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Caribou genocide continues

Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby A_Britishcolumbian » Dec 9th, 2013, 2:57 am

what is it people have against caribou? why is there such a concerted effort to wipe them from existence?

Caribou habitat in Alberta being destroyed, say environmentalists
Industrial leases sold on majority of habitat area in NW part of province
The Canadian Press Posted: Dec 08, 2013

Darcy Handy has been going to a once-untouched area of forest and wetland in northwest Alberta for more than 20 years to hunt, fish and trap and well remembers what it used to be like.

"We always used to see numerous caribou in that area, all the time," he recalls of his one-time hunting grounds southeast of Grande Cache.

No longer.

"It's more like a wasteland," said Handy. "It's all cutblocks now, oil and gas roads everywhere. Big change from what it was 20 years ago."

Handy's concerns are echoed by environmentalists who ask why government rhetoric on saving caribou habitat isn't matched by what's happening on the ground. They point out that both Ottawa and Alberta have committed to preserve the very area currently being hammered by development.

"The lines are already on the map as to what the range is," said Carolyn Campbell of the Alberta Wilderness Association. She points out the federal caribou recovery strategy has been out for more than a year.

"We should be on a path where we're maintaining what we have and restoring what's already disturbed. Instead, local residents are telling us that, on the ground, we're still going in the opposite direction."

Concern over the gradual decline of caribou in northwest Alberta came to a head earlier this year after a Canadian Press investigation found the province had sold industrial leases on nearly all the tiny, undisturbed fraction of land that remains of the Little Smoky herd's range.

That development was occurring despite provincial commitments to preserve habitat and federal plans that set a goal of maintaining or restoring 65 per cent of a herd's range as viable habitat.

A moratorium was placed on new energy development on the Little Smoky range. Forestry companies agreed to defer further harvesting until a plan for the area was drafted.

But those halts have done nothing to ease the pressure on the adjacent a la Peche range, which is supposed to be part of the same plan.

The a la Peche range is certainly as torn up as the Little Smoky, which is estimated to be 95 per cent disturbed. And more development on it proceeds.

"Everywhere you turn there's cutblocks," said Handy of the sections of forest harvested for lumber.

At least three new, well-developed roads thrust into a la Peche terrain. One wipes out a caribou gathering point along the Little Smoky River, he said.

"That's where the caribou would always winter. They used to be in there all the time and now there's a high-grade road right through there."

Highway 40, which runs through the range, is signed as a "caribou corridor," which Handy finds ironic.

"There's huge big cutblocks all the way along, right by the caribou sign, actually. It's pretty funny."

Brady Whittaker of the Alberta Forest Products Association acknowledged that while industry has stayed out of the Little Smoky area, the same can't be said of the a la Peche. But he adds that when the forest is your business, it's hard to avoid wildlife.

"There may be caribou in lots of areas where we are harvesting," he said.

The forestry industry supports efforts to develop a range plan for the area that can accommodate all demands on the landscape and is involved in those discussions, Whittaker said.

"Nobody respects caribou habitat more than our industry."

Handy just wants to see actions live up to words.

"What the government's saying about habitat protection, they're committed to it and stuff, I'm just not seeing it. I'm seeing the opposite."

Carrie Sancartier of Alberta Environment said a draft plan for the a la Peche and Little Smoky ranges is expected in January.

The a la Peche herd is about 150 animals strong, larger and more stable than the Little Smoky herd. As well, its range extends into the protected Willmore Wilderness Area and Jasper National Park.

However, the protected parts of its range are mountainous and traditionally only used in summer. Scientists report that the animals are being increasingly forced to use those rugged, inhospitable areas in winter as well.

Campbell said it's time the provincial government lived up to its own promises as well as Ottawa's objectives.

"The recovery strategy is very clear that all of that range is important," she said. "It's very concerning that there still seems to be significant loss of other good areas.

