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BC'S Mountain Caribou Doomed To Extinction By Sellout Scientific Report PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Wednesday, 25 October 2006 04:26
BC'S Mountain Caribou Doomed To Extinction By Sellout Scientific Report

Valhalla Wilderness Watch~ "VWW is shocked that the scientists would allow such a document to go out under their names, says Anne Sherrod, a director of Valhalla Wilderness Watch (VWW).  "This science panel must not be confused with an "independent" science panel. The panel is hired by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and its puppet department, the Species at Risk Coordination Office (SaRCO).  SaRCO is run by a board that includes the ministries responsible for logging, mining, and commercial tourism, all of which serve corporations that make big bucks destroying mountain caribou habitat or running them out of their habitat with snowmobiles and helicopters."

(See BC Government Press Release and list of Sell-out Scientists after the fold ~ Ingmar)

www.vws.org

BC'S Mountain Caribou Doomed To Extinction By Sellout Scientific Report

BC's Mountain Caribou Science Team has released a heavily spin-doctored and misleading report that will lead to the extinction of the mountain caribou.  The report fails to make any realrecommendation to recover the mountain caribou; it only offers five options for future management.  Only the last and highest option has any significant new habitat protection. This document has provided government, industry and other vested interests with three options under which they can claim to be saving mountain caribou while in fact protecting little or no new habitat.  Instead, to create the
illusion of maintaining the caribou, these options will unleash long-term slaughter programs for wolves, cougars, increased hunting of black bears, while also opening the door to killing blue-listed grizzly bears and wolverines.

 "VWW is shocked that the scientists would allow such a document to go out under their names," says Anne Sherrod, a director of Valhalla Wilderness Watch (VWW).  "This science panel must not be confused with an "independent" science panel. The panel is hired by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and its puppet department, the Species at Risk Coordination Office (SaRCO).  SaRCO is run by a board that includes the ministries responsible for logging, mining, and
commercial tourism, all of which serve corporations that make big bucks destroying mountain caribou habitat or running them out of their habitat with snowmobiles and helicopters."

"The scientific panel's advice that mountain caribou can be maintained and/or increased in various areas without significant new habitat protection is a disgrace," says Craig Pettitt, a VWW representative.  "Many of these scientists are on public record in scientific journals stating that loss and fragmentation of old-growth forest is the chief cause of the decline of the mountain caribou. Their claim that they can arrest the decline without protecting extensive amounts of old-growth forest is based primarily upon their willingness to slaughter predators. They do not inform the government or the public that, without significant new habitat protection, the mountain caribou will disappear anyway over the long-term.

Conservation biology does not know how to maintain species in the wild if their habitat is mostly destroyed and if no significant effort is made to restore it to natural conditions." "It is inconceivable that these scientists would sign their names to a document that says that populations of species at risk, i.e. grizzly bears and wolverines, 'could be reduced if necessary,'" says Colleen McCrory, a VWW director.  "Even contemplating the reduction of populations of species at risk under the claim of saving another species is totally outrageous for a so-called 'Species at Risk Coordination Office.' 

The craven need to create an appearance of protecting caribou without protecting significant amounts of old-growth forest has led to this extreme.   We were assured by some of these same scientists at the Revelstoke Mountain Caribou
Conference that none of them were recommending killing bears.  And why are we being offered increased black bear hunting when black bears are only a minor predator of mountain caribou?  SaRCO has finally proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is under the control of political forces that are totally alien to the protection and recovery of species at risk."

Meanwhile, the only change in heli-skiing recommended by the scientists is a reduction of one-quarter of the size of one heli-ski operation.  "What more can we expect," says Anne Sherrod, a VWW director.  "Look at the principle stakeholders they intend to consult:  the Council of Forest Industries, Heli-Cat Canada, the Tourism Action Society in the Kootenays - all vested private interests with high financial stakes in continuing activities adverse to caribou.  The government press release even quotes a representative from Canadian Mountain Holidays.  The government doesn't even have enough sense to be embarrassed at this public demonstration of its bias towards industrial interests."

