Tom Fletcher’s wolf kill justification facts are selective (PNR, Feb. 4).
I’ve read government documents like, Implementation Plan for Ongoing Management of Boreal Caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou pop. 14) in British Columbia as well as the Boreal Caribou Science Update MoE 13 October 2010 and the scientists explain very clearly that the Caribou population decline is due to “anthropogenic disturbances” explicitly described as “destruction, degradation and/or impairment of biodiversity and natural processes” caused by humans, mostly industry and not wolves.
The scientists clarify, “Decreasing the expected rate of decline in the Boreal Caribou population and significantly reducing the probability of extirpation may be achieved by protecting Caribou and their habitat from industrial activities, and managing the size and/or mitigating the effects of industrial footprint” and suggest such actions as “protecting habitat from industrial activities by changing practices associated with industrial activities and standardizing operating and planning practices.”
They suggest remediation by, “restoring habitat disturbed by past industrial activities, and developing industry standard management practises” and give examples including, “industrial and military effluent pipeline leaks and flare stack leaks creating mineral licks introducing toxins and mortality” as well as “air-borne pollutants and flare stack sour gas poisoning.”
They state, “Caribou have low productivity rates, bearing one young per year” and “Caribou have many natural predators, besides wolves, including black bear, grizzly bear, wolverines, lynx and even golden eagles, observed preying on neonatal caribou calves in the spring.”
Other cumulative threats besides wolves and energy production include, “residential and commercial development, agriculture, mining, transportation and service corridors, hunting and logging, natural system modifications including dams and water management /use, invasive and other problematic species such as deer migrating into caribou habitat carrying disease and parasites, pollution and climate change causing habitat shifting and food alteration and temperature extremes.”
To blame the wolves and create this witch hunt, as a helicopter pilot of 20 years in the South Peace region explained it to me, is unjustifiable. This, coming from a man who admits enjoying hunting and killing wolves, who sees the truth regarding what’s happening with the caribou with his own eyes.
Stacey Gaiga, Port Alberni