"There are solutions within reach, but this just makes it more difficult."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/caribou-h ... -1.2455947
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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby Canuck-86 » Dec 30th, 2013, 4:06 pm

I also believe the government needs to step in and limit the amount of game the First Nations can harvest. I don't want a debate about racism or this is their land.... Its about we as Canadians, no matter what your background is. Preserving nature for our future generations. I am a hunter and believe limited entries and tag limits will enable future hunters and a healthy population.

I do believe the First Nations are entitled to some rights for the way they were treated. There has to be limits on some things though.
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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby A_Britishcolumbian » Dec 30th, 2013, 7:19 pm

i was just reading this report earlier today, it seems they have been all but wiped out south of us, despite efforts to ave off their demise in idaho.

Idaho's very own reindeer
Woodland caribou found in Panhandle

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Caribou were once fairly common in North Idaho.
Trapping records from the 1880s indicate that caribou thrived in North Idaho and could be found as far south as the Clearwater River.

Their short, stocky bodies and hollow hair provided insulation against the winter cold. Long legs and large wide feet the size of pie plates helped the caribou move through the snow. Caribou feet act as snowshoes, helping the animals reach into the branches of trees to find tree lichens, their primary winter food. Caribou living in arctic regions use their large hooves to scoop away the snow to find lichens growing on the ground. In fact, the word caribou comes from the Mi'Kmaq Indian word that means "the one who paws."
While cold and snow did not affect Idaho's caribou, an expanding human population began to take its toll. By the 1950s, Idaho's caribou population had dropped to 100 animals found only in the Selkirk Mountains of the Idaho Panhandle.
In 1980, only 25 to 30 caribou were thought to remain in the state. Unregulated hunting and logging in the late 1800s and early 1900s, in conjunction with some large wildfires, are considered to be the major reasons for the caribou decline.
In 1984, the woodland caribou was placed on the endangered species list. Plans for a recovery project in Idaho began. Between 1987 and 1990, 60 caribou from British Columbia were released into the Selkirk Mountains with a goal of establishing a second caribou herd.
Habitat changes during the past 100 years have continued to limit the success of the caribou reintroduction. A 2012 survey turned up only 27 animals in the Selkirks.
The reintroduction of a native species takes a great deal of planning and care. In some cases it can be very successful. Bighorn sheep were successfully reintroduced to the Owyhee River canyon lands in 1963. Elk were brought into central Idaho following the extensive wildfires of 1910. And following the federal reintroductions in 1995 and '96, wolves have become abundant and widespread and are now off the endangered species list.
What the future will hold for Idaho's caribou is uncertain. As habitat ages, it will become more favorable to caribou, but this is a slow process. No further reintroductions are planned at the present time.
The potential for wild caribou to move into Idaho from British Columbia is limited given the challenges these animals are facing in their Canadian range. Woodland caribou remain one of Idaho's rarest gems, seen only by those lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
For more on Idaho's celebration marking 75 years since the creation of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission in 1938, go online to fishandgame.idaho.gov/75th/.
- Idaho Department of Fish and Game

http://www.cdapress.com/news/outdoors/a ... cce8b.html
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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby rookie314 » Jan 7th, 2014, 11:30 am

A_Britishcolumbian wrote:the folks of the okanagan didn't seem to care about the caribou, and now from what i can see they are gone.
lets hope these folks can change the course for their local herd.

A small First Nation in northern British Columbia is calling on the federal and provincial governments to save endangered woodland caribou by taking drastic steps, including protecting key habitat, killing wolves and creating safe penning areas for calving.

Fearing the local extinction of a population that has fallen 80 per cent in 20 years, the West Moberly band has produced an action plan designed to rebuild the Klinse-Za herd to a size that can sustain hunting.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/bri ... picks=true


Go watch the snowmobiler's chase them.
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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby LTD » Jan 7th, 2014, 5:57 pm

you obviously don't spend anytime on a snowmobile if that's what you think sledders do you should get a grip ignorant posts like yours give snowmobilers a bad name you should get your facts straight before you slam a group of enthusiasts who also care about the environment
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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby rookie314 » Jan 7th, 2014, 8:58 pm

Sorry Buddy but they do it and Wildlife knows about it. I have seen it up in Mica Creek doing counts. If your going to look at why the herd sizes are diminishing look at ALL reasons!!
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Re: caribou genocide continues

Postby Gone_Fishin » Jan 8th, 2014, 5:57 pm

Rwede wrote:Unfortunately, the government has had its hands tied by public opinion and has been reluctant to use science-based methods to help caribou herds recover.

