Tag Archives: 2016

NEWSLETTER November 29, 2016

If you live within a reasonable driving time from Rock Creek I urge you to attend a meeting December 1st at 7PM at the Rock Creek Wildlife Hall immediately adjacent to the Rock Creek Fairgrounds on the north side of the road. A short drive up hill and you are there.

NDP MLA Katrine Conroy will present and discuss with the audience her “Sustainable Wildlife Management Act which would require scientific based objectives and peer review for habitat and wildlife management.

The event has been advertised in the Rock Creek area the past few weeks.

In my strong opinion no MLA is more qualified to speak for wildlife and hunting than Katrine. She and her husband Ed live the rural lifestyle in Castlegar and during their journey have had conversations with British Columbians upset with the sorry state of resource management on our mountains. Katrine is one of the very few politicians you will meet not afraid to make a call.

Les Johnson will film the event and it will soon be on the internet- http://www.wildlifeheritageforever.com or www.wlhf.org

For the record during the BC Liberal Leadership Race I spoke to candidates; Kevin Falcon, George Abbott and Christy Clark and reminded them that what the BC Liberals were doing on our mountains was economic and scientific madness.

Agenda items that are the root of the problem that has many wildlife populations in serious decline:

  1. Example- Moose Enhancement and Recovery Strategy July 29, 2016 page 9

“Regional and provincial moose population estimates are updated every three to five years based on regional surveys, density extrapolations and expert opinions.”

 

There is no such thing as expert opinion for the simple reason that an honest assessment of moose management in BC will guarantee you will not be shortlisted for a job with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

 

  1. Extrapolation

The long sorry tradition of wildlife management in our province is driven by maximizing hunting opportunity by conveniently manipulating the harvest data to justify generous bag limits and long hunting seasons. A point made if you read The Boundary Deer Herd DJ Spalding page 11-20.

 

  1. Access Management- a non-sequitur (a non-event)
  2. Forest Practices Board December 2005

Access Management in British Columbia

Issues and Opportunities

 

  1. Forest Practices Board

Access Management and Resource Roads 2015 Update

 

Dots connect so whatever your agenda on the mountains COME!

 

Barry Brandow Sr.

Advertisements

NEWSLETTER September 20, 2016

A cursory examination of the facts suggests the Mike Morris Report; “Getting the Balance Right: Improving Wildlife Habitat Management in British Columbia” is yesterday.

“There is an urgency and heightened concern amongst resident hunters, guide outfitters, trappers and wildlife viewing industry and conservationists that the province is not acting quickly enough to address the decrease in wildlife populations and the degradation of wildlife habitat.”

The final report of the current moose recovery project “Provincial Framework for Moose Management in British Columbia” will be the measure of Minister Thomson’s resolve to step aside from the politics that has seriously compromised the province’s wildlife resource and accept the judgment of the credible voices who know the way forward to rebuild the province’s moose population.

The moose recovery plan will obviously draw attention to the impact of predators on the moose population especially the wolf, lack of access management to provide space for the moose and the sorry state of habitat management principally a function of logging practices especially the large clear cuts.

But will there be a discussion of the impact of hunting on the moose population? For starters will participants in the moose recovery plan discuss the negative population impacts on bulls by the implementation of the spike-fork bull season- a bull moose having no more than two tines on one antler?

How many moose are killed or wounded that had more than two tines and what is the realistic statistics on moose wounded that are not found and subsequently die? Remember on page 47 of the Alberta Management Plan for white-tailed deer the following quote- “Crippling losses from hunting have not been quantified in Alberta although the Fish and Wildlife Division reported that a survey of the literature showed average losses of 23 and 27 percent of reported kill in either sex and buck only seasons.”

How many provincial biologists believe we cannot compromise wildlife populations by hunting? A few years ago Globe and Mail columnist, Mark Hume wrote an article on the declining moose population in Region 5 and the provincial government biologist quoted ( I have lost the article) said that the hunting was obviously not part of the problem as the number of hunters had not increased.

A hollow vacant comment from a provincial government biologist whose terms of employment demanded he sign a contract which strongly stipulates termination if he should dare criticize the provincial government publically.

If you are an ardent knowledgeable hunter or if you have read my newsletter for years in which many sources of anecdotal and scientific information are quoted then ask yourself why would Minister Thomson endorse a moose recovery project and instantly put a cloud over the credibility of the initiative by including former provincial government biologists; Mark Williams and Brian Harris?

I can’t run the numbers on biologist Mark Williams but I certainly can with Brian Harris who I have known for many years and no better source of information than the 2016 and 2017 September/October issue of BC Outdoors. This year like last Brian authored a report titled “2017 Hunting Forecasts”.

