WILLIAMS LAKE - Additional moose management measures announced today for the Tl'etinqox-t'in Territory in the Chilcotin demonstrate a strong shared interest in protecting the moose population.
The B.C. government and the Tl'etinqox-t'in Government Office (Anaham Band) have resolved to immediately implement a joint resource stewardship plan to recover the moose population in the Anaham Range, and mitigate potential causes for their recent decline.
Specific elements of a resource stewardship plan are being finalized. The plan will allow the B.C. government and the Tl'etinqox to work together with forest industry and wildlife stakeholders to reduce land use and hunting impacts that have resulted in unusually low moose densities in this area.
Specific initiatives include:
- The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Tl'etinqox will jointly engage in hunter harvest monitoring, and management of predators and feral horses.
- In co-operation with forest companies operating in the area, road deactivation plans to manage access to sensitive moose habitat will start without delay.
- Forest companies have also agreed to schedule their forest harvesting activities to avoid conflict with guide outfitters operating in the area.
- The Tl'etinqox-t'in Government Office confirms there will be no disruptions to the 2012 Limited Entry Hunt.
- The ministry has already commissioned an independent analysis of moose management in the Cariboo, and results of that work will help inform future management decisions.
- Numbers of Limited Entry Hunt authorizations for moose will be re-evaluated for the 2013 season, in line with a reduced annual allowable harvest.
The B.C. government and the Tl'etinqox-t'in Government Office also confirm their intention to continue working collaboratively into the future on issues of wildlife and habitat management.
These immediate and longer term measures will add significantly to the collective ability of the B.C. government and First Nations to improve moose populations.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations -
"These actions ensure certainty for all those with an interest in wildlife management in the Anaham Range. More importantly they are concrete steps in establishing the long term sustainability of the moose population in the region."
"I commend the ministry staff, First Nations, the BC Wildlife Federation and forest companies including Tolko, West Fraser and BC Timber Sales, all of who worked so hard to find common ground."
Chief Joe Alphonse, Tl'etinqox-t'in Government Office -
"The conservation and sustainability of moose is a common concern of all involved. We need to see moose in our backyards 100 years from now!"
"This has been a long process, and I am heartened that we have come to an agreement. The Tl'etinqox Government Office will not have to resort to actions to block moose hunting activities. The plan announced today addresses the need for specific stewardship strategies that focuses on our Aboriginal traditions and land values."
"It's known that First Nations communities in the Cariboo have the highest level of sustenance use of wildlife in the province. Loss of habitat through the pine beetle epidemic, timber harvesting, road access, predation, the complex-type forest fires of 2010, and hunting have all caused reduction of moose in our area, impacting our right to harvest wildlife.
Donna Barnett, MLA, Cariboo-Chilcotin -
"I am pleased the Tl'etinqox-t'in Government Office, stakeholders and ministry staff have been able to resolve the issue. This is another example of how working together we can move forward in the best interests of all."
Bill Bosch, president, BC Wildlife Federation -
"It is our common objective that our communities have the opportunities to hunt moose in this and other areas in the province for generations to come for the cultural, social and economic benefits from this activity."
- In 2011, there were roughly 185,000 moose in the province.
- The Limited Entry Hunt for Region 5 (Cariboo) will open on Sept. 10, 2012.
To learn more about moose population declines, including in the Cariboo and Chilcotin, visit: http://ow.ly/dlJFY
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Chief Joe Alphonse
Tl'etinqox-t'in Government Office