The short and skinny of it, as mentioned in the article, is that if we're going to rebuild the caribou population, we're going to have to do wolf control, and that includes aerial gunning and the use of 1080. We would end up with both wolves and caribou under this plan. Public hysteria over wolf control means we'll end up with wolves and no caribou. Until we remove that public hysteria, game managers basically are powerless to do the right thing.

I'd like to show caribou and wolves to my grandkids. I don't think I'll be able to show them caribou, unless we move forward with predator control now, before the caribou are extirpated.



^^ This. People need to contact their MLAs and tell them you want wolf control so that we have both wolves and caribou in the future.
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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby A_Britishcolumbian » Jan 15th, 2014, 1:09 am

found some great info from the province. the site is a little clunky and difficult to navigate, but apparently they have published some paper maps that would be practical. no idea if there are maps for areas other than the area around pg as discussed in the video.



http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/things-t ... thics.aspx

list of species at risk in bc http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/list.htm

article listing extinct and extirpated species of bc http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/extinct.pdf

article about the caribou specifically http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/documents/caribou.pdf
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Re: caribou genocide continues

Postby xjeepguy » Jan 15th, 2014, 7:42 am

Rwede wrote:Unfortunately, the government has had its hands tied by public opinion and has been reluctant to use science-based methods to help caribou herds recover.

The short and skinny of it, as mentioned in the article, is that if we're going to rebuild the caribou population, we're going to have to do wolf control, and that includes aerial gunning and the use of 1080. We would end up with both wolves and caribou under this plan. Public hysteria over wolf control means we'll end up with wolves and no caribou. Until we remove that public hysteria, game managers basically are powerless to do the right thing.

I'd like to show caribou and wolves to my grandkids. I don't think I'll be able to show them caribou, unless we move forward with predator control now, before the caribou are extirpated.



I figured for sure you'd blame it on some Union .


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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby A_Britishcolumbian » May 10th, 2014, 12:37 pm

U.S.-ranging Selkirk mountain caribou on track to oblivion

Population of most southerly herd of mountain caribou down to 18 animals
CBC News Posted: May 10, 2014 1:14 PM PT

The U.S. federal government has downgraded the protected status of the last mountain caribou herd that ranges from Canada south into the United States — a herd on the verge of dying out.

Five years ago there were close to 50 animals in the South Selkirk caribou herd, which roams from southeastern B.C.'s Kootenay region into Washington State and Idaho.

Now, just 18 remain in the herd.

B.C. biologist Leo DeGroot says it's possible some caribou may have been missed during this year's count in March, but he doubts it.

"It's definitely disappointing," he said. "This isn't the first time we were down in numbers. We had 46 in 2009 and it's been a steady decline since."

Biologists have now collared a half dozen of the remaining herd to discover why they are dying, but DeGroot says attacks by wolves may be part of the problem.

The bi-national Selkirk population has been protected in the U.S. since 1983 under the Endangered Species Act.

Caribou once ranged across much of the U.S.'s northern tier but disappeared 100 years ago in all but a small and remote area of the Idaho Panhandle and northeastern Washington.

The extirpation, or local extinction, of the Selkirk mountain caribou would mean the end of wild caribou roaming the states below the 49th parallel.

Yet, on Wednesday, the U.S. federal government on Wednesday downgraded the protected status of the herd from endangered to threatened.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the change in response to a petition from the Pacific Legal Foundation, Bonner County and the Idaho State Snowmobile Association, which said the herd in the U.S. was too small a subset of animals to warrant listing.

The groups were seeking the removal of all protections from the herd in northern Idaho. A spokesman said the downgrade in status may lift some of the most severe restrictions on activities in caribou habitat.

