OUR VIEW: Talk of a wildlife management review is long overdue

It’s good to see the Province of British Columbia considering an overhaul of its wildlife management system.

Is there any wildlife management system in this country that instills confidence in anybody? There is a risk in heading down this road because it may be a case of the devil you know versus the devil you don’t know but the current state of wildlife management in this province is a horror story anyway, so maybe it can’t be any worse. Seriously, can we trust any numbers regarding wildlife populations in B.C.?

Now, all the talk is primarily focussed on wildlife as a consumable commodity – i.e. hunting. We’re talking about managing game animals here and that is an inherent problem with wildlife management in this province. The animals are being managed with an eye towards harvesting them rather than preserving them. The inspiration for current talk about wildlife management springs out of a proposal to reinvest hunting licence revenues in wildlife management. The increased money would be good but the talk is of giving hunting revenues more of a say in management.

But when you’re talking about managing wild animals, you can’t be looking at piecemeal policies to control moose here, elk there, wolves over there. They all have to managed as part of a whole. Animal populations exist in an intricate web that when something happens to one species, it impacts others. Habitat plays a huge part in it as well.

It’s not likely that the predator-prey link and habitat stability is going to be guiding principles in the province’s review but we can always hope.