The BC Conservation Officer Service and the Nazko First Nation have entered into a five year agreement to protect the cow moose in the area.
Ryane McIntyre, Restorative Justice and First Nations Relations with the BC Conservation Officer Service, says the memorandum of understanding is designed to bring the population back up to a sustainable level.
“And one of the steps that the Nations have opted to do is to even restrict their own community membership from harvesting cow moose until those populations have rebounded to an acceptable density. And also restricting any outside First Nations from harvesting wildlife within their traditional territories.”
McIntyre says this agreement helps Nazko First Nation to enforce communal laws.
“They request that outside First Nations seek approval before they harvest wildlife within the traditional territory, and right now at this point Nazko wants to restrict any harvesting until those populations have rebounded. So this goes for those individuals who may have harvested in the past, they do need to contact the nation and seek approval. This is what they call protocol hunting where you actually respectfully seek approval to hunt before you engage in that activity in another Nation’s territory.”
McIntyre says they have similar agreements with Esdilagh, Xeni Gewt’in, Stswecem’c Xgat’tem, and Yunesitin First Nations as well.
She says these types of agreements have been successful in the past and really open the door to communicate, work together, train together, and to understand the issues that are effecting the communities, and how the CO service can provide protection.