The Pacific Legal Foundation argued that caribou should not be protected because there are plenty in Canada. But environmentalists countered that the Endangered Species Act specifically allows protection of distinct populations.

Conservation groups have sued for the establishment of a protected critical habitat and to close a large area of the Selkirks to snowmobiles, which pose a threat to the animals.

The Fish and Wildlife Service originally set aside more than 375,000 acres of critical habitat, but pro-business groups complained that would decimate the economy of the area. The habitat was eventually reduced to about 30,000 acres, a decision that remains in litigation.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-c ... 70?cmp=rss
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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby WTTG » May 10th, 2014, 1:31 pm

We can’t even keep it together in our National Parks.

Want Caribou or Business?

COSEWIC

http://www.cosewic.gc.ca/eng/sct7/sct7_3_23_e.cfm

Mountain caribou increasingly imperilled

The iconic Caribou, like the Wolverine is known from most parts of Canada. But in the case of Caribou, featured on the Canadian quarter, there are many distinct groups with unique combinations of genetic features and life history traits, resulting in the recognition of more than a dozen distinct population groups. All will be assessed by COSEWIC over the coming years, some for the third or fourth time. At this meeting, three of these population groups were assessed: Southern, Central and Northern Mountain Caribou. Together these include about 70 herds in the mountains of western Canada, from southern British Columbia and Alberta to Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Having lost 30% of their range since the early 1900s, the condition of many herds has been deteriorating at an accelerating pace because of dramatic habitat changes and disturbance from industrial development, human settlement and recreation.

Southern Mountain Caribou in southeastern BC were last assessed by COSEWIC as Threatened in 2002. Since then, they have declined by 30% and two herds have disappeared. Of the 15 herds comprising the Southern Mountain Caribou, 9 currently have fewer than 50 adults, and 6 herds have fewer than 15. They were assessed as Endangered at this meeting.

The situation is even more dire for Central Mountain Caribou in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta and BC, which have declined by 60% in the past 10 years. They were also assessed as Endangered. Many of the Central Mountain Caribou herds occur in protected areas and parks, including Jasper and Banff National Parks. Unfortunately, even in protected areas they aren’t doing well. The last five caribou in Banff died in an avalanche in 2009.

Northern Mountain Caribou range from west-central BC to Yukon and western Northwest Territories; the condition of most of the 45 herds is unknown, but 9 in the southern part of the range are known to have declined by 26% in the last 10 years. Northern Mountain Caribou were assessed as Special Concern due to increasing concerns for the welfare of all herds, which face escalating industrial development, even in currently remote regions.


Hinton Parklander

(Jasper National Park) Winter closures planned to preserve caribou
Eric Plummer
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 11:27:46 MDT AM

http://www.hintonparklander.com/2013/03/13/winter-closures-planned-to-preserve-caribou-in-jasper
Parks Canada is planning to close a large portion of Jasper to backcountry skiers for caribou protection.

The national park authority held information sessions for the public in Edmonton and Jasper on Feb. 28, giving details on the proposed changes. The current plan would close the Tonquin Valley, the Brazeau area and a section near the north boundary of the park to backcountry skiing between Nov. 1 and March 1, affecting 18 per cent of Jasper National Park’s total area. Parks Canada hopes to make a decision on the restrictions by May 1.

“It’s all about caribou conservation,” said John Wilmhurst, Japer’s acting resource conservation manager. “We have a relatively small and threatened population of southern mountain Caribou in Jasper National Park.”

One of the major threats to caribou are wolves, which use ski trails to travel faster while hunting the threatened ungulates.

“One of the things that can cause the mortality of caribou in the winter is compacted snow that makes it easier for wolves to access caribou habitat,” Wilmhurst said.

