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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Will British Columbia come to it's senses and make permanent it's temporary order stopping the Wolf slaughter that it initiated under the guise of seeking to protect dwindling Caribou herds?

BC's Wolf Killing Plan on Pause, for Now

This year's cull wraps up short of target, though 'intent is the program will continue,' minister says.
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'The wolf is treated like vermin, whether it is for caribou or other reasons,' says cull critic Sadie Parr of the non-profit Wolf Awareness Inc. Photo by Caninest, Creative Commons licensed.


The British Columbia government has temporarily stopped killing wolves, and conservationists are pushing to make the pause permanent.

"I don't want people thinking it's over," said Sadie Parr, the director of the non-profit company Wolf Awareness Inc. in Golden, noting the B.C. government plans to continue to kill wolves over the next five years.

In January, the government announced that ministry staff in helicopters would shoot up to 184 wolves before the snow melted in an attempt to protect mountain caribou in two regions of the province. Wolves are easier to track when their footprints are visible in the snow.
But on April 16, the province announced it was concluding the program for the year, having killed only 73 wolves in the South Peace Region and 11 in the South Selkirk Mountains.

The controversial plan divided environmental groups. Some condemned the cull, saying it punishes wolves when the real problem is that industries like oil and gas, recreation and forestry have altered the landscape in ways that disadvantage caribou.

Others accepted the government's argument that it is necessary to remove wolves to give caribou populations a chance to recover while steps are taken to protect habitat.Andrew Weaver, the only BC Green Party MLA, has said that on balance he supports the cull.

Cull will continue, says minister
Steve Thomson, B.C.'s minister of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations, said that ministry staff will kill more wolves next winter. "The program was always considered to be a multi-year program," he said. "It won't be effective if it's just one year, so we need to monitor the wolf populations, monitor the caribou population, and the intent is the program will continue."

The cull was more successful in the South Selkirks than in the Peace River where there were weather challenges, but overall it was a good start, he said.
"I know there are many people who are opposed to that action being taken," Thomson said, noting the government had the support of some First Nations and environmental groups. "It was a very, very difficult decision, but it was a decision that I felt needed to be made in order to give those caribou herds a chance of recovery."

The South Selkirk caribou population was down to just 14 animals in March 2015, four fewer than a year earlier, according to a government news release. In four herds in the South Peace, totalling as few as 163 caribou, at least 37 per cent of caribou deaths were caused by wolves, the government has said.

Parr said that her group and others are working to keep the wolf killing program from re-starting. Wolf Awareness has made public presentations in Invermere, Golden, Revelstoke and Whistler, she said, and the organization is planning more presentations in future.
"The wolf is treated like vermin, whether it is for caribou or other reasons," Parr said.

Besides killing wolves from helicopters, the province allows hunters and trappers to kill some 1,000 wolves a year, she added. "This is a new thing, but it really is only, in my opinion, a small piece of the slaughter that's happening."

When the government announced the wolf cull, it said the plan had been peer reviewed. It has yet to release the peer review documents.  [Tyee]

Sadie Parr - Wolf Awareness Inc., Directorwww.WolfAwarenessInc.orgPhone:  250.272.HOWL (4695)

"Only the mountain has lived long enough to listen objectively to the howl of a wolf".    -Aldo Leopold, Thinking Like a Mountain.

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