Ample B.C. wolf population worries First Nations group
In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service a gray wolf is shown.
Published Sunday, November 13, 2011 7:25AM EST
100 MILE HOUSE, B.C. - The chief of the Tsilhqot'in Nation says he is concerned about the toll the region's abundant wolf population could have on wild horses and endangered caribou this winter.
Chief Joe Alphonse says he appreciates the government's controversial decision to lift hunting restrictions and keep the wolf hunt open in the Chilcotin region because of concerns about the number of cattle and wildlife falling prey.
But Alphonse says its not enough and the government should contract trappers and put a bounty on wolves in the plateau west of the Fraser River in central B.C.
The international program co-ordinator for Conservation Northwest, Joe Scott, says wolves have a key role to play in a balanced ecosystem and he's surprised Alphonse would advocate a bounty.
He says his group has supported targeted culls of wolves known to prey on the mountain caribou, a technique used on a case-by-case basis in B.C. and Alberta.
But Scott says you can't just kill wolves without dealing with the causes that put the caribou in danger in the first place, namely human activity.