Four herds of the threatened species use the park: the A la Peche in the northern section, as well as the Maligne, Tonquin and Brazeau herds, who migrate between alpine and sub-alpine elevations in Jasper’s bottom half. With more than 100 animals, the A la Peche herd is considered to be somewhat stable, but wildlife specialists believe the survival of the southern groups is severely threatened. Since an estimated 450 animals roamed Jasper in the early 1960s (according to the Sierra Club of Canada), the three southern herds are currently below a combined total of 80 caribou — with the Maligne group currently hanging by a thread with just six remaining.

Wilmhurst fears the Maligne herd could quickly become extinct. This occurred in Banff to a group of caribou in April 2009, when an avalanche killed all 11 members of a herd roaming the area north of Lake Louise.

“This herd in the Maligne is vulnerable to that same extinction risk, it’s extremely vulnerable,” Wilmhurst said.

The proposed changes have met a mixed reaction from the public. Kelly Sloan, executive director of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society’s northern Alberta chapter, attended the recent public information session in Edmonton. While Sloan found that many backcountry skiers at the forum resisted the restrictions, the outdoor enthusiast believes the changes are worthwhile for the protection of woodland caribou.

“We have an obligation as skiers to adjust our schedule to ski in those closed areas in March and the first part of April in order to give caribou an increased probability of sustainability,” she said. “I can still ski in other areas during the period of those closures.”

The most popular outdoor activity in Jasper over the winter is downhill skiing at Marmot Basin, and Wilmhurst said 95 per cent of visitors to the national park would not be affected by the proposed closures to backcountry areas.

But concerns have come from the Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce, as many businesses in the national park town fear these restrictions would damage the local economy over Jasper’s winter season. Business in Jasper normally slows down over the winter months, and the town’s population shrinks by more than 1,000 residents.

“Jasper businesses struggle as it is through the winter months,” said the chamber’s general manager Pattie Pavlov. “To be begin to reduce even further the ability of people visiting our community to use the backcountry is really going to hamper the economic situation.”

While Sloan believes backcountry skiers should adjust their use of the park to accommodate woodland caribou, she feels economic developments in Jasper National Park should do the same.

“While backcountry users are being asked to make adjustments for caribou, that’s happening at the same time that legislative changes have been introduced to expand Marmot’s hill into caribou habitat,” she said. “The caribou study of that area has not yet been completed, but the federal government has already introduced legislation in the senate to change those ski hill boundaries.”
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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby A_Britishcolumbian » May 14th, 2014, 6:46 pm

Alberta selling mountain caribou habitat

The Canadian Press Posted: May 14, 2014 12:41 PM MT

Alberta's decision to sell off habitat that supports two endangered caribou herds for energy development is bad science, bad politics and bad economics, say environmentalists, scientists and opposition politicians.

"It is a revealing demonstration of this utter lack of attention to environmental considerations in this province," NDP member of the legislature Rachel Notley said Wednesday.

"It's always about industry first and then putting out press releases to save the environment second."

Joe Anglin, environment critic for the Opposition Wildrose party, said the sales should be at least delayed.

"One of the biggest impediments to getting access to international markets is our environmental record," he said. "We
do ourselves a disservice when we have an opportunity to do a little boasting on how well we take care of the environment – and here's an opportunity."

Liberal Laurie Blakeman suggested that with so much energy development already in Alberta, there's no need to tear up 1,700 hectares of the last remaining habitat for mountain caribou.

"We can afford to slow down on development," she said. "The government does not need to be leasing that land out right now – they could be saying, no, we're going to set that aside and just leave it alone for 10 years."

Grande Caches lots for lease

Alberta Energy has begun lease sales for seven plots of land north of Grande Cache that is crucial habitat for the survival of two mountain caribou herds. The news came just days after a federal panel of scientists concluded that all Alberta's mountain caribou herds should be considered endangered – the highest level of threat in Canadian law.

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada found the population of the herds has declined by 60 per cent over the last decade, mostly attributable to industrial development.

About 500 hectares for sale are in the range of the 100-member Redrock-Prairie Creek herd. Half of that herd's entire range has already been affected by development, according to data compiled by Global Forest Watch.

The other 1,200 hectares is on the range of the 78-animal Narraway herd. More than 81 per cent of that range is already
disrupted.