Valhalla Wilderness Watch is calling for the immediate moratorium on logging of all old growth forests 140 years and older and the creation of an independent science panel with conservation biology experts from across the nation. 

In addition, VWW has released ascientific report entitled "How the Government of British Columbia is Killing Endangered Mountain Caribou."  It can be found on the Internet at ftp site http://community.netidea.com/wildernesswatch/ .

"When all is said and done, the big disappointment is the scientists," says Sherrod.

Valhalla Wilderness Watch
 P.O. Box 335, New Denver, British Columbia
250-358-2610, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information call:      Colleen McCrory 250 358-2449
                               Anne Sherrod 250 358-2610

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here's the List of Sell-Out Scientists:


Members of the Mountain Caribou Science Team

Clayton Apps                            Consultant, Calgary, AB
Harold Armleder                      B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, Williams Lake
Dennis Hamilton                     Consultant, Nelson, B.C.
Ian Hatter                                  B.C. Ministry of Environment, Victoria
Trevor Kinley                           Consultant, Invermere, B.C.
Bruce McLellan, Ph.D.            B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, Revelstoke
Scott McNay, Ph.D.                  Consultant, Mackenzie,
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Dale Seip, Ph.D.                       B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, Prince George
Rob Serrouya                            Consultant, Revelstoke, B.C.
John Surgenor                          B.C. Ministry of Environment, Kamloops
Greg Utzig                                 Consultant, Nelson, B.C.
Steve Wilson, Ph.D.                  Consultant, Gabriola, B.C.
Guy Woods                                 Consultant, Nelson, B.C.
Wayne Wakkinen                      Idaho Fish and Game, Bonners Ferry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Here is the BC Government Press Release:

October 24, 2006

STAKEHOLDER INPUT SOUGHT FOR MOUNTAIN CARIBOU RECOVERY
 

  NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

2006AL0039-001253

Oct. 24, 2006

VICTORIA - To develop a successful mountain caribou recovery plan, the provincial government is seeking input and support from stakeholders regarding the mountain caribou science team's findings and conclusions on the state of mountain caribou in British Columbia, Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell said today.

 The findings clearly demonstrate that recovery of mountain caribou in B.C. is possible over the long term. The findings are the result of nearly two years of extensive research on mountain caribou in British Columbia by a team of independent mountain caribou experts from British Columbia, Alberta and Idaho. The team was formed in 2004 as part of the Species at Risk Co-ordination Office (SaRCO) cross-government planning activities.
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"Based on the results of the independent science team's research, we believe we can successfully recover mountain caribou to sustainable numbers in British Columbia," said Bell. "Now we need the input and support of environmentalists, First Nations, industry, tourism operators and communities to develop and implement a recovery plan in 2007."

The science team divided the mountain caribou habitat area into 11 planning units based on geography. The team found that a minimum of 75 to 100 animals are required in a planning unit in order to maintain a resilient population. Currently, only six of the planning units have herds greater than 75, with the largest herd containing approximately 717 mountain caribou. Each of the remaining five planning units has up to 37 animals.

According to the science team's research, potential recovery actions could include:

?        Removing predators such as cougars and wolves that are known to kill mountain caribou.

?        Removal of other ungulates such as deer and moose from mountain caribou habitat.

?        Further protection of core mountain caribou habitat from logging.

?        Further management of recreation activities in mountain caribou habitat.

?        Translocation of mountain caribou from larger to smaller herds

"We're pleased to see the provincial government take the next steps in the caribou recovery program," said Dave Butler, director of Land Resources, Canadian Mountain Holidays. "We're committed to working with them to ensure our operating practices are effective in preventing mountain caribou displacement in all areas of mountain caribou habitat."
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Mountain caribou are found in the east of the province from as far north as Mackenzie down through the Kootenays and into the United States. They are listed as endangered by the provincial government. Primary threats to these animals are habitat alteration and increased mortality from predators. In British Columbia, more than 64 per cent of the current mountain caribou herd areas are either protected or managed for mountain caribou.
 
