Letter: Wolf cull would be devastating

The caribou are being decimated by the infrastructure of mines ruining their habitat

Wolf cull would be devastating

Dear Minister Katrine Conroy:

We read the article regarding B.C. extending the wolf cull despite opposition in the Victoria Times Colonist, Jan. 28, 2022, with horror. While aware of the “grants to block predators from reaching caribou…to plant trees affected by human activity and wildfires”. We cannot believe the government are extending the wolf cull at this time. It is abhorrent!

We used to run a wildlife sanctuary: The Wildlife Reserve of B.C. in the Kinsol Valley. You will therefore understand my abhorrence to wolf culling, not just in B.C. but also in Canada’s north. The CBC reported that the Northwest Territories plan to kill 60-80 per cent of wolves in the Bathurst and Bluenose East part of that province. The Federal Department of Environment and Natural Resources has claimed that the wolves are killing the caribou. It has been proven that the caribou are being decimated by the infrastructure of mines ruining their habitat; as well as the governments issuing hunting licences — to say nothing of climate change. Fortunately one pilot has gone public about the outcome of killing wolves by marksmen in helicopters.

To add to this argument, the Trump administration has removed wolves from the Endangered Species List in the lower 48 states. Conservationists fear that removing federal protections will result in state-sanctioned hunts that kill wolves in devastating numbers.

Let’s hope the current government south of the border will revisit this issue.

If the provincial government can ban the hunting of grizzly bears, why not wolves as well? Takaya (see Cheryl Alexander publications) was killed by a hunter in the Cowichan Valley, much to our horror — you are probably aware of this story; and the subsequent film which won awards. There has also been a British film crew recently filming the Vancouver Island wolves, and stating that they are a great tourist attraction. As the province gears up in the tourism sector, our wildlife is a major attraction, particularly on Vancouver Island. This issue is becoming critical and very public.

Given I am writing regarding the saving of wolves, I would like to also address another major concern being forestry; also under your jurisdiction.

The NDP stated, at the beginning of their tenure, that they would revise the forestry industry of this province. I have seen no sign of any revision. We should not be logging old growth at all regardless of whether it is on public lands, private lands or lands governed by the Indigenous people of this area. And, all other forestry should be monitored and inspected; with re-planting made mandatory.

We lived in the Kinsol valley for many years, and watched the forestry companies decimate that valley with no sign of replanting. They even wanted to create a monoculture which not only destabilises the soils and causes floods, but does not allow for growth of other plants. The logging industry must be held accountable. Even MacMillan Bloedel changed to small lots of clear cutting — why do the current companies get away with heinous logging practices in this province?

We would appreciate a response to these concerns. We have addressed these issues before with our MLA Sonia Furstenau, and not even received the courtesy of a reply.

Please note we are not alone in being concerned with our environment and its inhabitants. We would like to see action.

Jane and Alex Matheson

Cobble Hill