If you are a veteran of BC politics then I believe you would readily accept the following quote coined by German Philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer as an appropriate preface to future wildlife, grasslands, water, forests, parks debates.
“All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed and third it is accepted as self evident.”
Since the mid nineties there has been a catastrophic collapse of many big game wildlife populations. Liberalized hunting seasons and bag limits coupled with an extremely high road density is one of the major reasons wildlife populations have collapsed.
A letter appeared in the Grand Forks Gazette March 17, 2010 titled Hunting Regulations Draconian by yours truly, Barry Brandow Sr. in which the following quotes are a reminder how hollow, vacant and corrupt wildlife management in B.C. is to-day!
“Listen up British Columbians your wildlife resource is in serious trouble and if you don’t speak up now future generations will be denied the pleasure of this heritage.
New hunting regulations, if implemented will ensure future generations of consumptive and non-consumptive users will be denied the pleasure of a valuable heritage.
The backbone of this new hunting initiative is population numbers that have no connection to reality and agriculture complaints that continually exaggerate the problem. These new recommendations are so draconian bordering on cruel, that everyone in the hunting movement who is credible is in disbelief.”
Is the corrupt, dishonest BC Ungulate Species Regional Population Estimates and status preseason 2011, 2014, 2017 for deer, elk, moose a cover for the never ending complaints primarily from agriculture and highways since the mid-nineties the start of the steep descent of many big game populations?
How do you square a March 7, 2018 Simon Fraser University Report that challenges the widespread assumption that wildlife management in North America is science based with a March 19, 1993 letter written by Regional Fish & Wildlife Manager Steve Willett?
Simon Fraser-“The researchers note that claims of science based management would however be supportive if management defined clear objectives, used evidence to inform decisions, was transparent with the public about all factors contributing to decisions and subjected plans and approaches to external review.”
Remember wildlife population reports/quotes prior to the brutal 96-97 winter the start of the steep decline of many wildlife populations tell a dramatically different story than post 96-97.
Steve Willett- One of the difficulties we all face is that most of our more visible species suggest we have lots of wildlife. Biologically that is great but politically it doesn’t help us one bit. Exacerbating the situation is the increasing barrage of complaints from the agriculture community and some urban ones, that we have too much wildlife and we should be reducing their numbers, not making conditions favorable for increasing wildlife populations.”
The political reality is that wildlife managers in BC are given the job of creating an illusion a façade of wildlife management because of the never ending pressure from other stakeholders especially Highways and Agriculture!
The Simon Fraser University Research Article, Hallmarks of Science Missing From North American Wildlife Management 2014 is a hollow statement that misses the mark and will only be credible if the indictment reads- Hallmarks of Science missing from BC Wildlife Management because of the longstanding influence of stakeholders on hunting seasons and bag limits.
There are plenty of quotes from the Agriculture Sector especially BC Ranchers that make my point!
The Western Producer May 31, 2013- Exploding populations of deer, elk and predators are driving BC ranchers to distraction as they fight to protect their grasslands from ungulates and their calves from hungry wolves.
The article centers on complaints of Rancher, Doug Fossin ” You don’t mind feeding a few but these guys with 1500 deer that is a big problem”, Fossin said He lives at Rock Creek about 40 km east of Osoyoos and chairs the BC Cattlemen’s Association Environmental Committee.
“The problem is common throughout the province” said Mike Rose of the Nicola Valley.
In response to my longstanding complaints of irresponsible ranching practices on the Gilpin Grasslands by Mehmal Ranch, my arguments have been countered three times with vacant, hollow initiatives designed to deceive British Columbians:
- Prestigious North American Grazing Award given to Mehmal ranch Nov. 2006
- Fencing initiative on Gilpin Grasslands 2009 that made no attempt to keep cows out of water holes.
- BC Cattlemen’s Association spokesperson, Elaine Stovin’s rebuttal to my article in the Grand Forks Gazette March7, 2012 in which I quote water samples contaminated by E-Coli and and announce Activist, Bruce Davidson will tell the Walkerton, Ontario story at the Grand Forks Auditorium March 14, 2012.
Ranching has always had critics, a point made by Welfare Ranching. My personal opinion is that good government will support ranching in BC on public land but demand the removal of cows from sensitive important environments; important water courses, parks and areas critical to wildlife.
As a consequence of the B.C. liberal Government support for Professional Reliance the BC Cattlemen’s Association is out of control and have made comments that cannot be accepted if British Columbians value their wildlife and water resources.
I will revisit names, quotes and examples of unacceptable ranching behavior in the immediate future.
The BC Wildlife Federation is running out of time to roll over and admit their hunting opportunity agenda was a serious mistake before the preponderance of the evidence highly critical of wildlife management makes that organization totally irrelevant.
An article appeared in the Vancouver Sun Feb. 14, 2018 “Time to eliminate hunter-centric wildlife policies. Conservation model is whats needed”, Emily Pickett writes.
“Wildlife policy in BC is heavily influenced by the recreational hunting lobby and as a result treats wildlife as a resource to be exploited and controlled instead of conserved”
I personally believe Emily Pickett’s description of wildlife management is an apt description of the BC Wildlife Federation Agenda driven by decent men and women who unfortunately do not have the depth or measure when it comes to the politics of wildlife management. One thing history teaches us is that you can never endlessly deny or suppress the truth.
Although Emily Pickett and her Wildlife Defense League companions mean well a subscription to all the facts puts a hole in her strident proclamation that “During pursuit only seasons, adult cougars and kittens are sometimes attacked and injured by hounds, separated due to extensive chases and run down to exhaustion.”
Cougar tree and seldom bay and when they do bay they do it on their own terms which often results in a vet bill or a dead hound. Nevertheless Emily’s quote does underline the difficulty of meaningful wildlife management debate unless stakeholders demand all the facts be part of the debate not just the emotional ones that have no connection to reality.
You own all the pictures and newsletters I send you.
Barry Brandow Sr.