Miley Cyrus visits B.C. coast to discuss wolf cull


 

Pacific Wild

American pop-star and tabloid phenom, Miley Cyrus, followed her word and traveled to B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest this past weekend to learn more about the province’s controversial wolf cull.

Earlier this month, Cyrus got the attention of British Columbians when she posted an image to her Instagram account pleading her followers to protest the annual wolf cull which allows hunters to kill as many as 200 wolves each winter in order to protect the endangered caribou population.more here

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Letter to the editor. The Daily News


This is the Letter I sent into the Daily News regarding hunting wolves and deer on the island.

Letter to the editor.

I would like to address some concerns to the people in Prince Rupert; I’m a first nation’s woman from the Tsimshian nation and my people have been here for more then 5000 years.
The Tsimshian people have a connection to the island and its animals. The four crests are the Raven, Eagle, Killerwhale and the Wolf; I’m from the Raven clan.
The Tsimshian have lived side by side with their wolf brothers since the begging of time. Wolves live in social groups called packs and are guided by a hierarchy system, much like our own ancestors lived. Many other first nations groups have modeled their family and society structures from the viewing of wolves and their social behaviour; we have learned lots from them and have even created dances, stories and art pieces by their inspiration.
Miss Barbara Green would be wrong to say that the deer were here before the coastal wolf, one can not live without the other and coastal wolves have been on the B.C. coast far longer then she thinks and on this island before European’s arrived. A new documentary is about to be released called “secrets of the coastal wolf” the coastal wolf is genetically different then the grey wolf, and could be much older. This species of wolf are only found on the coast of B.C.
Miss Barbra Green it’s also against the law to feed wild animals even the deer, there are hefty fines for those individuals who think throwing apples and carrots to deer is all right; you are part of the problem and not part of the solution if your feeding wild animals.
From my understanding the people need to be aware that wild animals are going to be part of our lives, so it’s up to each of Prince Rupert residents to educate themselves about the animals that live near us.
Lori Wright, in your letter you suggested that if the deer were all culled that the wolves would go after pets and children. Where is your proof that would happen? One only needs to look at Digby island to find the answers or any other small island on the coast; when food becomes scarce for the wolves they swim to the next island for deer. And as a matter of fact what makes the coastal wolf so unique is its adaptability to its surroundings. Coastal wolves have been found on the furthest islands, miles from the mainland surviving on a seafood diet. Lori and I quote you “Let the archery club practice their skills on wolves. I do not like to see any-thing killed; I am a great lover of all animals”. Except wolves I guess.
Bow-hunting still requires you to have a valid BC hunting Licence and Tags its not going to be a free for all. More animals will die a slow and painful death. I for one do not want to see a deer or wolf with an arrow sticking out of them and running through the streets of Rupert, or worse a human who was mistakenly hit by an arrow.
There is no doubt a few wolves and coyotes have adapted to human behaviour and the garbage that is left around. These animals need to be dealt with quickly before the rest of the pack is persecuted.
In closing either your part of the problem or the solution, you can’t sit on the fence feeding the deer hoping that the wolves will leave. It’s time to educate yourself with facts.

Sincerely
Stacey Lavigne

A group of bow hunters is proposing to reduce the population of deer and wolves on Kaien Island.


By Leanne Ritchie , The Daily News
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2008A group of bow hunters is proposing to reduce the population of deer and wolves on Kaien Island.

But Prince Rupert city council has not yet taken the bait.

Jeff Beckwith and Colin Bennett spoke to Prince Rupert city council Monday night, suggesting that a bow hunt in the non-residential and recreational areas of Kaien Island would be the best and safest way to reduce the attractants that are bringing wolves into town.

“The intention of a bow hunting season on Kaien Island is not to eliminate either species, but to provide a buffer zone between residential areas of the city and the wildland and re-establish the lost sense of security for our citizens,” said Beckwith.

Beckwith came with the support of both local archery organizations – The Eagle Eye Archers and Rainbow Archers – as well as the British Columbia Archery Association and United Bow Hunters of British Columbia.

There have been a number of wolf attacks on pets in Prince Rupert in recent years and a pack has established its territory around Kaien Island.

The result has been that some neighborhoods have lost a sense of safety and a number of pets have been injured or killed, Beckwith said.

During a presentation by the B.C. Conservation Officers service earlier this year, a number of options were presented to the city to deal with the problem of increasingly bold wolves.

These included a number of options specifically aimed at reducing the number of attractants that bring the wolves to town.

“The Ministry of Environment has reassured us that ‘there are no conservation concerns for the deer and archery is a well used tool to provide a safe hunting opportunity’ on Kaien Island,” said Beckwith.

In fact, the Gulf Islands have been allowing bow hunting to curb the deer population around human settlements for a number of years, he said.

In order to allow bow hunting, the city would have to remove its bylaw that restricts the discharge of bows within the municipal boundaries.

However, any hunt would still have to take place under provincial trapping regulations that state any bow hunting cannot take place with 100 metres of any dwelling or recreational area such as a trail.