To view the mountain caribou science team's findings and conclusions, please visit:
http://ilmbwww.gov.bc.ca/sarco/mc/

 An audio clip of Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell speaking about the mountain caribou recovery plan is available at: www.mediaroom.gov.bc.ca//DisplayEventDetails.aspx?eventId=321
 

BACKGROUNDER 

Agriculture and Lands Minister Pat Bell today announced the provincial government is seeking input from stakeholders to develop and implement a mountain caribou recovery plan for 2007.

There are three ecotypes of woodland caribou in British Columbia. These are distinguished by differences in behaviour and habitat, rather than genetics. The three ecotypes and their approximate population numbers are:

    * Boreal - 1,500
    * Northern - 15,000
    * Mountain - 1,900

Members of the Mountain Caribou Science Team

?        Clayton Apps                            Consultant, Calgary, AB

?        Harold Armleder                        B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, Williams Lake

?        Dennis Hamilton                        Consultant, Nelson, B.C.

?        Ian Hatter                                  B.C. Ministry of Environment, Victoria

?        Trevor Kinley                            Consultant, Invermere, B.C.

?        Bruce McLellan, Ph.D.              B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, Revelstoke

?        Scott McNay, Ph.D.                  Consultant, Mackenzie,
< script>< /script> B.C.

?        Dale Seip, Ph.D.                        B.C. Ministry of Forests and Range, Prince George

?        Rob Serrouya                            Consultant, Revelstoke, B.C.

?        John Surgenor                           B.C. Ministry of Environment, Kamloops

?        Greg Utzig                                 Consultant, Nelson, B.C.

?        Steve Wilson, Ph.D.                   Consultant, Gabriola, B.C.

?        Guy Woods                               Consultant, Nelson, B.C.

?        Wayne Wakkinen                      Idaho Fish and Game, Bonners Ferry

       

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province's news feeds using RSS, visit the Province's website at www.gov.bc.ca.
        
The following is a list of media contacts representing various stakeholders with interests in mountain caribou recovery in British Columbia.
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\nDave Butler
\nHeli-Cat Canada
\n3101 5th St S., Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 6H7
\nPhone: 250 426-3599
\nFax: 250 426-3517
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Archie\nMacDonald
\n
Council of Forest\nIndustries
\nSuite 1501, 700 West Pender Street
\nPender Place I Business Building
\nVancouver, B.C.
\nCanada, V6C 1G8
\nPhone: 250 860-9663
\nE-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it \" target\u003d\"_blank\" onclick\u003d\"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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\ncontact:
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\nLiz Bicknell
\nCommunications Director
\nMinistry of Agriculture and Lands
\n250 356-2862
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250 213-3072\n(cell)
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\n
Valhalla Wilderness\nSociety
\nBox 329
\nNew Denver, B.C. Canada V0G 1S0
\nphone: (250) 358-2333, fax: (250) 358-7950, e-mail:\n This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it \" target\u003d\"_blank\" onclick\u003d\"return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\"> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Eileen Fletcher

Executive Director:
Tourism Action Society in the Kootenays (TASK)
Box 200
Revelstoke, B.C.  V0E 2S0
Phone: 250 837-9531
Fax: 250 837-9532
E-mail:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Dave Butler
Heli-Cat Canada
3101 5th St S., Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 6H7
Phone: 250 426-3599
Fax: 250 426-3517
E-mail:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Archie MacDonald
Council of Forest Industries
Suite 1501, 700 West Pender Street
Pender Place I Business Building
Vancouver, B.C.
Canada, V6C 1G8
Phone: 250 860-9663
E-mail:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Media contact:

Liz Bicknell
Communications Director
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
250 356-2862
250 213-3072 (cell)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 October 2006 04:26
 

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