Predator control is best way to save caribou

In the past few weeks, the Clearwater Times ran several letters to the editor about logging the Wells Gray corridor

Jim Lumberton writes under the name of The Rambling Man.

Jim Lumberton writes under the name of The Rambling Man.

Editor, The Times;

Spring is here at last! The snow has almost gone. (These global warming winters are sure getting short!).

It’s nice to sit out on the patio in the evening; it’s cool but there are a million stars. It’s nice to listen to coyotes howling in the distance.

Oh! Wait a minute! Those aren’t coyotes; that’s banjo music from Upper Clearwater!

We just get finished with the Upper Clearwater Hall fiasco and now we are back to “halt logging” and “save the caribou!” This is the same drum that has been beating since the 1970s.

In the past few weeks, the Clearwater Times ran several letters to the editor about logging the Wells Gray corridor.

The topper on the cake would have to go to one on March l6, “Calls For a logging moratorium on Trophy Mountain.”. The open letter to Christy Clark was by Anne Neave, director, Wells Gray Gateway Protection Society.

As we all know, for you to get a favorable response from Christy Clark, you must first make a substantial donation to the Liberal Party! Secondly, why do you think that because you call yourselves Wells Gray Gateway Protection Society, you can speak for all of Clearwater?

On March 30 there was another letter, this time by Bev Henry, “… Action is needed now to protect the mountain caribou in Wells Gray”. She goes on to say that a study by Environment Canada points to habitat loss as the number one factor in the decline of our caribou herds. It also says that predation is also a factor.

My question is who did Environment Canada commission to do the study? Greenpeace? Western Wilderness Society? Or was there input from the Wells Gray Gateway Protection Society?

I worked in this valley from the 1960s to the l990s. I’ve seen caribou in many areas: Dungeon Cr., Harbor Ks., TumTum Lk., Berry Cr., the Raft Valley, Wells Gray Park, and the Trophies.

In all my travels, working or hunting, I never found a carcass of a caribou that had starved to death. However, I have seen many that have been compacted into approximately one pound coils that were accompanied by wolf tracks.

In l990, the Times had an article about caribou transplants; 12 caribou (eight cows and four bulls) were captured – six east of Avola and six west – to increase the floundering herd near the border of B.C. and Idaho.

The last sentence in that article stated, “We did not take any caribou out of Wells Gray Park.”.

The animals captured west of Avola were from Berry Cr. and the Park Rd. area. With four or five wolves on their butts, in about two hours they would have been in Wells Gray Park.

If in fact the Liberals have made a promise to commit $27 million towards a mountain caribou recovery program, the money shouldn’t be squandered on ridiculous studies and moratoriums on logging!

The money would be much better spent on predator control and game management, and starting restocking programs after the predator controls have accomplished their goals.

Bev Harvey’s letter states that predator control was tried but didn’t help. The reason was the game department was trying to operate on a shoestring budget.

This is probably the last chance for the Wells Gray mountain caribou. They need to be helped, not used as pawns for other agendas.

Jim Lamberton

The Rambling Man

Blackpool, B.C.