For immediate release
Victoria, B.C. (January 27, 2022) – Today, we learned that the provincial government of British Columbia’s controversial wolf cull was renewed for another five years despite widespread public opposition and a lack of action to protect critical old-growth habitat—the root cause of endangered caribou declines.
Earlier this month, B.C. released its Predator Reduction for Caribou Recovery Engagement Survey results. Nearly 60% of respondents were against the wolf cull program. The vast majority of respondents listed habitat protection (regulating land use), habitat restoration, and habitat management as the top three preferred actions for caribou recovery.
“The clear intent is to continue the needless scapegoating and killing of wolves instead of taking essential steps of protecting intact old-growth forests for endangered caribou while ensuring fossil fuel industries do not access and fragment this habitat further,” said Ian McAllister, Conservation Advisor for Pacific Wild. “By safeguarding and restoring caribou habitat, B.C. would be doing its part in mitigating climate change while also protecting the full suite of predator-prey relationships that are being destroyed through short-term greed.”
Additionally, the legality of culling operations is currently before the courts. These legal challenges include the authority to cull wolves by aircraft being inappropriately given to regional managers under current Wildlife Act regulations, and the majority of wolf culling occurring via civilians (contracted by the government) shooting from helicopters. These issues were presented to the court in 2021 and we have not yet received a decision from the judge.
“Since beginning in 2015, the wolf cull program has killed approximately 1,500 wolves,” said Laurie McConnell, wolf campaigner for Pacific Wild. “Nearly $2 million in taxpayer dollars were spent in 2019 and 2020 to kill 463 wolves, averaging $4,300 per wolf. Horgan’s favouritism to the forestry industry and wasteful spending amidst ongoing extinction threats to B.C.’s wildlife is extremely concerning. The government’s approach to this issue needs to change now.”
Pacific Wild is asking B.C. residents who are opposed to the government’s decision to contact the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Katrine Conroy (FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca) about their concerns.
About Pacific Wild
Pacific Wild supports innovative research, public education, community outreach and raising conservation awareness to achieve the goal of lasting environmental protections for the lands, waters and people of the Great Bear Rainforest and throughout British Columbia.