Showing posts with label BC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BC. Show all posts

Tuesday 31 July 2018

Resource Roads and Grizzly Bears in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada

I recently found another publication which discusses the issue of road density on grizzly bears.  As discussed previously, once road density exceeds around 500-600m of road per square kilometre, grizzlies and other animals tend to permanently retreat from those areas.  It seems that road density increases many factors which cause animals to abandon habitat.  From what I have read, non-hunting traffic such as outdoor recreation activities on ATVs or snowmobiles as well as people transiting the area by car or truck, along with the increased ease of which predators are able to travel the roads, and increased hunting pressure all contribute to animals retreating from an area. 

It sounds like these all contribute to a general state of alarm that make animals retreat to safer areas.  Now, with the ban on hunting grizzlies, we'll be able to put to bed the impact that hunters played on this issue.  I suspect that hunters only have a minimal direct role in animals departing from areas, both because of the minimal number of grizzlies hunted each year prior to the ban, but also because generally hunters tend to be slower moving and quieter than summer ATV riding or winter snowmobiling.  Also, as any hunter would know, the amount of predator sign, specifically wolf sign, that can be found on roads indicates that they use roads to improve their ability to travel. 

Anyways, the publication can be found here:

Here are the best graphics from the publication

I don't really like this graphic.  It appears as though the bear was killed by a hunter, but in reality it is probably meant to show a conservation office (CO) shooting a problem bear in a campsite where people were irresponsible about leaving out attractants.  Nevertheless, I can't help but feel like this graphic is intentionally alluding to hunters.   I think the top left side is is the most important.  Traffic and habitat loss are serious issues.

There are so many forestry service roads (FSRs) in BC.  We need to do a better job or revegetating them to improve habitat for all animals, including grizzlies and ungulates.

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.


<Your Signature Here>

<Your Name Here>


Sunday 22 April 2018

Rookie Hunter Podcast with Mike and Kelly

The Rookie Hunter Podcast with Mike and Kelly is the best BC based hunting media there is.  The two hosts discuss hunting from the perspective of relatively new hunters who came to it later in life, which is very similar to my experience.  They seem like two genuinely nice guys who really care about conservation and the issues facing BC's native plants and animals.  The podcast is a great mix of stories and interviews.  Many of the guests are local conservationists with important messages to share with BC hunters.  I particularly like the interviews with Jesse Zeman of the BCWF for their informative recap of the current issues facing fish and wildlife in BC.  The Rookie Hunter Podcast is a great way to stay up to date on issues, hear cool stories, and learn about hunting in BC. 

I highly recommend having this and other podcasts on for while you're working on your gear, long commutes, or the long drives to and from where you hunt.  Podcasts are a great way to stay current on issues, hear interesting stories and perspectives, and learn something new.

Sunday 15 April 2018

Road Density

Road density is a serious issue in BC.  Reports such as indicate that animals such as Grizzlies and other species will retreat from an area once road density reaches a certain level.  Some suggest once road density reaches 0.6km of road / km^2 Grizzly bears will largely retreat from the area.  

Additionally, humans and predators use roads to improve hunting efficiency, putting increased pressure on prey species.  Road deactivation will help restore moose and bear populations for improved hunting opportunities in the future.  We should all be advocating for deactivation and habitat restoration. 

An Independent Audit of Grizzly Bear Management

This is a very well done report which was largely ignored by the provincial government with the implementation of the Grizzly Bear hunting ban.  It is unfortunate when social pressure by mislead urban voters sways public policy in opposition to science based management and those who live and spend time in grizzly bear habitat.  

Click to read the link below. 

Wednesday 11 April 2018

The BC Moose Report

Moose are declining in much of BC because of habitat loss and poor management.  This report outlines the causes and solutions to the declining moose population.  Contact your MLA, the FLNRO minister, and the Premier to voice your concern!

 Click the link below the read the full report.