Dan Davies: Kill the moose to save the caribou?

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One of the amazing perks about living in the North Peace is our proximity to some of the greatest wildlife this province has to offer. I am sure everyone reading this is well aware that for us to continue to enjoy one of the greatest backyards in the world, we need to take care of it.

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Preserving balance in our ecosystem is no small task and requires the co-operation of everyone in our province. Unfortunately, sometimes what people in power feel is the best foot forward can be a step in the wrong direction.

Recently, the current NDP government has been engaged in a deeply flawed plan to address our dwindling Southern Mountain Caribou populations — one which has failed miserably.

For years, the caribou file has been marked by a lack of public consultation and little consideration for rural communities. Making matters worse, government is now steaming ahead with a ludicrous new plan to kill moose calves and their mothers in the name of saving caribou.

How will killing moose save caribou? That is a great question. The logic behind this goes as follows: wolves are a major predator for caribou and another staple of their diet is moose. The more moose we kill, the fewer wolves there will be and the more caribou we will save. So in order to save our caribou populations, the NDP have declared open season on moose calves and cows.

Needless to say, the logic is a bit flawed. Firstly, if wolves can’t find as many moose, won’t they just look for more caribou? Secondly, is this really the greatest option we have to protect the caribou? Killing calves and mothers? I am all for controlled game hunting, but I feel like we have so many more options available to protect our caribou populations and I am not the only one feels this way.

Thousands of British Columbians concerned about preserving moose populations as well as caribou have voiced their opposition to this announcement.

There is even a petition circulating with thousands of signatures calling on this government to reverse their decision and return to the consultation table to listen to the advice of our conservationists and community leaders.

If you would like to add you name to this petition, please check out the BC Liberal Caucus Facebook page for more details. Together, we can create a solution that will help preserve the right balance in our ecosystem, not damage it further.

Dan Davies is the MLA for Peace River North.

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