The Management Plan for the Grey Wolf was released on April 17, 2014, just before the Easter holiday. After months of attempts to uncover the plan by traditional media and advocates, it is clear what the government was trying to keep out of the public’s eye.
In the Executive Summary of the plan, the objectives are listed as:
“1. to ensure a self-sustaining population throughout the species’ range that fulfills the role of wolves as a top predator in B.C.’s diverse ecosystems;
2. to provide opportunities for economic, cultural, and recreational uses of wolves consistent with Ministry program plans;
3. to minimize impacts on livestock caused by wolves in a manner that does not jeopardize conservation objectives; and
4. to manage specific packs or individuals where predation is likely preventing the recovery of wildlife populations threatened by wolf predation.”
You’re reading that right: three out of the four objectives in this plan are to kill wolves. It’s unsettling, to say the least, that the only method being considered in the ‘management’ of wolves is lethal action.
The government has announced their plan to systematically kill wolves; so long as their population numbers do not drop to a level that is considered “at-risk” it will continue.
Officials are ignoring basic history and ecological science in this plan.
For hundreds of years, wolves have been pushed to the point of extinction, only to be saved with high-risk environmental initiatives by citizens – not governments. Yellowstone National Park remains a prime example of the ecological devastation when wolves were extirpated, and the miraculous recovery when they were reintroduced.
Allowing for a self-sustaining population when persecution through poisoning, trapping and hunting is ongoing is impossible. Natural selection dictates that, in general terms, the most adaptable survive, creating the strongest offspring, who also have the best chance of survival. This is how disease, starvation and predation are avoided in the long-term. But human-influenced population control ignores all of these factors; the population that ultimately remains is fractured, without the strongest individuals left in the gene pool.
There are other options – better options – available for living with wolves in our landscape. Ranchers can look at a predator-friendly approach; simple co-existence measures can be put in place to prevent conflict in residential areas; and we can learn to allow nature to manage itself.
We encourage you to contact your MLA and tell them it’s time to change our ways, before we are too late, again.
To (MLA’s name here),
I must ask that you take immediate steps to end the killing of wolves and the irresponsible ‘wolf management plan’ that has been set as policy for the government of British Columbia.
For generations, wolves have been hunted, trapped and poisoned. In many cases, they have been completely extirpated, leaving ecosystems in shambles. It is impossible to systemically kill wolves and allow them to properly fulfill their ecological function.
We know that wildlife viewing – or ecotourism – is a larger industry than that of hunting. We know that there are methods to live, play and ranch with wolves that don’t require lethal control. And we know that this plan is morally, ecologically and ethically, wrong.
I do not support the wolf management plan. As my representative in the government of British Columbia, I ask that you do not support it, either.
(Your name here)
Include address for reference purposes.