An open letter to Rich Petersen, retired owner of Re/Max Action Realty in Fort
St John, B.C. from John E. Marriott, owner of Canadian Wildlife
Photography Tours in Canmore, AB, a prize winner in the 2012 BBC
Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and contributing editor
to Outdoor Photography Canada magazine.
Sent on Tuesday, November 20th, 2012 to the following:
Rich Peterson: firstname.lastname@example.org
CC: Members of Parliament for Fort St. John and the Yukon, Members of the British Columbia Legislative Assembly for Dawson Creek and Fort St. John, Travel Yukon, Northern BC Tourism, Whitehorse, Dawson Creek and Fort St John newspapers, the Vancouver Sun newspaper, several prominent wolf experts quoted in the article, and the President, Vice-Presidents and Regional Director of the BC Wildlife Federation.
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Ryan.Leef@parl.gc.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Info@tourismdawsoncreek.com, Joyce@tourismdawsoncreek.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
wanted to write to express my disappointment in you after reading about
your contest offering prize money to hunters that kill wolves in
northeastern BC this winter (in the Vancouver Sun this morning: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Contest+offers+cash+prizes+wolf+kills+northeastern/7572936/story.html).
This letter is to urge you to reconsider your contest and to focus your
efforts elsewhere on actions that will benefit all of the wildlife of
Your Re/Max website [note: site was removed two days after I wrote this] describes you as a strong
advocate for wildlife, and I quote, "A strong supporter of wildlife
conservation issues, Rich has served on
the provincial board of directors of the BC Wildlife Federation for over
10 years including two years as on the Federations provincial
executive. His outdoor interests include trail riding, camping, river
boater, fishing, hunting, and wildlife photography." So my question to
you is this: how does a 'we'll give big money to who can shoot the biggest wolf'
contest fit with your claims that you are a proponent of wildlife
conservation? As seems far too common in my line of work, you and your
fellow sponsors appear to be hunters without ethics, claiming to be
conservationists acting on behalf of British Columbia wildlife, yet
acting the complete opposite. As such, I am calling on you personally to stop this contest immediately.
be launching a nation-wide campaign later today on my blog
(blog.wildernessprints.com) and Facebook fan pages for my readers, which
number in the thousands, calling out hunters across Canada to step up
and do something in protest of this contest, perhaps backing their
oft-heard claims that their actions are for the good of all wildlife,
not just select species, and are all about conservation. Because this
is not hunting, nor is it ethical.
any animal for the sake of killing is simply not acceptable in today's
day and age and you should be ashamed of yourself. Hunting is a
time-honoured tradition that is about putting food on your table and
getting out on the land, it is not a contest for killing the biggest
this or that or for nurturing a hatred of one species.
it's time you truly did do something for conservation and picked up your
camera instead of your gun if you can't act responsibly with the
resources we all share.
I travel the Alaska Highway almost
every year in search of great wildlife photographs, including of
wolves. I had a trip planned for this coming June, yet will now not be
coming up there this year to spend my hard-earned money in protest of
your actions. I will be urging my photography fans to do likewise until
your contest has been stopped.
John E. Marriott
John E. Marriott Wildlife and Nature Photography
|Would this wolf pup photographed two years ago in the Fort St John area qualify for the $150 smallest wolf prize? |
I urge each of you to do three things: one, please copy those email addresses up above and write to them with your thoughts on this contest (and note that you will have to add your own local Re/Max agent email addresses). Please keep it clean and stick to the facts, and tell them that until this is stopped that you will no longer be considering trips up the Alaska Highway.
Two, if you know ethical hunters, please pass this along to them so that they can voice their say on this. It is painting all hunters in a bad light and I want to see who, if anyone, will step forward and let us know their thoughts, good or bad.
And three, please leave your comments below for others to read.
Note: The Vancouver Sun has since published a follow-up story to this highlighting my call for a boycott of tourism along the Alaska Highway until this is resolved.
Labels: conservation, wildlife conservation, wolf photography