Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Wolf Kill Contest Update - Wolf Week - Day 2

When you feign ignorance, sometimes you get to hear the most interesting of stories. Like of how hunters kill wild wolves.  Over the years traveling much of Canada, I have heard some real doozies, like of the time the guy in the Yukon told me how he chased a black wolf down with his snowmobile, then ran it over to kill it.  It didn't die right away, so he ran it over some more.

It's appalling to me that here in Canada, a supposedly educated country that many would think ranks among the leaders in environmental protection, we find it perfectly acceptable to chase wolves to exhaustion with snowmobiles.  In fact, not only is it legal in most of the country, but so is killing wolves by choking them to death with wolf snares (yesterday's blog post) or letting them suffer through endless nights in an archaic leg-hold trap. You can also take potshots at them along the road (not quite as legal, but it doesn't long in a group of wolf haters to start hearing the stories come out) and use wolf pup distress soundtracks or the calls of wounded rabbits to bring wolves in so they can be gunned down.

So why is it that we sit around and tolerate this kind of behaviour here in Canada and in the U.S. (where the once-slaughtered, then federally protected, now slaughtered-once-again wolf is under fire from all angles in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho).   Why do we allow such barbaric practices like the Wolf Kill Contest in northern British Columbia to happen without making a big, BIG stink over it?

What future awaits wild wolves like this one?  A leg-hold trap or a safe, protected zone for its family?

Well, that's about to change (see below for what you can do to help).

Back in November when I first started reporting on the Fort St. John wolf kill contest, the Vancouver Sun published a series of articles on the contest that were picked up by media across the nation. One of those articles talked about the legality of the contest and noted that the environmental organization, Pacific Wild, had decided to look into whether or not the contest was legal.  Days later, the provincial government was still sticking to its guns, claiming that the contest was legal and did not require a gambling permit (or a moral conscience, apparently).

So Pacific Wild, founded by noted Canadian environmental pioneers Ian and Karen McAllister, decided to take matters into their own hands.  They sought legal advice.  They concluded that the contest is indeed illegal and violates a number of sections of the Criminal Code of Canada. The Liberal government in BC continues to disagree with the opinions of Pacific Wild's legal counsel, so Pacific Wild has decided to up their challenge on the matter and pursue further legal action.

If your blood is still boiling over this and you want to help out, here's what you can do:

1. consider donating to Pacific Wild.  In my opinion, they are one of Canada's foremost environmental organizations and I personally donated $250 to them at the start of January to help with this fight and other important battles they are waging at present (you can view Pacific Wild's wolf contest press release here and view comments from Pacific Wild's legal representation here).

2. you can Take Action on Pacific Wild's website and write a letter to the provincial government departments involved.  Pacific Wild has even crafted a sample email, click here to voice your opposition to the illegal wolf kill contest. My only suggestion with this sample email is that you add in a few sentences of your own at the start so the government can't write them all off as 'form letters', which they seem keen to do.

[if the link isn't working for the sample email, then copy and paste the following into your email program:]

rich.coleman.mla@leg.bc.ca; terry.lake.mla@leg.bc.ca; Steve.Thomson.mla@leg.bc.ca; sunletters@vancouversun.com; info@pacificwild.org, adrian.dix.mla@leg.bc.ca

Please stop the illegal wolf kill contest immediately!
Honourable Rich Coleman
Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources
(Minister responsible for B.C. gaming)


cc.
Honourable Terry Lake—Minister of Environment
Honourable Steve Thomson—Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources

Dear Minister Coleman,

I am writing to express my concern that an illegal wolf-kill contest is currently being supported by the British Columbia government when it appears to be in violation of section 206 and 207 of the Criminal Code of Canada. 
In addition to the criminal nature of this contest, I am also concerned about a wildlife management policy that allows prize money to be awarded for an unlimited, open-season killing of a species without mandatory reporting, inspection and no requirement for a specific license.   
I believe that the provincial government is undermining its ability to manage wildlife when it encourages unregulated financial incentives to encourage the killing of wolves, a highly social and intelligent animal.