There are many quotes from the BC Outdoor article that have no connection to responsible wildlife management but I will start the process in the near future of challenging Brian’s credibility with his comments on Mule and whitetail deer numbers in Region 8 Okanagan/Boundary 2016-2017 which are over the top and go a long way to explain the contempt many hunters and concerned citizens have for wildlife biologists and managers.

In view of the fact that the hunting opportunity agenda grows every two years via the new Hunting Regulations that showcase new opportunity that invariably relies on wildlife population inventory that is not true and remember not true in civil court is called lying, I will expand generously in the near future on the following quotes especially now that the deer bag limit in Region 8 Okanagan/Boundary is three.

  1. “Mule deer are doing really well in this region and hunter harvest continues to climb”.

 

  1. “Whitetail deer are also doing well. Spring surveys found their numbers to be stable even with the month long general open season for antlerless deer”.

There are three former Penticton provincial government biologists connected to the moose recovery plan; Al Peatt, Tom Ethier and Brian Harris.

Al Peatt was hired in the early eighties and left the ministry in the mid nineties which coincided with Premier Glen Clark’s mandate of demanding more revenue from the province’s natural resources.

I got to know Al and senior biologist Bob Lincoln well thanks to many meetings especially the stormy meetings with ranchers and range staff that were steadfast in trying to stop the 1985 Bighorn Sheep transplant with a thirteen point argument full of holes. Even though reasoned thought prevailed and bighorns won the fight unbeknown to all of us save a few senior bureaucrats this was the end of the vision that justified the $190,000.00  the August 1972 Social Credit Government spent to purchase the 1470 acre Boothman Ranch.

To-day Al works for the West Bank First Nations and is a participant in the moose recovery program. I last talked to Al at the June meeting of the Wildlife Stewardship Council and his immediate words when we met- “I cannot believe the denial”.

Brian Harris was hired in the mid eighties and his presence in meetings at the Okanagan Boundary Wildlife Advisory Round Table; Co-ordinated Resource Management Plan (cows)and Outfitter Meeting was minimal and at no time did regular participants believe he had the measure of a qualified provincial government biologist. He was a pleasant, friendly lightweight.

Tom Ethier is the Assistant Deputy Minister on the point overseeing the Moose Recovery Plan. In a previous journey he was hired in the mid/late nineties as a Penticton Provincial Government biologist. Joe Carvetta, one of the better conservation officers brought Tom to the house and introduced him.

As we know now, Tom’s tenure started at about the same time as Premier Glen Clark’s 1996 mandate that demanded more revenue from the province’s resources. Once again punch in Jim Walker, Director of Wildlife on your electronic device and you will find the letter embraced by the Glen Clark NDP and supported by the BC Liberals via the Minister’s message on page two of the current 2016-2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulation Synopsis that forced wildlife managers to ruthlessly exploit the province’s wildlife resource.

One thing for sure both Tom Ethier and Al Peatt know the measure of Brian Harris!

Based on previous conversations I have witnessed John Henderson, First Nation President of The Wildlife Stewardship Council will make it very clear to all participants of the Moose Recovery Plan that we have to respect wildlife and remember the seventh generation.

In his own way he will also remind participants including the Minister and his Cabinet Colleagues that First Nations are literally standing in the Cat Bird seat, the tallest mast on the old schooners.

First Nations have a constitutional right to hunt that has been seriously compromised by the utter collapse of scientifically driven wildlife management that respects wildlife in B.C. That plus the June 2014 Supreme Court of Canada decision that strengthens First Nation Land Claims has resulted in a political force that cannot be denied!

Barry Brandow Sr.

NEWSLETTER August 15, 2016

A short story with pictures that showcases a current example of the sorry state of range management on the Gilpin Grasslands.

Approximately 50 cows have been allowed to crop the grass to ground level in the Gilpin Grassland Class A provincial park immediately adjacent to Highway #3; a November cow range!

There are two parts to the story.

Range staff has made no attempt to move the cows even though their presence has been clearly visible to the driving public for a good five weeks.

The cows have destroyed a habitat enhancement project within a small fenced area constructed to exclude cows from Gilpin Creek adjacent to the Boothman Ranch house site.

Subsequent to the fence deciduous tree saplings were planted either side of the creek within the closure. White plastic pipe were used to protect most of the saplings, probably to protect them from rodents.