It’s a win-win situation as the hunt would curb the deer population, send a message to the wolf packs that encounters with people are not in their best interest, give local sportsmen the opportunity to practice their craft and cost the city nothing, Beckwith said.

However Coun. Sheila Gordon-Payne said she would like to look at all the options before deciding on any hunting opportunities.

“We have had a number of letters since the Ministry of Environment’s presentation,” she said. “For me personally, my number one priority is dealing with the people-based wolf issues. We have residents feeding wolves or leaving food out for wolves.”

She asked staff to bring forward a report on their options.

“We don’t want to strike up hope or alarm people before we look at all the options.”

letters from Mayor and city councillors.


I was not going to publish these Letter I received from the Mayor and his fellow councilors but in light of resent request to bow-hunt deer and wolves I have decided I will post them. The letter I sent to our mayor can be found at the bottom.

Herb Pond our mayor

David;

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your experience. I’ve copied this to Council and to key staff.

At this time Council has given no thought to a wolf cull, or to bow hunting. The presentation from COS was for information only, and as you rightly point out, while a wolf cull was included as an option in the report, it was not spoken of very favourably. They did seem to speak more positively about reducing all food sources on the island including deer.

My sense is that the presentation from COS reduced support for a wolf cull and increased interest in attempting solutions more along the lines that you describe.

Thanks, again. H

Gord; Sounds like we have a resident expert who could be a great help to staff in formulating any program. H

From Tony Briglio

Thank you for the added knowledge you bring to us. There is no truth in council suggesting a wolf hunt take place. I would agree that this would only be a temporary solution and as such does not resolve anything.
Thanks again for the time you took to educate us further.
Tony Briglio

From Kathy Bedard

Thanks for your input, David. I do not believe that we must kill wolves for doing what they do naturally. It’s the humans that we must re-educate.

Kathy

Kathy Bedard,

From Sheila Gordon-Payne

Thanks for your letter Mr Watson,

I found it very informative and wish that this type of information was in the paper for the benefit of all.
The options put forward at our meeting were not at our request but just to let us know the possibilities.
I agree with the Mayor that there are many options far less drastic that we could do to manage wolf issues, most notably, more public education etc.

Thanks again,
Sheila

Dear mayor and counselors

My name is David Watson; my family since 2006 has been tracking the wolves of Kaien Island; some of you may have even seen our website kaien island wolves.com. In 2007 we worked with The Raincoast Conservation Foundation, collecting wolf scat for parasite testing.
The Raincoast Conservation Foundation is a non-profit research and public education organization. Who work with scientists, First Nations, government and non-governmental organizations to build support for decisions that protect marine and rainforest habitat on BC’s central and north coast.

We read in Thursday Jan 31,2008 Daily News about the possible killing of the local wolf pack. This wolf pack consists of 7 to 9 individuals I know since we have been watching them that the numbers have not changed even when pups have been born over the last 3 years, the death rate is high among the wolves that live on the island, vehicle hits have taken the lives of more than one wolf, Also one wolf succumbed to his injuries from an encounter with a porcupine this past summer. We understand that a few wolves from the pack have become conditioned to humans through behaviors from some residents living in the Prince Rupert area.

Some of the behaviors are directly having a negative impact on the perception that wolves are at fault when it’s the actions of some individuals that have led to the reactions from some of the wolves from the pack.

There are people in the community who have been hand feeding wild wolves. Thinking their doing that animal a favor; “a fed wolf is a dead wolf”.

The illegal dumping of animal carcasses on Wontage road, I have seen and photographed deer, moose and elk carcasses, I also documented bags of dumped whole crabs, and salmon. These bring in scavengers such as wolves and bear’s. Which in turn bring them closer in to town?
And of course we have the deer, the main diet of the coastal wolf, and we all know that we have too many deer.
Some facts on the coastal wolf, the coastal wolf is genetically different then the wolves from the interior of BC, the coastal wolves may even be older then the gray wolf that is found in BC, and Alaska. The coastal wolf has a varied diet; it consists of deer, salmon, shell fish, berries, mice and other types of sea foods. On some of the furthest island wolves have thriven and adapted to an all seafood diet.
There are 5 packs of wolves in a 25 mile radius of Kaien Island, one pack on Digby Island, a pack near the salt lakes, one pack on the other side of port ED and a pack near Kloaya Bay. It would be only a matter of time before another pack moves in.

We don’t think that a wolf cull is the solution to the problem we are having. Many communities have problems with wild life and have been able to deal with the problem in a pro active way and sparing the life of a wild animal. As the CO has informed you, that a wolf cull is only a short time fix, the deer population needs to be seriously look at, the illegal dumping on Wantage road and as well keeping the gates closed to the dump during winter months, all of which draw wolves and other wild life into city limits, And in to conflicts with human population.
Chris Darimont is a world renowned wolf biologist who has spent many years studying the coastal wolves of BC I would hope that the city would be in contact with someone like Chris who lives on the coast and has great knowledge of the wolves. Chris and Heather Bryan have been very helpful with our endeavor of bringing wolf awareness to Prince Rupert and the world through our stories, photos and videos.

