Archive | Conservation

NEWS RELEASE – Threat to Grizzly Bears.

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
October 24, 2017

Ministries’ management of grizzly bears did not meet expectations

VICTORIA – The Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia has released a new report:

An Independent Audit of Grizzly Bear Management.

B.C. is one of the last areas of North America where grizzly bears live in their natural habitat. The health of B.C.’s 15,000 grizzly bears is important because, as an umbrella species, they are an indicator of how well other species and ecosystems are doing.
“Grizzly bear populations in some areas of B.C. are increasing, but this is likely happening independently from an adequate management framework,” said Auditor General Carol Bellringer.
The Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations have long-standing, public commitments for managing grizzly bears. Bellringer and her team found that the ministries haven’t fulfilled many of their commitments, including a grizzly bear management plan and the implementation of a recovery plan in the North Cascades. Also absent was an inventory and monitoring strategy of grizzly bears in B.C. and clear policies for bear viewing.
Bellringer’s office did find that the greatest risk to grizzly bears isn’t the hunt, it’s the degradation of grizzly bear habitat. “The expansion of development in oil and gas, forestry and human settlement makes it more difficult for grizzly bears to mate, and results in food source loss, as well as more human-bear conflict,” said Bellringer. An increase in resource roads— 600,000 kms existing and more added every year—also leads to more human-bear conflict, and ultimately, grizzly bear deaths.
The Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations have undertaken activities to reduce grizzly bear habitat degradation, but have not evaluated whether their efforts are effective.
Bellringer made 10 recommendations, including a recommendation for government to review legislation to clarify roles and responsibilities between the two ministries. This is because the ministries have overlapping responsibilities.

To see the full report CLICK HERE

For the BCWF response to the Auditor Generals report CLICK HERE.

October 17, 2017
A message from the BC Wildlife Federation President

In light of the recent government announcement with regards to the proposed grizzly bear regulations (a ban in the Great Bear Rainforest and no retention of “trophy parts”), I urge you to write the Premier, the Leader of the Opposition, the Minister of FLNRO, the critic of FLNRO, the leader of the Green Party and to meet with your MLA. The future of hunting, angling, and conservation in British Columbia is at risk.
It is our early experience with the new government that there is a rapid movement away from science-based wildlife management in favour of social and political hunter management. This issue and these changes are not about grizzly bear hunting, or trophy hunting, they are about sustainable use and hunting in British Columbia. I expect anti-hunting organizations will now move on to attack hunting of other species (black bears, cougars, sheep, goats). Given this apparent decision by government and other recent social-based decisions in isolation of science, I expect the recent marginalization of hunting, trapping, angling, and generally sustainable use to continue.
The following document related to the proposed grizzly bear regulation changes has been put together to help you advocate on behalf of conservation, fish and wildlife. The BC Wildlife Federation will be preparing supporting materials for you to use to advocate for fish and wildlife recovery, and support of hunting and angling into the future.
You do not need to be a subject matter expert to write or meet with elected officials, all you need to be able to do is convey how important conservation is to you and your family, and the principals of the North American Wildlife Conservation Model.
B.C. needs leaders of conservation and champions of hunting and fishing to step forward like as never before.
Harvey Andrusak
President,
BC Wildlife Federation

To read BCWF’s full response to BC’s Proposed Grizzly regulations CLICK HERE

British Columbia to increase investment in wildlife management

The following article was just taken from the BC Government news website:

As part of the Province’s long-standing commitment to healthy wildlife populations, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today that all hunting licence revenue will be re-invested to enhance wildlife management activities.
Based on input from stakeholders over the last few years, the government will form a new agency in fall 2017 with startup funds of $5 million. The agency subsequently would be supported by hunting licence revenues of $9 million to $10 million each year.
Currently, hunting licence revenues support a number of government activities. Hunting licence surcharges totalling more than $2.6 million annually would still be dedicated to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation for its conservation projects.
Continue Reading →

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

What is now HCTF began as the Habitat Conservation Fund (HCF) in 1981. The original HCF was the idea of anglers, hunters, trappers and guides who wanted to increase their contribution to the preservation of species and habitats across BC. These resource users have always “paid their way” through license sales, but wanted to make a more direct investment in conservation by way of an additional license surcharge. In response to this idea, the HCF was established by the BC government with the goals of enhancing BC fish and wildlife populations and acquiring key fish and wildlife habitats. Continue Reading →

Anchorage for coal ships off Gabriola Island

The issue of anchorages off Gabriola Island was first brought to our attention by Clyde Wicks in the September October 2015 edition of the club newsletter and posted on this website on Sept. 28/15.

