Letter: Concerned about options considered for caribou recovery

“The exploding wolf population is the cause of the depleting caribou and moose herds,” writes Frank Dorsey


I attended the Quesnel standing-room-only meeting re: Caribou Recovery this week and am very concerned with the reasoning and options that seem to be being considered to protect and grow the declining caribou herds.

This reduction in the moose and caribou populations in the Cariboo specifically is a relatively new occurrence.

I spent my formative years on a ranch in the Chilcotin and am very familiar with the animals in this area, as well as hunting, guiding and the need to protect and preserve nature. As young men, we all hunted and trapped, and as we got older, we began hiring out during the summer months with the local guiding outfits. Guiding was a big business for many years in the Chilcotin, helping the local economy and encouraging tourism in the outback country, leading to an appreciation of nature and the need for environmental awareness.

During the 1950s, the Game Department understood the need to keep the numbers of both the caribou and moose, as well as their predators balanced re: good management practices. When realizing that increasing wolf pack numbers were becoming a threat to the rest of the wild animals as well as to the domestic cattle, the government officials would often hire locals to poison wolves to keep their populations in check. Poisoning sounds harsh in today’s politically-correct environment, but some sort of culling is necessary. Perhaps by bounty would be a more acceptable option to curtail the exploding wolf population

Yes, the caribou are currently facing a ‘tough time,’ but without a doubt, the exploding wolf population is the cause of the depleting caribou and moose herds. With so many wolves needing to feed themselves, it stands to reason that they would be depleting the wild herds, as well as going after the ranchers’ range cattle and defenseless calves.

And trying to relocate caribou long distances from their natural habitat is obviously not a workable solution as your recent experiments have proven … and to add insult to injury, moving them from their Canadian home areas to places in the United States was just idiotic and wasteful.

Regarding how you do herd research, I understand you want to tag and track herds, but do you really think that chasing caribou around with a helicopter is proper conduct for people who are supposed to be in the conservation business? Before you can get anywhere close enough to them to shoot them with a tranquilizer gun, those poor animals are highly stressed and completely exhausted to the point their tongues are hangout out. That kind of tracking might be fun for your game officials, but why not contact the local guides or ranchers, climb on a horse and go find a caribou herd … that hands-on approach would give your people a much better appreciation for the needs of the animals and the environment, as well as the conditions the local ranchers deal with on a daily basis.

Finally, I was disappointed in the lack of public communication with regards to this issue. Why are you not contacting and encouraging input and involvement from the local ranching community, cattle associations, the guides and outfitters, fishers and the various recreation groups in addition to the native bands?

They all have a stake in the outcome. Perhaps you would be better served if you were to partner with the local ranchers and those communities having a vested interest, both financially and as people who live out there because they love the lifestyle, the vast open spaces as well as the wildlife. The locals know how important it is to maintain herd numbers and want to see it all preserved in a manner that serves all who live in the area, whether they be ranchers, guides, loggers, recreation seekers or just nature lovers.

It’s obvious by the number of concerned people who showed up at your community meetings, even with unfortunately minimal notice given. I myself was made aware of the meeting only by a Facebook post on a recreational site we belong to. Imagine how many people might offer helpful ideas for wildlife conservation if you were to promote and advertise such meetings and input opportunities?

Frank Dorsey



Like us on Facebook

Just Posted

There’s a Billy Barker Days buzz around Quesnel

The 45th annual festival kicks off Thursday, July 18 and runs until Sunday, July 21

Prince George man charged with making, possessing, distributing child pornography

Shawn Robert Dick, 52, of Prince George is facing several charges following the police investigation

CRD develops internal policy for single-use plastics for its own operations

Chair Margo Wagner said the CRD is proud to be taking steps to reduces its environmental footprint

Chief calls for state of emergency and fishery closure in light of Big Bar slide in Fraser River

Chief Robbins said his own community of Esket will not fish until the slide is dealt with

Update: Severe thunderstorm watch upgraded to warning for Cariboo North including Quesnel

Potential for strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy rain in the afternoon

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

B.C. mom to go to Europe court in hopes of getting alleged abducted daughter back

Tasha Brown alleges her estranged wife abducted their daughter Kaydance Etchells in 2016

Most Read