Sidney Spit to be closed to allow hunting by aboriginals

Public access to beach area denied due to safety reasons

A portion of Sidney Spit in Gulf Islands National Park Reserve will be closed to the public until Feb. 29 to allow for fallow deer hunting by Coast Salish First Nations.

The area south of the day-use area at Sidney Spit on Sidney Island will be off-limits to the public during the hunting period, but the mooring buoys and the day-use area on the spit itself will remain accessible.

The routine closure has been happening annually since 2005 as a way to enable Coast Salish people to hunt safely and with a high success rate.

According to Parks Canada, the fallow deer hunted on the island are an overpopulated, introduced species.

In the absence of natural predators, the deer have damaged the island’s natural environment through excessive grazing.

In past, approximately 100 hunters per year have participated in the deer hunt, which provides an additional source of food security for Coast Salish communities.

Visit www.pc.gc.ca/gulfislands or call Gulf Islands National Park Reserve at 1-866-944-1744 for details.

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com