NEWSLETTER November 28, 2015

I am sending you an email I received from Fred Marshall who lives near the town of Midway.

Notwithstanding the obvious negative impacts on wildlife populations of long hunting seasons and predators the lack of meaningful access and wildlife habitat management are the two biggest challenges to reverse the economic and scientific madness of provincial politicians starting with the 1996 Glen Clark NDP Government who have demanded more revenue from all of our natural resources.

There is only one way you maximize revenue in a responsible sustainable way and that is to minimize the political footprint.

In spite of the fact that the Gilpin Grasslands has been recognized as an important wildlife habitat area because of its south facing grassland slopes and adjacent forest to a large number of wildlife species including blue and red listed species and endorsed as a significant wildlife area by three provincial governments; Social Credit, NDP and BC Liberal plus two land conservancies; Nature Trust and the Land Conservancy who have purchased 792 acres a recreation area for quad, dirt and mountain bikes was deemed more important!

Another example of Minister Steve Thomson and his staff’s failure to understand the meaning of statutory responsibility. Absolutely no rancher, hunter, outfitter, trapper, naturalist, environmentalist or concerned citizen who values the province’s grassland ecosystem which is described as the province’s most threatened, less than 1% of our land base and home to most of the provinces blue and red listed was included in the process.

BC Grasslands Newsletter October 2015

“That the current approach to resource management is failing the environmental health side of the resource management equation doesn’t seem to surprise many. What is surprising is that we continue to live with it.”

It was recently brought to my attention that the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Official Community Plan is supportive of elevating the management of provincial parks.

Official Community Plan Extracts:

“To encourage the province to develop and manage provincial parks in a manner which is environmentally sensitive while serving the needs of local residents and visitors.”

“To support the preservation of land and water with high scenic natural and recreational values for public use and enjoyment.”

A few years ago probably seven a public meeting was held at Selkirk College in Grand Forks at which a power point presentation was made for the Gilpin grasslands supportive of a Wildlife Management Area designation for the Gilpin Grasslands. Many pictures of cow and motor vehicle damage were displayed as were important Freedom of Information Letters.

Former Kootenay/Boundary Regional District Area D representative Irene Perepelkin on a field trip on the Overton Creek Watershed immediately north of the city of Grand Forks made the point that my pictures did not do justice to the damage that cows had done to the watershed especially the riparian areas on the few water sources in the watershed most of which are on Nature Trust property. A few years later she became a fanatical supporter of rancher, John Mehmal a point she made at a meeting prior to the 2011 regional district election.

When I think of Irene Perepolkin’s dismal performance I am instantly reminded of that great quote from H.L. Mencken-“A foolish consistency is the hob goblin of small minds.”

It is time to have a public meeting to discuss the future management of the Class A Gilpin Grassland Provincial Park, probably March next year!

I will send you a few newsletters in the near future on the wildlife management file that will showcase deer management in the wildlife management units in Washington State that touch the international border. The information is a result of a conversation with Dana Base, the Senior Biologist for the NE corner of Washington State late August who gave me the link to the 312 page Washington State 2014 Game Status and Trend Report.

The backbone of the discussion will be population estimates, importance of access management and how the state deals with nuisance deer complaints

The 2015 Sept/Oct BC Outdoors has an article titled 2015 BC Hunting Forecast by recently retired provincial biologist Brian Harris that reinforces my argument that he was never qualified to speak for the vast majority of British Columbians who value wildlife but do not hunt. Yes I will share my comments with you on specific points Brian has made that do not square up with responsible hunters.

I have a paper titled “Guidelines for Wildlife Policy in Canada” developed between 1980 and 1982 by a committee of the Federal Provincial Wildlife Conference and the final text was approved by the Wildlife Ministers Conference September 30, 1982.

The Table of Contents provides plenty of information which I will share with you that showcase the curse of political agendas; concept, goals, guiding principles, elements and actions to consider!

Barry Brandow

The following is the email sent by Fred Marshall on December 4, 2015:

“As is well known the Boundary area already has a plethora of roads—15,000 km+ with many more planned.

As is also well known, roads are responsible for 95% of erosion and siltation in our water courses.  The amount of silt in the Kettle River during the spring freshet is evidence of this in the Boundary.

An attempt to develop a Zero Net New Roads policy in the Boundary within the KR Watershed Plan was, unfortunately, unsuccessful.

The critical question therefore is—How many more roads should be allowed or will be constructed in the Boundary?  When is enough—enough?

The following critical question is—How many roads will be closed and rehabilitated in the Boundary each year?  The ORV groups and many others, including the cattlemen, want more roads and trails and access to all—all the time hence—likely very few.

The problem with siltation and the inherent cost of maintaining all the roads in the Boundary therefore becomes staggering and hence does not happen near to the degree it should…therefore ever increasing siltation in our waterways.

Will BCTS and Interfor commit to properly maintaining our roads under their jurisdiction as long as the roads exist?  Obviously this is their responsibility so the proper maintenance of these roads is inherently theirs.  To date the road maintenance in the Boundary has been well below acceptable levels.

Also, an ever increasing incursion into the forests means a significant reduction in the forest cover throughout the Boundary.

Plus ever increasing negative impacts on all species of wildlife occur with each new road built.

All of the above issues must be addressed before any new development occurs in the Boundary TSA.  The future of the Boundary forests is at stake.

Fred

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