Tag Archives: government

NEWSLETTER January 1, 2018

NEW YEAR, NEW BC. NDP Provincial Government!

Will this be the first provincial government in a generation to acknowledge the province’s wildlife resource has been ruthlessly exploited and consequently start the process of reducing hunting seasons and bag limits? Wildlife habitat and predators will always be a big issue but when wildlife populations are down 80, 90 and 95% reducing hunting pressure is the primary objective.

It has taken twenty years for the BC Liberal and NDP Parties to accept the province’s wildlife resource is in serious population decline. But are both political parties big enough to discredit publically “this new age thinking called  Professional Reliance” that has resulted in liberalized hunting opportunity sanctioned by a statistical bubble of population and harvest estimates by our provincial government biologists and aggressively supported by the BC Wildlife Federation, the parent body of organized hunting clubs

The Hunting/Trapping questionnaire that requested comments on proposed hunting regulations until January 18 and a hollow report by Mark Hall, “Are Hunters Undermining Wildlife Conservation in the East Kootenay” give us more than enough opportunity to critique wildlife management and dam little to cheer about.

I do give credit to Minister Donaldson for a transparent Angling/Hunting/Trapping Engagement process which is far superior to the discredited Wildlife Regulations Advisory Committee but the process is at best a feeble attempt to address a well advertised problem of a wildlife resource in serious population decline.

As expected there is no request for comment on hunting regulation changes in Region 8 Okanagan even though the whitetail in sub units 8-12, 8-14 and 8-15 (Boundary) is down at least 90% from its high in the early 90s nor any mention that the black bear population in the Boundary is in significant decline.

The political tea leaves as I read them, suggest it will take at least another provincial government election cycle before the government of the day is going to accept that provincial government biologists and the BC Wildlife Federation are not credible voices.

That indictment centers on three major failures: there is no Trust but Verify of the impacts of hunting seasons and bag limits on wildlife populations; there has been no effort to discuss the limitations of science; the depth of experience and knowledge gained by many years of hunting necessary to understand the impacts of hunting regulations is alarmingly shallow.

    The 2016-2018 Hunting and Trapping Synopsis was a reminder our provincial government biologists remain totally disconnected from “real” wildlife populations on our mountains.

    Notwithstanding the preponderance of the evidence, I have shared with you from hunters, outfitters throughout the region: Osoyoos, Keremeos, Kelowna, Vernon, Rock Creek, Grand Forks, Castlegar and Trail that dictates the mule and whitetail deer populations in Region 8 Okanagan are a shadow of a past generation; the regional bag limit was increased to three.

    Trust but Verify certainly worked for Presidents, Reagan and Gorbachev who successfully negotiated a reduction in nuclear warhead missiles and that rallying call has to be a major initiative to challenge the legions of statistical nonsense from our provincial government biologists that have validated a dramatic increase in hunting opportunity.

Mutual on site inspection of nuclear warhead missile sites by Americans and Russians convinced both countries that they had a deal!

The credible voice of the veteran hunter, the major asset of all successful enterprises, has been totally discounted as a critical arbitrator of hunting seasons and bag limits in British Columbia.

Reports/studies are typically biased to represent the views of those who benefit from the research, a point well made by Lynn Jacobs in his 1991 well documented “Waste of the West Public Lands Ranching”.

Science is not truth but an approach to the truth– a malleable cultural tool. Depending on how it is used science may be a method of fact finding, distortion or concealment. Accordingly you can prove nearly everything with science even the need for tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.”

The historical perspective to start an intelligent, thoughtful approach to future hunting seasons and bag limits, in my strong opinion, starts with a review of the salient facts in two easy to read reports by provincial government biologists; Al Peatt and Bob Lincoln presented to Okanagan BC Wildlife Federation Clubs January 1988.

Both reports supported a conservative harvest of antlerless whitetail and mule deer in six subunits in the main Okanagan Valley.

All on my future wildlife management hunting seasons and bag limit recommendations will be connected to the wise advice of both Al Peatt and Bob Lincoln:

“In the Okanagan where roads are abundant suggesting a potential for localized over harvest and where wildlife management staffing capacity does not allow for careful monitoring of local deer herd status it is prudent to be fairly conservative in harvest strategy.

The BC Legislature reconvenes February 13th and after the Lieutenant Governor, the Queen’s representative, reads the NDP Government Speech from the Throne  check out the government’s environmental agenda and mandate letters to the Ministers of Environment and Forests, Lands and Natural Resources on the internet.

