They are managing in a way that is going to ensure the extinction of moose in the Chilcotin.
That from Joe Alphonse, the Tribal Chair of the Tsilhqot’in National Government, on the Provincial Government’s decision to allow this year’s hunt to go ahead on October 1st.
He says he’s not buying their numbers that say none of the approximately 40 moose that are radio-collared in the Cariboo have been killed due to the wildfires…
“The Cariboo is a large, large mass area and in the whole Cariboo you know 40 moose doesn’t even represent a fraction of 1 percent of the overall population. So they are hiding behind the numbers, they are manipulating the numbers and you can easily do that under those circumstances.”
Alphonse says a lot of the moose habitat has been destroyed and that they won’t have anything to forage this winter.
He calls the government’s actions irresponsible…
“These big wigs from Victoria that look at their cute little maps should actually come out to the Chilcotin and look for themselves the areas that are effected, not make their decisions base their decisions on the perception of the Chilcotin nations or otherwise.”
He says they will now explore legal action to stop the hunt in their territory.
·The ministry is committed to working with First Nations on understanding the specific impacts to wildlife from this summer’s wildfires and ensuring hunting in the Cariboo is managed sustainably.
·To protect moose populations in the Cariboo, existing measures in place since 2016 include a limited entry hunt for bull moose only and compulsory inspections for all moose harvested in the Chilcotin wildlife management units. This is in addition to the 2016 reduction in the number of limited entry hunt (LEH) authorizations issued and the closure of the September moose season for much of the Chilcotin that has been in place since 2016.
·As part of post-wildfire response and recovery, the ministry is currently assessing impacts on wildlife habitat and other forest values (e.g. old growth management areas) within fire perimeters.
·With respect to specific impacts on wildlife, it is very difficult to get an accurate assessment of wildlife lost to wildfire. However, wildlife generally try to stay away from wildfire, so the impact is likely not significant.
·It is also important to note that there are approximately 200 radio-collared cow moose in the Central Interior (approximately 40 in the Cariboo region). None have died due to wildfires.