A leaked internal document released this week by Conservation North reveals the B.C. government’s intentions to expand the wolf cull program, targeting 80% mortality in some areas. Dated August 22, 2019, the letter is titled “Predator Reduction for Caribou Recovery” and recommends killing a significant number of predators under the guise of saving endangered southern mountain caribou. It was penned by senior staff from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD).
The document stems from a government-paid-for study released in March, 2019 in which culling wolves was recommended to save caribou. However, critics found this study lacked any form of independent ethics review approvals or certificates. Further review found that the data models were misinterpreted. The study’s data also confirmed that habitat loss was the single largest proximate threat to caribou, not wolves.
Millions of dollars in taxpayer money spent on subsidizing unlawful forestry activities
Researchers with the Wilderness Committee also found that while the government was conducting the study, which falsely blamed wolves for declines in Caribou, it was simultaneously green lighting more than 300 clear cut logging operations in critical Caribou habitat.
The document also states that wolf killing costs B.C. taxpayers between $200,000 and $500,000 per caribou herd annually. During the winter of 2018/2019, the average cost for each wolf capture was a staggering $9,400. The current plan to cull wolves from helicopters in three locations for two years will cost upwards of $3 million in tax dollars! Meanwhile, the B.C. government continues to allow trans-national logging corporations to directly profit from destroying critical old-growth caribou habitat.
“This isn’t just an environmental genocide of an ecologically important predator species, this is financial mismanagement of the highest concern” states Bryce Casavant, Conservation Policy Analyst with Pacific Wild. “The province of BC is skewing its own data in order to allow inappropriate industrial activities to occur within critical Caribou habitat. Removing critical habitat, circumnavigating ethics review procedures, and scapegoating wolves in the process flies in the face of ethical science.”
Wolves need a voice, not a bullet
The letter provides a consultation opportunity for “targeted stakeholders” until September 22, 2019. This is not adequate and inappropriately excludes the public expressing their concerns. Pacific Wild is calling on our supporters to make their voices heard. Help us stop this flawed and unprecedented state-sanctioned killing.
Visit our #SaveBCWolves campaign page to send a letter to FLNRORD and help us bring an end to the cull.
You can read the full document here.