Event Follow Up: Wolves at the Ledge

Thanks for joining us at the ledge in support of BC's wolves! Scroll down for info on the guest speakers and more ways to helps #saveBCwolves!

Event Recap

Last week, on Monday October 4, B.C. MLAs returned to the legislature for the fall session. Conservationists, journalists, and nearly one hundred Pacific Wild wolf supporters were gathered on the Parliament Buildings lawns in a public display of opposition to the province’s ongoing wolf cull program.

The event showcased a wide-range of perspectives and demonstrated just how diverse and growing the community of citizens who oppose publicly-funded wolf culling is. The message was clear. People want this short-sighted, dangerous approach to save caribou by the provincial government to end.

Seven years ago, Pacific Wild started an online petition which has since been signed by more than 500,000 individuals, nearly 70,000 of whom are British Columbian. That petition has now been delivered to Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Environmentalist and conservation photographer, Cheryl Alexander, spoke of her work documenting the life of Takaya, a famous lone wolf who resided on the Discovery Islands near Victoria, B.C. He was shot and killed by a hunter in 2020. This was the inspiration behind Takaya’s Legacy petition, which totals more than 81,000 signatures and asks the B.C. government to place a moratorium on recreational killing of wolves. This petition was also delivered to Minister Conroy.

Vancouver Island youth activist Alex Winterhalt was in attendance with his Grade nine classmates, and shared powerful and inspiring words about his efforts. Seven years ago, at seven years of age, Alex went door-to-door and gathered 815 signatures calling for an end to the wolf cull that was read into the legislative record in 2018, but nothing changed. He stated, “I came alone in 2018 with 815 signatures; but now we come together with 500,000”

Pacific Wild staffer and award-winning Anishinaabe filmmaker, Darryl Whetung shared stories from his culture related to wolves and the natural world. The stories of creation he touched on highlighted how perfectly balanced ecosystems are without human interference. “I believe the government needs to do its research before we allow them to allow others the right to commit unconscious murder”, he said.

Pacific Wild’s lawyer, Rebeka Breder spoke about the legal action she is spearheading for us. She argues that the wolf cull, as it is currently being conducted, is unlawful. She explained that the authority to cull wolves by aircraft has been inappropriately given to regional managers under current Wildlife Act regulations. Additionally, the majority of wolf killings have occurred via government-contracted civilians shooting from helicopters, which she also argues breaks federal aviation laws. Our case will receive three more days in court from October 27-29, 2021.

The event closed off with Pacific Wild’s wolf campaigner, Laurie McConnell who touched on industry-related issues impacting wolf culling. As studies have shown, human industrial activities are ravaging caribou habitat and are the root cause of caribou decline — not wolves. They emphasized how critical transitioning workers and the economy out of the last remaining resource extraction jobs, and into a structure that protects biodiverse ecosystems, will be in the years to come.

We’re grateful for everyone who joined us at the Legislature last week, and those who supported our efforts online. We hope that the delivery of these 500,000 signatures will move us closer to an end of this cull.

Karen McAllister (Event MC)
Pacific Wild Interim Executive Director

Rebeka Breder
Animal Rights Lawyer

Alex Winterhalt
Youth Activist

Cheryl Alexander
Takaya’s Legacy Project

Laurie McConnell
Pacific Wild Wolf Campaigner

Maryann Campeau (in wolf suit) & Sabina Pettit
Protect BC Wolves

Survey: The Government needs to hear from you!

The Province of B.C. is seeking your input on a five-year approval for continued predator reduction to support the recovery of woodland caribou.

The Province of B.C. is seeking your input on a five-year approval for continued predator reduction to support the recovery of woodland caribou.

Engagement timelines: September 15th – November 15th, 2021

Suggestions for comment feedback:

Q. What are the three greatest causes of caribou decline?
Pacific Wild’s position is that damage to caribou habitat through resource extraction industries is the key driver of caribou decline. Other key factors are climate change and forest fires.

Q. Methods of protecting caribou in order of priority
Habitat protection through meaningful regulation of land use; Habitat restoration; Management of motorized recreation (snowmobiling and heli-skiing.

Q. Do you agree predator reduction is a necessary action for caribou recovery?
Disagree. (Habitat restoration, maternal penning, and supplemental feeding).

Q. Should the CRP add or delete herds from the predator kill list?
Why are herds being added to the list in the absence of peer reviewed scientific data?

If you would like to dive deeper into the specifics around individual herds, Valhallah Wilderness Society has a trove of information available online and via email.

Write a letter to Katrine Conroy and call for an end to the aerial wolf cull in B.C.

Phone: 250 387 6240
Fax: 250 387 1040
FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca (Please CC info@pacificwild.org in your email)

Key Talking Points

  • The CRP (Caribou Recovery Program) has not provided specific peer-reviewed papers they are working from to show the cull is science based. Can they publicly post the studies and data?
  • The CRP stated that starvation, low natality are ‘way down the list’ as impacts on caribou mortality. Where are the numbers for this?
  • Industry best practices (i.e. functional restoration of human caused disruptions to the landscape to slow the rate of travel by wolves and discourage interaction with caribou and towards other ungulates) should be on the table yesterday and should be a de facto part of the permit process for exploration and/or development
  • Why is the B.C. government still awarding cut blocks in endangered caribou habitat? This flies in the face of the mandate federally to protect caribou, and no amount of wolf killing will save caribou if their habitat disappears
  • Why is habitat protection considered a long-term priority? We don’t have the luxury of time.