June 12th 2007
Revelstoke Times Review, Page 0014, 13-Jun-2007
By DAVID F. ROONEY
The City plans to send a letter to the director of the Species at Risk Coordination Office (SaRCO), requesting a balanced approach to caribou management including predator control.
Council approved the recommendation from the Revelstoke Caribou Committee which says it has been frustrated that very little action has been taken on the ground to assist the recovery of local caribou populations.
In a memo to Council, Community Economic Development Director Alan Mason, said that according to biologists the most immediate threat to local caribou populations is predation.
Mayor Mark McKee said there is some urgency to a predator-control program.
Caribou populations have been dropping steadily. In the mid-1990s there were an estimated 2,322 of the animals. In 2002 that there were just 1,591. Locally, it was reported last year that there were only 19 animals left on Frisby Ridge, just 20 left in the South Columbia area and perhaps 150 left in the North Columbia. The Kinbasket herd was basically gone with just two animals left in the forest. Mountain caribou could be extinct within 20 years.
There is an 82 per cent probability that the herd near Nakusp will be extirpated by 2026 and 100 per cent probability that the herds on Frisby Ridge and in the South Monashees will vanish by then.
'I don't know if Victoria is too scared to stand up and say, Let's kill a few wolves, but that's what we have to do,' McKee said. 'the underlying theme is let's make sure we're targeting the right animals.'
Councillor Peter Frew wanted to know if a wolf hunt would be government-controlled or would it be open season on wolves? And Councillor Chris Johnston said he thought asking for predator control ignored the rest of the problems afflicting the caribou herds. Councillor Bill MacFarlane said shooting three or four wolves was a short-term approach and there still has to be a long-term approach to caribou management.
But Councillor Dave Raven said there was no sense in looking at long-term habitat management or anything else without dealing with predator control.
Copyright 2007 revelstoke