I look forward to your response,

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your Title]

3. 'CC' the NDP in on your email if you do send one: Adrian.Dix.MLA@leg.bc.ca They're most likely going to be the next government in British Columbia, and they have already shown more willingness to work with Pacific Wild on this issue and to develop a true management strategy for wolves in B.C. based on science and responsible wildlife management. If you oppose this wolf kill contest, then be sure to let them know.

I think together we can help put an end to wolf killing practices like this contest, and hopefully start to impact wolf management decisions that lead to the abolishment of wolf trapping using leg-hold traps and snares, as well as wolf hunting with snowmobiles, bait, and calls.

Thank you everyone for your support and stay tuned for more wolf news tomorrow on Day 3 of my Wolf Week.

Sincerely,

John

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9 Comments:

Anonymous Karen Cooper said...

This has to be one of the most barbaric things I have heard of, sometimes I am ashamed to admit I am a Canadian.

I've sent off my letters to the parties suggested. Thank you for bringing this to the public's attention.

Karen Cooper

February 12, 2013 at 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Kirsten Rose said...

This is fantastic, I will definitely donate. I have also written to the BC Government numerous times and will do so again and again, as well as the Alberta Government who are equally as obnoxious about "management" of wildlife and the Federal Government. I have also started an online petition. I for one am sick of killing be used as a solution and how dare they call it management. Let's call a spade a spade, it's slaughter! Thanks for your article.

February 12, 2013 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger JohnEMarriott said...

Thanks Karen and Kirsten. Kirsten, I'll be posting your petition sometime in the next few days.

February 12, 2013 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger JSeabrook said...

I have also already written to the BC Government following my introduction to this unacceptable event on the Pacific Wild website.

Unfortunately I recently envisioned the scene you described by this guy in the Yukon. Not sure why my brain works like this.... There was the other story from a guide outfitters blog describing the guide accelerating across Williston Lake at full speed to cut-off a wolf pack from the forest and then gunning them down. This story perhaps combined with the misfortune of knowing how the minds of individuals who do such things work, allowed my mind to create the scene in the Yukon before reading it here.

I hope with everything else going on in the world and our province, we can improve the protection for the large carnivores here in BC where it seems so many are so quick to label as threats to human life, property or other game populations and kill them at any chance they get. In other words..cowards and murderers.

February 12, 2013 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger NikonBob said...

Thank you John for doing this series. And thanks also to Brad Hill. It really is disgusting what is going on in this province and elsewhere. It is also time that our provincial government ban trophy hunting particularly of grizzly bears!

February 12, 2013 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Anneke Andries said...

thank you John, emailed and shared as much as possible..

February 14, 2013 at 7:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

any minister that could order this kind of a hunt in my opinion has no conscience
or human morality , simply killing wolves because it's easier than trying to come up with a better plan to please the farmers who loose cattle to wolves just show's how lazy and uncaring and unconscionable these ministers and wildlife officials are ,I guess bullets and snares are cheaper than doing actual studies to come up with better ideas for wolf management.
I say this to the government officials, it's time to get off your duff and stop just collecting a paycheck and show the Canadian people that your capable of making better decisions and show some moral fortitude and humanity and do what you know is right and stop killing wolves for doing what wolves are supposed to do in the wilds, it's us who are encroaching on their homes
not the other way around, is this such a hard concept to understand?
How is Canada supposed to look on the world stage as this great country
when we are still committing acts of utter barbarity , I think this kind of
decision making can only hurt the tourism industry of which Canada is known for it's amazing wild lands and wildlife that tourists flock to see every year.
Steve Woods

February 14, 2013 at 9:38 AM  
Blogger Jon Huyer said...

John, thanks for your leadership and dedication to this serious issue. I have matched your $250 donation to Pacific Wild. I agree, they are a terrific organization.

February 18, 2013 at 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Christina Larkins said...

Thanks for posting all this information with accompanying links. I've learned a lot from this and have written letters to the AB and BC government. The only way to stop this is for each concerned person to speak out. Please tell me that the snares located outside your BC residence did not find their mark?

February 22, 2013 at 5:58 PM  

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