The guts of this story are driven by the fact that there was a fire early June caused by a vehicle dragging a muffler on Highway #3. The same vehicle caused an earlier fire on the north side of Highway #3 adjacent to the Stewart Creek gravel road east approximately 5 KM.

Sporadic rainfall for weeks resulted in a vibrant recovery of the grass which meant the inevitable- cows.

Statutes from the B.C. Range Planning and Practices Regulation

  1. Objectives set by government for water
  2. maintain or improve water resources.
  3. maintain or promote healthy riparian and upland areas.
  4. maintain or promote riparian vegetation that provides sufficient shade to maintain stream temperature within the natural range of variability.
  5. maintain or promote desired plant communities.

Another example from B.C.’s past that illustrates the sorry state of range management on Gilpin:

Range Management- Handbook for British Columbia- edited by Alistair McLean p.Ag, PhD Research Scientist

Agriculture Canada Research Station Kamloops 1979

“Grazing by domestic stock and wild ungulates is not always compatible but conflicts can be reduced or eliminated by good range management. For example individual range areas that are critical for the survival of game are seldom large. Wildlife should therefore be given preference over most other uses on such areas because grazing habits of game animals cannot be easily changed.”

Gilpin Creek is virtually the western boundary of the Gilpin Grassland Park. The NW corner of the park is 100 meters north of the 3KM board on the Gilpin Road. If you park your vehicle adjacent to a primitive barbed wire gate and open your eyes as you quickly descend a steep cow trail to Gilpin Creek you will witness the most outrageous example of erosion I have witnessed in 38 years of walking the mountains in the East Boundary.

If you walk adjacent to the creek to the Boothman Ranch house site you will find at least another 7 sites although not as outrageous that validate a recommendation by Doug Fraser, Range Practices Officer in his Nov. 2007 report titled “An Evaluation of the Streams and Adjacent Uplands in Overton Moody Range, the bookend watersheds on the Gilpin Grasslands.“ “Develop off-stream water to limit the use of Gilpin Creek by livestock”.

Of course Doug’s recommendation was ignored. My first field trip stop on Gilpin has always been the 3KM corner but I will leave the hundred plus pictures of cow damage on Gilpin Creek for another day!

Barry Brandow Sr.

 

 

 

NEWSLETTER July 29, 2016

Every year since the collapse of the land management vision advertised in 1994-96 West Kootenay/Boundary Commission on Resources and Environment that came to nothing I do something that makes the point that the management of the province’s wildlife resource is abysmal.

This year a wildlife friendly fence was constructed on the south side of the Lost Lake Marsh approximately 3-4 KM north of the City of Grand Forks.

I will send you pictures of before and after.

Thanks to the generosity of the city the use of their water license on Overton Creek has not been denied contrary to the silly self serving message on the back of the bench immediately adjacent to the marsh. Albeit a small story the results are impressive!

Will the marsh be compromised? Probably! Range management in B.C. to-day is best described by David Borth, the former provincial government range manager who in his earlier life was the Executive Director of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association.

I had convinced David to accompany me on a field trip on Gilpin July 2007. Give him credit; he wasn’t shy in striking his colors “we will never change”.

He also surprised me with his honesty when I asked him why Range Manager, Werner Baliko gave a prestigious North American Grazing Award to ranchers, Wally and John Mehmal November, 2006. “Werner was pressured to do something”.

Remember “Welfare Ranching” which you can find on your electronic device is a serious indictment of range management.

www.boundaryalliance.org will also give you information that challenges range management in B.C. especially in the Boundary. Check out E’Holt Creek, a fish bearing stream adjacent to Highway #3.

I will also send you a few pictures in the near future of the six acres of Nature Trust fenced last year. The fence has been vandalized twice by rancher, John Mehmal’s hired hand. I can’t prove it but when I came off the mountain late in the afternoon early May after walking the perimeter of the six acre fence I spotted Mehmal’s hired hand on an old quad bike repairing a fence near the quad bike loading area near Highway #3. Next morning I returned and discovered the six acre fence cut in three places.

A week later it was cut again adjacent to the Overton Road. Hardly surprising, the range bureaucracy is indirectly supporting this conduct.

Remember good government will support ranching but good government will also mandate the removal of domestic animals from; important water courses, quality recreation sites like parks and areas critical to wildlife!

It has been four years since Bruce Davidson, the activist from Walkerton, Ontario told the Walkerton story at the Grand Forks High School auditorium March 14, 2012. The story is driven by the fact that 7 people died, over 40 were left with lifetime health challenges and 2300 were violently ill all because of the dreaded 0157 e-coli bacteria pathogen in the town’s water supply. The Walkerton Water Management training facility verified that the final cost of the 0157 bacteria pathogen story will be either side of $200,000,000.