The Pacific Pilotage Authority is proposing five anchorages for coal ships be approved off Gabriola’s north-east side for large vessels bound for Port Vancouver and other locations.  The site for the northern-most anchorage is due east of the homes located at the north end of The Strand/south end of Sandwell Provincial Park.  The sites of the other four anchorages are between the end of Whalebone Drive and Eva Road just northwest of Dragons’ Lodge.

Anchorages-off-gabriola-web

The following letter was published in Times Colonist June 25, 2016 12:43 AM

Gabriola anchorages being carefully studied

I am writing to assure the residents of Gabriola Island and other concerned individuals that Fisheries and Oceans Canada has heard their concerns about the proposed establishment of five new anchorages for large vessels along the northeast coast of Gabriola. I would also like to clarify DFO’s role in the review of this project.

The proposal was put forward by the Pacific Pilotage Authority, a Crown corporation under the responsibility of the minister of transport. The PPA is conducting an anchorage review, risk assessment, environmental review and public consultation for the project. As part of this process, the PPA has submitted the project to DFO so the department can assess the potential impacts to marine mammals, fish, fish habitat and aquatic species at risk.

The conservation and protection of Canada’s marine resources is DFO’s highest priority. We review proposals to ensure proponents avoid, mitigate and offset serious harm to fish, compliant with the Fisheries Act, and provide for the sustainability and ongoing productivity of commercial, recreational and aboriginal fisheries. Fisheries Act authorizations are required for projects that cannot avoid harming fish or fish habitat.

As the proposed anchorages are within the jurisdiction of Transport Canada, general concerns or questions about public consultation opportunities should be directed to Transport Canada through their online comment form tc.gc.ca/eng/ contact-us.htm or by calling 1-866-995-9737.

Rebecca Reid, Regional Director General
Pacific Region
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Chase River Remediation

Upper Chase Gravel Bank 2The Chase River runs through club property and over the years erosion and gravel accumulation from upstream runoff have changed the nature of the flow to the extent that the banks were at risk at several locations and the area behind the caretaker’s residence was at risk from flooding and trees that had become a falling hazard due to erosion of their root systems.

In order to solve the flooding problem Larry Burnett and his Grounds/Wetland crew took on the task  of correcting all the problems that have built up over the years.

We began by retaining COPCAN EXCAVATING, our long time supporter  in projects around the club, to solve the problems.    After receiving all the permits to allow us to remove the gravel that had washed in and to create fish habitat the work began. The project took one week to complete. Continue Reading →

Coal Ship Anchorages off Gabriola Island

Ancored Coal Ship

This information was first brought to our attention by Clyde Wicks in the September October 2015 edition of the club newsletter.

The Pacific Pilotage Authority is proposing five anchorages for coal ships be approved off Gabriola’s north-east side for large vessels bound for Port Vancouver and other locations.  The site for the northern-most anchorage is due east of the homes located at the north end of The Strand/south end of Sandwell Provincial Park.  The sites of the other four anchorages are between the end of Whalebone Drive and Eva Road just northwest of Dragons’ Lodge.

The area from Entrance Island to Thrasher reef has always been one of the most productive fishing areas around here. Locals anglers harvest up to 10,000 fish per year out of this stretch of water according to DFO creel data. When the fishery collapsed back in the mid-90’s it remained the only area that continued to hold salmon and one we could still go to with the expectation of actually catching something.

It is a very unique marine environment because it sits between two major points and is tucked in behind Entrance Reef. We regularly catch rock fish, ling cod and the occasional halibut while trolling for salmon from Whalebone to the Grande.

The Pacific Pilotage Authority, which is a crown corporation, is proposing to turn our favourite fishing spot into an industrial parking lot for 900′ long freighters that are waiting to go into Vancouver to load or unload. Continue Reading →