In view of the fact that both BC Liberal and BC NDP Parties agree the province’s wildlife resource is in serious trouble can we convince both parties to find common ground via Budget Estimates?

The opposition critic for each ministry is given the opportunity during Budget Estimates to ask the Minister to respond to their questions!

Would both parties agree Professional Reliance has failed the province’s wildlife resource? Would they agree to support a Wildlife Management Advisory of all stakeholders? A roundtable is the only hope of generating the leverage necessary to have any hope of challenging the grim management on our mountains.

Once the BC Liberal leadership race has been decided I will ask the subsequent Liberal critic for the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources to consider my advice.

I will always be steadfast in defending MY critique/judgment of stakeholders who I believe are in a large or small way responsible for the dismal management on our mountains!

Barry Brandow Sr.

 

 

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NEWSLETTER July 1, 2017

The May 9, 2017 BC provincial election results were dramatically different than the results predicted by the pundits, the deep thinkers in the media.

Can a NDP Government of 41 members supported by 3 Green Party Members opposed by 43 BC Liberals survive long enough to start a healing process on our mountains that embraces democratic process that will examine in depth the negative side of every stakeholder’s behavior that is a challenge to the future of the province’s wildlife resource?

Civil debate conveniently ignores the real problems and therefore the TERMS of REFERENCE typically have no intention of casting a shadow over third rate behavior of stakeholders, bureaucrats and our political masters.

That point is made by Rob Clark whose memoirs of his 30 year career as an officer of Corrections Service Canada, Down Inside says it all: “I have no idea what lies in store for the Correctional Service of Canada.  Although I would like to believe that significant positive changes are possible, I have my doubts. The culture of this organization is so deeply entrenched and so pervasive that I remain skeptical of its capacity for genuine introspection”.

Wildlife management must be the mandate of the Ministry of Environment and the minister has to be a warrior who will not be ignored by cabinet colleagues contrary to our sorry history of treating the wildlife resource as chattel goods. (an item or article of goods)

Whatever our destiny democratic process is imperative, no walls every stakeholder who values the province’s wildlife resource has a right to participate. A Roundtable cannot be driven by consensus or failure will be immediate.

The immediate problem is to make it clear to every 87 MLA- Member of our Legislative Assembly in Victoria and their rabid supporter’s to-day and in the future that democratic process is not expensive. The fight for freedom on the other hand is mighty expensive, point made by the fact that well over 100,000 young Canadian men and more than a few women while members of our Canadian Armed Forces paid the ultimate price for the ultimate principle in a democratic society-FREEDOM.

Do your homework and you will find 66,000 plus died in the Great War 1914-1918 and 45,000 plus in the Second World War 1939-1945. The kicker- the day our heroes crossed the Bar they didn’t take counsel from their fear.

A good story to remember when you are at a crossroad in your journey!

I have been involved in three processes, two were blessed with Chairman of Measure the third was a dismal affair not a surprise when you consider Range Staff had no qualifications to chair meetings, a problem exacerbated by their rejoinder that consensus was the game.

The Okanagan/Boundary Region 8 Wildlife Advisory chaired by Dr. John Gibson and the 1992-94 West Kootenay/Boundary Commission on Resources and Environment Roundtable chaired by Bruce Fraser is a reminder that the chair is by far and away the most important figure overseeing public process.

The Okanagan/Boundary Wildlife Advisory collapsed in 1988 when the Okanagan B.C. Wildlife Federation Clubs walked away because of a Limited Eatery Hunt on the whitetail doe. A classic example of the Shifting Baseline Syndrome when you consider the endless demands of BC Wildlife Federation Clubs for more Hunting Opportunity.

Although the Rancher/Agrologist Co-Ordinated Resource Management Process was doomed to a short shelf life, a point made by declining public participation, the minutes from the Overton/Moody CRMP meetings (the bookend watersheds of Gilpin) are a reminder that even a third rate process has merit because you get to know the players and issues.

Terms of Reference the backbone of process that will direct the Chair where he/she can go and still get support from the provincial government of the day will have trouble accepting my vision i.e. a thorough review of the firewall used by every stakeholder to justify their behavior.

Should we be blessed with a democratic process I would preface meetings with President Ronald Regan’s popular quote; “Trust but Verify a product of negotiating a reduction of nuclear warhead missiles with Michail Gorbachev”.

I would also remind stakeholders of a message in of all places; “Range Management Handbook for British Columbia” edited by Dr. Alastair McLean 1979:

The importance of wildlife in the province is difficult to assess since it must be measured not only in direct economic terms but also in the well being of the citizens through recreation and quiet enjoyment.”