The next chapter is going to center around  Jeff Holliday’s story a pancreas/liver transplant recipient from Walkerton and the president of the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association president, Elaine Stovin’s insulting hollow story that appeared in the Grand Forks Gazette March 14, 2012 “All too often the finger is pointed at cattle when the science proves otherwise”.

Jeff’s biography which he sent to me, is brutal and will be my push to get media attention; dialysis for 3 years, 40 pills daily, blind from broken vessels in eye, liver/pancreas transplant June, 2005 a large section of bowel removed, heart attack, eye cataracts removed.

A few months ago I received a phone call from Perry Grilz. Even though I had phoned him and left a message I was surprised he returned my call.

As I told you recently I had an unexpected illuminating conversation last August with recently retired provincial government range agrologist, Werner Baliko.

Werner had responded to my declaration that range management doesn’t exist because you cannot control the erosion from the cow and the resulting weeds nor is it possible to manage riparian areas. The cost and magnitude of just two problems get no attention because you can only play at a solution.

Werner’s response surprised me when he said range management was an oxymoron in other words a contradiction. But he also made the case that David Borth’s replacement Perry Gilz actually cared about the province’s grassland ecosystem.

I don’t believe my behavior is quite as bad as my reputation so I hope he does follow up with his suggestions and connect with me.

 

Barry Brandow Sr.

These are BEFORE!

These are AFTER!

NEWSLETTER June 28, 2016

Ray Demarchi , a well respected retired provincial biologist who was the senior biologist in the Kootenays for decades responded to my last newsletter and recommended I watch “Cowspiracy” on Netflix.

The essence of the Cowspiracy story which I watched months ago is that methane gas from the manure, a colorless, odorless inflammable hydrocarbon is a major reason why the planet’s temperature is rising.

The mad rancher quoted in Cowspiracy makes the case that if all the resources used to produce beef were instead used to produce food for humans then there would be a rational use of resources, a point made in “River notes” by Wade Davis- A natural and Human History of the Colorado

“The production of a single pound of beef requires on average 1800 gallons of water. The cultivation of alfalfa alone consumes 7.5 million acre feet of water close to half of the entire flow of the Colorado”.

“The vast percentage of the water diverted from the Colorado is overwhelmingly used for a single purpose to fatten cattle and support a way of life rich in nostalgia but inefficient in terms of consumption and ecological footprint”.

River Notes and Cadillac Desert The American West and its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner are a compelling read for citizens fed up with the insulting self serving politics of the ranching industry.

In view of the work done by former B.C. Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell to address climate change why did his government insist on more cows on our mountains?

In response to the December 2009 Forest Practices Board news release “Plans for livestock grazing questioned” Ray wrote a powerful critique of range management and his message is a reminder why my 30 year journey to get justice for the Gilpin grasslands is just one ugly chapter after the other.

If you care about the future of the province’s grassland ecosystem and wildlife resource then I suggest you read and remember Ray’s critique which I am sending you. His quote that compares the economics of elk hunting versus the highly subsidized beef industry cuts to the chase and underscores one of the major reasons cronyism has the province’s wildlife populations on a death spiral.

“It seemed rather stupid to me that the elk resource which was grossing well over 10 million dollars per year with practically no cost to government other than a dozen or so conservation officers and wildlife biologist with a modest administration and inventory budget should be reduced in favor of an industry that produced 10 million dollars in beef for the same amount it cost to produce them”.

One of the many sources of information that will be used to make the case for the removal of the cow from the Class A Gilpin Grassland Park is Ray’s summary report Jan 1979 which describes the history of the 1972 1470 acre Boothman Ranch purchase and subsequent 1973 purchase of 475 acres by the National Second Century Fund renamed Nature Trust in 1984.

“Cattle are moved so that lower elevation, southwest facing slopes critical to the survival of native ungulates receive light use every autumn. Other pastures in the grazing system are alternately rested.

However the grazing system must be monitored to insure proper management of the forage and shrub resources critical to deer survival during late winter”.

The cow has won every fight so Ray’s advice was ignored as were the input from other credible sources that has resulted in one of our province’s first and finest grassland/wildlife initiatives becoming a casualty of a ranching industry that continually holds the public interest in contempt.

Please-there never were any bridges to burn!

Barry Brandow Sr.

Ray Demarchi Letter

 

NEWSLETTER June 16, 2016

Legal access to Crown land to-day is a small problem that is on the cusp of a much larger problem, a point made by the example I am presenting to you.

