Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Form Letter For Advocacy

I decided it might be a good idea to write a form letter for advocacy.  I sent this to the BC Chapter of the BHA in case it might serve as a good starting point to make a form letter for people to use as a starting point to contact their MLA.  Feel free to use any or all of it.  Again, I have paraphrased a lot of great sources in conservation including my favourite Theodore Roosevelt quote, so...


<Your Name Here>
<Your Email Address Here>
<Your Phone Number Here>
<Your Home Address Here>



<Today’s Date Here>

Dear <The Name of your MLA Here>,

RE: Please Make Protecting Habitat a Priority

I am writing this letter because, as a hunter and angler who lives in your constituency, protecting habitat is extremely important to me.  I am concerned about the loss of high quality habitat and the resulting declines in fish and wildlife populations which I have observed, and which have been confirmed in numerous studies and reports prepared for the government.  The actions taken by the current government are a good first step, but there is a lot more which needs to be done to protect habitat for future generations. 

[Optional] I would also like to request a meeting at your earliest convenience to discuss with you in person the important issues facing habitat, fish and wildlife in BC.    

Recently, it was extremely distressing to learn of the extinction of the Selkirk Mountain caribou herd due to habitat loss.  A failure to protect the old growth lichen bearing trees which the caribou rely on is a mistake we cannot afford to repeat.  High logging road density and loss of old growth forest habitat is detrimental to numerous other species as well, including grizzly bears, elk, and moose.  This type of habitat loss crisis is occurring across BC and it is deeply upsetting to witness first hand.  I ask that you work with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development and the Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change Strategy to act on the following points to make protecting and restoring habitat in BC a priority. 

1)    Clear Management and Recovery Objectives
Habitat, fish and wildlife recovery plans need to include specific area or population numbers, rather than ratios or flexible goals.  Habitat continues to be lost while fish and wildlife population numbers are declining even when current ratios are being met.  

2)    Science Based Management 
Science should set policy and management objectives for habitat, fish, and wildlife rather than politics or public opinion.  Biologists and staff already employed by the province know how to collect the necessary data and recover habitat, fish and wildlife populations.  They need the funding, authority, and support to do so.

 3)    Increased Funding
BC has the least funding compared to all our neighbours while we have the most animal species and biodiversity which need protection (see info-graphic attached). 100% of license fees as well a higher portion of taxes and fees collected from the tourism and resource industries should go directly to habitat, fish, and wildlife management.

4)    Accountability
Habitat, fish, and wildlife managers as well as the resource industry need to be accountable for meeting population recovery and habitat restoration goals. Provincial agencies, biologists, and conservation officers need the legislation, regulation, and other tools to be able to set policies, ensure their involvement in resource industry extraction planning, increase monitoring, and have the necessary enforcement authority to hold industry accountable.

Spending time in nature and being able to source healthy and organic meat and fish is of the highest importance to me and my family.  I am worried that if action is not taken that we are destroying the natural heritage of future generations.  Please take action and make protecting habitat a priority.

Sincerely,

<Your Signature Here>



<Your Name Here>


 

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