Recreation and quiet enjoyment is certainly not what it was a generation ago- you can travel for days in the East Boundary; Greenwood, Grand Forks and Christina Lake and other than bighorns adjacent to Highway #3 east of Grand Forks and the odd bear or deer on private property, quiet enjoyment in any serious way is a phenomenon of the past. A serious indictment of every politician, bureaucrat and stakeholder who has their sorry foot print on the Hunting Opportunity Agenda.

Dr. McLean’s vision of cows on Ungulate Winter Ranges is polar opposite and the backdrop critiquing the ugly Gilpin Grassland Saga.

How does a credible process deal with the major wildlife management issues without indicting stakeholders?

 

 

Wildlife Management

  1. The Sightability Index used by our provincial government biologists has no connection to reality in many British Columbia Ungulate Species Regional Population Estimates and Status Preseason Hunting 2011 and 2014.

 

The mule and whitetail pop. Estimates for Region 8 Okanagan/Boundary are over the top. Preseason 2011 and 2014- mule deer 28,000-42,000- pop. Stable

-whitetail    31,000-44,000- pop. Stable

 

Preseason 2017 ungulate estimates will be available soon.

 

I have two Freedom of Information packages that offer insight to Ungulate Population Estimates in Region 4 and 8. Tactically the work appears square-up but regional population estimates cast a dark shadow over the whole exercise for large ungulate populations.

 

To spike your curiosity I will send you a few pages that introduce you to the game: Naïve Extrapolated, sightability-corrected estimate, 90% confidence interval, density-deer per km, Sightability Correction Factor. I will also send you preseason ungulate population estima

Should you be bold or have a statistical expert contact to help us unravel the mystery of how some estimates have no connection to reality let us know and we will forward the Freedom of Information attachment.

Will it be a hopeless peeing contest paying qualified academics to critique what is quite frankly, pathetic dribble?

 

  1. Hunting Opportunity Agenda

 

The Hunting Opportunity Agenda dramatically increased the political footprint on our mountains and conveniently ignored our sorry history of long hunting seasons and generous bag limits; a point made by the collapse of the critical mass of the mule deer in the late fifties and early sixties in Region 8 Okanagan/Boundary. They were never seen again in groups of 30-40.

 

“Thus, the over-all mule deer population in MU 8 has probably experienced a slow decline during the last several decades”. The Boundary Deer Herd by D.J.Spalding-1968

 

Weak wildlife management started its steep descent with the 1996 Glen Clark NDP Government which demanded more money from the province’s wildlife resource followed by the BC Liberal Government.

 

A few years ago trying to connect with former Director of Wildlife, Jim Walker because he was a Director on the Nature Trust Board, my wife found a letter written by Jim in which he made the point that the NDP Glen Clark Government wanted more money from wildlife. When we finally connected he aptly described the BC Liberal Government-“they don’t care”.

 

Sadly he just crossed the BAR but he did leave a mesage for his former Nature Truct colleagues.

 

“However as public appreciation of nature continues to erode, it is important we and  our conservation partners refocus our direction and make it a priority to educate the urban majority about our lands and the values they represent. It is not enough to acquire land alone.”

 

I will sign off and continue a deep examination of Hunting Opportunity in the near future by highlighting the major seasons for the downward spiral of mule, whitetail and black bear populations in the Boundary, our backyard.

 

I will also send you pictures as an aid in explaining the Ranchers/Range Staff Firewall- Biodiversity and Pre-conditioning and describe how one of the first and finest Wildlife/Grassland initiatives lost every fight to the cow- the 1470 acres Ed Boothman Ranch purchase August 17, 1972 and the purchase of 475 acres by the 2nd Century Fund of BC renamed Nature Trust in 1984.

 

Barry Brandow Sr.

 

 

Links and Comments – 2010

The BC Government’s
Ministry of the Environment
Hunting and Fishing Regulations

Vancouver Sun article
on this issue
with quotes from Barry Brandow Sr.