The proposal of opening up hunting to bow hunters on the island is frightening more so then a few problem wolves. I know there will be far more wolves shot with an arrow that will die a slow, frightening and painful death on account of poor marksmanship, than would be the case if shooting were allowed.

Please feel free to contacts to discuss solutions that are more pro active then bow hunting on the island.

David Watson
&
Stacey Lavigne
http://www.kaienislandwolves.com

Wolf sightings rise in isolated B.C. coastal town


Wolf sightings rise in isolated B.C. coastal town
CBC News
Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Residents of Prince Rupert, B.C., are getting nervous about the number of wolves turning up around town.

In less than a year, there have been 136 wolf sightings reported by the residents of the isolated coastal community.

The wolves have been spotted at the golf course, in backyards, even prowling around the civic centre, drawn to the city’s population of wild deer. There have also been reports they have been stalking small pets.

Mayor Herb Pond told CBC News that his own close encounter with a pair of wolves was unnerving. “When that second wolf sort of popped out from the woods behind me, I thought, oh, I’m glad I’m in my car.”

Pond respects the wolves’ place in the wild, but he said it is a different story when they start trotting through town.

Earlier this year, the province declared an open hunting season on wolves in some parts of the north to help protect endangered caribou herds. Pond, however, said there are no plans to cull the wolf pack around Prince Rupert.

Conservation Officer Chris Pryce agreed killing the wolves is not the solution because a new pack would soon take their place.

“Wolves are natural to this area. I think what we’d like to see is a reduction in that habituation, so the wolves stay outside of town,” Pryce told CBC News.

So far there have been no reports of the wolves attacking humans, but some of the wolves appear to have lost their fear of humans, creating what the mayor calls a challenging situation.
“When wolves come into our backyards, we need to make sure people feel safe,” Pond said.

Wolf Cull would only be short-term fix says CO


Alpha Wolf

By Leanne Ritchie the Daily News.
The city of Prince Rupert could take steps to kill the wolf pack living on Kaien Island and the outskirts of Port Edward, said a northwest conservation officer. But these would only be short term solutions and it would be much more effective to remove the attractants that bring wolves to the area in the first place.
At the city’s request, Chris Pryce of the conservation officer service spoke to city council about their options in dealing with the local wolf pack. “if the city decides it wants to embark on some course of action, or several courses of action in partnership with the ministry, we can explore those options,” said Pryce. “but chances are, without eliminating the attractants, within a few years, wolves would come in from the outlying areas and you would have a new pack established here.”
The options presented to the city included allowing hunting on certain areas of Kaien island to reduce the deer and wolf population, but there would be concerns for public safety with any decision to allow hunting near populated areas. The city could hire a licensed trapper to trap wolves during provincial trapping season or hire a contract trapper who would work on city property to deal with problem wolves, however this could result in problems with pets getting trapped. Or the city could have a sanctioned wolf cull on Kaien Island using traps, calling and baiting, but Pryce anticipates there would be strong opposition from the public to this idea. And theres a low chance it would be successful, he said. Without eliminating that attractants that brought the wolves here, more wolves would simply move here in the future.
“in order to be successful at long term conflict resolution, we need to think of some of those longer term options,” he said. “That would mean eliminating attractants that are here in the first place. Some of those are human attractants, some of those are natural attractants, but the wolves are here because theres a survival advantage for them to be in an urban setting. They are not here because they like people.” Between April 1, 2007 and January 14, 2008, there were 1,287 wildlife complaints made to the terrace area conservation officers service. This area, monitored by two field officers and a supervisor, includes Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Terrace, kitimat and the Mass and Kitwanga. Of those complaints, 140 were wolf complaints and 136 of those were from Prince Rupert. However, most were simply complaints of sightings of the pack living on the outskirts of the city and around Port Edward; two of the complaints from city residents were about aggressive wolves, two pets were reported killed and one pet injured.
Pryce explained that conflict occurs in Prince Rupert when wolves become habituated to living in and around urban environments. It is progressive, particularly because wolves lose their fear of humans if they receive food reward for being around people. This is turn, increases the risk of an attack or bite. Food sources include pets that are off-leash and outdoors, especially at night. Wolves also consume large amounts of deer, garbage and household waste. He noted one instance of a pet being attacked on the golf course. Wolves were in the area because someone had dumped a deer carcus nearby.
The worst problem is hand feeding, which results in conservation officers having to shoot wolves because the animals are habituated and cannot be re-located. He suggested the city look at education campaigns and bylaw measures to stop people from deliberately or inadvertently feeding the wildlife. “wolves are a natural component of the wildlife that are inherent to northwest British Columbia, nobody brought them here. This is their home.’ he said. “it is almost always the wolf that is on the losing end of being in close proximity to humans.”

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