The leases in question amount to 14 per cent of the total amount of land on the block in the current auction – one of 13 such auctions held by the province so far this year.

Alberta Energy officials have said energy leases on caribou range are sold with guidelines on how companies can minimize disruption.

Guidelines aren't working, say critics

Anglin said that given the steady decline of Alberta's herds, those guidelines aren't working.

"What we need to figure out is if it is appropriate to develop, which we don't know yet. We have to come up with guidelines and rules that actually do work."

Notley said a good start would be to declare a moratorium on industrial leases in mountain caribou territory, similar to what has been done on two nearby boreal caribou ranges.

"If the government is truly committed to protecting the caribou, that is what they need to do. None of what they've done up to this point is going to do it."

Her call was supported by Fiona Schmiegelow, a senior biologist who spoke from Whitehorse, Yukon, where she was attending a conference on caribou conservation.

"Considering new mineral allocations in ranges where populations are experiencing precipitous decline ... it seems counter to the direction and need for caribou conservation and is likely to lead to greater conflict in these areas. It's going to create a lot less flexibility to finding solutions," she said.

A federal recovery plan for mountain caribou is nearly complete, Schmiegelow said. That plans stipulates a target of 65 per cent of a herd's range should consist of usable habitat.

Carolyn Campbell of the Alberta Wilderness Association said there are ways all interests could be accommodated.

They include longer-distance directional drilling, pooled leases and aggressive reforestation "to ensure intact habitat is maintained and far more is restored than is now occurring."

"All this is possible, significant energy resources could still be extracted, and caribou would have a future there."


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/ ... -1.2642978
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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby Glacier » Jan 15th, 2015, 9:52 pm

The government is finally waking up, and is now going to do the right thing (because it's the only thing that can be done).

The British Columbia government plans to hunt as many as 184 wolves in an attempt to save five dwindling caribou herds.

There are just 18 South Selkirk caribou left, down from 46 animals in 2009, and the government says evidence points to wolves being the leading cause of the deaths.

In four caribou herds in the south Peace area, research shows that wolves are responsible for at least 37 per cent of the fatalities.

The province says hunting and trapping the wolves hasn't worked and that method may even split up the packs and lead to more caribou being killed.

Instead, ministry staff will hunt two dozen wolves in the south Selkirk area and another 120 to 160 wolves in the south Peace by helicopter before the snow melts this spring.

The government says it has been working with First Nations and organizations in Idaho and Washington to find ways to save the caribou because one of the herds crosses boundaries.

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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby Terris » Jan 16th, 2015, 1:31 pm

I worked on a recreational tenure management plan a few years back for a heli ski operation in the Okanagan/Kootenay Monashee Mountains. Even though there was evidence of Woodland Caribou, even ski guides feeding them, the tenure plan was approved for skiing and snowmobiling activities.

In the summer you could find evidence of historical occupation of the terrain by finding old antlers and bones but the caribou were deemed "extirpated" in these prime habitat areas.

These "anecdotal" reports are largely hidden when large business projects, (oil, forestry, mining etc.) are trying to obtain vast areas of crown land for commercial use. The main reason being lack of follow through by the relevant governmental agencies whose staffing has been pared to the bone.

These days money trumps good policy in these remote regions.

Apparently though, government information has determined that it's all wolves' fault...
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Re: Caribou genocide continues

Postby Glacier » Jan 16th, 2015, 2:36 pm

Terris wrote:Apparently though, government information has determined that it's all wolves' fault...

That's because it is. The caribou are being extirpated from National Parks in the Rockies because there are simply too many wolves. Instead of trying to solve the problem, they tried the bleeding heart approach first by relocating 19 caribou from Dease Lake to the area in 2011.

One year later, we learned (to no surprise) that this experiment was an utter failure as 15 of these animals were dead thanks in large part to the number of predacious animals in the area. Even in the national parks where there are no hunters, loggers, and roads, the animals are getting decimated by predation. Failure to act now will further exacerbate the problem.

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