Jeremy McCall and his Outdoor Recreation Council colleagues have outlined their concerns in a recent e-mail directed at restricting or no public recreation to privately held forest lands over the years especially on Vancouver Island.

The outdoor recreation Council is seeking access to private land which I believe is a credible argument but in my world the issue is blatant attempt by landowners to deny public access by locked gates and/or signs.

As I have said in the past the first order of business on an access question is to pay the $50.00 and get a copy of the original land grant. I have done this twice and in both cases the conditions of the land grant made it clear that public access could not be denied.

The issue I am bringing to your attention appeared in a letter in the Grand Forks Gazette May, 2007 in which I explained why the Mehmal family cannot deny access to a quality recreation site in the SE corner of the Grassland Park on the Kettle River immediately adjacent to Highway #3.

Before the minutiae of how to encourage access to the river without trespassing on private property it is important for everyone to remember especially park employees who believe the Mehmals have a right to move the Park Boundary signs, a park with few visitations gets dam little respect from right of center politicians.

In this case I did not obtain a copy of the original land grant but in view of the egregious behavior by the Mehmals who have recently removed two southern boundary markers and the obvious embodiment of their behavior by the bureaucracy; it is time to get a copy of the land grant.

I have asked Parks in the past to identify the irregular southern border by GPS with park boundary signs, after all the family developed the beach site for their own recreation and denied public access so I don’t believe in view of the circumstances that a surveyor is necessary.

The pictures tell the story.

For historical perspective I am sending you a map reduced in size of a 1944 copy of the 15.92 acre land survey.

Notice the irregular southern boundary of the 15.92 acre southern boundary. I asked Barb Collins the CPR public relations gal April 2007 if she could explain the boundary but said she did not have the time to find the answer.

There are seven compass defined locations on the southern boundary that should have a treated post with a park boundary sign facing the railroad bed plus a boundary post to mark the west and east corner of the 15.92 acres.

It is my understanding that the survey was done in 1942 because of access granted to the rancher at the eastern end of the property.

I paid $50.00 for a map that a surveyor would deem legal hence the red color.

 

Barry Brandow Sr.

 

NEWSLETTER February 22, 2016

I am sending you a news release from the Wildlife Stewardship Council that is a reminder to all British Columbians that First Nations have the leverage to demand their constitutional right to harvest a fair share of the province’s wildlife resource!

How many BC First Nations bands are going to ask in the immediate future the same hunting concessions given to the Tsilhoqot’in First Nations, after all, the constitutional right of First Nations to hunt super cedes the interests of resident hunters and outfitters?

How do resident hunters and outfitters use the Tsilhoqot”in First nation moose hunting concession as an opportunity to demand a transparent review of wildlife management policy?

Successful business men and women hedge their investment decisions knowing that all assumptions come with risks. The BC Wildlife Federation has been the major player in the corrupt hunting opportunity agenda so are they going to go down the road less travelled and announce that forthwith they will support a provincial roundtable that embraces transparency and accountability?

The BC Liberal Government not unlike the Glen Clark NDP Government before them abandoned their statutory responsibility to manage the province’s wildlife resource so will both parties likewise support a provincial roundtable?

Any way you look at the Tsilhqot’in moose hunting decision the hunting opportunity agenda is in the process of collapsing as all ponzi schemes eventually do!

I am in the process of drafting a newsletter driven by conversations with two Washington biologists, Dana Base and Scott Fitkin and Alberta biologist, Scott Stevens and quoting important points in their respective deer management reports to give you more information to better understand why BC wildlife population theory is corrupt.

The purpose of the newsletter is to give you information you will not get anywhere else in an attempt to explain why the province’s wildlife and habitat resource has a grim future. You do as you see fit with the information I send you.

I have displayed your email address because there is a glaring lack of transparency in many of the important decisions on our land base and when there are management proposals that are transparent most of them are deeply offensive.

A good example of this is the current proposal to extend the rifle season on the whitetail doe to the length of the whitetail buck rifle season; 82 days in the Boundary on the corrupt theory that a statistical analysis of hunter harvest information, field counts and some population surveys make the case that the whitetail deer population is stable or expanding.

Furthermore I want you to be aware that unlike my adversaries I am making maximum effort to give you a transparent reasoned argument that dramatically contradicts government decisions and the email addresses strengthen my argument.

If you don’t want your email address exposed on the newsletter let us know and we will oblige your wishes and if it is a major problem then we will respond accordingly.

Barry Brandow Sr.

Here is the News Release from the WSC:  PRESS RELEASE FEB 18 2016