incentivizes Tahltan members to exercise their constitutionally protected Aboriginal hunting rights to harvest predatory species in defense of personal safety and ungulate populations.

One of the main threats to most ungulate populations is a high rate of predation by wolves, bears (black and grizzly), wolverine, and cougars that is out of balance from the natural cycle.  Multiple prey systems represent one of the most complex relationships in nature.  Imbalances in this delicate ratio can happen when natural events (forest fires) and human activity (such as logging) convert large areas of mature forests to young forest landscapes.  These young, open forests provide ideal foods for deer, elk, and moose; yet, they also give predators a speed and tactical advantage.

We see the ecosystem approach to be the most viable for effecting the most good for the broadest number of species.  Every species needs food and a place to live to survive, so it only makes sense to focus on the ecosystem as a whole.  No one species is more or less important than the next one.

The Al Gorley report, Provincial Framework for Moose Management in BC, outlined seven proactive actions that needed to be taken to recover moose.  The first two were:

  1. Develop population objectives for moose (and all other species) and have wildlife managers maintain populations at those levels; and,
  2. Incorporate proactive predator management to maintain a proper balance on the landscape.

We recognize that predator control is an emotionally charged issue.  However, we must set our 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 our emotional responses to trump science and prevent the appropriate management of our wilderness.  Predator control MUST be something we do.  If we do not have the courage to do so, it is wildlife that will pay the ultimate price.

For more information, contact Scott Ellis at (604) 541-6332.

Please download press release below.


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