Prince George- Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris received over 50,000 handwritten and virtual letters from Conservationists across the province in downtown Victoria last week.
The letters were addressed to Premier John Horgan and Katrine Conroy, BC’s Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development.
They are part of a campaign organized by the Wild Sheep Society of BC, which focuses on urging politicians to be proactive when making wildlife management decisions.
The BC Wildlife Federation also worked alongside the Wild Sheep Society to bring attention to the issue since the campaign started.
Steve Hamilton, President of the Spruce City Wildlife Association and Vice-Chair of the Wild Sheep Society of BC, says the letters were sent to remind the province of the importance of managing wildlife using science, rather than emotion.
“It’s not about hunting, it’s about sound Wildlife management and we wanted them to know that there are people out there that care about it being managed properly,” he noted.
Hamilton says the issue became increasingly popular since BC’s Grizzly Bear Hunt was cancelled in 2017.
“The hunt was canceled based on populism and emotion and we don’t want to see that happen again, we’re seeing an explosion of carnivores across British Columbia and there are organizations out there that strongly against hunting or managing them and we want to make sure that science stays front of mind with the politicians when it comes to managing them,” he explained.
He says the 2017 cancellation of the Grizzly hunt was a good example of a wildlife management decision made to make people happy.
“Grizzly Bears were the most studied animal in British Columbia, they had the most data on them and science showed that they were in absolutely no danger of being extirpated or extinction from hunting or any other reasons out there,” Hamilton explained.
Hamilton reminds BC residents to conduct scientific-based research before making a firm decision on whether or not to support wildlife management efforts.
He also recommends taking a couple of minutes to think critically and consider the pros and cons of the decision before forming an opinion on a wildlife management decision.
“Human beings have an impact on the landscape and as such, we need to manage populations of animals. It’s about big picture wildlife management, this isn’t a hunting issue, this isn’t a government issue, whoever is in charge needs to realize that wildlife needs to be managed properly.”