Vancouver Sun article:
Plan to declare open season on white-tailed deer draws fire

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Plan+declare+open+season+white+tailed+deer+draws+fire/2677898/story.html

The comments given in response to that article show the depth of feeling on this:

  1. Well, there you go. The mentality of the average “resident hunter”has come to the forefront once again. Where is the BCWF’s “conservative…save for the future” mentality? If you have no knowledge of the outfitter business or guiding in “general” keep your uninformed thoughts to yourself. Guide outfitters have quotas on few animals but realize that a GOS only opens the door for everyone…resident as well as outfitter. This outfitter is stating there is not enough deer and is declining the “open” possibility
    of more income to leave a future generation a chance to have the same choices we have. For you who “know” Grand Forks think again. You obviously don’t know as much as you want everyone to think. Or you would be stating some intelligent facts…not fiction. Fact…a little more than 2% of B.C. Residents are hunters. Fact…more than 86% of B.C. Residents value wildlife. Think about it.
  2. Our Rod and Gun Club has been fighting this season since it was proposed and recommending that it be only in Regions and Zones that have high populations of Whitetails. Read back in history, every time we have a GOS antlerless season it ends up in LEH on the entire species a few years later. Take moose in Region 4, the year after the GOS any moose all moose went on LEH and except for immature bulls they are still on LEH 20 years later. The same happened in Region 3 only ten years earlier. Region 3 moose are still LEH
  3. There is no reason why we cannot have a GOS season on whitetail deer in any portion of the province where populations are at maximum. This is why the Regions and Zones within the Regions were set up as they are. Now this system is being disposed of and game management is by province, this is not acceptable as we have too much diversity within B.C. This GOS whitetail season should be only where the populations are near maximum sustainable populations. I am a hunter and I will not support an over the province GOS but will support it in high population Regions.
  4. The B.C. Ministry of Environment is full of career, bloated,overstaffed bureaucrats who are just pencil pushers who wouldn’t know a mule deer from a chicken. A good place for the government to start cleaning house starting at the top senior managers.
  5. Our gov. has no knowledge of how to manage and protect our wildlife. From seals to deer, to domestic animals, the govt is clueless. It is a tragedy and a SHAME.
  6. Can the gov’t please add cows to the “open season” list?
  7. That’s the problem with bureaucracy
    It’s run by a bunch of bean counters that would probably get lost two blocks from a bus stop.
    Like the man says, get out and see for themselves.
  8. I am sickened once again by the actions of this Campbell gov’t. There is simply no respect for our environment or the beautiful creatures in it.
    It’s just killing and more killing. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE???
  9. As always, non hunters make the hunting decisions. I lived in Grand Forks a while back and still visit there on occasion. There is no doubt that the white tails are in there in unacceptable numbers but to have an open season will do nothing to fix the urban deer population. If anything it may make it worse, with “refugees” making their way into town to get away from the hunters.
  10. The environment ministry has little to do with the environment. They are frequently out of touch with reality.
    The “open season” is just kill, kill, kill. They want to kill more deer.
    They clear cut eagle habitat-just check, Lannan Forest, Comox Valley
    They want to build a gas station on an estuary in Comox.
    The government does little for the homeless and they die also. Insufficient health care results in people dying.
    It’s a killing and dying event but Gordo sure wants dams on all rivers under the “temple” of green. Its just killing the rivers and fish.
    What will be left alive in this province.
    How much more will die before campbell & co. leave office?
  11. It is too bad our Government has absolutely NO CLUE, how to manage wildlife resources. They managed TO DEATH, THE EAST COAST FISHERIES,WEST COAST FISHERIES & GREAT LAKES FISHERIES. Meanwhile they tell us ‘IT’S THE SEALS, SEA LIONS & ORCA’S that have depleted the stocks. Or in the Great Lakes the Government says it’s the Cormorant Bird, because it eats 3 times it’s weight daily. They only weigh about 5 pounds, so them eating 3 times their weight is minuscule. It’s amazing that FACTORY SHIPS PULLING IN 1,000’S & 1,000’S OF POUNDS HAD NO NEGATIVE AFFECT.’ Stop the hunting now for a few years, nature takes care of itself if you let it. Even Deer & Bears are only going to be seen in books & stuffed in museums like Dinosaurs if THE GOVERNMENT DOESN’T SMARTEN UP! RE:ECONOMICS…MANY MORE PEOPLE COME TO SEE THE WILDLIFE THAN COMES TO KILL IT, SO MORE MONEY IS MADE FROM HAVING LIVE ANIMALS.
  12. Another insane stupid decision made by people with no sense of reality. I used to donate to the B.C. Wildlife, but no longer have faith in their ability to make smart decisions.
    Mother nature knows best. Get ready for the predator invasion.

Letter to the editor of the Vancouver Sun from Barry Brandow Sr.
Draconian hunting regulations

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Draconian+hunting+regulations/2643845/story.html